Tag Archives: “patriotism”

On pride and patriotism

Image result for statue of liberty protester

CBS News image

A black female protester climbed the base of the Statue of Liberty today. In the image above, it looks as though she is about to be crushed by the foot of Lady Liberty — fitting symbolism for the many who aren’t thrilled to be Americans on the Fourth of July (or on any other day…).

Polling outfit Gallup reports:

This Fourth of July marks a low point in U.S. patriotism. For the first time in Gallup’s 18-year history [of] asking U.S. adults how proud they are to be Americans, fewer than a majority say they are “extremely proud.” Currently, 47 percent describe themselves this way, down from 51 percent in 2017 and well below the peak of 70 percent in 2003. …

Gallup provides this graphic:

Record Low in U.S. Are Extremely Proud to Be Americans

Note that “patriotism” went up after 9/11 and during the run-up to and during the Vietaq War (I’d say that it was more fear and vengefulness than “patriotism”), that “patriotism” remained fairly stable during the Barack Obama years, and that “patriotism” has declined since the 2016 presidential-election campaign debacle and “President” Pussygrabber’s hostile takeover of the Oval Office.

Gallup continues:

… While the 47 percent who are extremely proud to be Americans is a new low, the vast majority of Americans do express some level of pride, including 25 percent who say they are “very proud” and 16 percent who are “moderately proud.” That leaves one in 10 who are “only a little” (7 percent) or “not at all” proud (3 percent). …

The demographics of the poll’s findings are interesting.

Fifty-four percent of whites say that they are “extremely proud” to be Americans, while only 33 percent of non-whites, whose experiences can be very different from their white counterparts’, are “extremely proud.”

Age, too, matters: Fifty-eight percent of those aged 65 years old and above say they are “extremely proud,” while only 33 percent of those aged 18 to 29 are “extremely proud.” Older adults, having grown up and prospered in the nation’s most prosperous decades, have had it much better than have today’s young adults, who have inherited nothing but debt, climate change and overall a colossal fucking mess from the baby boomers, so that’s no shock.

And education is a factor: Thirty-nine percent of college graduates are “extremely proud” to be Americans, while 52 percent of non-college graduates are “extremely proud.”

So, the older, the whiter and the less educated you are, the more “patriotic” you’re likely to be.

I put “patriotic” in quotes because of course I don’t agree with Gallup’s apparent definition of “patriotism” (which is pride in being a member of one’s own nation).

To me, patriotism isn’t about donning red-white-and-blue made-in-China crap at Wal-Mart and drunkenly loudly proclaiming that We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1! We’re No. 1!

Patriotism is “devoted love, support and defense of one’s country; national loyalty.” How proud you are or are not of your nation doesn’t necessarily coincide with how much “devoted love” and “support” you have for it and how much “loyalty” you have to it.

Indeed, the deeper your love and support for and loyalty to your nation, the more ashamed you might should be that “President” Pussygrabber is in charge.

I, for one of millions, am ashamed to be an American right now. I wouldn’t want to identify myself as an American in any other nation, I don’t think. (Thankfully, I never travel.)

That isn’t my fucking fault and it’s no measure of my patriotism. I am embarrassed that uber-buffoon Donald J. Trump is “president” of the United States, and I am still angry that the choices that were put before us — well, that we put before ourselves, apparently — in November 2016 were two evils, Pussygrabber and Billary Clinton. (I voted for neither, as I don’t vote for evil.)

Even if we had an actually democratically elected president who weren’t an embarrassment to me, I still would hesitate to say that I am “proud” to be an American. To me, you can be proud of something that you have accomplished. If, say, you became a doctor or a lawyer or a concert pianist, you probably could be proud of that achievement.

But just having been born as a U.S. citizen? That’s no achievement. That’s an accident of birth.

And what have you, as an individual American, done to better the United States of America? More likely than not, you’ve just coasted as a beneficiary of the work that others have done (especially if you are a baby boomer).

