Tag Archives: military

We need to talk about Elliot

Twenty-two-year-old Elliot Rodger, who apparently slaughtered six college students and injured 13 other people near Santa Barbara before he shot himself dead in the head a few days ago, eerily reminds me of the titular character of the 2011 film “We Need to Talk About Kevin.” Not only is there at least a passing physical resemblance — here is an image of Rodger sporting a Wolverine-like ’do from Facebook:

UCSB-shooting-elliot-rodgers-11

and here is an image of the 21-year-old actor Ezra Miller as the character of Kevin:

— but the fictional Kevin’s and the real-life Elliot’s biographies seem at least somewhat similar, both with parents concerned about their son’s mental health and then the inevitable (?) massacre of the young man’s peers. (The fictional Kevin uses arrows; Elliot Rodgers apparently used a knife to kill three young men at his apartment and then bullets to kill two young women and another young man near the University of California at Santa Barbara campus.)

Rodger’s selfie-video complaint seems pathetic, probably, to most (so-called) adults. It is stilted and awkward — written and rehearsed, probably, and reportedly Rodger was somewhere on the autistic spectrum, which, if true, might explain that in part or in whole — and Rodgers’ central complaint does indeed seem to boil down to his claim that he was a 22-year-old virgin. His video begins:

Hi. Elliot Rodger here.

Well, this is my last video, it has all had to come to this. Tomorrow is the day of retribution, the day in which I will have my revenge against humanity, against all of you. For the last eight years of my life, ever since I hit puberty, I’ve been forced to endure an existence of loneliness, rejection and unfulfilled desires all because girls have never been attracted to me. Girls gave their affection, and sex and love to other men but never to me.

I’m 22 years old and I’m still a virgin. I’ve never even kissed a girl. I’ve been through college for two and a half years, more than that actually, and I’m still a virgin. It has been very torturous. College is the time when everyone experiences those things such as sex and fun and pleasure. Within those years, I’ve had to rot in loneliness. It’s not fair.

You girls have never been attracted to me. I don’t know why you girls aren’t attracted to me, but I will punish you all for it. It’s an injustice, a crime, because … I don’t know what you don’t see in me. I’m the perfect guy and yet you throw yourselves at these obnoxious men instead of me, the supreme gentleman. …

Supreme gentlemen probably don’t commit massacres, but we’re not exactly ladies and gentlemen, either.

If history is any guide — and history always is a reliable guide — we Americans won’t learn from this latest massacre, but we will put all of the blame on Rodger and go on with business as usual.

Rodger has been called all kinds of things, including “psycho virgin,” and, of course, “fag.”

And maybe he was gay. It’s certainly possible. It’s not awful to suggest that, unless by doing so you are implying (or even flat-out stating) other things, such as that the villain always, or at least almost always, is an evil gay person. (Which certainly isn’t true, of course; the clear majority of those who have gone on murderous rampages in the United States have been heterosexual males.)

Rodger was not physically unattractive, so, it seems to me, if none of his female cohorts had interest in him, possible reasons for that might have included that he was socially awkward (which, judging by his infamous YouTube video, anyway, he apparently was) and/or that they sensed that he was gay, if he was. (I wouldn’t blame a heterosexual woman for rejecting, as a sexual partner, a male who struck her as probably gay.)

Whatever Rodger’s sexual orientation was, it seems insane to most of us adults/adults” that a 22-year-old would find his persistent virginity to be cause to go on a murderous rampage, but one, I’m sure that there was a lot more than just Rodger’s virginity that was a problem for him, and two, we adults/adults” forget (or perhaps we’ve never known) how much high levels of the reproductive hormone in the bloodstream of the young person, coupled with youth and inexperience, affect his or her moods, thoughts and behaviors.

And we adults/adults” forget how strong can be a young person’s desire to couple — and how strong the social/peer pressure for a young person to couple can be — and how a breakup can make a still-quite-young person feel that his or her life is over.

Added to this mix is an overpopulated society in which for the most part, under the god of capitalism, it’s every individual out for him- or herself, in which human relationships are much more like business transactions than they are anything like actual human relationships, and under the god of war, weapons* are seen as the solution (perhaps the ultimate solution), to our conflicts and our problems. Might makes right — right?

The only way to prevent another Elliot Rodger from doing what Elliot Rodger did is to try on another Elliot Rodger’s shoes, and try to understand, instead of to judge. (And to try to understand is not necessarily to agree with or to condone.)

Indeed, the common reaction to Rodger in the aftermath of Rodger’s massacre only demonstrates the mean-spirited environment in which he was immersed that very apparently pushed him over the edge. Rodger killed because he felt no love. He felt no love because in the United States of America, for the most part, there is no love anywhere to be had.

Perhaps especially if you are somewhere on the autistic spectrum and/or have some type of mental illness to some degree, and/or if you are not heterosexual or if, regardless of your sexual orientation you come off to heterosexuals as perhaps not being heterosexual — if you are different or even just perceived as different — you most likely will not feel the warmth of the love that the majority of Americans steadfastly claim is there, despite the mountains of evidence to the contrary.

