Tag Archives: sex

Race and sex are inherent biological characteristics — not qualifiers for office

Ted Rall nails it, as usual.

If there ever was any doubt that Team Kamala Harris’ political “strategy” was going to be to label you as a “racist” for not supporting her presidential campaign, her official campaign announcement today, on Martin Luther King Day, should remove all of that doubt.

“Vote for me — because if you don’t, that means that you’re a racist (and/or a misogynist/sexist)” is such an inspiring campaign message, which is delivered indirectly and even directly. (But it certainly captures the zeitgeist…)

If Kamala Harris had significant experience in Washington, D.C. — she has been there for two whole fucking years now — and if she were a dyed-in-the-wool progressive (she’s not; Google “Kamala Harris progressive prosecutor”), I’d be happy to support her.

That she’s a woman and that she’s half African-American and half Indian-American (“Indian” as in descended from the people of India, not Native American, although “President” Pussygrabber still might call her “Sacagawea” or the like…) would be the icing on the cake, because women and non-whites deserve much, much more representation in our state and federal governments.

But I never would vote for a fucking Repugnican candidate because she is a woman and/or is non-white, either. For me, political ideology trumps all else, followed by experience.

Comparisons of Harris to Barack Obama don’t fill me with inspiration. Like Harris, Obama had been in the U.S. Senate for only two years before he decided to run for president. Yes, he won his election, and he made history by becoming the first non-all-white president, but he did not govern as a progressive, but as a centrist caretaker.

Obama’s lame, unsuccessful attempt to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican traitors (redundant) in Congress during his first two years in the White House — his only opportunity to try to push through a progressive agenda, because it was only during those two years of his presidency that the Democrats controlled the White House and both houses of Congress — displayed either a stunning lack of savvy as to how D.C. actually works and/or stunning hubris that The Great Obama could do What No One Else Had Ever Done: successfully bridge the divide between the right and the left, a divide that cannot be reconciled because the left and the right are as diametrically opposed as are good and evil (respectively).

Obama’s record looks much better than it actually was only because he was sandwiched between the two worst “presidents” of my lifetime, George W. Bush and Pussygrabber (both of whom lost the popular vote and then went on to take a wrecking ball to the nation).

Obama for the most part kept the status quo. I don’t want another status-quo-keeping “Democratic” president.

To be fair to Harris, she’s not the only candidate who officially has announced a campaign for the 2020 Democratic Party presidential nomination who I cannot and will not support.

Julian Castro does not have my support. I’d love for us to have a progressive Latino president, but I don’t see a former mayor of San Antonio and a former U.S. secretary of Housing and Urban Development being elected to the White House.

(Pussygrabber is the first “president” of my lifetime of five decades who had not first been at least a U.S. senator or the governor of a state before becoming “president.” Pussygrabber broke that mold — with a lot of help from Russia — but I don’t see that he changed the game for those who will follow him.)

Tulsi Gabbard? She’s only a U.S. representative. She has a snowball’s chance in hell, even if I could fully forgive her anti-LGBT past.

Kirsten Gillibrand? She’s a U.S. senator, but she’s also a sanctimonious piece of shit who way prematurely (and incorrectly) demanded Sen. Al Franken’s head on a silver platter — and who, just like Billary Clinton, changes her political positions on a dime whenever it suits her. (In fact, overall she’s just way too much like Billary 2.0, including the whole “vote for me or you’re a misogynist/sexist” bullshit, which is well understood even when it’s not explicitly stated.) She must never be president.

Richard Ojeda? Not only did he lose his last election, to the U.S. House (he was a state senator, so at least he has held elected office), but he voted for Pussygrabber in November 2016, not nearly long ago enough to claim convincingly that he has changed. (Plus, to be frank: Cuckoo! Cuckoo!)

Elizabeth Warren? She’s my second choice, behind Bernie Sanders. She has both experience in Washington, having completed an entire six-year Senate term, something that Obama couldn’t be bothered to do and something that Kamala Harris doesn’t want to be bothered to do, and her ideology fairly closes matches mine.