Finally, spiritual maturity means conquering rank tribalism. If I’m “proud” to be an American, does that mean that I’m better than, superior to, those who are from other nations? Are nations not, in the end, just artificial politico-social constructs?

Are we human beings first or are we Americans (or Mexicans or Russians or Chinese or Canadians or Indians or…) first? I consider myself to be a human being before I consider myself to be an American; therefore, another human being’s human being-ness is more important to me than is his or her nationality.

The United States of America has gotten a lot right, but, it seems, for everything that it got right, it got something wrong. It’s a mixed bag at best.

I probably wouldn’t say, if pushed, that I’m not “proud” to be an American at all, but I’m not nearly as proud as I’d rather be — proud not that I simply was born on U.S. soil, but proud that from what I could tell, my compatriots were doing everything in their power to make the nation live up to its promise and its promises, including “liberty and justice for all.”

That would be something to be proud of.

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KKK/Neo-Nazi/Trump rally in Chicago shut down by true American patriots

A demonstrator is removed by Chicago police during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. Trump canceled one of his signature rallies on Friday, calling off the event in Chicago due to safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Analysis: Chicago chaos tests Trump promises of unity

Associated Press photos

In the top news photo, police remove a protester (the black guy in what appears to be a dark-green hoodie, I’m guessing) from the audience gathered yesterday for a rally for Der Fuehrer Donald Trump on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where the KKK rally was called off by the Trump campaign because of the anti-fascist protesters who had thronged to it. In the bottom news photo, an anti-fascist protester holds up a sign reading “Derail Trump!” (I quite concur) on the university campus while police officers keep the peace after the KKK rally was canceled.

The fascists who support Donald Trump, and Der Fuehrer Donald himself, claim that their First Amendment rights were violated when anti-fascist protesters shut down one of their KKK rallies in Chicago yesterday.

Oh, boo fucking hoo!

The First Amendment is indeed important — especially when it’s the stronger who are trying to oppress the weaker by suppressing their freedom of expression — but had the good people in Germany manned (and womaned!) up and shut down Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party early on, then millions of innocent people wouldn’t have been persecuted, tortured and mass-murdered as a result of the Germans’ inaction.

American fascists don’t get to hide behind the First Amendment while they try to reinstate Nazi Germany here in the United States of America.

The prevention of the quite predictable grave harm that these far-right, nationalistic, jingoistic, xenophobic, white supremacist, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic, ironically treasonous pieces of shit who support Donald Trump (and other fascists within the Repugnican Tea Party) would cause to millions of people, should they successfully grab power, is far, far more important than are the First Amendment rights of these evil pieces of shit.

The welfare of the many outweighs the welfare of the few, especially the few who are trying to jeopardize the welfare of the many.

Of course, Der Fuehrer Donald himself, never one to take any responsibility for anything himself, being a fucking sociopath and one of the most evil “human beings” walking the planet — a billionaire, perhaps, but a human-sized walking, blathering piece of shit nonetheless — has blamed yesterday’s fracas in Chicago on — wait for it — Bernie Sanders.

Reuters reports:

… Trump, who has rallies in Ohio and Missouri [today] canceled [his] Chicago event [yesterday] after it turned chaotic, with scuffles breaking out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate.

The clashes follow a slew of recent incidents of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about degrading security leading into the November 8 election.

“All of a sudden a planned attack just came out of nowhere,” Trump said at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, [this] morning, calling the protest leaders “professional people.”

He said his own fans “were taunted, they were harassed by these other people, these other people by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend.”

“Now really Bernie should tell his people … he should really get up and say to his people, ‘Stop, stop,'” he said.

A spokesman for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. …

Let’s see. How about the stupid, old, racist, fascist white man — a Trump supporter, of course — who quite offensively rather than anything like self-defensively punched a young black man (a protester) in the face at a Trump/KKK rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, this past week?

