Tag Archives: Pat Benatar

I am Barack Obama’s ex, too!

Fire and ice!

You come on like a flame,

Then you turn a cold shoulder!

Fire and ice!

I want to give you my love,

But you’ll just take a little piece of my heart…

— from Pat Benatar’s “Fire and Ice”

A younger Barack Obama and his former girlfriend, Genevieve Cook, the daughter of an Australian diplomat, are shown in a photo from the 1980s, when they were a couple.

It was interesting to read the remarks of one of Barack Obama’s pre-Michelle girlfriends about her experience of him in the 1980s. While I didn’t see that anyone else made the overt comparison, it certainly struck me that Barack’s modus operandi in love is the same fucking one that we’ve seen in his politics.

“His warmth can be deceptive,” Obama’s ex-girlfriend, Australian Genevieve Cook, wrote of Barack in her diary years ago, adding, “[Though] he speaks sweet words and can be open and trusting, there is also that coolness. …” AFP reports that Cook’s diary chronicles “how [Cook and Obama’s] romance grew and then cooled when the couple moved in together.”

Fuck. I’ve had the same damned experience with Barack Obama. He courted me madly but then became a cold fucking fish. Does that make me one of his exes, too?

I remember one of my first exposures, if not my very first exposure, to Barack Obama’s first campaign for the White House. When I was visiting San Francisco for the Castro Street Fair (no, that’s not a sex fair [not that there’s anything wrong with that…]) in October 2007, an Obama campaign operative gave me an Obama campaign sticker that had the rainbow morphed into the ubiquitous “O” logo:

I was happy to see a Democratic presidential candidate courting the gay, lesbian, bisexual and non-gender-conforming vote.

But I also remember that the campaign sticker fucking ruined my faux-sueded shirt. (Seriously — the adhesive never came off completely.)

Maybe that was a sign of what was to come.

Barack Obama, you see, despite his rather unequivical embrace of same-sex marriage in 1996, today claims that on the topic of same-sex marriage he still is “evolving.” Today, he refuses to advocate for legalized same-sex marriage in all 50 states, even though that is the right thing to do. Apparently he believes that to do so will cost him too many “swing votes.”

This issue has an awful lot of relevance to me. Let me give you a fresh example of how I have been relegated to a different drinking fountain because I am gay.

My same-sex partner and I are in our fifth year together. We consider ourselves to be, for all intents and purposes, married. We do maintain separate apartments (largely because both of us hate moving, and also largely because he doesn’t want to move to my city and because I don’t want to move to his suburb), but we are together on weekends and on holidays and on other days that we have off in common, and we speak on the phone every day that we are not together in person. And certainly, there are heterosexually married couples who, for whatever reasons (such as having jobs in different cities, states or even in different nations), see each other in person much less often than my partner and I do, but the validity of their marriages is never called into question — because they enjoy heterosexist favoritism.

Whether or not my partner and I have legal or social recognition of the fact that we consider ourselves, for all intents and purposes, to be married, this fact is our reality, is our truth, and as such, while recognition of our relationship from others is nice — and while such recognition, at least from our local, state and federal governments, is our pathetically and sickeningly unfulfilled constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil right — it’s not essential for us to have others’ approval or recognition for us to know what we have together. We know that we are, for all intents and purposes, married; anyone who disagrees is a mean-spirited, fucking heterosexist, homophobic bigot who can go fuck him- or herself.

Recently, I claimed some “family” sick leave (time off for caring for an ill family member; in this case, for my partner) in my California state job. Whether I claim sick time for myself or for a family member, it doesn’t really matter, as it comes out of the same sick leave bank. There is not a separate sick leave bank for myself and for my family members.

My employer — the state of California, which should know much, much better — this past week mind-blowingly questioned whether or not my partner really is a family member. After all, my employer essentially stated to me, my partner and I do not have a domestic partnership. (The only legal protection that same-sex couples in California have, outside of such legally protective documents as wills and living wills, is the domestic partnership. [The marriages of those same-sex couples who married when same-sex marriage briefly was legal in California* remain legal, but today, all that same-sex couples in California have in terms of seeking state recognition of their partnership is the domestic partnership.])