*The father of one of Rodger’s victims, 20-year-old Christopher Michael-Martinez, whom Rodger apparently shot to death, according to Reuterssaid his son died because Congress had failed to act after a mentally ill gunman killed 26 people in December 2012 at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.”

Reuters quotes Michael-Martinez’s father, Richard Martinez, as having stated on CNN, “We’re all proud to be Americans. But what kind of message does it send to the world when we have such a rudderless bunch of idiots in government?”

Reuters notes that “[Federal legislation] after Sandy Hook to extend background checks for gun sales, ban assault weapons and limit magazines’ capacities failed to clear the [U.S.] Senate in April 2013. Gun-rights advocates strongly opposed the measures.”

Reuters further quotes Richard Martinez as having said, “These people are getting rich sitting in Congress. And what do they do? They don’t take care of our kids.”

That’s absolutely true — that we need stricter gun control and that the U.S. Congress has not been representative of us, the majority of the American people, for a long, long time now — but these things are only pieces of the larger puzzle.

Our larger, overarching national problems are our lovelessness, our selfishness, and our moral, ethical and intellectual laziness that allow such things as grotesque socioeconomic inequality, an unrepresentative federal government (including, of course, not just the worthless U.S. Congress but also the do-nothing, hopey-changey Barack Obama), and our national fetishization of weapons and of the military (I will note on this Memorial Day) to flourish at our own mass peril.

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Bogus warfare is the real pisser

Video grab taken from an undated YouTube video showing what is believed to be US Marines urinating on the bodies of dead Taliban soldiers in Afghanistan

Reuters image

In this viral video grab, four U.S. Marines reportedly are shown urinating (or pretending to urinate?) on the bodies of at least three vanquished members of the Taliban in Afghanistan. But Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Rick Perry has a problem with gays serving in the U.S. military. (Of course, whipping it out in front of other dudes and looking at their goods too seems a bit gay to me…)

So apparently some U.S. Marines urinated on Taliban corpses in Afghanistan. On video. After the Abu Ghraib Little Shop of Horrors (which was perpetrated by just a few bad apples, you know), this should come as no surprise, and I’m confident that it’s only one of many such episodes that we’ll never find out about.

The self-serving, U.S.-Treasury-draining traitors who comprise the military-industrial complex assure us that we have our troops in the Middle East for our (the taxpayers’) protection against terrorism, but of course viral videos of U.S. Marines urinating on the corpses of Middle Easterners whom they’ve just slaughtered makes us much more likely, not less likely, to be targets of future (attempted) acts of terrorism.

I find it darkly hilarious, though, to hear anyone assert that dead people should be respected by not being urinated upon. Gee, it seems to me that that much, much larger crime is to have snuffed out the individual whose sovereign nation you have invaded in the first place. I mean, about the last thing that a corpse has to worry about is being urinated upon.

What Goldenshowergate has to teach us is not that our stormtroopers shouldn’t piss on the dead (although, of course, they should not). What the scandal emphasizes (as did the Abu Ghraib prison scandal) is that we have no fucking reason to remain in Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, in the first fucking place.

It’s bullshit that — as happened with Abu Ghraib — we solely blame the young men (and sometimes young women) in the U.S. military whose juvenile actions further tarnish the international reputation of our nation, but that we allow the treasonous war profiteers who put these young people in places they never should have been put in the first place to get away scot-free.

And nor should we let off the hook the enablers of the treasonous war profiteers, which would include, of course, President Barack Obama, whose hands, despite his relentless promises of “hope” and “change,” are covered in the blood of scores of innocent people of the Middle East.

P.S. The Associated Press surreally notes: “A presidential statement described the act as ‘completely inhumane’ and called on the U.S. military to punish the Marines.”

Again: Apparently, according to the Bushbama administration, it’s perfectly OK to slaughter someone, but to then urinate on his or her body is “completely inhumane.”

And again, the White House wants peons punished while those who actually are responsible for our bogus, illegal, immoral wars in the first place go unpunished and unscathed — indeed, they keep laughing all the way to the bank with billions and billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars.

P.P.S. My bad: The AP story that I linked to in my “P.S.” above very apparently was reporting on a statement made by Afghan President Hamid Karzai, not on a statement made by Obama. (What a disingenuous statement by the treasonous Karzai, however, who sold his nation out to its Western occupiers and overlords long ago.)

However, the fact remains that the so-called outrage that we’re seeing in the U.S. over the incident isn’t about the fact that our stormtroopers are slaughtering people, but that they urinated on their kill. And hell, even that probably isn’t what bothers most Americans — what bothers most Americans, probably, is only that the highly unflattering video was leaked…

And indeed, while we can expect the peons (um, should we say “pee-ons”?) of the Marines to be punished for the video, those responsible for the fact that the Marines were there to pee on slaughtered people will get off scot-free, no doubt, and President Bushbama still is the world’s war criminal in chief.