But Bernie Sanders remains my first choice. He has much more experience in D.C. than Warren does (he was elected to the U.S. House in 1990 and to the U.S. Senate in 2006), his ideology more closely matches mine (Warren apparently thinks that capitalism can be reformed, which is something that I doubt, whereas Bernie doesn’t shy away from the label of democratic socialist), and, while Warren didn’t have the cajones to oppose Queen Billary in 2016, Bernie did — and he did quite well, having won 22 states and 46 percent of the earned delegates (while Warren sat it out).

Bernie has my full support if he runs. He has earned it.

Again: Experience and ideology matter. Your biological sex and your race are biological characteristics that you inherited at birth — not qualifiers for elected office.

We have that quite twisted, and we need to untwist it, not only if we want to put another Democrat in the White House come January 2021, but if we care about the long-term welfare of our democracy.

P.S. On a related note:


I’m on Kamala Harris’ e-mail list, and received an e-mail from her campaign today titled “I’m running for president.” The campaign logo on the e-mail reads “Kamala Harris for the People,” and the e-mail begins:

Decency. Justice. Truth. Equality. Freedom. Democracy.

These aren’t just words: they’re the values we, as Americans, cherish. Right now, they’re all on the line.

We face the greatest crisis of leadership we’ve seen in our lifetimes, and powerful voices are filling the void, sowing hate and division among us.

We’ve witnessed an Administration that aligns itself with dictators and refers to white supremacists as “very fine people.” They’ve torn babies from their mothers’ arms and put children in cages.

They’ve slashed taxes for corporations and the wealthiest among us — placing the burden on the middle class. They’ve actively fought against efforts to combat climate change. Time and again, they’ve sabotaged our country’s health care. And they’ve attacked our free and independent press at every turn.

We know America is better than this — but it’s on us to build it. We’re going to have to fight for it.

Robert, I’m ready to take on that fight alongside you. That’s why, today, I’m proud to announce that I’m running for President of the United States. …

That e-mail is a litany of platitudes, as Ted Rall talks about in his editorial cartoon above (featuring a Kamala Harris-like candidate), and the e-mail quoted above outlines the “bold stances” (my words) that Kamala Harris always has taken as a politician here in California — that is, she’s courageously against such things as cancer, fatal drug overdoses and kitten crushing.

You’ll never see her take a bold, controversial stance on any subject; you won’t see her go out on a limb. It’s not in her DNA.

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Haters’ minds are in the toilet, as usual

Updated below (on Saturday, November 9, 2013) 

This is what it’s about — not about horny heterosexual boys trying to get at the heterosexual girls in the girls’ bathrooms, as the wingnuts blatantly are lying about a California law that protects transgender public-school students. But even that said, the law is about a lot more than the bathroom, anyway.

In July, the California state Legislature passed a piece of legislation titled AB (Assembly Bill) 1266, which California Gov. Jerry Brown signed on August 12.

AB 1266, which is not long, can be read in its entirety here.

AB does at least a few things where the biological sex and the gender identification of public-school students are concerned.

To me, perhaps the biggest substantive change that the new law makes is that it mandates that “A school district may not require a pupil of one sex to enroll in a particular class or course, unless the same class or course is also required of a pupil of the opposite sex.”

If I understand English correctly, that means that public schools in California may not have sex-segregated and sex-specific courses. When I was in junior high school (in Arizona), for instance, all seventh-grade male students were required to take shop, but no female students ever were required to take shop, and all seventh-grade female students were required to take home economics, but no male students ever were required to take home ec.

At my junior high school, which was comprised only of seventh- and eighth-graders, eighth-graders could take shop or home ec, regardless of their sex. Seventh-graders, though, had no choice, but were funneled into shop or into home ec solely based upon their sex.

Under AB 1266, in California, such sex-segregated class requirements — boys must take shop and girls must take home ec — are no longer allowed (again, if I understand English correctly).

