Tag Archives: Kansas

States wisely resist fascist request for personal info on every voter in nation

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Washington Post news photo

“President” Pussygrabber meets with Repugnican Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach early in Pussygrabber’s illegitimate administration. Kobach, who never met a voter who isn’t a Repugnican whose vote he doesn’t want to suppress, is the “vice chair” of the so-called “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity,” which Pussygrabber himself in a tweet tellingly referred to yesterday as the “VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” The “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sent a letter dated June 28 to all 50 states asking for extensive personal and sensitive information about all of their registered voters. With an approval rating persistently stuck below 40 percent, Pussygrabber is in no political position to ask for anything.

On the surface, it might seem like no huge deal: The “president’s” “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” sent a letter, dated June 28, to all 50 states, asking them to turn over extensive information on all of their registered voters.

But this isn’t a normal “president” that we’re talking about. This is a “president” who already has pulled it out of his orange asshole that he only lost the popular vote in November 2016 because more than three million people (the margin of the popular vote that he lost by, very conveniently) voted illegally.

This is a claim for which Team Pussygrabber has offered no proof, of course, because no such proof exists — because it’s a wholly bogus, bullshit claim.*

At least half of the states thus far, including my great state of California, have refused to give any or at least some of the information to the “president’s” “commission” on “election integrity.” 

“Numerous states are refusing to give information to the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL. What are they trying to hide?” “President” Pussygrabber predictably tweeted yesterday, stupidly revealing what we already knew: that the “commission” isn’t set up to ensure “election integrity,” but is meant to “prove,” retroactively, Pussygrabber’s bullshit, bogus claim that he actually won the popular vote because of “voter fraud.”

I mean, in his tweet — in which he at least isn’t talking about some woman bleeding from somewhere — Pussygrabber calls the “commission” “the very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL.” Pussygrabber himself tells us that the “commission” isn’t interested in “election integrity” but instead is interested in “proving” “VOTER FRAUD,” which he even puts in all caps, for fuck’s sake. This conclusion obviously already has been reached before the “very distinguished” commission (which isn’t “distinguished” at all, which is why the Pussygrabberian qualifier “very” is necessary) has even done any work.

Just as “President” George W. Bush — another fascist who lost the popular vote and who thus never was a legitimate president — ordered his underlings to find evidence of Iraq’s connection to 9/11 (to “justify” his Vietraq War), evidence that didn’t exist because Iraq had had nothing to do with 9/11, “President” Pussygrabber has ordered his “very distinguished VOTER FRAUD PANEL” to find voter fraud that doesn’t exist.

It’s not, of course, that the states that wisely are resisting the fascist, illegitimate “president’s” demand for detailed information on every single voter in the nation are trying to “hide” anything; it’s that it’s fucking obvious that you don’t turn over highly sensitive, personal data for millions and millions of voters to a fascist, illegitimate, wholly untrustworthy White House regime that obviously intends to use the data only for evil.

(If you can’t get on board with “evil,” you at least have to admit that the “commission on election integrity” fucking obviously is not a non-partisan, neutral, disinterested operation that dispassionately, objectively and fairly would delve into the subject of “election integrity.”)

The actual wording of the “commission’s” June 28 letter to the 50 states, signed by the “commission’s” “vice chair,” Repugnican-of-course Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach, a real Nazi known only for his voter-suppression efforts** (and who is running for governor of Kansas, of course), is scary.

The letter reads, in part:

… In addition, in order for the Commission to fully analyze vulnerabilities and issues related to voter registration and voting, I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state, the full first and last names of all registrants, middle names or initials if available, addresses, dates of birth, political party (if recorded in your state), last four digits of social security [sic] number if available, voter history (elections voted in) from 2006 onward, active/inactive status, cancelled status, information regarding any felony convictions, information regarding voter registration in another state, information regarding military status, and overseas citizen information.

You may submit your responses electronically to ElectionIntegrityStaff@ovp.eop.gov or by utilizing the Safe Access File Exchange (“SAFE”), which is a secure FTP site the federal government uses for transferring large data files. You can access the SAFE site at https://safe.amrdec.army.mil/safe/Welcome.aspx. We would appreciate a response by July 14, 2017. Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public. … [Emphases in bold are mine.]

“Please be aware that any documents that are submitted to the full Commission will also be made available to the public.” I interpret that line very broadly, because of the treasonous Nazi weasels with which we are dealing.