P.P.P.S. The video can be seen here. In the video I can see only two of the Marines, the one at the far left and the one who is second from right, apparently actually urinating, and I believe that it is the one on the far left who quips in a high voice, “Have a great day, buddy!” The other two Marines seem to have shy kidney or are just pretending to pee. One of them, toward the end of the clip, makes reference to a “golden shower,” ha ha ha ha ha.

Pissing on other dudes — Jesus, are all of our Marines a bunch of closet cases, even though they can be out of the closet now?

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‘HoBos’ in HELL

In his syndicated column for which he presumedly actually is paid, wingnut Jonah Goldberg — perhaps best known for having penned this lovely little tome:

(Ha ha ha! Comparing liberals to Adolf Hitler is funny! And original!) — makes the “argument” that because liberals* finally repealed “don’t ask, don’t tell,” it must mean that militarism is a great thing.

Wow. This “ironic progressive victory,” as Goldberg calls it, sounds like the kind of bullshit “logic” that Goldberg was roundly criticized for employing in his book with the Hitlerized smiley face on the cover.

Goldberg does in his column make some statements of fact, such as that the gay community very largely has been co-opted by the dominant, corporate-dominated American culture. (That he makes some statements of fact among all of his distortions and lies apparently is his tactic; many people, I surmise, believe that if they read one sentence that they recognize as truth, then all of the sentences that they read must be truthful.)

But Jonah Goldberg is no historian. In his column he bizarrely actually asserts:

Two decades ago, the gay left wanted to smash the bourgeois prisons of monogamy, capitalistic enterprise and patriotic values and bask in the warm sun of bohemian “free love.” And avant-garde values. In this, they were simply picking up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s, who had sought to throw off the sexual hang-ups of their parents’ generation along with their gray flannel suits.

Really?

There are leftists who are gay, but I’ve never known, in my 42 years on the planet, of a strong “gay left.”

“Two decades ago,” by my math, was the early 1990s, and I recall the 1990s being more of the same from the 1980s: unbridled materialism and consumerism among all Americans, gay or straight, male or female, white, black, brown, red or yellow. I don’t recall the 1990s as having been some sort of a repeat of the 1960s, as much as many of us might have wished that that had been the case.

The baby boomers, including gay baby boomers, of course, had some rebelliousness to them, but from the late 1960s to at least the early 1980s they largely were about partying. And — consequently… — from the early 1980s until the mid-1990s, it was combating AIDS, not combating capitalism, that the gay community was most concerned about, if my memory serves.

I just don’t remember that Big Gay Anti-Capitalism Era that Goldberg posits existed in our history (“two decades ago,” to be exact), and as far as is concerned that “bohemian ‘free love'” thing that the gay community wanted two decades ago, according to Goldberg, well, I can tell you that ever since about 1983 or 1984, when the AIDS epidemic started to decimate the gay male population, I, for one, have been quite careful not to become infected with HIV, which pretty much fucking precludes “free love.”** Two decades ago, in the early 1990s, when gay men were still kicking off from AIDS (until the protease inhibitors came along in the mid-1990s), “free love” was the last thing on this faggot’s mind.

But the wingnuts are still fighting the culture wars of the late 1960s and the 1970s, so Goldberg just reaches into his rectum and scrawls that my generation of gay men (Generation X) were copycats of the party-hardy gay baby boomers when no, we were not and we are not.

And Goldberg also stupidly asserts that the “gay left” “simply [picked] up the torch from the straight left of the 1960s and 1970s” as though no gay people were a part of the sociocultural movements of the 1960s and 1970s when, in fact, the gay rights movement was a large part of those two decades, and of course many individuals in the other movements of the 1960s and the 1970s, such as the women’s rights movement, the civil rights movement and anti-war movement, happened to be non-heterosexual. Fucking duh.

And presumedly Goldberg’s sloppy assertion that the “gay left” “wanted to smash the bourgeois [prison] of … patriotic values” means that perpetual fucking warfare, a value of the right, is a “patriotic value,” so that if you don’t support perpetual warfare, then you are unpatriotic. (Nice try, Jonah. While you were at it, why didn’t you just write that members of the “gay left” wanted to “smash” puppies and kittens, too?)

Goldberg writes that “the sweeping embrace of bourgeois lifestyles by the gay community has been stunning” (he calls the “homosexual bourgeoisie” “HoBos,” borrowing from the book Bobos in Paradise), and this has been stunning, but this does not mean, as he asserts, “that such bourgeois values — monogamy, hard work, etc. — are the best guarantors of success and happiness.”

“Hard work” is what the filthy rich who don’t work claim to value, and those who are poor, the filthy rich lie, are poor because they “hate hard work.” It’s not exploitation of the poor by the rich, you see; it’s that if you’re poor, you’re lazy, and if you’re filthy rich, you’re industrious — even though you are filthy rich only because of the hard work of others. (The right wing loves “hard work,” all right — hard work performed by others from whom they obscenely profit.)

And we all know how well monogamy is doing among the heterosexuals in the U.S. these days.

