Tag Archives: overpopulation

Slouching towards Elysium

The militarized and highly protected exclusive space station for the rich and over-privileged looms over Earth in the 2013 science-fiction and social-justice film “Elysium.”

It is ironic that in the same week that we finally focus our attention on the fact that the heartless, fascistic, unelected Pussygrabber regime is keeping non-citizen Latino children separated from their parents and in cages, “President” Pussygrabber himself demands that we create a/the “space force.”

Gee, how might militarized space play out in the future?

In the 2013 Neill Blomkamp sci-fi film “Elysium,” the rich and powerful live in luxury on a space station (named Elysium) that orbits above Earth, visible in the sky from the surface of the planet. Below on Earth, we’re shown a desperate population that deals with poverty, pollution, overpopulation, hunger, sickness and disease, crime, shit jobs and general misery.

Most of the action on Earth takes place in a futuristic Los Angeles, which is comprised of a lot of Latinos and which is fully bilingual; our white protagonist, played by Matt Damon, was raised by a Spanish-speaking Latina woman and he speaks Spanish as well as English himself, and his best friend, played by Diego Luna, is Latino, and the woman and her daughter whom he tries to help (the latter is in need of a significant amount of health care that isn’t available to her on Earth, but is readily available to the denizens of Elysium) are Latina.

The miserable residents of Earth, who are kept in line by robot thugs, routinely attempt to reach Elysium via small spacecraft, usually if not only for life-saving medical care, but they much more often than not are shot down by the denizens of the space station before they can reach it; the rabble’s success rate of reaching the militarized and weaponized Elysium is quite small.

Elysium’s security is handled by a heartless Department-of-Homeland-Security-head-type she-Nazi played by Jodie Foster, who apparently was the inspiration for our current, real-life head of Homeland Security.

Elysium’s super-computer recognizes you as a citizen or a non-citizen of Elysium; your citizenship status is all-important, as it determines how (and pretty much even whether) you live. And, again, robot thugs, not unlike the U.S. Border Patrol and other law-enforcement thugs, keep the desperate masses in line for the elite of Elysium.

All sound familiar?

Admittedly, “Elysium” is a flawed film — for example, at the end of the film we are to believe that the space station, which is tiny compared to the planet, has enough resources to save everyone on Earth — but its set-up and its social commentary are fairly brilliant.

And it’s fairly visionary, because it is the direction in which we already are headed: an over-privileged few have far more than they’ll ever need — and they protect their over-privilege and their overabundance with violence and with the threat of violence — while the masses don’t have enough.

There are solutions to our problems. To name just one solution: birth control. Overpopulation causes so much pain and misery (hunger, homelessness, pollution, overcrowding, the rapid spread of disease, etc.), which is one of the reasons that while I love my Latino peeps, I oppose the backasswards and ultimately evil Catholick church, with its emphasis on its adherents having more and more children and its official prohibition against even contraception (and, of course, abortion).

No, I don’t advocate forced sterilization or forced abortion or anything like that, but I do advocate totally free birth control and totally free sterilization (and totally free abortion [within the first trimester, and later if medically called for]) for those who want it and request it.* The money that we’d pay toward controlling the population would be a drop in the bucket compared to what we spend because we don’t sensibly control our numbers.

We are at a junction where we still can put our collective foot on the brakes and enact policies to stem such preventable problems as even more overpopulation and even more pollution and even more climate change. And, of course, we must oppose the militarization of space, for fuck’s sake.

Or, we can just sit on our collective asses and wait until “President” in Perpetuity Pussygrabber gets his “space force,” which we’ll pay for, of course, and which he and his henchtraitors only will use against the rest of us — “Elysium”-style.

P.S. Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie wrote a pretty good piece positing that perhaps this time the Pussygrabber regime really has gone too far. In his piece, Bouie concludes (the links are Bouie’s):

… The common thread among each administration official is that they have grossly mischaracterized the situation at the border, hoping to justify their actions by portraying asylum-seekers as vectors of criminality, when they have a legal right to seek asylum, and when their offenses [crossing the border illegally] [usually] are only misdemeanors.

They’ve gotten scant support from fellow Republicans, who seem to see political danger, if not the moral challenge at hand. “The president should immediately end this family separation policy,” said Sen. Ben Sasse of Nebraska in a Facebook post, calling the policy “wicked” and correctly framing it as “a new, discretionary choice.” Many Republicans rightfully fear a backlash at the polls, should the policy continue.

[“Alt-right” Pussygrabber whisperer] Stephen Miller may have successfully trolled his opposition, but like the attempted “Muslim ban,” his weapon of choice is a moral travesty and a political disaster in the making. Instead of bolstering his boss, it may weigh him down with another crisis, jeopardizing his party’s hold on Congress and the administration’s ability to operate with impunity.

We’ll see. I truly had thought that the “Access Hollywood” tape probably would do Pussygrabber in, but for the most part we heard crickets from the Repugnican Party on that one. Now, though, we’re hearing even from the likes of Laura Bush that separating non-citizen children from their parents and keeping them in cages is a shitty fucking thing to do.

Even the perpetrators of this latest evil have admitted, sideways, that it’s evil, because they continue to knowingly falsely blame the Pussygrabber regime’s entirely voluntary policies and procedures on the Democrats.

And Homeland Security head Nazi Kirstjen Nielsen recently proclaimed: “We cannot detain children with their parents. So we must either release both the parents and the children — this is the historic get-out-of-jail-free practice of the previous administration [blame the Democrats!] — or the adult and the minor will be separated as a result of prosecuting the adult.

“Those are the only two options. Surely, it is the beginning of the unraveling of democracy when the body who makes the laws — rather than changing them — asks the body who enforces the laws not to enforce the laws.”

Here we see again the Nazi-like false, propagandistic claim that we have “only two options” (in this case, not separating children from their parents only for the “crime” of illegally entering the U.S. entirely is an option) and the Nazi-like attempt to fall back on “law-and-order” bullshit in order to try to justify doing evil to other human beings.

When the law results in the pain and suffering of innocent human beings, fuck the law. The law is made for and should serve human beings — NOT vice-fucking-versa.

We allow neo-Nazis like “President” Pussygrabber, Attorney General Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions III, Pussygrabber puppeteer Stephen Miller and Homeland Security boss Kirstjen Nielsen to hide behind “law and order” at our own peril; they can try to use “the law” against the rest of us at any time. (First, they came for the undocumented, brown-skinned immigrants…)

P.P.S. Finally, I should note that of course the fictional space station Elysium and “President” Pussygrabber’s proposed Great Wall serve the same purpose: to keep the rich and over-privileged — and mostly white — people safe from having to share any of their (well, “their”) shit with the poorer, often-brown-skinned “others.”**

This is why Pussygrabber’s wall hasn’t faced the backlash that it should have: many, mostly white, Americans are fully on board with protecting — and growing — what they (we) have while others continue to suffer without (and make no mistake: our selfish excess most definitely comes at their loss).

We don’t want to admit that (our selfishness, our materialism, our racism, our xenophobia, our tribalism, our heartlessness, our willful blindness, etc.) outright, so we talk about “law and order” instead in order to try to make our motives appear to be much, much higher than they actually are.

And we call ourselves “Christians.”

P.P.P.S. Seriously, here is a photo of U.S. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen —

Kirstjen-Nielson-rtr-img

Reuters news photo

— and here is Jodie Foster as Elysium’s head of security:

Image result for Jodie Foster Elysium

Give Nielsen a haircut and we’re there.

Seriously, though, while there are calls for Nielsen to resign — and I think that she should resign — why would the cadre of stupid white men who gave her her marching orders get to keep their jobs?

Nielsen is nauseating, but all of the Nazis in the occupied White House need to go. Just one token head rolling won’t do, and methinks that a focus on Nielsen’s removal only whiffs of sexism, as much as I don’t want to defend Nielsen in regards to anything.

*No, I don’t advocate paying people to get sterilized or to use contraception or to get an abortion. That would open up a huge ol’ can of worms. But there is no good reason not to provide birth control for free to those who want it, and with a reduced population, or at least with a population whose growth rate is being managed, quality of life for everyone would improve.