The letter does ask for other information besides individual voters’ extensive personal information, but I think that in order to be safe and not very, very sorry, we have to assume that the “commission” indeed would make all individual voter data stupidly submitted to it “available to the public.”

Imagine hordes of Orc-like Pussygrabber supporters poring over millions of voter registration records — provided to them by Pussygrabber’s “Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity” — with the purpose of harassing, say, those who have Spanish or Arabic surnames or whose names suggest that they are black Americans.

And, of course, they would seek to harass all of those who are registered as Democrats (and maybe even also anyone who isn’t registered as a Repugnican; I, for example, am registered with the Green Party, and I would rather castrate myself with a pair of fingernail clippers than cast a vote for a Repugnican).

This harassment of voters could be illegal, classical harassment, such as by personally, directly contacting and harassing and trying to intimidate these registered voters whose contact information so helpfully has been made public by the “commission on election integrity,” and/or it could be bureaucratic harassment, such as by challenging the validity of individuals’ voter registration — challenging mostly or only Democrats or (perceived) Democratic leaners, of course. (These challenges almost always turn out to be bullshit, but local elections officials have to deal with them anyway.)

I am happy to live in a state whose laws wisely fiercely protect my voter registration information from those who would misuse it. Indeed, the verbiage in the “commission’s” June 28 letter, “I am requesting that you provide to the Commission the publicly available voter roll data for [your state], including, if publicly available under the laws of your state…,” apparently would exclude California, because a voter’s information isn’t publicly available under California state law.

In any event, on June 29, California Secretary of State Alex Padilla released this strongly worded press release:

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla today released the statement below in response to a letter from Kris Kobach, Vice Chair of the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity. The Commission was established through executive order by President Donald Trump after he lost the popular vote to Hillary Clinton in the 2016 Presidential Election. Because he lost the popular vote, Trump has falsely alleged that three to five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 election. This, despite the fact that his claims of voter fraud are unsubstantiated and that academics and bipartisan leaders have confirmed that there is no evidence of large-scale, let alone massive, voter fraud.

“The President’s commission has requested the personal data and the voting history of every American voter — including Californians. As Secretary of State, it is my duty to ensure the integrity of our elections and to protect the voting rights and privacy of our state’s voters. I will not provide sensitive voter information to a commission that has already inaccurately passed judgment that millions of Californians voted illegally.

“California’s participation would only serve to legitimize the false and already debunked claims of massive voter fraud made by the President, the Vice President, and Mr. Kobach. The President’s Commission is a waste of taxpayer money and a distraction from the real threats to the integrity of our elections today: aging voting systems and documented Russian interference in our elections [oh, snap!].

“The President’s appointment of Kobach — who has a long history of sponsoring discriminatory, anti-immigrant*** policies, including voter suppression and racial profiling laws — sends a clear and ominous message. His role as vice chair is proof that the ultimate goal of the commission is to enact policies that will result in the disenfranchisement of American citizens.

“I will continue to defend the right of all eligible voters to cast their ballots free from discrimination, intimidation or unnecessary roadblocks.”

Absolutely.

And Padilla isn’t alone.

The Associated Press reports that at least 10 states (California, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, New York, South Dakota, Tennessee and Virginia) and the District of Columbia won’t give the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” any voter information at all.

Even Mississippi’s Repugnican secretary of state said that the “president’s” “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” “can go jump in the Gulf of Mexico, and Mississippi is a great state to launch from,” adding, “Mississippi residents should celebrate Independence Day and our state’s right to protect the privacy of our citizens by conducting our own electoral processes.”

The only states that are going to participate in Pussygrabber’s “VOTER FRAUD PANEL” sham are those red states that already are on board with voter suppression that helps the treasonous Repugnican Party, which is faltering so badly that to survive is has to cheat, such as to steal presidential elections (as in 2000 and in 2016), to engage in gerrymandering on crack, and to engage in the suppression of those voters it deems (correctly or incorrectly) aren’t supportive of it.

*As CNN reported at the time, “President” Pussygrabber’s own legal team claimed in a court filing in response to Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein’s quest for a recount of Michigan’s vote for president that “All available evidence suggests that the 2016 general election was not tainted by fraud or mistake.”

Clearly, it’s “fraud” only when it benefits Pussygrabber that it’s “fraud.” When it doesn’t benefit him, then it isn’t.