Goldberg essentially asserts (as far as I can tell from his inartful prose) that gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals) want same-sex marriage because marriage inherently is (and monogamy, by extension, inherently is) wonderful — and that they wanted “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because militarism is so fucking great.

I, however, long have found it beyond unfortunate that instead of creating something new, so many non-heterosexuals have only wanted to mimic their heterosexual counterparts (yawn). Yes, as Goldberg points out, gay men and lesbians and other non-heterosexuals have been co-opted, but this is not testament to the greatness of capitalism or militarism or monogamy or any other of Goldberg’s wingnutty fetishes. This is testament to, among other things, the degree to which the plutocrats and corporatocrats have been able to zombify the American masses over several decades, regardless of their sexual orientation or race.

And, with virtually nothing else widely modeled for them, what else can we really expect of so many same-sex couples other than that they (desire to) mimic their heterosexual counterparts, and in a nation that doesn’t want to educate its college-age citizens and doesn’t want to provide them with decent careers or even living-wage jobs, can we blame financially and occupationally desperate non-heterosexual young people for wanting to join the U.S. military when so many heterosexual young people are in the same boat?

It also is a failure of imagination, as well as it is intellectual laziness, political apathy, materialism, self-centeredness and zombification by the corporate media (which want Americans to be obedient to the corporatocrats, not to be informed and to be free) — and it is not a testament to the inherent greatness of the wingnutty values that Goldberg and his ilk espouse (such as capitalism and militarism) — that accounts for why so many non-heterosexuals want to mimic their heterosexual counterparts.    

Further, there is much more about the ongoing push for same-sex marriage and the successful push for the repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell” than great love for the institution of marriage or love for the institution of the military.

I, for one, have great reservations about monogamy and marriage. Scientists are coming to the conclusion that just as monogamy is not normal or natural for our closest living relatives, the chimpanzees, monogamy is not normal or natural for most human beings, either — thus the high rates of infidelity and breakups and divorce. (Google it.) I’ll take science over religious/hocus-pocus moralizing any time.

However, for me the issue of same-sex marriage is not that the institution of marriage or that monogamy is so fucking great the issue is fucking fairness. You allow all consenting adults to marry each other, regardless of race or biological sex, or you allow no one to marry.

While I have reservations about marriage myself, I can’t see myself telling any other consenting adults who wish to marry each other that they can’t. The wingnuts, however, have no problem whatsoever depriving others of the freedoms that the wingnuts claim to be all about.

“So now openly gay soldiers get to fight and die in neocon-imperialist wars too?” Goldberg snarkily begins his column.

Um, yes, they do, but no, that they do doesn’t mean that those wars for the war profiteers and corporatocrats and other assorted traitors are now just wars. That so many non-heterosexuals want to be able to serve in the U.S. military is just testament to the shitty national economy, with its lack of decent-paying jobs, and to the zombification of Americans, heterosexual and non-heterosexual, who believe, stupidly, that the U.S. military actually exists primarily to defend and protect the nation when, in fact, the U.S. military exists primarily for the obscene profits of the war profiteers and the corporate expansionists.

So I did not want to see “don’t ask, don’t tell” repealed because I think that the U.S. military is so fucking great. I generally believe that no one with two brain cells to rub together would join the U.S. military when the U.S. military hasn’t fought a just war since World War II. (Again, I do, of course, cut at least some slack to those who join the U.S. military because, unfortunately, they see no other career option than to make themselves cannon fodder for evil rich men who cavalierly send them off to bogus wars for their war profiteering and for their corporateering.***)

But, if you’re going to allow heterosexual dumbfucks and the heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, then out of fairness, you have to allow non-heterosexual dumbfucks and the non-heterosexual financially and occupationally desperate to join the U.S. military, too.

It’s about fairness and equality, something that Jonah Goldberg and his wingnutty ilk wouldn’t know about, and while I understand that Goldberg is desperate because his dinosaurian values are in their death throes, I am one faggot who’s not going to allow him to actually Orwellianly attempt to twist the cause of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals into being some sort of “proof” that his sick and twisted beliefs and values are OK.

Goldberg concludes his sick and twisted column: “And given that open homosexuality is simply a fact of life, the rise of the HoBos — the homosexual bourgeoisie — strikes me as good news.”

Yes, homosexuality is simply a fact of life (referring to it as “open homosexuality,” however, curiously sounds like Goldberg would prefer that all non-heterosexuals pose and pass as heterosexuals), but “the rise of the HoBos” is not “good news.”

The co-option of heterosexuals or non-heterosexuals (or whites or non-whites or…) by the toxic, militaristic, materialistic, consumeristic, capitalistic, jingoistic, ultimately soul-crushing system that Goldberg so slavishly supports is fucking tragic.

We’re not talking about “HoBos” in paradise — we’re talking about “HoBos” in hell.

P.S. Goldberg also writes in his column:

Personally, I have always felt that gay marriage was an inevitability, for good or ill (most likely both). I do not think that the arguments against gay marriage are all grounded in bigotry, and I find some of the arguments persuasive. But I also find it cruel and absurd to tell gays that living the free-love lifestyle is abominable while at the same time telling them that their committed relationships are illegitimate too.