And, of course, the Catholick church, which has demonstrated amply how much it truly cares about children, can and should go fuck itself. I see precious little difference between right-wing “Christians” trying to dictate the law for everyone and Sharia law. Both are theofascist.

**In my review of “Elysium” I compared the space station to our gated communities. Of course, Pussygrabber’s Great Wall would just make the entire nation one big gated community.

It’s much easier to build even a ginormous gated community that an exclusive, humongous space station, but hey, with a/the “space force,” maybe a real-life Elysium is in the cards…

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There is no greater love than NOT reproducing

Pope Francis waves as he arrives for a special consistory with cardinals and bishops, in the Synod hall at the Vatican, Friday, Feb. 13, 2015. Pope Francis met with cardinals and bishops who will take part in the upcoming Feb. 14, 2015 consistory during which he will elevate 20 new cardinals. Francis will formally elevate the 20 new cardinals at a ceremony in St. Peter's Basilica in the second such consistory of his pontificate. Like the first, Francis looked to the "peripheries" for new cardinals, giving countries that have never before had one — Tonga, Myanmar and Cape Verde — representation at the highest level of the Catholic Church. (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

Associated Press photo

Pope Smiley Face (pictured above at the Vatican yesterday) recently pontificated that “The choice to not have children is selfish.” Of course, Pope Smiley Face himself has never reproduced (that we know of, anyway).

Pope Smiley Face is all over the map.

First, he proclaims to heterosexuals that they don’t have to breed “like rabbits.”

Now, he says that to not have children is “selfish.”

What we need from Il Papa now, I suppose, is the Goldilocksian number of exactly how many children one “should” have. You know, that magic middle between being “selfish” and breeding like a rabbit.

In my book, most if not practically all instances of having a child are incredibly selfish acts.

This is quite a taboo thing to say in a heterosexist world, but I look to science, to truth and to reality, not to “scripture” written by ignorant men eons ago.

You see a little bundle of joy; I see yet another carbon footprint.

Fact is, most heterosexuals who have children (I’m being charitable and politically correct here by not referring to reproducing heterosexuals as “breeders,” by the way) do so mindlessly — they’re blindly obediently following the script that society has handed to them (be born, reproduce, die, repeat) and have no eye toward the larger picture at all.

That’s at best.

At worst, heterosexuals have entirely egotistical reasons for having children: they care what others think and say, and so they want to fit in by having children; they want to live through their children, who are only little extensions of their own outsized egos; they want someone to take care of them in their old age (which is, of course, a crapshoot anyway, isn’t it?).

More children means more mouths to feed, more schools and hospitals and roads to have to build, more food and drinking water to have to produce, more poverty, more disease, more starvation, more misery, more carbon emissions, more pollution, more land swallowed up for human use, more species that go extinct because of humankind — all in all, a worsened quality of life for everyone.

Births today significantly outstrip deaths today, and the planet isn’t going to expand magically to accommodate all of these new human beings. The results are quite predictable. I think of it as putting more and more fish into an aquarium or more and more rats into a cage. Again: The results are quite predictable.

When the ignoramuses of ages ago wrote that “God” commanded that we should be “fruitful and multiply,” there were far, far, far, far, far, far, far, fewer people on the planet than there are today. There still was plenty of room ages ago to be fruitful and to multiply.

Now, however, at more than 7 billion human beings on the planet (and counting), not only is the species Homo sapiens nowhere near being on the endangered species list, but, ironically, the long-term survival of Homo sapiens is endangered if human reproduction doesn’t slow down.

The most loving thing that one could do for the world is not to have any children, yet the backasswards Catholick Church — and others, of course — insist that to not have children is “selfish” (or, at least, that to have children actually is virtuous).

Of course, the Catholick Church, as well as humankind in general, apparently, always has loved misery, and misery loves company, and thus, overpopulation…

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(50 million to) 80 million Americans vanish without a trace!

Generational Leapfrog

An August 2000 editorial cartoon by progressive Gen Xer Ted Rall. (Another, even earlier toon by Rall on this topic is here.)

When I saw a little while ago that the new book The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, which I (probably stupidly) since bought via amazon.com (I just opened the package today), very apparently pretends that those of us of Generation X don’t even fucking exist, I thought of my fellow progressive Gen Xer Ted Rall and his quite correct labeling of us Xers as victims of “generational leapfrog.”

Prompted by what I had read of The Next America on amazon.com, I was going to blog on my thoughts on my generation’s exclusion from the national discussion as though Winston Smith, working at the Ministry of Truth, had simply erased all mention of us, but now, I see, Rall (thankfully) has written a column on the topic, so, at the risk of violating copyright law, I am posting Rall’s column in full at the end of this post (I don’t think that he would mind), because he echoes my thoughts and feelings.

Not only does the title of this latest book about generations of Americans, which sits at No. 239 on amazon.com as I compose this sentence, exclude my generation entirely, but in the preface of the book — in which the author (shockingly!) identifies himself as a baby boomer — my generation is ignored. In the preface, the baby-boomer author, one Paul Taylor, proclaims:

… This book … pays particular attention to our two outsize generations — the Baby Boomers, fifty- and sixty-somethings having trouble coming to terms with getting old, and the Millennials, twenty-somethings having trouble finding the road map to adulthood. It looks at their competing interests in the big showdown over entitlement reform that our politicians, much as they might try, won’t be able to put off for much longer. …

So why has baby boomer (yeah, I don’t capitalize the term, since that might imply respect, which in this case is undeserved) Taylor disappeared (as Ted Rall accurately put it in his latest column) my entire generation?

And let me first interrupt myself to tell you that my generation actually isn’t all that tiny, with an estimated more than 80 million Americans being Xers, for fuck’s sake, while the figure for the number of baby boomers who were born apparently is around 76 million, and it is estimated that about 80 million Americans are members of Generation Y (a.k.a. Millennials).

Yes, there was a baby boom when the boomers were belched from the bowels of hell and into the world from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s (yes, Barack Obama is a [late] baby boomer; we’ve yet to have a Gen-X president [and we very well might not ever have one]), but American population (despite advances in birth control) has climbed steadily since the boomers made their unfortunate entrance, which, I surmise, would explain why all three generations actually have been roughly the same in size, despite Taylor’s assertion that only his generation and the Millennials are worth discussing because they are “outsize.”

(The cover of the book says that it is authored by “Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center.” Wow. You’d think the folks at the Pew Research Center would have caught the mistake or even the lie that we Gen Xers are so tiny a cohort that we’re not worth discussing. Seriously — this “oversight” has harmed Pew Research Center’s reputation, in my mind.)

Back to what I was saying: So why would baby boomer Paul Taylor exclude my generation almost entirely from his book that is supposed to be a part of the national discussion?

Well, of course it’s easier to discuss only two generations instead of three. So yes, some laziness definitely might have been involved.

But the larger part of it, I believe, is that the baby boomers in general — and we very apparently cannot exclude Taylor from that cohort, based not only upon his age but also based upon his brand of inter-generational politics — long have treated us Xers as though we didn’t exist.

Indeed, one of Ted Rall’s most successful books is his 1998 Revenge of the Latchkey Kids, one of the first, if not the first, Gen-X manifesto.

I was born to boomers and I certainly was a latchkey kid. I won’t go into detail that only will make others (especially boomers) accuse me of being a whiner who blames everything on his parents (for the record, I blame much on them, but not everything on them), but yeah, while the boomers were the cherished children of the American men who had survived World War II and come home to inseminate their wives and while the Millennials were the cherished children (largely if not mostly of boomers) replete with “Baby on Board” signs, we X’ers were, to put it mildly, not cherished. There were no “Baby on Board” signs, no car seats for us. Our parents were not, for the very most part, “helicopter parents.” No, they were more like invisible parents. As Rall stated correctly many years ago, we Xers, overall, were latchkey kids. We were largely left to raise ourselves.

I suspect that this is why we are ignored by the dominant generation, the boomers (almost all seats of power in the U.S. still are filled by boomers, who hold on to their seats of power with death grips, like U.S. Supreme Court justices): they always have ignored us, so why begin to acknowledge our inconvenient existence now?