None of Trump’s Brownshirts was punched in the face in Chicago yesterday, to my knowledge; to my knowledge there weren’t even any arrests.

The stupid old pro-Trump white man who punched the young black man in the face this past week, however, has been arrested (probably only because his crime was captured on video).

When is Der Fuehrer Trump going to get up and say to his (goose-stepping) people, “Stop, stop”?

And of course the probably-too-pacifistic Bernie Sanders did not organize any sort of anti-Trump protest in Chicago yesterday (although I would be fine with it if he had). Bernie Sanders is just one of millions and millions of Americans who share his values and beliefs, and non-fascist Americans are free to act as they — we — will. We don’t have to wait and we won’t wait until we get the pretty-please permission of Bernie Sanders or anyone else to fight the real and present danger of domestic fascism, and yesterday we proved that.

Trump knows all of this, of course; it was just an opportunity for the neo-Nazi leader to blame Bernie Sanders — to blame someone, anyone else — for the fact that his fascist, neo-Nazi campaign for the White House stirs up violence, and it was an opportunity for grand propagandist (as well as Grand Wizard) Trump to brand Bernie Sanders a “communist.”

(Nothing like reaching back to the 1950s and before for some scare tactics! It’s as woefully outdated as it is wholly inaccurate, but our audience is comprised of nothing but abject, retrograde morons who are easily lied to and who are moved easily by fear and scare tactics, so no matter!)

Actually, now we Bernie Sanders supporters are, I believe, more likely than we were before yesterday to disrupt Trump’s KKK rallies, now that he has taken to attacking Bernie Sanders in trying to blame Sanders for the violence for which he is solely responsible, and now that he is employing Red-Scare-era slurs against Sanders.

For the record, I don’t see Billary Clinton’s supporters as being anything remotely resembling effective in fighting the likes of Der Fuehrer Trump and his jackbooted lemmings, since the Billarybots accept an awful lot of evil in a leader, as long as he or she just says nice things, as evidenced by their support of Billary, whose entire political career has been comprised of panderingly saying one nice thing but doing another, evil thing.

Not that we supporters of Bernie Sanders need the worthless, brainless, spineless, ineffectual followers of Billary Clinton in the fight against fascism here at home; indeed, we Berners have outnumbered Trump’s Brownshirts for a long time now.

In any event, preventing the rise of a new Nazi Germany here in the United States of America under Der Fuehrer Donald is something to be proud of. (If you are heterosexual, it would be something to proudly tell your grandchildren.)

The shame would be in just allowing yet another fascist demagogue to rise again and to, with his henchfascists, persecute and murder millions of people. Let the eternal shame of the German people in their colossal dereliction of duty to derail Adolf Hitler and his henchmen, their eternal shame for their unconscionable failure to nip that one in the bud, be our guide now.

Preventing that level of evil is worth dying for, and we, the good Americans, the real Americans, must stand up to Der Fuehrer Trump and his Brownshirts and say, loudly: Over our dead bodies!

And if we need to employ violence against the neo-Nazis, then so be it. They need to know that we, the true patriotic Americans, will not take that off of the table, that we can speak their language too, only even better than they can, and that if they want a rematch of the Civil War, we are ready to hand their own sorry asses to them again.

P.S. You’ve probably seen this already, but in case not:

P.P.S. Apparently many counter-Trump protesters were shouting “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” in the university arena in Chicago yesterday, and at least one protester had a Bernie campaign sign:

The Latest: Cruz says Trump bears some responsibility

Associated Press photo

Two things on this:

One, it’s nothing to disavow; to the contrary, it’s something to be proud of. (Unsurprisingly and tellingly, I’ve yet to see any report that any of the anti-fascist protesters were shouting, “Hillary! Hillary!” or displayed one of her campaign signs.)

Two, even if it were something to disavow, which it is not, neither Bernie Sanders nor his campaign has control over its supporters, who number in the millions.