Goldberg sounds like he’s trying to please all sides.

I don’t find him to be an ally simply because he states, correctly, that same-sex marriage in all 50 states is inevitable. (I’m sure that many supporters of slavery saw its eventual demise, too. That doesn’t mean that they were anti-slavery — just that they were realistic about the current of events.)

If he’s going to assert that same-sex marriage is an inevitability for “ill,” then Goldberg should tell us how it would be for “ill,” and in his column he curiously doesn’t fucking bother to share any of the arguments against same-sex marriage that he says aren’t “grounded in bigotry” and/or that are “persuasive.”

And the only two possibilities that Goldberg apparently offers to us non-heterosexuals are the “free-love lifestyle” (you know, with its diseases and death and sinfulness and such) or the strictly monogamous married lifestyle that so many heterosexuals find to be stifling and soul-eroding.

But he’s happy to grudgingly allow us non-hets to take part in the misery that is monogamous marriage.

Gee, thanks, Jonah.

While Goldberg asserts in his column that “there isn’t” “some grand alternative” to these two miserable choices, I wholeheartedly disagree with him. Maybe heterosexuals’ biggest concern about allowing same-sex marriage has been that once non-heterosexuals got marriage, they would be able to transform it in a way that heterosexuals never have been able to do. 

*I prefer “progressives,” not because I’m ashamed of being a leftist, but because so many so-called “liberals” actually are milquetoast Clintonistas with whom I don’t want to be associated. (After all, it was the “liberal” Bill Clinton who is responsible for “don’t ask, don’t tell” in the first fucking place!)

**The AIDS epidemic first hit when I was still a freshman or sophomore in high school, and I saw the images of dying AIDS-stricken gay men (looking like concentration camp victims) before I seriously thought of having sex with another male, and to this day HIV transmission is a significant concern of mine, so this “free love” thing that Goldberg claims my generation perpetuated did not, in my experience, ever fucking exist.

***Goldberg snarkily remarks that “the folks who used ‘don’t ask, don’t tell’ as an excuse to keep the military from recruiting on campuses just saw their argument go up in flames.” Ha ha ha!

Well, the primary argument against allowing military recruiters to recruit fresh cannon fodder on our high school or college campuses is that so many young people have no fucking idea what the U.S. military is really all about and so they are easily duped. And so many young people notoriously believe that they are immortal, a mistaken belief that the deliberately mispresentative, “Top Gun”-like military recruitment ads, which never show maimed or killed soldiers, perpetuate.

Our young should not be fed to the meat grinder that is the military-industrial complex, regardless of their sexual orientation. I invite Jonah and his ilk to go fight the wars that they claim are all about patriotism and actual national defense and leave our children the fuck alone.

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Don’t be fooled: Repeal of DADT is just a scrap of a scrap

So today the U.S. Senate voted 65 to 31 to repeal the woefully misguided and unconstitutional “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy that then-President Billary Clinton got into law in 1993. The U.S. House of Representatives had already voted to repeal DADT by a vote of 250 to 175, and President Barack Obama is expected to sign the law repealing the policy.

But we progressives and non-heterosexuals need to resist the urge to feast on this latest scrap of a scrap that has been thrown to us by the powers that be and put this in perspective: Discrimination based upon sexual orientation never should have been written into the law in the first fucking place. No one deserves a fucking medal for putting an end to what never should have been initiated.

Nor is it a “victory” for non-heterosexuals to be allowed to serve openly in a corrupt U.S. military that has been about war profiteering and enabling corporate global expansion, not about national defense, for several decades now. The last justified war that the U.S. military fought was World War II, a point that even my uncle, who is a contractor for the bloated U.S. military, freely admits.

Instead of fighting for equality within a toxic, dysfunctional, bloated institution that is destroying our nation, bleeding it to death — and certainly not making us “safer” when our military (mis)adventures in the Middle East, for instance, are making us more enemies, not fewer — non-heterosexuals should be fighting against the continued existence of that evil institution instead of fighting to be able to openly aid and abet it.

Nor is it as if the powers that be just wuv us non-heterosexuals. In a great little piece on Salon.com titled “It’s Still OK to Hate Joe Lieberman,” writer Alex Pareene notes:

While his opposition to “don’t ask, don’t tell” is one of the handful of positions Joe Lieberman hasn’t reversed himself on, his support for gays in the military is pretty much directly tied to his blood lust. Of course he wants gay people in the military — he wants everyone in the military, and he wants the military everywhere.

He supports the right of every American to serve his or her country regardless of race, creed, color or sexual orientation, and he also supports making those brave young heroes invade and occupy the entire Middle East, forever.

Yup. Lieberman is still one of the top Israel-firsters in Washington, if not the top Israel-firster, and putting Israel’s welfare far above that of his own nation’s is — well, the word for that would be treason. Which is why I always refer to him as Benedict Lieberman.

Nor has Barack Obama redeemed himself for finally fucking having actually fulfilled a campaign promise almost two years into his administration.