My employer also, unethically if not also illegally, asked whether my partner and I live together full-time, and suggested (or at least implied) that because we don’t, my partner is not actually my family. Of course, California’s domestic partnerships, one of which my employer at least semi-faulted me for not having, don’t require that the two individuals share the same residence all of the time, and allows them to have two residences yet still be registered as domestic partners, so the invasively personal question was way out of bounds. And again, whether or not two heterosexually married individuals share the same residence all of the time never is used to determined whether or not their marriage is valid.

Sure, I told my heterosexist employer, my same-sex partner and I could get a domestic partnership, but to do so, of course, is to give tacit support to something akin to having to drink from a different drinking fountain or having to swim in a different swimming pool.

Real marriage, you see, is reserved for heterosexual couples. Non-heterosexual couples in the United States are lucky to get even second-class, separate-but-unequal marriage, such as a civil union or domestic partnership.

This bullshit is blatantly unjust and unfair in a nation that promises “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all.”

If I were heterosexually married and stated that my wife were ill, or even if I just claimed to be heterosexually married and claimed that my “wife” were ill, would my employer have asked to see the marriage certificate? Would my employer have questioned the validity of my heterosexual relationship/marriage?

Fuck no, because of widespread heterosexism, even within the supposedly “progressive” and “liberal” California state government.

(My employer advised me, by the way, in the future to claim sick time for myself only, whether or not the reason for my use of sick leave was for me or for my partner. In other words, my partner, according to my employer, the state of California, is not my family because we have not bought into the separate-but-unequal institution of the domestic partnership. I have a real fucking problem with my employer dictating to me who is and who is not my family. Especially when California state government explicitly prohibits discrimination based upon sexual orientation.)

I still am torn on the subject of getting a domestic partnership. The legal protections that come with it are good, and all couples deserve such legal protections, but it still rankles me that in the supposedly “liberal” and “progressive” state of California, my partner and I, if we want those legal protections, are forced to drink from a different drinking fountain than the fountain from which heterosexual couples drink. It’s unfair, it’s un-American and it’s fucking wrong.

To bring all of this back home: Does Barack Obama give a flying fuck about any of this?

Hell fucking no.

He is, indeed, as Genevieve Cook described him to be: a cold calculator. He says what he figures he should say in order to get what he wants from you.

He lures you in with pretty promises, such as of “hope” and of “change.” He gives you a pretty rainbow sticker. Then, once he has your money and your vote, he leaves you high and dry.

Instead of delivering upon his relentless, ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” Barry for the most part has maintained the status quo and has told us dreamers of full equality for all that our dream must be deferred.

No, it doesn’t have to be deferred. It’s that Barack Obama lacks the character, the courage and the moral conviction to deliver upon what he promised (explicitly and implicitly, and it goes beyond much more than just same-sex marriage; it goes into such other areas as combatting poverty and the growing gap between the haves and the have-nots, and combatting the corporate thievery that is responsible for this growing gap, and ceasing the bogus warfare for the military-industrial complex, which is looting the U.S. Treasury while Americans go without adequate health care, higher education, environmental protections, etc.).

Barack Obama has found going along to get along to be the easier, more politically expedient route. He is a moral sluggard. He can trumpet what the right thing to do is — like a trumpeter on crack. He just can’t bring himself to actually do the right thing.

Which is why, like Genevieve Cook, I broke up with Barack Obama a long time ago.

I gave him hundreds of dollars in Round One. His sweet talk swayed me that he’d be a significantly more progressive president than would Billary Clinton, but he turned out to be just another Clintonista, a Repugnican-ass-kissing Democrat in name only. I’m giving him not a single fucking penny in Round Two.

I also gave Barry my vote in Round One. He made me regret that vote, so in Round Two I most likely will cast my vote for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein.

I don’t care that she can’t win the White House. I would much rather vote for the person I actually would like to see in the Oval Office than be punk’d by Barack Obama, the sweet-talking cold calculator, once again.

*The California Supreme Court ruled 4-3 on May 15, 2008, that the state’s Constitution as it was written at that time guaranteed legalized same-sex marriage to residents of the state, so Proposition 8, in response to the state’s highest court’s ruling, wrote the prohibition of same-sex marriage into the state’s Constitution after the proposition passed narrowly on November 5, 2008, and became effective the very next day.