AB 1266 also proclaims that “Any school personnel acting in a career counseling or course selection capacity to a pupil shall affirmatively explore with the pupil the possibility of careers, or courses leading to careers, that are nontraditional for that pupil’s sex.”

I remember the principal of my junior high school summoning a bunch of us seventh-grade boys into his office after we’d signed up to take home economics the next year. We’d already taken our required one year of shop,  and, not wanting to take a second year of shop in eighth grade, we signed up to take home economics instead.

I remember the principal trying to talk us out of taking home ec. A few of us boys caved in to his pressure, but most of us (including myself) took home ec anyway. (I am gay, but most of the other boys who also decided to take home ec instead of another year of shop were not, to my knowledge, also gay.)

I don’t remember the principal’s exact “argument” (this was in the early 1980s…), but, in retrospect, my guess is that it was his personal belief that boys shouldn’t take home ec, and so he was going to try to dissuade us from doing so. (No, taking home ec did not “make” me gay. That was a pre-existing condition, so to speak.)

Had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at that time, it would have been illegal for the principal to try to dissuade me and the other boys from taking home ec; he wouldn’t legally have been able to try to shove his own backasswards gender-role biases down our throats. (And had AB 1266 been the law of Arizona at the time, of course, I wouldn’t have been forced to take shop, which I hated, unless the girls were forced to take it, too.)

So I’m happy that today’s public-school students in California are set not to have to experience what I did, which was having backasswards/conservative/wingnutty gender roles shoved down my fucking throat.

I write “are set” because AB 1266 is set to go into effect on January 1, 2014.

But not if the haters get their way.

They’re in the middle of a campaign to gather enough petition signatures to put AB 1266 up for a “yes” or “no” vote before California’s voters in November 2014 (this process of reversing a piece of legislation at the ballot box is called a referendum).

The haters’ deadline to turn in the required number of signatures (more than half a million of them) is within less than a week. If, after their signatures are examined, they meet the signature requirement, AB 1266 will not go into effect on January 1, but will be suspended until after the voters of the state weigh in on it in November 2014, a year from now.

The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to make public-school students feel like it’s OK to be themselves. The intended effect of AB 1266, that I can discern, is to cut down on such problems in our public schools as gender-identification-related (and sexual-orientation-related) bullying (including, of course, physical violence), ostracism, depression, drop-outs, and yes, suicide. It’s to help make every public-school student feel safe to be who he or she is, regardless of whether he or she possesses the XY or XX chromosomes and regardless of whether he or she identifies with the gender associated with his or her chromosomes.

Thomas Jefferson once said, “It does me no injury for my neighbor to say there are 20 gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.”

In that same spirit, it does no one any injury for his or her peer to identify as a male or as a female, regardless of whether his or her peer possesses the XY or XX chromosomes. (There are some rare variants of the XY or XX chromosomal set-up, but let’s please keep this simple…) It neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, so to speak. (Ditto for same-sex marriage, of course.)

But this is the portion of AB 1266, the very last sentence of AB 1266, that the wingnuts have focused upon like a hate-and-ignorance-filled laser: “A pupil shall be permitted to participate in sex-segregated school programs and activities, including athletic teams and competitions, and use facilities consistent with his or her gender identity, irrespective of the gender listed on the pupil’s records.” (Emphasis mine.)

The wording is, admittedly, vague. “Facilities” can encompass a lot. Presumably, “facilities” includes restrooms and locker rooms.

However, sexual activity isn’t supposed to be going on inside of school or public restrooms and locker rooms anyway.

You’re not supposed to be exposing yourself to others in restrooms. The last time that some male apparently exposed himself to me (he proudly displayed his erection to me, to which I did not outwardly react at all) in a men’s restroom was many years ago, and he did it at a urinal, so that he could have plausible deniability, apparently. My point is that other males just aren’t showing me their junk in men’s restrooms (whether I’d want them to or not), and I assume that in women’s restrooms, too, women aren’t exposing themselves to each other.

So I don’t understand how it hurts anyone should a transgender student use the restroom of the gender the student identifies with. I can, however, see a problem with, say, forcing a male-to-female transgender student to use a restroom that is restricted for use only by biological males. Maybe this student will avoid using the boys’ restroom like the plague in order to avoid being beaten up.