Also, if any of the boomers are actually even capable of feeling anything remotely like guilt, maybe they have at least a dim awareness that they failed us Xers, their children, miserably, that they are the first generation in the history of the United States to have had it better themselves than their children have had it, and therefore, in order to avoid feeling guilty — because boomers were raised by the so-called “greatest generation” to believe that they are entitled to feel only great about themselves all of the fucking time (a “value” that the boomers seemed to have imparted to many if not most of the Millennials) — they do their best not to think about us Xers at all.

All of my legitimate generational grievances aside, there is no way that you can write a responsibly comprehensive book about the problems that loom over the United States of America without discussing an entire generation of Americans. (OK, to be fair, there are some entries for “Generation X” in the index of The Next America, which I have not read because I just opened the package today, but very apparently the book glosses over Gen X for a much more detailed discussion about the boomers and the Millennials.)

We Xers care about, we are affected by and we affect Social Security, Medicare, retirement security, income inequality, climate change, human rights, social justice, politics, overpopulation, etc., etc., and while millions want to simply ignore us (and so do simply ignore us) because to do so fits their own selfish political agendas, we Gen Xers are right fucking here, tens of millions of us — whether the generation that precedes us and the generation that follows us (and, tragically, they have so many characteristics in common) wish to see us or not.

Now: Here is Rall’s column, with my comments inserted in [brackets]:

I’ve been disappeared.

Erased from history.

Dropped down the memory hole.

(bye)

If you were born between 1961 and 1976, you no longer exist. [Exact definitions of Gen X vary. In my book, Gen X begins around 1962 to 1964. 1961 is a bit early, in my book. And I would extend Gen X at least to those born in 1980.]

Generation X has been disappeared.

The Soviets altered photos to excise the images of leaders who had fallen out of favor, but communist censors went after individuals.

America’s corporate media is more ambitious. They’re turning 50 million people into unpersons. [Again, I see figures that put Gen X at least at 80 million, but even only 50 million people, if Rall’s figure indeed is closer to the actual figure, still is a large chunk of the national population of more than 317 million.]

The disappearing of Gen X began about a year ago, when major news outlets began reducing living Americans to two generations: the Baby Boomers (born 1946-1960) and their children, the Millennials (born approximately 1977-2004).

[I would include 1945, and perhaps also 1944, for the boomers, and I probably wouldn’t start the Millennials earlier than 1980. Again, these generational demarcations vary from person to person. To me, personal characteristics and worldview are important, too, not strictly the year in which one was born, perhaps especially in those generationally cuspy situations. (My husband, for instance, born in 1962, while on the cusp of the boomers and the Xers, has more Xer characteristics than boomer characteristics; otherwise, he wouldn’t be my husband…)]

(Generational birth years are controversial. Many classify the Boom years between 1946 and 1964, but I agree with the demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe’s assessment — and the novelist Douglas Coupland, who defined the term “Generation X” — that people like me, born from ’61 to ’64, called “the most dysfunctional cohort of the century,” identify with the culture and economic fortunes of Xers, not the Boom.)

The unpersoning of X takes full bloom in “Wooing a New Generation of Museum Patrons,” a March 19, 2014, piece in The New York Times about how museums like the Guggenheim are soliciting money from “a select group of young donors already contributing at a high level.”

Take your gum/joint/food out of your mouth before reading further, lest you gag: “Several hundred Millennials mingled under the soaring atrium of the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue one recent frigid February night. Weaving around them were black-clad servers bearing silver trays piled high with doughnuts, while a pixieish D.J. spun Daft Punk remixes.”

According to the Times’ David Gelles (playing the role of Winston Smith): “Across the country, museums large and small are preparing for the eventual passing of the baton from the Baby Boom generation, which for decades has been the lifeblood not only of individual giving but of boardroom leadership. Yet it is far from clear whether the children of Baby Boomers are prepared to replicate the efforts of their parents.”

Gelles’ piece doesn’t contain any reference to Generation X.

Really? Museums don’t give a crap about would-be philanthropists among the millionaires born between 1961 and 1976?

By the way, Xers were into Daft Punk before Millennials were even done being born.

Boomer/Millennial articles that ignore the existence of Xers have become commonplace. Again in The New York TimesEmily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer L. Aaker perform the neat trick of disappearing one-sixth of the country. Their November 30, 2013, op/ed about “Millennial Searchers” for the meaning of life asks about Millennials: “Do we have a lost generation on our hands?”

Substitute “1991” for “2008” and everything Smith and Aaker write could be, and was written about Gen X: “Yet since the Great Recession of 2008, they have been having a hard time. They are facing one of the worst job markets in decades. They are in debt. Many of them are unemployed. The income gap between old and young Americans is widening.”

Even in an essay about humanity’s search for meaning — and about the downward mobility that defines Gen X — there is only room for Boomers and Millennials.

It’s like our crappy economy and low wages and student loan debt never even happened. [Infuckingdeed. As I’ve noted here before, it’s incredibly interesting that our Gen Xers’ crippling student-loan debt and lack of decent jobs never were considered to be newsworthy at all, but that those problems sure the fuck are today, now that they are affecting the precious “Baby-on-Board” crowd.]

“No one’s talkin’ ’bout my generation,” notes columnist M.J. Fine, a Generation Xer. “It’s hard to think of an era in which people ages 34-49 had less social currency.”

Remember the great coming clash over Social Security between Boomers and Xers? We’ve vanished from that narrative too, not just in a thousand words but over the course of a full-length book: The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown.

It’s not just the Times. In Sonya Stinson’s frivolous “What Gen Y Can Teach Boomers About Financial Planning” in Forbes, Gen X neither learns nor teaches. Gen X doesn’t exist.

Poof!

I saved the worst for last. Courtesy of a sharp-eyed reader, check out PBS’ Judy Woodruff, defining the generations for a NewsHour interview with the author of The Next America:

I just want to remind everybody what those age groups are, the Millennials, 18 to 33 years old today, Gen X, 34 to 39 [years old] today, the Boomers, 50 — the big group — 50 to 68 [years old], and the Silent [Generation], 69 to 86 [years old].

In PBS World, Gen X has shrunk. If you’re in your forties, you no longer have a generational home.

Life begins at 40?

[To be fair, I listened to the PBS clip, and in it Woodruff clearly says “Gen X, 34 to 49″ years old. The transcript, however, reads “34 to 39” years old, an apparent typo.]

More like the empty void of generational purgatory, as far as the Boomer-controlled media is concerned.

Indeed, the No. 1 reason that we Gen Xers have been so successfully disappeared is that the boomers have controlled the media, and thus the national discussion, for most of our lives. The powers that be want us to be non-existent, and the powers that be mostly still are boomers and they still mostly control the media, and thus they still mostly monopolize the national discussion.

But actually, as much as I have complained about the unfairness and the insanity of it, I think that I would take my “generational purgatory” (an apt description of Gen X) over the unearned and undeserved attention and rewards that the boomers and the Millennials have received.

Having been left to raise ourselves to such a degree and having been systematically and even institutionally ignored and passed over — and, indeed, having been shit and pissed upon — our entire fucking lives, we Gen Xers have, out of necessity, developed strength, resilience and self-reliance that most members of the pretty fucking awful, overprivileged generations that immediately precede us and immediately follow us never will possess.*

And who wants to be a member of a generation whose collective personality is like that of Nellie Olesen? (OK, the boomers and the Millennials do, but that was a rhetorical question.)

Gen X still rules — not literally, not sociopolitically, but where it really counts — which is why we’re so widely ignored by the two generations that don’t hold a candle to us.

*That said, while the boomers have been a lost fucking cause for a long, long time, and will take their generational assholery with them to their graves and urns, I suppose that the Millennials still have enough time to not become just like their baby-boomer examples.

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TIME wusses out yet once again

This is the cover of the TIME magazine dated December 23, 2013.