And nor should a candidate or his or her campaign have any such control. Campaigns for elected office exist for the people; the people do not exist for campaigns for elected office. (This is, of course, the opposite philosophy of the jackbooted, goose-stepping Trumpians, who obediently give Der Fuehrer Trump their familiar one-armed pledge of allegiance.)

Finally, I just stumbled across this news photo from the fracas in Chicago yesterday and I love it. It’s one of the most iconic news photos that I’ve seen in ages:

Trump protesters cheer after GOP front-runner cancels rally

Associated Press photo

Seriously. Kudos to this young man for standing up like he did (and kudos to all of the many others, too, of course), and the photographer deserves a photojournalism award.

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You SLAY me, Barack!

At a time when the “Democratic” White House administration and the “Democratic” Party believe that the Bill of Rights are negotiable, the Million Mask March comes not a day too late.

So it can come as no surprise to learn that President Barack Obama — winner of the Nobel Peace Prize — reportedly bragged that with the use of killer drones, he has become “really good at killing people.”

This news comes after I just watched Jeremy Scahill’s important documentary “Dirty Wars” on Netflix.

In the documentary, Scahill (among many other things) points out how far the United States of America has fallen that its president can act as judge, jury and executioner and order the assassination of even American citizens. Indeed, the killer drones that Obama brags so much about have snuffed out at least two U.S. citizens.*

This is, to put it mildly, not the “hope” and “change” that I voted for in November 2008.

Once we make it acceptable for the president of the United States of America to target certain U.S. citizens as “terrorists” ripe for unilateral, extrajudicial assassination, what’s to stop a president’s mere political opponents from being branded as “terrorists,” as “enemies of the state” who “must” be eliminated?

Americans’ collective deafening silence on the blatantly illegal, immoral, unethical and unconstitutional presidential (or other governmental) use of killer drones only pushes us further toward that scenario.

For his cowardly, illegal, and yes, evil, use of killer drones alone I could not cast a second vote for Barack Hussein Obama in November 2012.

Americans also haven’t made nearly enough noise about the mind-blowing abuses of the National Security Agency and other eavesdropping branches of government, who shit and piss all over the U.S. Constitution and its guarantees, especially the Fourth Amendment’s establishment of “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” which “shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The Fourth Amendment’s guarantees are not negotiable, yet both parties of our broken, insanely unrepresentative, pro-corporate duopolistic system say that the law of the land is whatever they say it is — just as they say that the Sixth Amendment’s guarantee that a U.S. citizen will not be executed without first having had a fair trial is negotiable.

(The Sixth Amendment reads: “In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.”)

The U.S. Constitution doesn’t belong just to the “tea-party” fucktards. It belongs to all of us Americans, and its protections stem from historical gross abuses of power by those who hold such power — abuses of power that always have been foreseeable, and that thus have been proscribed in the document that is the supreme law of the land, of which no person is above.

Therefore, to point out that something or someone blatantly and unacceptably violates the U.S. Constitution doesn’t make one a crackpot. It makes one a patriot.

And one who calls him- or herself a “Democrat” yet makes excuses for such unconstitutional — and thus treasonous — actions by Barack Obama is not a patriot, but is a worthless fucking party hack, no better than the party hacks on the right who have made all kinds of excuses for the treasonous, anti-constitutional actions by the unelected Bush-Cheney regime.

Barack Obama not only is good at killing people, but he’s been great at killing his party.

After having watched Obama follow up his ubiquitous, relentless promises of “hope” and “change” only by using the U.S. Constitution as his own personal toilet paper — and after having watched the likes of right-wing millionaire “Democratic” U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein call brave, patriotic whistle-blower Edward Snowden a “traitor” when she, in fact, is the fucking Constitution-trampling traitor — I am done with the “Democratic” Party. And I’m not alone.

I hope that tomorrow’s Million Mask March goes well, and that it spawns many more public demonstrations against the treasonous elite in D.C. who long ago forgot who serves whom.