I can see that because, unlike the wingnuts, I possess a degree of fucking empathy.

Communal (versus individual) showers in public schools are, in my opinion, a bad idea (the film versions of “Carrie” aside) — we should afford our students their privacy, just as we adults want our privacy — and so that shouldn’t be an issue anyway, but, on that note, let me say that I recall, in junior-high-school P.E., being rather aroused by my naked male classmates, with whom I was forced to take communal showers. (Luckily, I never got an erection, if memory serves. [Yeah, that’s something that I think that I’d remember, given the homophobia of that time and place…])

The wingtards who falsely paint AB 1266 as allowing horny (straight) boys to take showers with girls and to use their restrooms overlook the fact that gay male students and lesbian students routinely take showers with and share restrooms with members of the sex to which they are attracted. Indeed, non-heterosexual students don’t have the option of showering with or using the restroom of the sex to which they are not attracted. And this has been the case forever. Duh.

AB 1266, if it stands — if it is not overturned by the voters (who tend to be significantly more trans-phobic than homophobic) — does have details to be worked out. For instance, what would be the criteria for a public school to have to acknowledge that a student is transgender? Would the student have to dress as and act as the gender the student claims? Or would the student’s word be enough? Would a psychological evaluation have to be done to determine that yes, indeed, this student is transgender?

And, of course, how would post-P.E. showers be worked out in schools that for some reason still have communal showers?

But these details are worth working out, because no student should experience discrimination that makes his or her getting a decent education difficult to even impossible.

AB 1266 is about much, much more than (presumably straight, horny) boys using the girls’ bathrooms (for sexual kicks), but, just as the wingnuts lie through their venom-filled fangs about same-sex marriage, which neither picks anyone’s pocket nor breaks anyone’s leg, the wingnuts lie about AB 1266.

Wingnut Randy Thomasson, for instance, of the Campaign for Children and Families (which sure sounds nice, like the Campaign for Puppies and Kittens), proclaims, on his hate group’s website (yes, the Southern Poverty Law Center says that Thomasson’s organization is a hate group), SaveCalifornia.com:

If you’re like me, you’re angry about the Democrats’ new law requiring transsexual school bathrooms on every public school campus.

As you know, AB 1266 — cobbled together by homosexual-bisexual-transsexual activists, the immoral teachers’ unions, and their Democrat [sic] state representatives, who control California state government — forces all K-12 government schools to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams, and biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers, clubs, and sports teams. …

That is, of course, a wildly gross exaggeration of AB 1266’s actual intent, “to permit biological boys into girls’ restrooms, showers,” etc., and to permit “biological girls into boys’ restrooms, showers,” etc.

Thomasson’s manipulative, lying rhetoric Orwellianly doesn’t even allow you to consider the fact, the reality, that there are biological females who consider themselves to be males and vice-versa. No, the “Democrat” Party, you see, just wants to turn our public schools into sex orgies! After all, we all know how “immoral” those teachers’ unions are!

Yes, this is hate speech. This is language that, as the Southern Poverty Law Center correctly states, increases the likelihood of hate crimes being directed at a certain group (in this case, non-gender-conforming individuals [and non-heterosexuals, too]).

I hope that the haters don’t get enough valid signatures on their hateful referendum. If they do, just as was the case with Proposition Hate (which Thomasson supported also, of course), at the minimum, millions of dollars will be blown on the ballot-measure campaigning.

And while I’d love to think that a majority of California’s voters would uphold AB 1266 if it went to the November 2014 ballot, as I have noted, the typical American these days unfortunately is more accepting of a gender-conforming non-heterosexual than he or she is of a non-gender-conforming individual, especially a transgender individual.

“Gay is the new black,” left-wing radio show host Randi Rhodes was saying almost a decade ago, when George W. Bush used same-sex marriage as a huge wedge issue in his 2004 “re”-election campaign (even though his campaign manager at that time, Ken Mehlman, is gay [Mehlman, whose treason I will never forgive, came out in 2010]).