TIME magazine’s having named Pope Francis its “Person of the Year” for 2013 is much like the magazine’s unimaginative choice of Barack Obama for last year’s “Person of the Year.” And like Obama’s 2009 Nobel Peace Prize was, Pope Francis’ “Person of the Year” win is premature — it was based upon his rhetoric rather than upon his actual actions. (Nobel Peace Prize laureate Obama now proclaims that he’s “really good at killing people.”)

On equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexuals, for instance, Pope Francis talks about love and compassion, but has maintained that under his papacy the Catholick church’s official stance on non-heterosexuality and non-heterosexuals has not budged a millimeter: The church still opposes same-sex marriage and still maintains that while same-sex attraction itself is not a sin, ever acting upon it is.

So this is the message to us non-heterosexuals from the Catholick church: We love and accept you, non-heterosexuals! Just don’t ever act upon your perversion! And don’t expect to ever get married in one of our churches!

Don’t expect to be employed by the Catholick church, either. The Catholick church recently even fired a long-time high school teacher in Philadelphia because he announced that he was going to marry his same-sex partner, and in October the church fired a lesbian high school teacher in Arkansas after she had married her same-sex partner.

This is the love that Jesus Christ taught?

The Catholick church also still staunchly opposes not only abortion, but even simple birth control, despite the obvious pain and suffering that overpopulation causes, including poverty, starvation and child abuse, and the obvious destruction to the planet that human overpopulation causes.

But no — Pope Francis, like Barack Obama, sure can give a good speech, so, like Barack Obama has been (twice), Pope Francis is TIME’s “Person of the Year.”

And just like being president of the U.S. pretty much means that you’re going to be named TIME’s “Person of the Year” one to even three times, being pope means that there’s a good chance that you’ll be named “Person of the Year.”

Pope Francis is the third pope to be named “Person of the Year” since TIME began the designation in 1927. Since 1927 there have been eight popes, including Francis, but one of those eight popes died after little more than a month after he became pope, so if you are pope, your chances of becoming TIME’s “Person of the Year” are about 50-50.

I don’t know — it seems to me that being president of the U.S. or pope is enough of a reward; TIME has to reward you, too?

TIME magazine proclaims Pope Francis to be “the people’s pope” and notes of Francis that “The first non-European pope in 1,200 years is poised to transform a place that measures change by the century.”

As I have written, because Francis was born to Italian parents in Argentina, in my book he’s still pretty much yet another Italian pope — not a “non-European pope,” except only technically — and maybe he is “poised to transform” the backasswards Catholick church, but so was Obama poised in 2009 to be a U.S. president for peace.

Have we really devolved to the point that we’re rewarding people for what they could or might do, instead of for what they actually have done?

My choice for “Person of the Year,” hands down, as I wrote, was whistleblower and patriot Edward Snowden, who, given the fact that he doesn’t have the power base that a pope or a president has, in exposing the illegal, unethical and unconstitutional mass spying that the U.S. government has been perpetrating for some years now at home and abroad, has been much more courageous than has Pope Francis, and probably has done much greater good for many more people than Francis ever will do during his entire papacy, however long it lasts. (Yes, I factor in the overpopulation and its attendant harm that Francis still advocates, and that’s a big fucking negative.)

But TIME wussed out and went with the easier and lazier choice of Pope Francis, and put Edward Snowden at second place, and put same-sex-marriage warrior Edith Windsor, whose lawsuit brought about the U.S. Supreme Court’s killing of the so-called “Defense of Marriage Act” (a.k.a. DOMA) as unconstitutional — (arguably) the high court’s first step in prohibiting the prohibition of same-sex marriage in all 50 states, since to prohibit it is indeed unconstitutional — at third place.

I’d say that two out of three isn’t bad, but Pope Francis didn’t belong even in the top three. I don’t know that he’d have made even my top 10.

TIME screwed Snowden of his rightful first place, and the rest of us along with him. As usual, the powers that be, such as the Catholick church, remain on top, while we, the people, as usual, remain second-class citizens, if that.

I guess we’re just lucky that TIME didn’t name Miley Cyrus its “Person of the Year.”

That, apparently, was the best that we could hope for from the wonderful people at TIME.

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Why this gay man supports Planned Parenthood

On the surface, I suppose, I, as a gay man, have the least reason of any demographic group to support Planned Parenthood.

I don’t have to worry about experiencing an unplanned pregnancy because I’m not a woman. I don’t have to worry (very much at all) about accidentally impregnating a woman because I prefer members of my own sex. I don’t have to worry about contracting breast cancer. (Very probably.)

But I clearly see that we’re all connected, and that a right-wing attack on one of us is a right-wing attack on all of us.

That, and let’s face it: the right-wing hatred of women and the right-wing oppression of women overlaps with the right-wing hatred and the right-wing oppression of gay men. The patriarchal right wing values males and male heterosexuality and the masculine, and devalues females (regardless of their sexual orientation) and devalues gay men, because gay men, to the right wing, are part of the feminine that must be subjugated (indeed, in some cases, even, destroyed).

So whenever Planned Parenthood comes under attack by the misogynists, be they female-hating men or self-hating women, whether it be an attack by the self-loathing women who “lead” the Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation or an attack by the women-hating stupid white men of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party who for now control the U.S. House of Representatives, I give Planned Parenthood another donation, usually of at least $20 or $25.

Seriously: These right-wing attacks on Planned Parenthood must be great business for PP. (Similarly, when National Public Radio and/or Public Broadcasting Service come under attack from the right wing, I give them donations, too.)

The Susan G. Komen for the Cure Foundation sure made a serious misstep by deciding to side with the right wing and fuck over Planned Parenthood. I have given to the Komen foundation at least once before, but I very most likely never will again. I would not be surprised if the foundation folds. (Indeed, it should, and others should assume the work of battling breast cancer.) You can’t say that you are for women and women’s rights but that you are against Planned Parenthood.

I also support Planned Parenthood because overpopulation harms all of us, regardless of our sex or sexual orientation.

Parenting experts have concluded that gay men and lesbians as a group probably make better parents than many if not most heterosexual couples because, among other reasons, same-sex couples who become parents obviously want to be parents, while about half of pregnancies that occur within heterosexual couplings are accidental. (What percentage of those unwanted pregnancies are terminated, I am not certain.)

For all of the societal ills of which gay men and lesbians (and other non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) are (most often wrongfully) accused, the one thing that we are not guilty of is contributing to overpopulation and its many attendant problems, which include the depletion of the planet’s natural resources from increased human consumption of those resources, increased pollution from human activity (and increased global warming, of course), and the more immediately obvious sufferings that overpopulation causes, such as hunger, poverty, poverty-related crime, and the fact that there is a serious “quality-control” issue when more human beings are produced than can be adequately cared for, which includes not only meeting their physiological needs, but meeting their psychospiritual needs as well. (Indeed, humankind, despite what so many awful heterosexual parents appear to believe, does not live by bread alone.)

It’s ironic — one of the most shit-and-pissed-upon groups of people on the planet (non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals) probably are the ones best equipped to save it.

In the meantime, I continue to support Planned Parenthood, which is at least decreasing the amount of damage that those who (easily can) take their reproductive ability for granted are doing to all of us.

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Repugnican Tea Party’s recipe for hell on earth: More babies, more warming

Vice President Joe Biden is under attack again from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, this time for apparently having voiced his support of China’s one-child policy.

What would the Repugnican Tea Party traitors do without Joe Biden? Biden is known for saying impolitical things, and while former veep Dick Cheney should be executed for his war crimes and his crimes against humanity (as should George W. Bush, Condoleezza Rice, et. al.), the “tea party” traitors’ bullshit line is the President Barack Obama (somehow) is responsible for everything that Biden says and does.

What I take Biden’s reported statement to mean is that he’s understands that China’s government decided to limit the nation’s population growth. However, China allegedly has “coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization,” which Biden opposes, according to a statement issued by Biden’s office.

Of course, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been all over this, insinuating that Biden endorses everything that the Chinese government does. Reports Yahoo! News:

“China’s one-child policy is gruesome and barbaric,” former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a 2012 contender, said Tuesday in a statement. “Instead of condoning the policy, Vice President Biden should have condemned it in the strongest possible terms. There can be no defense of a government that engages in compulsory sterilization and forced abortions in the name of population control.”