Obama still hasn’t done jack shit. Others worked hard, for years, on repealing DADT — not he. He gets to sign the repeal into law, but he’s just the rubber stamp, not the crusader.

The best that the repeal of DADT can do is to perhaps gain non-heterosexuals wider acceptance and more rights in a nation in which in most states they — well, we — don’t have the same human and civil rights as do non-heterosexuals, including the right to marry.

And John “You Damned Kids Get Off of My Damned Lawn!” McCainosaurus — wow. It was Jon Stewart, if memory serves, who compared McCainosaurus to a crazy Japanese soldier still fighting World War II on the island of Japan even after the war had ended.

Even though not a full one-third of the U.S. Senate voted against the repeal of DADT, and almost a full two-thirds of the Senate did vote for the repeal, the petulant, senile McCain ominously huffed and puffed that members of the U.S. military “will do what is asked of them — but don’t think there won’t be a great cost.”

Surely there were such dire, baseless warnings from the white supremacists when the U.S. military was desegregated.

So now McCainosaurus gets to be remembered not only as the right-wing dipshit who shamelessly used his POW experience for political gain during his whole political career (the “logic” was that the poor POW should be made president because he was a poor POW), but now he gets to be remembered as the hateful, spiteful old coot who, after he was rejected for the U.S. presidency (twice), warned of “a great cost” that would accompany the granting of more freedom and equality to historically oppressed and discriminated-against citizens.

Isn’t it about time for Ebenezer McCainosaurus to be visited by four Christmastime ghosts?

Right after they pay their visits to Barack Obama, that is.

P.S. Lest you think that McCainosaurus has the monopoly on bat-shit crazy, The Associated Press reports:

Marine Corps Commandant Gen. James Amos has said he thinks lifting the ban [on openly non-heterosexual military personnel] during wartime could cost lives.

“I don’t want to lose any Marines to the distraction,” he told reporters this week. “I don’t want to have any Marines that I’m visiting at Bethesda (Naval Medical Center) with no legs be the result of any type of distraction.”

Um, the repeal of DADT is going to cost members of the military their legs?

Really?

Really?

How would that happen? Instead of being on watch, male soldiers are going to be distracted from all of that oral and anal sex that they’re having?

Luckily, not every U.S. military leader is that insane. The AP immediately goes on to note:

Adm. Mike Mullen and Marine Gen. James Cartwright, the chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, respectively, have said the fear of disruption is overblown.

They note the Pentagon’s finding that 92 percent of troops who believe they have served with a gay person saw no effect on their units’ morale or effectiveness. Among Marines in combat roles who said they have served alongside a gay person, 84 percent said there was no impact.

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Mississippi is still burning

Constance McMillen, an 18-year-old senior at Itawamba County ...

Associated Press photo

Lesbian high-school student Constance McMillen was told by her rural Mississippi high-school officials that she could neither wear a tuxedo nor bring her girlfriend to her high-school prom — which the officials then canceled altogether because of her insistence that she be allowed to attend with her girlfriend, wearing what she wishes to wear. It wasn’t that long ago that mixed-race dancing was prohibited at red-state high-school proms, and the same “arguments” that were used to justify racial discrimination are now used to justify discrimination based upon sexual orientation — not only in rural Mississippi but even in the U.S. military, as the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy is debated even though it clearly violates the principles of the U.S. Constitution.

If you have read me for any time at all, you know that there is a lot that I fucking hate.

I hate the U.S. military. Not the individual members of the U.S. military, necessarily — although I question how they can support the U.S. military when it has been debased into becoming little but bands of thugs for the megacorporations’ profits (bands of thugs paid for by us, the American taxpayers, and of course the megacorporations don’t pay their fair share of taxes) — but the whole damn idea of the U.S. military, with its might-makes-right, jingoistic bent. The majority of those in the military call themselves devout Christians, too, as though Jesus Christ would have had anything to do with their maiming and killing for the expansion and the preservation of the American Empire in the names of freedom and democracy — and even in the name of Jesus Christ.

Yet, as much as I never would have joined the U.S. military, opposing pretty much all that it stands for (patriarchy, violence and aggression, jingoism, misogyny, homophobia, “Christo”fascism, xenophobia, etc., etc.), I have a real fucking problem with the fact that non-heterosexuals don’t have equal human and civil rights in the U.S. military, that they can be expelled from the military or prevented from joining the military for solely who and what they are.

I never went to my high school prom, either. Not so much because I’m gay and because in the red state of Arizona in the mid-1980s there was no way in hell that I had the opportunity to go to my high-school prom with another male, but because I hate the whole concept of proms, too. I find them to be pretentious wastes of money, relics from the past. (I love the original film version of Stephen King’s “Carrie,” by the way…)

But the idea that high-school officials in rural Missifuckingssippi canceled the high school’s prom because a lesbian student wants to attend prom with her girlfriend boils my blue-state blood.

Reports The Associated Press:

School officials in a rural Mississippi county told a lesbian student to get “guys” to take her and her girlfriend to a high school prom and warned the girls against slow dancing with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to documents filed [today] in federal court.