The window period during which same-sex couples could legally marry in California in 2008 — after the California Supreme Court’s ruling until the passage of Prop H8 — was less than six months.

My partner and I had been together for just over a year when the window for same-sex marriage in California slammed shut on November 6, 2008. While we consider ourselves essentially married today, it was too early for us to get legally married then. We wanted to know each other for longer than just a year before making such a serious commitment, a commitment that we take much more seriously than do many heterosexual couples who marry and divorce willy-nilly — and whose marriages’ validity is never questioned simply because they are heterosexual.

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It’s past time to reel in our stormtroopers and shrink the Death Star

There comes a time when you should see things clear [sic]
Free from my innocence, there is no circumstance too severe
Only the need for us, for us to believe again
There is a time, temptation’s on the run
Dreamer, you’ve had your way
Soldier, you’ve had your day in the sun
Now it’s time for us to begin again

Le Bel Age
Only our love will remain
Le Bel Age
Close to the truth once again …

— Pat Benatar, “Le Bel Age”

Please forgive my incredibly cheesy ’80s reference, but I’ve always loved that line: “Soldier, you’ve had your day in the sun.” (I don’t know that that the “dreamer” has had his or her way; I suppose that we need to know what it is, exactly, that the said dreamer dreams.)

At least since after Sept. 11, 2001, “hero” worship — worship of the mostly white male members of the U.S. military, law enforcement and, to a lesser extent, firefighters and emergency medical personnel — has gripped the nation.

Never mind that it’s the blowback from our military “heroes'” actions in the Middle East (where they were sent by stupid, white, filthy rich, greedy white men) that brought us 9/11 in the first fucking place.

Blowback is quite real. Take the 16 Afghan civilians, nine of them reportedly children, who reportedly were mowed down by one or more American stormtroopers today in what Reuters calls a “U.S. shooting spree.” Their relatives won’t want revenge against the United States of America?

Shit like this — the stuff of which 9/11 was made — happens, and then when shit like 9/11 happens, American fucktards scratch their heads and ask, “Why do they hate us so much?” (They then conclude that “they” hate us for our “freedom” and our “democracy” and our general lily-white goodness.)

So the endless loop — endless until we sane, actually patriotic Americans put an end to it or until the American empire collapses completely — is that the U.S. war machine slaughters innocent people in the Middle East, there is predictable retaliation in the form of “terrorism” (it’s never called terrorism when the U.S. military or the military of an American ally, such as Israel, slaughters innocent people), and then the members who comprise the U.S. war machine claim that their existence — indeed, their expansion — is necessary because of the global threats! (Never mind that they are the ones who are creating any actual threats.)

Yet a nauseating pro-military, pro-“hero”-worship meme that ABC News rolled out recently is that the members of the U.S. military are “the other 1 percent,” and that the rest of us just don’t appreciate them enough.

Really? Really? The U.S. military is bleeding us dry of our tax dollars — and because of this obscene military overspending we are watching our empire crumble as did past empires that overspent on their militaries — but we civilians owe the members of the U.S. military even more?

This is the deal: China, which is second in the world in its military spending, spends only one-sixth of what the United States spends on its military. This is what world military spending looks like:

The United States easily could more than halve its military spending and still maintain its undisputed global military dominance. At this point — the point on which the American empire teeters upon collapse — I would accept even a one-third reduction in U.S. military spending (for now), with those funds returned to domestic spending in order to save the fucking empire.

But we are told by the pro-military wingnuts that we must have this level of military spending, even though millions of Americans cannot afford health-care costs (health care never should have been made for-profit), even though our public schools continue to crumble and our teachers don’t have the funding that they need (they pay for many things out of their own pockets), even though almost no American (except for the actual 1 percent, the plutocrats) feels any retirement security, even though we have plenty of homeless people in our streets, and speaking of which, our streets are disintegrating and our bridges are falling down.

But even though the U.S. military is bleeding the United States of America fucking dry, ABC News quotes one veteran as having said, “‘It’s hard not to be a little bit angry when you see the tremendous sacrifice that some have paid in this war’ while others have been completely unaffected.”

No, the 99 percent of us have been quite affected by the right wing’s wars of choice in the Middle East for the benefit of the oily war profiteers, such as Dick Cheney’s Halliburton, which received no-bid contracts for the wholly unnecessary war in Iraq that the treasonous, unelected Bush regime delivered for Halliburton and the other oily, war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp. (No war, no profits, so indeed, BushCheneyCorp created a war.)