**Wikipedia notes of Nazi Kobach:

In 2015, [Kansas Secretary of State Kris] Kobach received from the [state] legislature and the governor the right to prosecute cases of voter fraud, after claiming for four years that Kansas had a massive problem of voter fraud that the local and state prosecutors were not adequately addressing. At that time, he “said he had identified more than 100 possible cases of double voting.” Testifying during hearings on the bill, questioned by Rep. John Carmichael, Kobach was unable to cite a single other state that gives its secretary of state such authority.

By February 7, 2017, Kobach had filed nine cases and obtained six convictions. All were regarding cases of double voting; none would have been prevented by voter ID laws. One case was dropped. The other two were still pending. All six convictions involved elderly citizens who were unaware that they had done anything wrong.

One of those prosecuted, Randall Kilian, thought he was expressing his preference about marijuana legalization as it affected his new Colorado retirement property after receiving a mail-in ballot in 2012. He didn’t want pot growing next to his home, so he marked that issue only, and mailed it in as instructed. The sheriff and county attorney of Ellis County, Kansas, learned of this and questioned Kilian. Both concluded he had not intentionally broken the law and decided not to prosecute. However, when Kobach got prosecutorial authority in such cases, a year later, he reopened the case. Trying to avoid the expense of a trial, Kilian pleaded guilty in 2016 and paid a $2,500 fine.

Critics of Kobach’s crusade say that he overreaches on cases that district attorneys deemed not worth prosecuting, and allege that he is motivated by racism. University of Kansas assistant professor of political science Patrick Miller includes voter intimidation as a form of fraud. “The substantially bigger issue with voter fraud has been election fraud being perpetrated by election officials and party officials tampering with votes.” “It is not the rampant problem that the public believes that is there. Kris Kobach says it is. Donald Trump says it is. And the data just aren’t there to prove it. It’s a popular misconception that this is a massive problem.”

A Brennan Center for Justice report calculated that rates of actual voter fraud are between 0.00004 percent and 0.0009 percent. The center calculated that someone is more likely to be struck by lightning than to commit voter fraud.

Indeed. The Brennan Center’s report is here.

***Indeed, this is a blow-up of the document that Kris Kobach had in his hand in the photo of his meeting with Pussygrabber above:

The document Kansas secretary of state Kris Kobach is holding during a photo-op with President-elect Donald Trump on Sunday in Bedminster, NJ. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)

Associated Press photo

The meeting between Pussygrabber and Kobach was on November 20, 2016, at the Trump National Golf Club Bedminster clubhouse, in Bedminster, N.J, and Kobach was lobbying Pussygrabber to become the U.S. Department of Homeland Security secretary by showing his xenophobic, nationalistic chops.

His right-wing, anti-immigrant sentiment is clear just from the portion of the document that he stupidly left in view.

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Still Bernie or bust for me (also: Live-blogging the 7th Dem debate tomorrow)

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is hugged as he arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Warren, Michigan

Reuters photo

Presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, a progressive U.S. senator for Vermont, is hugged before a rally today in Warren, Michigan. Today Bernie handily won the caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska, while Billary Clinton picked up yet another state of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging denizens in the South (Louisiana). Tomorrow night Bernie debates Billary Clinton in Flint, Michigan. Michigan holds its primary election on Tuesday; if Bernie takes the state, gone (at least until Billary’s next win) should be the bullshit talk of Billary’s “inevitability.”

Today Bernie Sanders won the Democratic Party presidential caucuses in Kansas and Nebraska, and Billary Clinton, in keeping with her popularity in the South, won the backasswards red state of Louisiana.

Thus far the map of the 2016 Democratic Party presidential primary race (this one from Wikipedia) looks like this, with Bernie’s wins in green and Billary’s in gold:

Note that Iowa was a tie, with Billary “beating” Bernie by a whopping 0.3 percent. Also close was Massachusetts, which Billary won by 1.4 percent. (It apparently helped her to at least to some degree that Bill Clinton apparently was electioneering for Billary at polling places in Massachusetts on “Super Tuesday.” [His mere presence at a polling place, even if he didn’t speak a word, was electioneering, in my book, given how well he is known as a former president and since his wife appeared on the ballot at the polling places that he visited (only to “thank the poll workers,” he claimed). Of course, the Clintons are royalty, and members of royalty are above the law.])