I have the feeling that it won’t be long before I am donning a mask of my own and taking it to the streets.

It’s long past time to burn it all down and start over again.

*Don’t get me wrong. It’s not only a crime only when it’s committed against a U.S. citizen. The U.S. government, as Scahill and others have pointed out, is perpetrating war crimes against people abroad on pretty much a daily basis — war crimes that guarantee that we’ll always have a fresh supply of “terrorists” so that those who treasonously profiteer from keeping us “safe” from the “terrorists” that they treasonously create will have a steady income of our tax dollars.

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On Chelsea Manning

"I am Chelsea Manning. I am female."

The former Bradley Manning (right) is shown at left in a photo (for some reason released by the U.S. Army) in makeup and a wig. Manning says that she now is a woman whose name is Chelsea. That’s perfectly fine with me; it’s no skin off my ass, although it’s difficult for me, admittedly, to get the pronouns straight, because I’m used to Manning being discussed as a male…

I haven’t written much on Chelsea Manning, formerly Bradley Manning, and maybe that’s because like the former Bradley apparently was waiting until after his trial and sentencing were over before he announced to the world that he is now a woman named Chelsea, I was waiting until after his trial and sentencing to commit a post entirely to her.

Manning — whom I will (do my best to) refer to now as a woman, since that is her wish — is a bit of an enigma. In Manning we see two hot topics, that of whistle-blowing and that of transgenderism. It’s probably unfortunate that because of the Manning case both topics are going to be conflated in the minds of the mouth-breathing knuckle-draggers, but, I suppose, that’s the way that it goes.

First and foremost to me, the 25-year-old Manning doesn’t deserve to sit in prison for 35 years, as she was recently sentenced to do.

Clearly, we have two different systems of “justice,” one for the little guys and little gals, like whistle-blowers Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden, and one for the plutocratic elite, like George W. Bush and Dick Cheney. (Ironically, perhaps, Glenn Greenwald’s last book, titled With Liberty and Justice for Some: How the Law Is Used to Destroy Equality and Protect the Powerful, tackles this very subject.)

Bush and Cheney (and others, including Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice) should be executed for the traitors and war criminals that they are. That’s not hyperbole; I mean every word of that. They are responsible for the wholly unnecessary deaths of more than 4,000 members of the U.S. military and tens of thousands of innocent civilians in the Middle East. I generally am against the death penalty, but when it comes to mass murder, perhaps especially war crimes and crimes against humanity, you don’t deserve to continue to draw breath.

(Point of comparison: Most of or all of the 10 Nazis who were hanged at the conclusion of the Nuremberg trials had not killed another human being with his own hands, but were found guilty of having caused the deaths of others. If we applied the same standards of justice to the war criminals who comprised the unelected, treasonous Bush regime, they would hang, too. [Although I’d go with the more humane lethal injection, of course.])

It cannot be demonstrated that either Chelsea Manning or Edward Snowden has been responsible for the death of even one human being, but it’s incontrovertible historical fact that Bush and Cheney are responsible for the deaths of tens of thousands. Yet Manning is behind bars and Snowden is D.C.’s Public Enemy No. 1 — he had to seek freedom in Russia, of all places, since the United States stopped being about actual freedom long, long ago — while mass murderers Bush and Cheney, because of their status among the plutocratic elite, still roam free among us.

This is nothing like justice, and certainly there is no “liberty and justice for all” in the United States of America. Anyone who asserts otherwise is a fucking liar or a fucking coward or is incredibly fucking stupid or is some combination thereof.

While my philosophy tends to be that Everything Is Connected, I don’t see Manning’s whistle-blowing and transgenderism as fitting together like hand in glove. (Maybe if Edward Snowden announces that he now is a woman, I’ll start to suspect that there is some link…)

Perhaps if Manning was persecuted in the uber-macho military environment for not being macho enough, as she reportedly was, she was more likely to release classified information than if she had been treated well, but even then, it was her mistreatment at the hands of bigoted ignoramuses, not her transgenderism, that was the problem. Let’s not keep blaming the victims and letting the victimizers off scot-fucking-free, as we so much love to do.