We’ve come a considerable way on equality for gay men and lesbians since then. Illinois just this week became the 15th state (in addition to the District of Columbia and some other jurisdictions within states) to legalize same-sex marriage, and ding, dong, “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) is dead, and so is the euphemistically named “Defense of Marriage Act” (DOMA).

But in most jurisdictions of the United States it’s still wide-open season on transgender individuals, and AB 1266 is a step toward the realization of actual liberty and actual justice for all — an idea and an ideal that the wingnutty, treasonous haters always have hated.

Update (Saturday, November 9, 2013):

In case you doubt anything that I wrote, above know that yesterday, in front of a local store, I saw a stupid white man, a “tea-party”-looking type, collecting anti-AB 1266 petition signatures. His hand-drawn sign, which he’d affixed to his table, called for “no co-ed bathrooms,” which is not, of course, the heart and soul of AB 1266, and hilariously, he also had written on his sign, “boys in boys and girls in girls,” which sure looked like an advocacy of homosexuality to me, but which meant “boys in boys’ bathrooms and girls in girls’ bathrooms.” (These are the same fucktards, of course, who didn’t know what “teabagging” means…)

Anyway, this asshole, of course, was totally misrepresenting AB 1266, and so when he shouted to me and my same-sex partner as we passed by his table, “All you have to do is sign [the petition]!”, I remarked to him, “I have read the law. You are totally misrepresenting it.”

To this he had no response, which is not a surprise, since the use of words isn’t his strong suit. (Lying and hating are his talents.)

If you think that non-gender-conforming students don’t have any significant problems in our public schools, know that in Oakland this past week, a 16-year-old thug set fire to the skirt that an 18-year-old was wearing while the latter was riding a public bus. The 18-year-old, whose birth name is Luke Fleischman, reportedly considers him-/herself neither male nor female, but “agender” or of “nonbinary gender,” and goes by the name Sasha.

Sasha now is in a burn unit in San Francisco with second- and third-degree burns. (I would contribute to Sasha’s recovery fund, but they’ve met their goal and aren’t accepting any more donations right now.)

This shit happened right here in California, and it’s exactly this kind of shit that AB 1266 was meant to stop.

But the “tea-party” traitors and their ilk are perfectly OK with gender-conformity-related persecution, even such persecution of minors, continuing. (Because Jesus and God want it that way!)

But probably more common that such attacks as the one on Sasha are such incidents as the eighth-grader in Kansas who recently was suspended from school for carrying a purse. Reports a local news outlet:

A 13-year-old Kansas eighth grader says he was suspended from school for carrying a purse.

Skylar Davis says the Vera Bradley purse is his form of expression. He adds that girls carry purses, so he should be able to do the same. Skylar’s vice-principal disagreed and told him to stop carrying the bag.

When Skylar refused, he was suspended. His mother questions the suspension because she found no mention of bags or purses in the school handbook.  She also questions the timing since Skylar has been carrying the bag since August.

The school has not commented on the suspension.

So fuck, not only do our non-gender-conforming students have to take prejudice, discrimination and abuse from their peers, who at least perhaps can be at least partially excused for their actions because of their immaturity, but our non-gender-conforming students have to experience such treatment even from the so-called “adults” whose duty it is to foster their well-being. (This news story, by the way, leads me to believe that very little has changed in many if not most American public schools since my bigoted asshole of a principal in junior high school tried to talk me out of taking home economics.)

I hope that Skylar’s family sues the school for the suspension that was based upon prejudice, discrimination and bigotry. And the chauvinistic vice principal needs to be reprimanded at the very least, and such suspensions need to cease and desist.

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Cooper tarnishes his coming out with ‘no one else’s business’ business

Anderson Cooper arrives at the 39th Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills

Reuters photo

“The fact is, I’m gay, always have been, always will be, and I couldn’t be any more happy, comfortable with myself, and proud,” CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who long had been rumored to be gay, proclaimed in his official coming-out e-mail that was released today. Cooper’s explanation for why it took him so long to come out, however, indicates some degree of internalized homophobia that perhaps even he isn’t aware of. (Cooper is photographed above at last month’s Daytime Emmy Awards in Beverly Hills.)