Largely because of the astronomical costs of the Vietraq War (and also, of course, because of his tax cuts for the wealthiest among us), while George W. Bush inherited a record federal budget surplus from Bill Clinton, Bush handed over to Barack Obama a record federal budget deficit.

Americans who have been unemployed and who have lost their homes and who can’t afford decent health care (and for whom a college education is pretty much a financial impossibility) don’t need to be lectured to by any bitter veterans that they haven’t sacrified enough. They have. We have. We have sacrified ridiculously more than enough to the U.S. war machine, and while the mostly-white-male objects of “hero” worship expect us to get on our knees and suck their dicks (or maybe they want us to play dead and they can then urinate on our “corpses” — that certainly seems to be their fetish), the members of the female-dominated professions, such as teachers and nurses, whose sacrifices also are immense, not only go unappreciated and unrecognized, but are told by the stupid white men that they must continue to suffer budget cuts and have their unions eliminated so that they lose altogether what paltry remaining rights that they have.

(I used to be a nurse in the for-profit wealth care — er, health care — system. I can tell you that with chronic understaffing and other lack of resources due to capitalistic greed, and with patients [most of them baby boomers] feeling entitled to the best health care possible even though most of them put themselves into the hospital because of their selfish, greedy, irresponsible lifestyle choices, going to work felt very much like being in a war zone — so again, nurses and teachers need no fucking lectures on the topic of self-sacrifice from egomaniacal G.I. Joes.)

If American veterans want to be angry for what they have been put through — and I suppose that they should be angry — then they need to be angry at the plutocrats who sent them unnecessarily to war in the first fucking place — and not at us civilians who pay for these military misadventures that are initiated by the treasonous, chickenhawk plutocrats who cannot empty the U.S. Treasury via the military-industrial complex fast enough.

And you know, I was one of millions of Americans who protested during the run-up to the Bush regime’s launch of its bogus Vietraq War in March 2003. Yes, I was at the California State Capitol at an anti-imminent-war rally in early 2003. I knew that invading Iraq was a horrible fucking idea, that it was a bogus war that was about to be launched by the treasonous, unelected Bush regime, and I registered my protest.

But at that time we progressives who opposed the impending Vietraq War were branded by the pro-military wingnuts as lunatics or “terrorist”-loving traitors or both.

And today, these pro-military wingnuts are telling us that we’re not sacrificing enough for the bogus warfare in the Middle East that we opposed from Day One.

And it’s interesting: The members of the U.S. military predominantly come from the red states, and the denizens of the red states are always accusing others of being parasites. They’re the hard workers, and we of the blue states are the slacking parasites on their hard work and their sacrifices, according to their narrative, yet it has been the case for years that the blue states get back significantly less from the federal government than they pay into it, while the red states get back significantly more than they pay into it. (I wrote about this fact here way back in April 2009.)

I assume that the calculations that show that the red states actually are the parasites on the blue states factor in the federal tax dollars collected from the blue states that go into the U.S. military and then are diverted predominantly to the red states, but if not, then the parasitical relationship is even more severe than it has been reported.

In any event, upon examination what emerges is the truth: Which is that the red states, appropriate to their assigned color, are blood-suckers — ticks, fleas, leeches — while we of the blue states, appropriate to our assigned color of oxygen-deprived, near-death blue, are the host, and not fucking vice-versa.

The right-wing fascists love the U.S. military because whatever they do not understand or they do not like or agree with they wish to destroy, and because of their ignorance they are fearful, and because they are fearful, they glorify the capacity to kill those of whom they are afraid. Fearful idiots — not truly brave and loving individuals — glorify guns, bombs and other means of killing people.

And, of course, there are millions of traitors — from big-time military contractors all the way down to individual soldiers — who feed at the trough that is U.S. military overspending. They are traitors because they don’t care that U.S. military overspending is destroying their own nation; they just want their gravy train to keep on chugging. To justify their continued looting of the U.S. Treasury — to continue to rob us blind — they have to invent perpetual “threats” and “national interests,” when the real interests sure the fuck aren’t national, but quite personally financial.