“China’s one-child policy has led to the great human tragedy of forced abortions throughout China, and Vice President Biden’s refusal to ‘second-guess’ this horrendous policy demonstrates great moral indifference on the part of the Obama Administration,” presidential candidate Rick Perry, governor of Texas, said in a statement Tuesday. “Americans value life, and we deserve leaders who will stand up against such inhumanity, not cast a blind eye.”

So Joe Biden is a baby killer, you see, and by extension, so is Barack Obama.

Of course, as the American empire continues to collapse, with talk of Social Security and Medicare being wiped out because there are too many Americans to take care of, now would be a great time for the United States of America to seriously begin to consider reining in its own population growth.

Do I advocate forced sterilization or forced abortions? Of course not. And neither does Joe Biden (or Barack Obama or anyone else within the Democratic Party high command), which fucking liars Mitt Romney and Rick Perry — who call themselves “Christians” despite their blatant fucking lies — both fucking know.

Of course, Perry and Romney and their ilk are just pandering to the mouth-breathers’ belief that it’s a swell idea to keep popping out the puppies, whether we are taking care of these puppies or not, and are putting out there the blatant lie that if re-elected, Barack Obama will initiate forced abortions and forced sterilizations! And the Repugnican Tea Party’s base of ignorant, fearful fucktards will believe it — after all, Mitt Romney and Rick Perry said it!

What would be responsible public policy, however, would be for the government to pay for voluntary sterilization. After all, it would be much less expensive for all of us taxpayers to pay for one sterilization procedure than to have to pay for another human being (public school expenses, health care expenses, infrastructure expenses due to population growth, Social Security, etc.).

However, the key is voluntary. Nothing forced.

A sane, responsible population of people that isn’t incredibly stupidly hell-bent on its own fucking destruction keeps itself in check, under control. 

Not only is our economy collapsing, due mostly to the plutocrats’ treasonous greed, of course — we have plenty of wealth in the United States; it’s that our wealth has been stolen from us since the Reagan years through a thousand cuts and has been concentrated in the treasonous hands of the plutocratic few, who enjoy the protection of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party — but let’s face it, the more individuals we have using our resources, the faster our resources are depleted, and the planet suffers, too, such as with increased global warming from the increased use of fossil fuels from the increase in the number of consumers of fossil fuels.

Of course, Romney and Perry and their ilk not only want Americans to keep popping out babies that we can’t take of, but they “don’t believe” in global warming, as though global warming weren’t science — which it is — but were something like the Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. Reports The Associated Press:

Bedford, N.H. — GOP presidential candidate Rick Perry told New Hampshire voters [last week] that he does not believe in manmade global warming, calling it a scientific theory that has not been proven.

“I think we’re seeing almost weekly, or even daily, scientists that are coming forward and questioning the original idea that manmade global warming is what is causing the climate to change,” the Texas governor said on the first stop of a two-day trip to the first-in-the-nation primary state.

He said some want billions or trillions of taxpayer dollars spent to address the issue, but he added: “I don’t think from my perspective that I want to be engaged in spending that much money on still a scientific theory that has not been proven and from my perspective is more and more being put into question.” …

It’s entirely untrue that global warming is just a theory that the world’s scientists aren’t agreed upon. There is virtually universal agreement among the world’s scientists that global warming is very real and is a serious problem.*

It’s that Rick Perry is the governor of Texas, Big Oil’s No. 1 state, and his campaign contributors, and his party’s campaign contributors, give Perry and his ilk an awful lot of money not to “believe” in global warming. The science, you see, as Al Gore put it, is inconvenient to those who profit obscenely, at our long-term expense, from continuing to destroy the planet via the use of fossil fuels — just as, as Gore also pointed out, the discovery that tobacco causes cancer sure rained on Big Tobacco’s parade of profiteering. (And, as Gore also pointed out, Big Tobacco tried to lie about the science about the harmful and even lethal effects of its products for as long as it could, just as Big Oil is doing now.) 

Now, the whole Texas secession thing aside, I view taking money from Big Oil in order to allow Big Oil to continue to harm us, the people, to amount to treason. A public servant is supposed to serve the people, not harm the people for selfish personal gain. Yet here is traitor Perry calling others traitors. That’s typical of the hypocrisy of the right wing, though, of course.

Not to be outdone by Perry, a week after Perry announced that he “doesn’t believe” in global warming, Romney pretty much did the same thing, saying, also in New Hampshire, “Do I think the world’s getting hotter? Yeah, I don’t know that but I think that it is. I don’t know if it’s mostly caused by humans. What I’m not willing to do is spend trillions of dollars on something I don’t know the answer to.”

Of course, the problem isn’t really the spending of trillions of dollars — after all, we blow that much money on bogus wars for the war profiteers. The problem is not allowing Big Oil to continue to profiteer from our demise because of our planet’s demise. Big Oil doesn’t want its big profits jeopardized, and its cronies within the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party care more about Big Oil’s continued obscene profits than they care about the welfare of the rest of us or our planet.

Only one of the Repugnican contenders, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, who doesn’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential nomination because he is the sanest of the bunch of contenders, recently declared, “To be clear: I believe in evolution and trust scientists on global warming. Call me crazy.”** Oh, those of his ill-chosen party do.

But while one is entitled to his or her opinions, one is not entitled to his or her facts — whether one falsely claims that global warming is not a reality or falsely claims that Joe Biden (and other Dems) support forced abortions and/or forced sterilizations.

And the claim of the majority of the Repugnican Tea Party traitors that reality indeed is whatever they deem reality to be — all of that inconvenient science be damned — is the dictionary definition of the word “insanity,” which is a break from reality.

And the insanity of the likes of Mitt Romney and Rick Perry isn’t just their cute quirkiness. Their insanity threatens all of us and the entire planet, because in the most powerful political office of the United States of America, their insanity would be gargantuanly amplified.

A responsible leader leads us where we need to go, even if many or even most of us are are not thrilled about having to make the journey.

We need to keep our population in check. We clearly can’t take care of those who already are here in the United States, so why contribute to our national misery by popping out even more puppies?

We sure love our fossil fuels, but they’re killing us, as surely as a person with terminal lung cancer who still loves his or her cigarettes is only hastening his or her own demise.

Perry, Romney & Co. claim to care about life, but short-sighted policies that in the long run threaten all life on the planet aren’t what I’d call pro-life.

To support policies that guarantee continued runaway profiteering and personal political gain in the short term but that cause long-term damage to the nation and to the world isn’t just short-sighted, irresponsible and insane. It’s treasonous.

Based upon just the two critically important issues of population control and global warming alone, the choice for president in November 2012 should be pretty fucking crystal clear to those of us who are not absofuckinglutely insane.

*The Associated Press notes that “Perry’s opinion runs counter to the view held by an overwhelming majority of scientists that pollution released from the burning of fossil fuels is heating up the planet. Perry’s home state of Texas releases more heat-trapping pollution carbon dioxide — the chief greenhouse gas — than any other state in the country, according to government data.” (Emphasis mine.)

**Huntsman also recently stated: “The minute that the Republican Party becomes the … anti-science party, we have a huge problem…. When we take a position that isn’t willing to embrace evolution, when we take a position that basically runs counter to what 98 or 100 climate scientists have said … I think we find ourselves on the wrong side of science and, therefore, in a losing position.”

The only thing there I disagree with is that the Repugnican Tea Paty already is the anti-science party. It isn’t becoming the anti-science party.

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Global warming, nukes — and the baby boomers

It’s pretty fucking bleak.

Even as the fucktarded global-warming deniers claim that a cooler-than-usual day somewhere means that global warming is bullshit, the largest chunk of Arctic ice since 1962 — it’s four times the size of Manhattan — just broke away from northern Greenland, and the “ice island” is floating away, expected to reach the Atlantic Ocean within two years (it’s expected to have broken up and melted some by then).

Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking proclaims that humankind’s only chance for survival is to colonize other planets as overpopulation on Earth worsens and as humankind’s technological ability to wipe itself out increases.

We incredibly eco-friendly (because most of us are non-breeding) non-heterosexuals sure have a sound natural plan to reverse overpopulation, but we have to fight for equal human and civil rights not only here in the United States, but elsewhere throughout the world. Our opponents are fucktards who believe that the centuries-old dictate of God (who, by the way, lives on Fantasy Lane, right down the street from the Easter Bunny, Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy) to “be fruitful and multiply” is still valid, even though the world’s population has exploded exponentially since the Old Testament was fabricated by utterly ignorant people all of those centuries ago.

But I digress a little.

While Hawking’s assertions that overpopulation and our own technological stupidity (such as the threats of global nuclear war and climate change) threaten to put Homo sapiens on the endangered species list are self-evident, I can’t say that I agree with him that the Homo sapiens virus should move on to infect other worlds.

Seriously — if humankind can’t get its shit together on this planet, what right does it have to attempt to inhabit any others? If a potential new landlord knew that you trashed your last apartment, would he or she allow you to move into his or hers?

But I digress yet again.

Solutions to overpopulation aren’t rocket science: Couples are limited to the number of children they may have, with penalties that are stiff enough to make violations of the law rare. Sterilizations (voluntary ones [for now…]) are offered for free. (Fuck you. We spay our cats and dogs!) Churches that advocate irresponsible reproduction, like the Mormon cult and the Catholick church, are sanctioned, because their irresponsibility and their recklessness harm the rest of us. (We’re all fucking connected, whether we like it or not and whether we wish to acknowledge that obvious fact or not.) Euthanasia for the hopelessly terminally ill is allowed and is not at all taboo. Homosexuality, of course, is wholly de-stigmatized so that those who gravitate toward it don’t hesitate to embrace it.

Then, here at home, there is the “Logan’s Run”-like problem of the baby boomers.

The boomers are going to be a huge fucking drain on us — if we let them be.

Already the boomers are talking about fucking us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers over even more than they already have.

Repugnican boomer House Minority Leader John Boehner again is talking about fucking us X’ers andY’ers (and those who follow them) out of our fair share of Social Security.

Boehner proclaimed on “Meet the Press” that it’s time “for the American people to have an adult conversation about the problems that we face” with the solvency of Social Security, adding that “these programs are unsustainable in their current form.”

Agreed — the boomers aren’t sustainable. Social Security, however, is.

Because of the boomers’ expected wiping out of Social Security, Boehner wants the Social Security retirement age to be raised for us Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers — while the baby boomers get theirs and get out.

Boehner’s sidekick Repugnican U.S. Rep. Mike Pence echoed Boehner on “Meet the Press”: “I am for reforming our public entitlements for Americans who are far away from retirement. We need to keep promises to seniors that have been made, make sure that people who are counting on Medicare, Social Security have the benefits that they have. But for younger Americans, absolutely yes, we ought to bring real reform for the sake of future generations of Americans to get spending under control.”

Translation: The boomers get theirs, and Gen X and Gen Y get fucked — “for the sake of future generations.” It’s vitally important “to keep promises to seniors [translation: today’s boomers and those who are older] that have been made,” but it’s not at all important to keep those promises that have been made to us X’ers and Y’ers. Fuck us. We’re on our own.

Don’t expect the boomers to be another “greatest generation” — they fully expect those generations that follow them to suffer the consequences of their own selfishness, greed and refusal to plan for the future.

It’s true that we Americans face grave problems, and it’s true that it’s long past time that we face them.

But the boomers’ approach appears to be that the only solution is that Gen X and Gen Y and the generations that follow them should take it up the ass because of the boomers’ selfishness and woeful lack of foresight.

But what if we who follow the boomer generation don’t want to take it up the ass with ground glass as lube, as Boehner, Pence and their ilk so generously suggest that we do?

Fact is, whether we want to talk about Soylent Green or “death panels” and/or some other nifty solutions* to the baby-boomer problem or not, we’re not fucking going to have the resources to take care of all of these bloated, helpless, obnoxious, gluttonous boomers who look like the humans in the Pixar movie “WALL-E” (already we’re seeing these blubbery boomers in their motorized scooters at Wal-Marts throughout the land; surely these scooters are the precursors of the hovering lounge chairs in “WALL-E”) and who feel fucking entitled to be treated like royalty even though they never contributed shit, but were selfish their entire fucking lives, not even taking care of their own parents or their own children.

My boomer parents put me and my brother into daycare and with baby sitters — not because they had to do so because of economic necessity but because they didn’t want to be parents to their children. Parenting requires a degree of selflessness that the boomers, as a generation, don’t possess; they never did, they don’t, and they never will. (My fellow Gen X’er leftist Ted Rall explores this subject well in his book Revenge of the Latchkey Kids.)

And neither of my boomer parents took care of any of my grandparents, one of whom was put into a nursing home. So I really, really hope that neither of my parents expects me to just drop everything and cater to him or to her when my parents never stopped being selfish long enough to be there, really be there, for their own children or their own parents.

I remember, more than a dozen years ago, when baby-boomer author Marianne Williamson gave a talk in Phoenix, and when it came to question-and-answer time, I was the only one who stumped her. We were to bring up any community concerns of ours, if memory serves. I stated that as a nurse at that time, I couldn’t see how the system was going to be able to take care of the legions of dependent senior citizens (the baby boomers) we would see in the coming decades. She had no response to that problem, other than acknowledging that yes, indeed, it was (is) a looming problem.

Instead of searching for any solutions, apparently, Williamson would go on to write a syrupy, comforting book that calls baby boomers “middle-aged”** when, in fact, at age 42 I’m middle-aged, so how can the boomers, who are in their 50s and 60s, be middle-aged? (Uh, we don’t have many people living to be 100 and beyond, and age 50 is the midpoint to age 100…)

Williamson probably couldn’t answer my question all of those years ago because she apparently is a typical boomer herself — she doesn’t want to grow up, but indeed, tells her fellow Peter-Pan-like boomers that they are “middle-aged” when, in fact, they are senior citizens.

It’s true that the longer we put the conversation off, the harsher any actual solutions to the grave problems that confront us are going to become.

I don’t see that there is any serious national conversation about the looming baby-boomer problem today any more than there was when I brought the topic up to Marianne Williamson more than a dozen years ago.

And suggesting that the boomers fuck over my generation and those that follow mine even more than we already have been fucked over for our entire lives by the boomers*** is not a valid solution.

It’s true that the boomers have been abusing their power their entire adult lives, but as they get older and feebler, they’ll be less able to continue to fuck over those of us whom they were supposed to help and care about, not treat as competitors.

What are the boomers going to do when all we have to do is knock them out of their hovering lounge chairs and, like in “WALL-E,” they can’t even get up?

What if the latchkey children indeed get their revenge?

Well, at least the boomers have a little bit of time to prevent such unpleasant-for-them eventualities if, at long last, they fucking care to do so.

And while we’re dealing with the baby-boomer problem, we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to deal with the problems that the boomers helped caused and have refused to deal with, such as climate change and nuclear proliferation.

And the boomers are going to have to be a part of the solution, whether they fucking want to be or not. While they have contributed to our problems their entire fucking lives, there can be no grandfathering of them now, the way that assbites Boehner and Pence and their baby-boomer boomer ilk want it to be.

We simply can’t fucking afford it, and we can’t afford the baby boomers, not the way that they are now.

*I am reminded of the Christopher Buckley novel Boomsday, in which baby boomers are invited by a wildly popular Gen-Y blogger to kill themselves for the greater good. I have that book and I really should read it…

**I bought her book The Age of Miracles: Embracing the New Midlife thinking that she was talking about those of us who actually are in midlife; instead, it’s a saccharine pep rally for baby boomers to tell them that they’re actually in midlife when, in fact, they’re senior citizens.