Nevada wasn’t a blowout win for Billary, either; she won that state’s caucuses by 5.3 percent.

Billary’s wins in the Southern states have been in the double digits, which speaks volumes to me. The South is another fucking country, as far as I’m concerned.

Bernie’s double-digit wins in states like Colorado, Kansas, Minnesota, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Oklahoma and Vermont (and his almost-wins in Iowa and Massachusetts) indicate to me that he represents the real Americayou know, the portion of the United States that didn’t practice slavery and wasn’t part of the Confederacy.

Queen Billary says that she’s the real Democrat in the race, yet why is her power base in the South — which is not exactly a bastion of the values and beliefs of the modern Democratic Party?

At any rate, although Billary once again stupidly was declared “inevitable” after “Super Tuesday” this past week (she won seven states [all of them, except for Massachusetts, in the South] to Bernie’s four), this remains a race.

(As many have noted, if a clear majority of the voters and caucus-goers pick Bernie over Billary, the so-called “super-delegates” will be pressured not to subvert democracy, but to go with the popular will and to therefore go with Bernie — if the Democratic Party is to survive.*)

Next up is Maine, which caucuses tomorrow, and then on Tuesday, Michigan and Mississippi hold their primary elections.

I expect Bernie to win Maine, and of course Billary will take the backasswards red state of Mississippi. I’m hoping that Bernie takes Michigan; that would be a real coup for him.

In any event, tomorrow night is the seventh Democratic Party presidential debate. It will be held in Flint, Michigan, and is to be carried by CNN at 9 p.m. Eastern/6 p.m. Pacific.

I plan to live-blog it, but I might do it differently this time; truth be told, after having live-blogged the first six Democratic debates, I can tell you that these debates get repetitive. Tomorrow night I might decide to live-blog only new material and the more interesting exchanges, and let the repetitive crap go.

Finally, if you are a regular reader of mine you will know this already, but I’ll say it again: For me it’s still Bernie or bust.

I will not support Billary Clinton, Queen of the South, in any way. Not a penny and certainly not my vote, not in California’s primary election in June or in the general presidential election in November.

Billary Clinton does not represent the United States of America or the Democratic Party to me.

My world is a progressive one, and she is from another planet.

P.S. Speaking of other planets, as far as Donald Trump is concerned: I’m sorry that he has gotten this far. It’s a sad statement on the sorry state of sociopolitical affairs in the nation that he has.

Donald Trump does not represent all white male Americans. Let me say that. He represents some of them. (White males are around 31 percent of all Americans, and Trump has the support of about 36 percent of Repugnicans, men and women, and around 39 percent of Americans identify as Repugnican or leaning Repugnican, while around 43 percent of Americans identify as Democratic or leaning Democratic. So Trump has the support of around 36 percent of around 39 percent of Americans, including women, so let’s please not say that he’s representative of most white American men. He is not. He is representative of a loud and obnoxious minority of them who share perhaps three brain cells among themselves.)

Donald Trump to me is evil not so much in that he has all of these definite evil plans for the groups of people whom he definitely would persecute, like his forebears the Nazi Germans did, but in that because he has no moral compass and no apparent conscience, but is pure ego, he would go in whatever direction he would perceive to be politically beneficial to himself, regardless of its harm to many others. He sociopathically lacks all empathy, very apparently.

Sure, that also pretty much describes corporate-ass-licker Billary Clinton’s entire political career, but would another Nazi Germany arise under Billary Clinton? Probably not. Under Donald Trump? It certainly could.

That said, I still think that I prefer the overt fascism of Donald Trump to the “friendly” fascism of Billary Clinton; I still think that I’d rather deal with the obvious wolf than with the wolf in sheep’s clothing.

On that note, both the Democratic Party and the Repugnican Party establishments — the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party — need to go.

Yes, the thought that the establishment parties’ demise could be replaced by something akin to Germany’s Nazism (that is, nationalism, far-right-wing ideology/fascism, white supremacism, etc.) is a frightening thought, but there is an alternative to that: the progressive, inclusive, democratic socialism that real Democrat Bernie Sanders promotes.

*While I don’t share Salon.com writer Andrew O’Hehir’s assessment of Billary’s chances of emerging as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee — I think that he overstates her chances (for one thing, she remains underwater in her favorability polling of all voters by double digits — while Bernie’s favorability polling of all voters still has him liked more than disliked by double digits) — I do agree with O’Hehir’s assessment that there is a civil war within the Democratic Party just as there is within the Repugnican Tea Party.