As far as whistle-blowing goes: Does any portion of or any individual within the federal government (or of a state or local government) deserve to be shielded from the consequences of his or her or its misdeeds?

Absofuckinglutely not. If you commit crimes or misdeeds with public funds (if nothing else, if you are a government worker, your salary comes from public funds), you can have no expectation to be shielded from the public’s eventually being informed about your crimes or misdeeds, and you cannot hide behind “security” or “state secrets” or some other bullshit for your illegal or unethical behavior.

And as emerging whistle-blower statutes and case law are finding, we’re long past the time when it’s OK to persecute and even prosecute the whistle-blowers while the criminals and wrongdoers go free.

More than anything else, Chelsea Manning is a political prisoner. Her “crime” is that she exposed the war crimes for which the D.C. elite ultimately are responsible.

Manning reportedly is going to ask President Hopey-Changey for a pardon, but of course President Hopey-Changey, whose prime directives are to show the world what a fucking bad-ass he is and to protect the D.C. aristocracy, never would be so bold and so interested in actual justice as to do something like that.

I expect Manning to spend several years in prison, as yet another example of how in the United States of America, there are liberty and justice for only some.

P.S. Reuters reports that Manning said in a statement:

“As I transition into this next phase of my life, I want everyone to know the real me. I am Chelsea Manning; I am a female. Given the way that I feel and have felt since childhood, I want to begin hormone therapy as soon as possible. I also request that starting today you refer to me by my new name and use the feminine pronoun.”

Reuters adds: “An Army spokeswoman said the Army does not provide hormone therapy or sex-change surgery.”

Fuck the backasswards, patriarchal, misogynist, homophobic, transphobic U.S. Army!

If mental health professionals deem it necessary to a prisoner’s well-being, then such treatment should be provided. And our tax dollars should not fund a military that actively discriminates against anyone, including prisoners, whose punishment is the deprivation of their freedom, and not that they must endure discrimination or other unjust or cruel or unusual punishment at the hands of the fucktarded fascists who run — and ruin — our “justice” and “correctional” systems.

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Two ways you can help patriot Edward Snowden right now

Updated below

U.S. National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden is seen in this still image taken from a video during an interview with the Guardian in his hotel room in Hong Kong

Reuters image

Repugnican Tea Party Speaker of the House John Boehner has called 29-year-old National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden (pictured above) a “traitor.”

This is not all that surprising, coming from an alcoholic fascist like Boehner, whose treasonous, far-right-wing party’s only wish is to preserve the status quo. (Actually, the Repugnican Tea Party traitors want to take us back to the Dark Ages, but, at the minimum, they want to keep us trapped where we are; they seek to block all progress in the United States of America, and to a large degree, they succeed.)

Edward Snowden is a defender of the U.S. Constitution — specifically, Americans’ Fourth-Amendment right to privacy.

But in the down-the-rabbit-hole United States of America, where freedom and democracy died long, long ago, the actually treasonous criminals are let off scot-fucking-free while those who report the treasonous criminals’ criminal and treasonous activity, like Snowden, Bradley Manning and Julian Assange, are made into the “criminals.” They’re called by the hypocritically treasonous powers that be “traitors,” even.

(If Snowden is a “traitor,” gee, maybe he’s a “terrorist,” too! Maybe there’s a killer drone hunting him down as I type this sentence!)

Today, the power-mad, democracy-hating, Constitution-violating traitors in Washington go after patriots like Edward Snowden and Bradley Manning. (I’d call Julian Assange a patriot, but he’s Australian… Still, he’s a lover of actual freedom and actual democracy and he rejects the faux freedom and the faux democracy that the plutocrats and their servants in D.C. claim are the real thing.)