The American Civil Liberties Union is suing the Itawamba County School District and some officials at Itawamba Agricultural High School on behalf of Constance McMillen, 18, who wanted to escort her girlfriend to the prom and wear a tuxedo. A hearing is scheduled for Monday to hear an ACLU motion that seeks to force the district to hold the April 2 prom it canceled after McMillen made her requests.

In the court documents, McMillen said Rick Mitchell, the assistant principal at the school, told her she could not attend the prom with her girlfriend but they could go with “guys.”

Superintendent Teresa McNeece told the teen that the girls should attend the prom separately, had to wear dresses and couldn’t slow dance with each other because that could “push people’s buttons,” according to court documents.

The school district last week said it wouldn’t host the prom “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events.” District officials said they hoped private citizens would sponsor a dance. The decision came on the same day the ACLU asked the district to act on McMillen’s prom requests.

McMillen said she approached school officials weeks ago about wanting to take her girlfriend to the prom.

“I want my prom experience to be the same as all of the other students, a night to remember with the person I’m dating,” McMillen said.

The district, located in northern Mississippi near the Alabama state line, prohibits same-sex dates at the prom. The ACLU has said that violates the rights of gay and lesbian students.

The school district had not responded to the ACLU filing by [this] afternoon.

Christine Sun, a senior counsel with the ACLU’s national gay rights project, said the organization is determined to put the prom back on the school calendar.

Fulton Mayor Paul Walker said he has heard that parents are making plans for a private dance but he didn’t know the details. It’s unclear if gay couples would be welcome at that event….

Shit like this makes me wonder why in the hell the blue states didn’t just allow the red states to secede way back in the day of President Abe. (Speaking of whom, did you know that red states started seceding from the Union after his election but even before his inauguration? Um, yeah.) But then I remind myself that the oppressed peoples of the red states, without the help of those of us of the blue states, would be completely at the mercy of the mouth-breathing fucktards who dominate the red states. It’s not right to allow that to happen.

Equal human and civil rights — liberty and justice for all — just don’t grow naturally in the red states. They have to be forced upon the red states from without. It’s unfortunate that that is so, but it is the red states’ fault — for all of their talk of the founding fathers, for fuck’s sake — for their absolute refusal to live up to the American ideals that every0ne is created equal and that everyone has the inalienable rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Two female students or two male students dancing at prom together would “push people’s buttons.” Oh, boo fucking hoo!

Was not the very same argument made to outlaw mixed-race dancing at red-state high-school proms past? Or to disallow non-white students to attend prom at all?

And the prom was canceled “due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events”?

Really?

Or was the prom canceled because the high school officials are a bunch of fucking homophobes and/or fucking cowards?

“Due to the distractions to the educational process caused by recent events” — that is what you call blaming the victim, who in this case is the lesbian student who just wants the equal human and civil rights to which she is entitled by the founding documents of the United States of America, including the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence (which, I understand, are being rewritten for the Texas public-school textbooks…).

Goddess bless the ACLU.

If a good number of high-school students truly do have a problem seeing same-sex couples at their schools’ dances, that’s probably because they just never see it. What you never have seen, when you see it, can feel and seem quite alien.

But it’s fucking circular: Same-sex dancing at high-school proms is rarely or never seen at most high schools, and so it’s taboo, and because it’s taboo, it is banned at many if not most high schools, and because it is banned, it is never seen, and because it is never seen, it remains taboo, and…

Constance McMillen is brave; she is a sort of Rosa Parks for 2010.

I admire her.

I love her balls.

I hope that she gets to go to her high-school prom with the person of her choice, wearing what she wishes to wear, and that by so doing, she shows her classmates what the noble American principles that the red-staters only claim to value actually look like.

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Assorted shit

Sexy brainiac blogger Glenn Greenwald recently noted that that “Two months into Obama’s presidency, one can clearly conclude” that, unlike how the wingnuts marched in lockstep with the unelected members of the Bush regime, liberals have been “critical of and oppositional to a Democratic president when that president [undertakes] actions in tension with progressive views.”

In that spirit, I fucking cringed when I read that President Obama told U.S. troops today in a speech during his unannounced visit to Vietraq, “It is time for us to transition to the Iraqis. They need to take responsibility for their country.”

I got spitting mad when any member of the unelected Bush regime said anything like that, and I’m no happier to hear Obama say it.

The bottom line is that the Iraqi people did NOT ask for the United States to invade (er, “liberate”) their sovereign nation in March 2003 and to continue to occupy it today even when the “mission [was] accomplished” in May 2003.

In fact, the majority of world opinion was against the idea of the Bush regime invading Iraq, and when the United Nations Security Council refused to rubber-stamp the unelected regime’s invasion like a “good” little Security Council “should,” the Bush regime gave the council — and world opinion — the middle finger and invaded Iraq anyway. (And also at about that time, French fries became “freedom fries.” Shudder.)