It’s just that the Democrats are “nicer” about it, and it hasn’t blown up (yet).

Whether Billary emerges as the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee or not, the fact remains that her center-right brand of Democrat is sorely out of date, is unsustainable and needs to go, and it will go; it’s only a question of for how much longer the Clintonistas can keep the Democrat-in-name-only game going.

If we Berners — progressives — can’t take back our party this year, we will take it back in the near future.

Billary Clinton is not in a good place politically, not in the long term.

Why?

Well, if Bernie beats her, it will be seen as a victory for progressives. (Of course, if Bernie beats her but then goes on to lose in November, he’ll be lumped in with the likes of George McGovern, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis, which probably would be damaging for the progressive brand and seen as vindicating the Clintonistas’ brand of the Democratic Party, of course. [This wouldn’t last forever, but would last for some time, I surmise.])

But if Billary wins the nomination but then loses in November, it most definitely will be the final stake in the cold, stupid hearts of the Clintonistas. The members of the party will look for a new direction, and we progressives are quite ready to supply that direction.

But even if Billary wins both the party’s presidential nomination and the White House, she’ll have a very rough go of it.

She will be attacked relentlessly by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, and if you look at who her supporters are now, it appears as though as president she’ll have the support of the Democrats in the South — Democrats who are fairly powerless within their own states.

The rest of us — us Northerners, mostly — aren’t at all thrilled about Billary Clinton now, so she probably can’t count on much political support from us should she actually become president.

And that’s her fault, not ours.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

No, I don’t. And it works both ways.

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

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

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

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

Wow.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Because things weren’t bad enough

Updated bel0w (Monday, April 27, 2009)

Commuters wear face masks to prevent the infection by the swine ...

AFP photo

Subway riders in Mexico City wear masks to prevent the spread of the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus that has killed more than 60 Mexicans so far and spread to at least three U.S. states.

Really, all that we were missing was a pandemic plague.

I refer, of course, to the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus that has killed more than five dozen people in Mexico thus far and has been found in at least three U.S. states (California, Texas and Kansas and probably New York as well).

In 1918, a strain of the influenza virus killed millions of people worldwide. Notes Wikipedia

The 1918 flu pandemic (commonly referred to as the Spanish flu) was an influenza pandemic that spread to nearly every part of the world. It was caused by an unusually severe and deadly [strain of the type-A influenza virus]…

Historical and epidemiologic data are inadequate to identify the geographic origin of the virus. Most of its victims were healthy young adults, in contrast to most influenza outbreaks, which predominantly affect juvenile, elderly or otherwise weakened patients.

The pandemic lasted from March 1918 to June 1920, spreading even to the Arctic and remote Pacific islands. It is estimated that anywhere from 20 to 100 million people were killed worldwide, or the approximate equivalent of one third of the population of Europe, more than double the number killed in World War I.

This extraordinary toll resulted from the extremely high illness rate of up to 50 percent and the extreme severity of the symptoms… The pandemic is estimated to have infected up to one billion people — half the world’s population at the time.

Travel between the United States and Mexico is such that even if the border between the two nations were sealed, it’s probably too late to stop the new influenza virus’ spread into the United States and elsewhere, experts say; besides, the virus already has been found in at least the border states of California and Texas and also in Kansas, although no U.S. deaths have been reported thus far.

I have a friend who plans to travel to Mexico next week for a two-week stay; I am a bit concerned for her, and I have expressed my concern to her, but she’d probably still go even if it were an ebola outbreak instread of an influenza oubbreak south of the border. Her name starts with “I” and I told her that if she brought the virus back to Sacramento, in the spirit of Typhoid Mary we’d have to call her “Influenza I–––.”

My friend is in her 30s and so I’m further concerned for her because, as The Associated Press notes, “Another reason to worry [about the current influenza outbreak] is that authorities said the dead so far don’t include vulnerable infants and elderly. The Spanish flu pandemic, which killed at least 40 million people worldwide in 1918-19, also first struck otherwise healthy young adults.”

(If you’re wondering why healthy young adults would die of influenza, it’s because of something called a “cytokine storm,” an overreaction of a healthy immune system to certain strains of the influenza virus and to certain other pathogens that can cause death.)