Tomorrow, the fascists in D.C. come for the rest of us.

There are two simple things that you can do right now to help Edward Snowden:

  • One, you can contribute to his legal defense fund, which the Progressive Change Campaign Committee has set up. You can do that here. (If you decide to donate to Snowden’s legal defense fund via the PCCC, be sure to donate to the “PCCC Strategic Fund” that is shown on the webpage.) I’ve given $10 to Snowden’s legal defense fund and I probably will give more.
  • Two, you can sign the petition on the White House’s website to encourage President Barack Obama to pardon Snowden. The petition is available here. (You’ll have to register with the website if you’re not already registered; registration is simple.) When I signed the petition this morning, almost half of the necessary 100,000 signatures necessary for the White House to consider the petition had been collected.

And use your sphere of influence, of course.

Doing these things is better that doing nothing. They’re something.

We need to alter the sociopolitical environment that even makes it possible for an actually treasonous fascist like John Boehner to call a courageous patriot like Edward Snowden a “traitor.”

P.S. I have to note that it’s pretty fucking stupid for the Repugnican Tea Party, which is hurting among youthful voters, to attack the 29-year-old Snowden like this.

I don’t expect the Obama administration, which has depended upon youthful voters, to attack Snowden nearly as viciously, but it will be interesting to see how the Obama administration decides to proceed with Snowden.

Update: To be fair and balanced, I will point you to this Associated Press news story that I just read in which “Democratic” U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California has referred to Edward Snowden’s whistleblowing as “an act of treason.”

Oh, sure, the right-wing Feinstein is the chair of the Senate “intelligence” committee, but she’s also a millionaire, one of the plutocrats who benefit from the unconstitutional vast spying upon Americans.

Feinstein also voted for the Vietraq War — from which her husband, Richard Blum, a war profiteer, just happened to make millions of dollars.

With “friends” like these, who needs the fucking Repugnicans?

(If memory serves, I voted for the fascistic Feinstein in 2000, being new to California and not knowing any better; however, I didn’t vote for her in 2006 or in 2012, and I never would cast a vote for her again. She’s one of the many examples one could point to in order to demonstrate that the average American’s interests are not represented in D.C. )

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E-mails worse than anything James O’Keefe has ‘uncovered’

Wingnutty “crusader” James O’Keefe — you know, the brave pimp and the (would-be) slayer of ACORN and NPRhas to misrepresent himself, or have his hos misrepresent themselves, in order to “expose” the “dirty truths” about the left/“left.” (And creative video editing, a la Andrew Breitbart, helps an awful lot, too.)

But e-mails, unlike the likes of Breitbart and O’Keefe, don’t lie.

And we have plenty of e-mails that expose the blatant dishonesty — and the incredible stupidity — of the operatives on the right.

Reports The Associated Press this week:

Everything from taking away computers to denying a year of service in the state retirement system was considered to punish the 14 Wisconsin [state Senate] Democrats who fled to Illinois for three weeks to block passage of a bill taking away union bargaining rights, newly released e-mails show.

Members of Republican [Wisconsin state] Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald’s staff bounced ideas off one another and the Legislature’s attorneys for days about how to penalize the [state] Senate Democrats for [having left the state] and pressure them to return, according to records released Wednesday by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington.

The watchdog group obtained the e-mails from Fitzgerald’s office under Wisconsin’s open records law.

The e-mails show Fitzgerald’s staff members were as worried about the public relations campaign as they were actually figuring out a way to get the Democrats to come back.

“I would just be somewhat cautious in whatever we do so that it doesn’t end up creating sympathy for the Dems,” Tad Ottman, a Fitzgerald aide, wrote to his chief of staff John Hogan on Feb. 20. “The more directly we can tie whatever action we take to what they are doing the better it will be.” …

The e-mails show there was a lot of discussion with legislative attorneys about how to legally impose fines on the missing senators and other steps that could be taken against them and their staff.