Religion has played a role, too, of course. Most members of the U.S. military, most of them being from the “Christo”fascist red states, identify themselves as “Christians,” even though, perversely ironically, Jesus Christ was all about nonviolence (turn the other cheek, he taught, not gun down your opponent and then piss on his corpse). These “Christo”fascists are having their little crusade in the Middle East, slaughtering Muslims left and right, but why should atheist taxpayers like me have to fund their fucking crusade?

Prick Santorum and Newt Gingrich and their “Christo”fascist ilk whine that the U.S. government “persecutes” “Christians” and that there should be no separation of church and state in the United States, but when the U.S. government is sponsoring their anti-Muslim crusade, I don’t see any real fucking separation of church and state.

Indeed, the U.S. military is rife with “Christo”fascists like Marine Sgt. Gary Stein, who, The Associated Press reports, “first started a Facebook page called Armed Forces Tea Party Patriots to encourage service members to exercise their free speech rights [and then] declared that he wouldn’t follow orders from the commander in chief, President Barack Obama.”

This is a photo of the traitor Stein, out of his pointy white hood:

He looks just like all of the other embittered right-wing bald white guys, like “Joe the Plumber,” who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Ohio:

(Yes, apparently “Joe the Plumber,” a.k.a. Samuel Wurzelbacher, had someone write a book for him. No, he is not expected to win the election in November, and very apparently “the American dream” is that right-wing white guys maintain the control that they’ve had since the nation’s inception. A “dream” for the stupid white men, I suppose, but a fucking nightmare for the rest of us, such as women, non-whites, non-heterosexuals, non-“Christians” and non-fascists. [And civilians in the Middle East, of course…])

So: My — our — federal tax dollars don’t go things that we need, such as health care, education, infrastructure maintenance and environmental protection, but go instead to the U.S. military, where blatant traitors like Marine Sgt. Gary Stein proclaim that they don’t have to follow the orders of the nation’s first black president. On our dime.

Any member of the U.S. military who dared to publicly announce that he or she would not follow George W. Bush’s orders would have found him- or herself in knee-deep shit. He or she would have been expected to keep any dissenting political opinions to him- or herself or to be disciplined, but obviously Marine Sgt. Gary Stein and his treasonous, fascistic ilk feel that the U.S. military is only an arm of the American right wing, and thus only Repugnican Tea Party presidents are to be obeyed.

We truly patriotic Americans — who fucking fund the U.S. military in the first place — need to reel in this treasonous bullshit quickly. I see precious little difference between the supposed “subversive,” “Communist” infiltration of the U.S. military during the McCarthy era and the actual subversive infiltration of the U.S. military by the right-wing, white supremacist “Christo”fascists today.

It’s not their fucking military. It’s our fucking military, and it’s insane that we fund them only so that they then can bite the hands that feed them.

We progressives need to man up, so to speak, and demand that politicians, perhaps especially those who call themselves “Democrats,” stop being cowed by the pro-military, “Christo”fascist right wing and stop being the Pentagon’s little bitches. The stupid-white-male-dominated Pentagon (the “Death Star” that I made reference to) should answer to us, the people, and not vice-versa.

Military overspending must be contained before the American empire collapses completely. To be complicit in the empire’s collapse is to be a fucking traitor. There is no way around that.

I don’t want the members of the U.S. military to be unemployed. We have enough unemployment. I want a great number of those employed by the U.S. military to be re-employed, but this time in capacities that help the taxpayers of the United States of America — and not the greedy, treasonous actual 1 percent, who are the only ones who really benefit from the perpetual bogus warfare that they impose upon the 99 percent of us for their own treasonous war profiteering.

These re-employed, redirected individuals from the U.S. military can be engineers, teachers, nurses, doctors, lawyers, scientists, construction workers, architects, cooks, environmentalists, artists (yes, we need art much more than we need more bombs and fighter planes), whatever they want to be that they are able to be, and those services are worth paying for.

American stormtroopers urinating on corpses and mowing down innocent civilians in the Middle East as a by-product of obscene war profiteering — that, apparently, is what the pro-military right wing wants.

That’s not how I want my tax dollars spent, and the progressive vision, I argue, is infinitely better for the United States of America than is the apocalyptic “vision” of the pro-military “Christo”fascists who tell us progressives that we’re just not sacrificing enough for them.

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