Besides traditional flu symptoms, the new human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus can cause severe vomiting and diarrhea, a bout of which my boyfriend had earlier this month. I have to wonder now if maybe he was infected with the virus.

Those who were immunized against influenza recently, as I was in November, may or may not have some degree of protection against the new strain, news reports have quoted the experts as having said.

The main reason I get the flu shot every year is that not only do I not want to get the flu, but, as The Associated Press notes, “Scientists have warned for years about the potential for a pandemic from [influenza] viruses that mix genetic material from humans and animals.”

My thinking has been that immunization against influenza might offer me some protection from such a pandemic.

As much as I love to be right, hopefully I won’t be proved right because hopefully there won’t be a deadly flu pandemic like there was in 1918…

Update (Monday, April 27, 2009):

So upwards of 150 Mexicans have died of the new influenza epidemic and at least 40 confirmed cases have been found in the United States, including at least 20 in New York City, although no one in the United States has yet died from the human-pig-bird-hybrid influenza virus, which, because it is transmissible from person to person (and not just from animal to person), has the potential to become a pandemic.

Sacramento’s annual Festival de la Familia was yesterday, and while I at first was disappointed that I had no one to go there with, as I love Festival de la Familia, after the news of this new potential pandemic, with its epicenter in Mexico, broke on Friday, it seemed to me perhaps wiser and safer not to go, as there is such travel between Mexico and the United States (and elsewhere in the world) that probably several people at Festival de la Familia yesterday had to have been infected with the virus, statistically speaking. (The annual festival of Latino culture usually draws thousands of people, most of them Latino.)

We might as well have called it Festival de la Influenza, I told my boyfriend, who didn’t think that I should repeat that joke to anyone.

Anyway, as if the plague (which has spread from Mexico to the United States and to Canada and even to Europe, because of world travel) weren’t enough, central Mexico was hit with a 5.6-magnitude earthquake today, prompting one resident of Mexico City to remark that “it feels like the Apocalypse.”

While I doubt that it’s the Apocalypse, I do hope the best for our brothers and sisters south of the border. I’m not the praying type, but I might be compelled to say a prayer for them shortly…

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Same-sex marriage in the heartland suddenly changes the game radically

Photo illustration (disclaimer: these dudes may or may not be hot for each other or for any other dude or dudes… [Not that there is anything wrong with that!])

Des Moines, Iowa [from the Associated Press] – Gay marriage, seemingly the province of the nation’s two [liberal] coasts, is just weeks away from becoming a reality in the heartland, and apparently it will be years before social conservatives have a chance to stop it…. The only recourse for opponents appeared to be a constitutional amendment, which couldn’t get on the ballot until 2012 at the earliest….

I wanted to allow the news that Iowa right now is the third state with legalized same-sex marriage (after Massachusetts and Connecticut) to marinate my brain for a little while before I chimed in on the subject.

My first thoughts were that I had never even heard that Iowa was even anywhere close to having legalized same-sex marriage; why did this news apparently come out of the blue? I also wondered how safe legalized same-sex marriage in Iowa was, since we Californians had legalized same-sex marriage for fewer than six months before the wingnut “Christo”fascists, with Proposition 8, took our rights away like Cruela De Vil took away the puppies. And, of course, I was miffed that Iowa beat my home state of California.

I am happy to have learned since that Iowa’s same-sex marriages seem to be safe from wingnut “Christo”fascist reversal for at least the next few years. Whew.

And Iowa did and did not beat California on the same-sex marriage issue, depending upon how you look at it.

As of right now, today, Iowans have same-sex marriage rights but Californians don’t. Iowans. (Did I say “Iowans”?)

But California’s state Supreme Court did beat Iowa’s state Supreme Court to the same-sex marriage issue. The California Supreme Court ruled on May 15 that same-sex couples in the state must, under the rights guaranteed to them by the California state Constitution, be able to marry legally.

The Iowa Supreme Court unanimously ruled yesterday — let me say again that the court ruled unanimously — that same-sex couples in Iowa must be allowed to wed legally. (California’s highest court had ruled in favor of same-sex marriage by only 4-3, I’m chagrined to admit. However, six of the seven California Supreme Court justices were appointed by Repugnican governors, so that gives the 4-3 ruling more significance, I think. [Iowa’s Supreme Court also has seven justices, by the way.])