**We Gen X’ers and Gen Y’ers and those who follow us have a record federal budget deficit as well as global warming to contend with once the last baby-boomer asshole (redundant) finally has keeled over, and our military adventurism for the profits of the corporatocrats has made us hated throughout the world (especially in the Middle East), creating resentments from abroad that will continue to simmer and sometimes boil over for generations. And by necessity we X’ers and Y’ers are going to have to dismantle the bloated-beyond-belief war machine, something that the baby boomers, with all of their posing about being all about peace in the Sixties, never did, but only enlargened.

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Memo to the breeders: 6 billion-plus already is more than enough

I usually hate the term “breeder,” used as a pejorative for heterosexuals who have offspring, but I was inspired by a moment at Wal-Mart yesterday (yes, I was at a Wal-Mart; I’m a very bad moonbat) and by a news story from today regarding the anti-gay Proposition 8 to use it just now.

When I was at Wal-Mart yesterday, I witnessed this young Negro black guy ask another young man (who, I believe, was Latin0), “Are you still walking with Jesus?” Apparently the two young men knew each other but hadn’t seen each other for a while.

I could go off on what the fuck “walking with Jesus” means, but I won’t — but I will say that if anyone ever asks me if I walk with Jesus, I will say something like, “Yeah, man, and let me tell you, he is tore up!”

The whole “walking with Jesus” thing is indicative of “Christo”fascist brainwashing that makes me want to vomit, and I include mention of the races of the young men only because I think it’s tragic that non-whites have adopted whitey’s toxic bullshit backasswards ignorant religious beliefs, which resemble nothing of what Jesus Christ actually taught, but what came next in the moment at Wal-Mart was even worse.

The young black man asked the other young man (who had replied that yes, he still walks with Jesus) if he was married. No, the other young man said. Engaged? asked the young black man. Nope, said the other young man. Why not? asked the young black man, to which the other young man replied that he’s been too busy with work.

“Adam and Eve,” the young black man intoned at least moderately ominously. I surmise that the full “thought” was: “If you don’t follow the example of Adam and Eve, and procreate, then you’ll go to hell.”

That seems to be the “argument” that the pro-Proposition 8 fascists made in federal court today during arguments as to whether or not the federal court should overturn November 2008’s Proposition 8 — which overtuned, by a popular vote of 52 percent to 48 percent, the California Supreme Court’s ruling that it is unconstitutional, and thus illegal, to ban same-sex marriage in the state.

Reports The Sacramento Bee today:

Chief Judge Vaughn Walker peppered attorneys with questions as a historic federal trial on Proposition 8 began today, with the defense of California’s same-sex marriage ban arguing that the fundamental purpose of marriage is procreation, to raise children in an “intact” family and that same-sex marriage could erode that purpose.

“Same-sex marriage is simply too novel an experiment at this stage,” argued [pro-]Proposition 8 attorney Charles Cooper in U.S. District Court for Northern California in San Francisco.

Representing two gay couples challenging Proposition 8, attorney Ted Olson gave the first opening remarks.

Gay people have been classified as “degenerates” in the United States, Olson said, targeted by police, fired from employers. “Proposition 8 perpetuates that for no good reason,” he said. He said it has the effect of inflicting “upon them badges of inferiority” and is a violation of constitutional rights.

Walker asked pointed questions about whether each side had evidence to prove their cases. Two plaintiffs, a gay couple from Los Angeles, took the stand, and the challengers began showing pro-Proposition 8 campaign videos and asking gay plaintiffs to describe how the campaign videos made them feel, especially the references to protecting children….

Walker was quick to start questioning Olson once the famed attorney began his presentation. Olson, a conservative who views gay marriage as a constitutional right [emphasis mine], is famed for representing George W. Bush before the U.S. Supreme Court after the [disputed] 2000 presidential election.

Olson said, “This case is about marriage and equality.” He quoted from U.S. Supreme Court decisions referring to marriage as “one of the most vital personal rights” in the pursuit of happiness and “a basic right.”

Walker interrupted him and asked him if that meant that a marriage license was necessary. He also asked if evidence will show that gay people “suffer” by being limited to domestic partnership.

Olson said the language that the Proposition 8 campaign used, describing marriage as “unique,” bolsters his argument that by barring gays from marrying, the government has “isolated” gays and lesbians and said, “You are different.”

Walker said that “moral disapproval” leading to a law is not a reason to declare it unconstitutional.

Olson replied that moral arguments were used to defend discrimination based on race and gender, and that marriage has “evolved” to discard biases and prejudices.

The parents of President Obama, he said, wouldn’t have been allowed to marry in some states at the time they did….

Cooper said, as he began his presentation, that voters in California cast their ballots on an issue of “overriding cultural and social significance” and favored a definition of marriage that has “prevailed” through history.

He said the people of California have “been generous” on extending rights to gays, and that the gay movement — with the exception of marriage — has been “very successful” at enacting rights and laws against discrimination.

He said the gay organization Equality California “hailed” civil unions, when they were permitted by law, as a victory for civil rights.

“The evidence will show that gays and lesbians in California have substantial political power,” Cooper said.

He said Proposition 8 speaks not out of “ill will” toward gays but rather a “special regard” for a “venerable institution.”

“Among those who have drawn that line are President Obama,” he said, noting that Obama said he favors civil unions but believes marriage is between a man and a woman.

Walker interrupted and noted that Olson said Obama’s parents couldn’t have married under some laws barring interracial marriage.

Cooper said such laws were “loathsome” but were of a different nature.

He said people of different races can procreate. He said the evidence presented during the trial will show that the government has a purpose to “channel” the procreation and rearing of children into families with a mother and a father.

Walker asked if companionship was not a reason for marriage, along with other reasons other than children.

Procreation, Cooper said, “is the essential” and the “defining definition of marriage.” [Emphasis mine.]

The question, Cooper said, is whether marriage will remain “a pro-child institution” or a “private relationship” between adults based on the search for “personal fulfillment.”

He said same-sex marriage would “deinstitutionalize” marriage, and “hasten” its demise in society….

Where to begin?

Cooper’s “argument” is that almost equal equals equal. It does not. Further, the U.S. Supreme Court long ago struck down the concept of “separate but equal” as unconstitutional.

And those heterosexual couples who wish to marry but who do not wish to procreate — or who cannot procreate, because of age or medical condition or some other reason — will be shocked to discover that the right wing apparently believes that marriage hinges upon procreation, and therefore their marriages aren’t real marriages.

Under Cooper’s “argument,” those who don’t procreate shouldn’t be married. Maybe we’ll give heterosexual newlyweds one year in which to procreate, and if they don’t, the state will dissolve their marriage — because the state needs people to breed, Goddamnit!

Actually, Cooper answered the question of same-sex marriage better than did anyone at the courthouse today, it seems. The answer to his question as to whether marriage should be regarded as “a pro-child institution” (suggesting, of course, that anyone who disagrees with the right wing on same-sex marriage is anti-child) or as a “private relationship” between adults based upon their search for “personal fulfillment” is that of course it is the latter, not the former.

The preamble of the U.S. Declaration of Independence declares:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.

Not only would Cooper and his ilk strike a line through that pesky equality language, but they would shit and piss upon the pursuit of happiness as well.

The pursuit of happiness — an unfuckingalienable right, let me remind you — may or may not involve procreation. It is not for the fucking wingnuts to define happiness for other people.

If the “procreation” “argument” is the best that the wingnuts can come up with to defend the denial of equal human and civil rights to non-heterosexuals, then the wingnuts already have lost the battle.

The planet, which is approaching 7 billion people, already is overpopulated, which not only has resulted in diminished quality of life for everyone who is here, but which threatens the future of the entire fucking human race, and indeed, the future of all life on Earth. To argue that any government anywhere has an interest in furthering procreation anywhere on the planet is bullshit.

To get back to my friend at Wal-Mart from yesterday, the Old Testament’s instruction to “be fruitful and multiply,” to which he apparently was referring, came at a time when world population was just a tiny fraction of what it is now, and when people thought such things as that disease was caused by unclean spirits rather than by microbes and other medical problems, and that certain astronomical events, such as solar eclipses, were ominous signs from God. (In other words, they were fucking ignorant.)