“I say we not only make it hurt for them, we have to make it hurt for their staff as well,” [Fitzgerald legislative aide Rob] Richard wrote on Feb. 20.

One idea Ottman suggested in a Feb. 20 email was cutting the size of each Democratic senator’s staff by one person “since one person from each of their office is failing to show up for work (the Senator).”

That idea and several others, like reducing or taking away per diem payments and denying a year’s service in the retirement system, were not pursued. Richard pointed out in the same Feb. 20 email that taking away a year of retirement service likely would engender a court fight. …

Indeed, the rhetoric that came from the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Wisconsin was centered on the allegation that the absconded 14 Democratic state senators weren’t doing their jobs (except that they were — they were protecting their constituents’ best interests instead of Big Business’ best interests), when, in fact, as usual, the Repugnican Tea Party’s traitors’ motivation was petty, vindictive partisanship.

And clearly the Repugnican Tea Party traitors aren’t bothered by what is unethical or illegal — as long as they get away with it. Fitzgerald himself indicated that having attempted to have the 14 Democratic state senators arrested “would have been a public-relations nightmare” — he did not express his concern, from what I can see, that such an action would have been an illegal abuse of power.

And in the infamous recorded telephone conversation between billionaire pimp “David Koch” and Koch whore Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker last month, Repugnican Tea Party traitor Walker stated that he and his henchmen had considered planting fake protesters among the legitimate protesters who had thronged the state’s Capitol.

Apparently, what dissuades Walker & Co. from committing dishonest (and even illegal) shit like this is not the inherent immorality (or even illegality) of it, but is the political blowback that might occur if the plot is exposed.

And the Repugnican Tea Party is supposed to be all about moral values.

Speaking of which, the contents of this e-mail, written to “Dead Man” Walker, trumps all of the others:

“If you could employ an associate who pretends to be sympathetic to the unions’ cause to physically attack you (or even use a firearm against you), you could discredit the public unions. … Employing a false flag operation would assist in undercutting any support that the media may be creating in favor of the unions.”

That juicy e-mail was signed off thusly: “God bless, Carlos F. Lam.”

Carlos F. Lam is — or, rather, was — a deputy prosecutor for Johnson County in Indiana. Lam resigned after his unethical (if not illegal) e-mail to Walker was revealed, apparently by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.

Think about this: a prosecutor, one who prosecutes others for their (alleged) wrongdoings, himself suggested that a governor stage a fake attack (maybe even take a bullet???) for political gain. (It was right-wing geniuses, after all, who came up with the Reichstag fire…)

And the prosecutor ends his e-mail with “God bless,” as though the God he claims to believe in actually would endorse such a plan.

This is what we’re up against:

While a fundraiser for NPR just states obvious (if politically incorrect) truths about the right-wing nutjobs, which gains the scalp of the head of NPR for the wingnuts, a fucking Repugnican Tea Party governor and prosecutor are on the record as having at least considered planting fake protesters in Wisconsin in order to harm their political opposition — perhaps even employing a firearm.

The prosecutor no longer has his job. The governor should no longer have his.

The gubernatorial recall process in Wisconsin should take care of this, but in the meantime, those of us who are true patriots — who believe in the best interests of the majority of the people over the interests of the rich and the super-rich few, and who believe in acting ethically, morally and legally — have to remain vigilant.

We have to remain vigilant because the desperate members of the right wing, who are losing political power in a rapidly changing nation (and world) whose demographic shifts don’t favor them, have demonstrated amply that they will do just about anything to hold on to the political power that they historically are so accustomed to having.*

*The blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000 and the probably-stolen presidential election of 2004 probably are the largest, most glaring examples of this fact. 

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‘HoBos’ in HELL

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

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

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

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

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

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

Really?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

P.S. Goldberg also writes in his column:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Gee, thanks, Jonah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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