About 100,000 dead Iraqis later, here is U.S. President Obama lecturing the Iraqis on taking personal responsibility when not only did the Iraqis NOT ask for the invasion and subsequent occupation of their sovereign nation for the war profiteering of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp, but the United States of America still has not taken responsibility for its illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust March 2003 invasion of and subsequent occupation of the once-sovereign nation of Iraq. (Because being an American means never having to say that you’re sorry.)

The United States of America is in no position to lecture any other nation’s people (even indirectly, as Obama did) about responsifuckingbility.

I had considered it but I never commented on this Associated Press news story from March 31:

More than 1,000 retired military officers, including several who were top commanders, are urging President Barack Obama and Congress to maintain the law that bars gays from serving openly in the armed forces.

Obama is consulting with the Pentagon on the issue and says he supports eventual repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy, which prohibits gays in the military from being open about their sexual orientation. A bill that would allow gays to serve openly has been introduced in Congress.

A statement issued by the retired officers … said passage of that bill “would undermine recruiting and retention, impact leadership at all levels, have adverse effects on the willingness of parents who lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force.”

Among the signatories were Gen. Carl E. Mundy, Jr., a former commandant of the Marine Corps; Adm. Leighton W. Smith, a former commander of U.S. Naval Forces Europe; Gen. Charles A. Horner, who commanded U.S. aerial forces during the 1990-91 Gulf War; and Adm. Jerome L. Johnson, a former vice chief of Naval Operations.

The retired officers said they strongly supported the principle that “homosexuality is incompatible with military service” and warned that repeal of current law could jeopardize morale and “unit cohesion.” …

The “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy was put in place after President Bill Clinton tried to lift the ban on gay service members in 1993. Under the policy, the military does not ask recruits about their sexual orientation, while service members are banned from saying they are gay or bisexual, engaging in homosexual activity or trying to marry a member of the same sex.

Oh, Jesus fuck, where to even begin on this bullshit?

OK, first off, these homophobic military officers are retired. These guys are mostly stupid old white men, mostly Repugnicans, I’m sure. They are relics of the past. They are not the future. They are the past.

Secondly, I’m sure that stupid white men said the same old fucking shit when the armed forces were racially integrated — that allowing blacks (and other non-whites) would jeopardize morale and threaten unit cohesion, blah, blah, blah.

And who would be more likely to do such things as “undermine recruiting and retention,” “have adverse effects on the willingness of parents [to] lend their sons and daughters to military service, and eventually break the All-Volunteer Force”: gay men and lesbians who just want to serve in the military — or the stupid white men like those who comprised the unelected Bush regime, who, Vice President Joseph Biden just said today, stretched the U.S. military the thinnest that it ever has been stretched?

I mean, if you were a heterosexual thinking of enlisting or re-enlisting in the U.S. military, would the fact that these days you are sent back to a war zone over and over and over again have less of an impact on your decision than the possibility that — gasp! — one or more of your comrades might not be heterosexual?

If you were a parent, would you be more concerned that your son or daughter might encounter — gasp! — a non-heterosexual in the U.S. military, or that your son or daughter might end up like one of the more than 4,250 of our troops who have come home from the bogus Vietraq War in a box?

No, let’s blame gay men and lesbians who just want equal rights as being the largest threat to the U.S. military. Surely it’s not the stupid white men who ran the U.S. military into the fucking ground the past eight years!

I don’t know why anyone, straight, gay, bisexual or into chickens, would have any interest in joining the U.S. military when the U.S. military has been about war profiteering and keeping military contractors filthy rich more than it has been about actual national defense for many decades now.

Not too horribly dissimilarly, I don’t know whether my boyfriend and I, who have been together for a year and a half now, ever will get married or not (provided, of course, that California gets its fucking act together on same-sex marriage, like Iowa did, and marriage is an option to us). I am not certain that I even believe that marriage is a very good idea.

However, my boyfriend and I should have that option available to us like it is available to heterosexual couples, and anyone wishing to join the U.S. military — regardless of how intelligent I might esteem him or her to be — should be able to do so, regardless of such things as his or her race or sexual orientation.

These bigoted retired military officers need to get themselves some hobbies, because clearly they have too much time on their hands.

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to protect former ...

AFP photo

Today the Iraqi journalist who hurled his shoes at then-U.S. “President” George W. Bush (who, unfortunately, is fairly agile) during a press conference in Baghdad in December (video grab above; I never tire of posting that image…) — in protest of the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust invasion and subsequent occupation of his nation — had his prison sentence reduced from three years to one year, The Associated Press reports.

One year still is too long for the young man’s “crime” — after all, Bush was a mass-murdering dictator just like Saddam Hussein was, but Bush very most likely won’t spend even an hour behind bars for his war crimes and crimes against humanity — but it’s better than the three three years to which he originally was sentenced last month.

Hopefully, the 30-year-old Iraqi journalist will be released before the one year is up; he already has been incarcerated for too long.

And he should be given a medal for his patriotic action, which has inspired footwear-related anti-imperialist demonstrations around the world, such as this one in Moscow:

Members of the pro-Kremlin youth movement Nashi throw their ...

Associated Press photo

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