That someone could walk around in the year 2010 and instruct others to mimic Adam and Eve — shit, that someone even believes in the myth of Adam and Eve in the year 2010 — is frightening.

I might as well go and live among the Taliban, who are as enlightened as are too many of the dumbfucks whom I have to share this nation with.

You know who’s going to save the human race from overpopulation?

We Adams and Steves — not the Adams and Eves.

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Eight (more) is more than enough

A combination picture shows (clockwise from top L) Josiah, Makai, ...

Reuters photo

And eight more make 14: “Octuplet(s) mom” Nadya Suleman, whose latest eight children, born last month in Southern California, are pictured above, now has a total of 14 children yet is single and unemployed. But she doesn’t exist in a vacuum and she’s just a part of the problem.

I haven’t chimed in yet on the Southern Californian “octuplet(s) mom,” 33-year-old Nadya Suleman, but she’s in the news (still), so I suppose that it’s time to put my three cents in.

Suleman is represented in two of Yahoo! News’ most-viewed news stories today: “Threats Send California Octuplets Mom into Hiding” and “Taxpayers May Have to Cover Octuplet Mom’s Costs.” 

From the latter news story:

LOS ANGELES – A big share of the financial burden of raising Nadya Suleman’s 14 children could fall on the shoulders of California’s taxpayers, compounding the public furor in a state already billions of dollars in the red.

Even before the 33-year-old single, unemployed mother gave birth to octuplets last month, she had been caring for her six other children with the help of $490 a month in food stamps, plus Social Security disability payments for three of the youngsters. The public aid will almost certainly be increased with the new additions to her family.

Also, the hospital where the octuplets are expected to spend seven to 12 weeks has requested reimbursement from Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program, for care of the premature babies, according to the Los Angeles Times. The cost has not been disclosed.

Word of the public assistance has stoked the furor over Suleman’s decision to have so many children by having embryos implanted in her womb.

“It appears that, in the case of the Suleman family, raising 14 children takes not simply a village but the combined resources of the county, state and federal governments,” Los Angeles Times columnist Tim Rutten wrote in Wednesday’s paper. He called Suleman’s story “grotesque.”

On the Internet, bloggers rained insults on Suleman, calling her an “idiot,” criticizing her decision to have more children when she couldn’t afford the ones she had and suggesting she be sterilized.

“It’s my opinion that a woman’s right to reproduce should be limited to a number which the parents can pay for,” Charles Murray wrote in a letter to the Los Angeles Daily News. “Why should my wife and I, as taxpayers, pay child support for 14 Suleman kids?”

She was also berated on talk radio, where listeners accused her of manipulating the system and being an irresponsible mother….

Suleman’s spokesman, Mike Furtney, urged understanding….

Furtney said he, Suleman and her family had received death threats and had been getting messages that were “disgusting things that would never be proper to put in any story.”

In her only media interviews, Suleman told NBC’s “Today” she doesn’t consider the public assistance she receives to be welfare and doesn’t intend to remain on it for long.

Also, a Nadya Suleman Family Web Site has been set up to collect donations for the children. It features pictures of the mother and each octuplet and has instructions for making donations by check or credit card.

Suleman, whose six older children range in age from 2 to 7, said three of them receive disability payments. She told NBC one is autistic, another has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, known as ADHD, and a third experienced a mild speech delay with “tiny characteristics of autism.” She refused to say how much they get in payments.

In California, a low-income family can receive Social Security payments of up to $793 a month for each disabled child. Three children would amount to $2,379.

The Suleman octuplets’ medical costs have not been disclosed, but in 2006, the average cost for a premature baby‘s hospital stay in California was $164,273, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Eight times that equals $1.3 million.

For a single mother, the cost of raising 14 children through age 17 ranges from $1.3 million to $2.7 million, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture….

[California state] Sen. Sam Aanestad, R-Grass Valley, an oral surgeon who sits on the Health Committee, said that once a state Medical Board investigation is complete, lawmakers could review issues from government oversight to standards in fertility treatment.

Suleman received disability payments for an on-the-job back injury during a riot at a state mental hospital, collecting more than $165,000 over nearly a decade before the benefits were discontinued last year.

Some of the disability money was spent on in vitro fertilizations, which was used for all 14 of her children, Suleman said. She said she also worked double shifts at the mental hospital and saved up for the treatments. She estimated that all her treatments cost $100,000….

In the NBC interview, Suleman said she will go back to California State University, Fullerton in the fall to complete her master’s degree in counseling, and will use student loans to support her children. She already owes $50,000 in student loans, she told NBC. She said she will rely on the school’s daycare center and volunteers.

Suleman does strike me as a head case, one of those women who feels incredibly empty and feels that only infants can ease — temporarily — her feeling of emptiness, but of course she shouldn’t be the recipient of death threats, assuming that she truly has received death threats.

And we need to examine Suleman within her social context and not pretend that she exists in a vacuum.

For instance, I hope that the physician or physicians who agreed to help her to have even more children that she can’t take care of are investigated and disciplined. Clearly this physician or these physicians were more interested in making $$$ than they gave a shit about the ramifications of what they were helping Suleman to do.

And Suleman’s case is a grand opportunity to examine the fact that Americans seem to love to jump knee-jerkedly all over so-called “welfare moms” while the U.S. Treasury is looted of hundreds of billions of dollars by war profiteers such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton.

Years and years of Repugnican propaganda have made a huge chunk of Americans believe that it’s perfectly OK for war profiteers to use billions and billions and billions of our tax dollars to maim and kill Muslim and Arab civilians, including babies and children, benefiting only the war profiteers in the process (and causing such blowback as 9/11), yet to actually spend a single taxpayer’s penny on a poor American in need is “socialism” or “communism” or the like.

The enemy is not “welfare moms.” The enemy is the traitors like the rogues of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime, who looted the U.S. Treasury of billions and billions and billions of dollars that went not to Americans’ needs, but to the BushCheneyCorp’s cronies’ greed.

But it sure seems safer to bash a single unemployed single mother than to take on the stupid white men’s military-industrial complex, doesn’t it? Besides, the traitors who loot the U.S. Treasury via the military-industrial complex assure us that they are doing so for “our” “national security” and for “our” “safety” and for “freedom” and for “democracy” and for Jesus and God and for puppies and kittens. And we stupidly believe them.

But Suleman and all parents must take responsibility, too. A huge problem of the crumbling American empire is that Americans want to believe that they exist in a vacuum and that what they do (or don’t do) doesn’t affect anyone else.

Bullshit. Everything is connected. Even if all of Suleman’s children receive the basic physical necessities of survival, how can 14 children possibly receive the attention from her that they would need in order to grow up to be functional, fairly content adults?

When children are not raised properly, do they not become involved in such things as substance abuse and crime? Do they not inherit unemployment and perhaps even homelessness? Do they not possibly end up incarcerated if their problems are that severe? Do they not become dependent upon the system, too?

Having children isn’t only about providing for their physical needs, and I don’t only pick on Suleman; as I noted in October 2005 when I wrote about the 18-child Duggar family (who had 16 children then), “there’s no fucking way that those children could get the time and attention that they need in order to become mentally and spiritually healthy adults. It’s just not physically possible. Even if the parents were model parents, it’s a matter of fucking physics.”

Bringing a child into the world has all kinds of repercussions. The child needs to be fed and sheltered and clothed from cradle to grave. And the child needs education and health care, among many other things. Often the parent or parents can’t cover those costs and so the rest of us do — yet the parents never asked us for our permission to have to support their children.

The child, when he or she grows up, economically contributes to the world, too, you say. True, but with six billion people and counting, the planet can support only so many human beings. You can’t just keep adding an indefinite number of fish to an aquarium without most or even all of the fish eventually dying — so why do we deludedly believe that you can just keep adding an indefinite number of people to the planet? 

We Americans need to stop thinking selfishly as individuals and start looking at the bigger picture, or there won’t be a bigger picture in which we can exist as individuals any longer.

And looking at the bigger picture means not just lambasting Nadya Suleman, but addressing the incredible disconnect within the United States of America, where everyone acts as though what he or she does or does not do does not affect anyone else.

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