California was the second state, after Massachusetts, to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage. (Massachusetts was the first to have put a same-sex couple on the moon, so to speak, with its top state court ruling in 2004 that to ban same-sex marriage violates the state’s constitution.) This past November, Connecticut became the third state to establish that same-sex marriage must be allowed under state law. Iowa is the fourth state to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage.

After California made it to No. 2 in May, a slim majority of California voters — swayed by millions of dollars that the Mormon and Catholic cults poured into hateful, bigoted and false political advertising in the state — decided in November (with Prop 8) to write ignorance, hatred and bigotry into the California Constitution, so that today, same-sex couples may not legally marry in California.

The California Supreme Court in May had ruled that state codes (over which the court has full jurisdiction) outlawing same-sex marriage were unconstitutional; at that time, the state’s Constitution (which is the upper limit of the court’s jurisdiction) did not prohibit same-sex marriage, so the haters decided (with Prop 8) to write unlawful, un-American discrimination into the state Constitution.

The California Supreme Court is expected to rule no later than in June on whether the results of Prop 8 will be upheld or shot down. It remains to be seen whether the same California Supreme Court that in May granted same-sex couples the right to marry will decide whether it has jurisdiction over the constitutionality of the state Constitution itself; this is a very sticky legal issue. (I believe that of course the court can shoot down anything the voters approve that is unconstitutional, under the principle that the tyranny of the majority over oppressed minorities must not stand, that equal human and civil rights may not be put up for a vote. But, of course, I’m not a lawyer…)

Just the day before yesterday, it was looking pretty gloomy for California; would the state Supreme Court shoot down the will of 52 percent of California’s voters?

With only Massachusetts and Connecticut having legalized same-sex marriage as of just the day before yesterday, it probably seemed safer for the California Supreme Court to shoot down same-sex marriage then than it does now, with Iowa poised to recognize same-sex marriages on April 24.

Suddenly, same-sex marriage isn’t the province of only the liberal East and West coasts (or, as they sometimes call my coast, the “Left Coast,” a designation that I embrace wholeheartedly).

Suddenly, same-sex marriage isn’t just a solid blue-state thing anymore. Suddenly, it’s about what it always has been about all along: equal human and civil rights for every American.

Take a look at where Iowa is on the map:

(Iowa, for those of you who need the assistance, is “IA.”) There it is, Iowa (IA), surrounded by Kansas (KS), Nebraska (NE), South Dakota (SD) and Missouri (MO). (Iowa, in case you were wondering, went to Barack Obama, 54 percent to Repugnican John McCainosaurus’ 45 percent. Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota and Missouri all went to McCainosaurus, with Missouri being the closest, 49 percent to 49 percent, with Obama losing to McCainosaurus by fewer than 5,000 votes.)

When same-sex couples in Iowa are getting married, will the California Supreme Court — which already ruled, in May, that same-sex couples in California should be able to marry legally — uphold the bigots’ Prop 8?

I tend to think not.

But even if the California Supreme Court does uphold Prop 8, will the California voters, the next time that the issue of same-sex marriage were put before them, vote in such a way that California is outdone by Iowa?

I don’t fucking think so.

P.S. Making all of this even more interesint is that the fifth state to have achieved legalized same-sex marriage might be the state that started it all: Vermont.

Vermont, the first state to offer same-sex couples civil unions (which confer all of the state rights granted to married heterosexual couples except for the title of “marriage”), might be the fifth state to achieve legalized same-sex marriage if the state’s House of Representatives, which this past week voted 95-52 for legalized same-sex marriage in the state, can override Repugnican Gov. Jim Douglas’ veto threat, which would require two-thirds of the house members to vote for same-sex marriage. (Um, how in the fuck did Vermont end up with a Repugnican governor anyway?)

If Vermont’s House of Representatives can get just five of the “no” votes to switch sides, Douglas’ veto can be overriden; Vermont’s Senate already overwhelmingly voted in favor of same-sex marriage, 26-4.

Douglas’ promised veto could be overriden as early as within the next week.

P.P.S. OK, so I’ve bashed Iowa some here, but I noted this paragraph in an Associated Press story:

Iowa has a history of being in the forefront on social issues. It was among the first states to legalize interracial marriage and to allow married women to own property. It was also the first state to admit a woman to the bar to practice law and was a leader in school desegregation.

OK, so I guess that I am humbled. My state — which used to be considered the bellwether state, didn’t it? — achieved legalized same-sex marriage but couldn’t keep it. However, I’m confident that we’ll get it back.

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