While I’m pleased that CNN anchor Anderson Cooper finally came out of the closet — and pleased with most of what he has stated in regards to his coming out, such as that “visibility [for non-heterosexuals] is important, more important than preserving my reporter’s shield of privacy” — damn, he just had to say just one “little” thing that, for me, tarnished it.

“In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business, but I do think there is value in standing up and being counted,” he stated in his coming-out e-mail to his long-time friend the right-wing gay blogger Andrew Sullivan, who published the e-mail with Cooper’s approval.

While I agree with that latter part — that there is value in standing up and being counted as non-heterosexual, because otherwise some (presumably heterosexual) people might otherwise think that there really aren’t that many of us non-heterosexuals — what the fuck is “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business”?

Heterosexuals generally don’t assert that their sexual orientation is no one else’s business. Heterosexual celebrities (actors and other artists, politicians, TV news/“news” anchors, et. al.) generally have no problem being seen in public with and/or talking publicly about their opposite-sexed mates, if they have an opposite-sexed mate, whether they are married or not. They generally don’t take the stance that their heterosexuality is no one else’s business — because they aren’t ashamed of their heterosexuality.

Heterosexual journalists aren’t seen as violating some journalistic ethic if they let the world in on the “secret” that they are heterosexual, so why does Anderson Cooper essentially state, in his apparent justification for his having dragged his feet for so long in coming out of the closet, that he had thought that to do otherwise would have been unprofessional?

Why would a gay man assert that his homosexuality is no one else’s business, and why would a gay male journalist act as though divulging his sexual orientation would be unprofessional, unless, at least on some level and to some degree, he is ashamed of his sexual orientation?

True, whatever the silver fox Coop likes to do sexually (or whether he even has an active sex life at all) is none of our business. It’s none of our business if he’s a top or a bottom, if he spits or if he swallows or if he won’t allow a dick inside of his mouth at all, if he’s ever done anal or if he’s anal-phobic, if he’s chocolate or if he’s vanilla, whether he masturbates (of course he does) and if so, how and how often, etc., etc.

But if there is nothing wrong with being gay, as Cooper says he believes — he proclaimed in his coming-out e-mail:

It’s become clear to me that by remaining silent on certain aspects of my personal life for so long, I have given some the mistaken impression that I am trying to hide something —something that makes me uncomfortable, ashamed or even afraid. This is distressing because it is simply not true.

— why, then, the rather revealing counter-statement that “In a perfect world, I don’t think it’s anyone else’s business”?

Cooper has, I suspect, residual shame over his homosexuality, which, in such a homophobic and sex-shaming society, I can’t entirely blame him for — neither he nor none of us exists in a vacuum — but I would hope that all of us gay men and lesbians and other assorted non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals do the self-examination that is necessary for us to identify the homophobia that we all too often carry, to some degree, within ourselves.

Most of us non-heterosexuals, I believe, have some degree of internalized homophobia, and it is worth it for us to identify it and to work to dig it up by its roots. But until we first identify it, we can’t eradicate it.

Yes, our sexual orientation is everyone else’s business. It is an important and a basic part of ourselves, of who and what we are.

To assert otherwise is to lie — to lie to others, and worse, to ourselves.

Man up, Coop — your sexual orientation, as mine and everyone else’s, always was, is, and always will be our business.

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There goes the men’s vote

Rick Santorum (centre) attends a prayer service at the Path of the Cross church in San Juan, Puerto Rico, this week

AFP photo

While as president of the United States the “Christo”fascist Prick Santorum would be dangerous, Gallup’s daily tracking polls show that the wingnut doesn’t have even the support of a full one-third of the Repugnican Tea Party — thank God. (Prick is shown above “praying” in Puerto Rico, which he says should embrace English, despite the fact that the nation has been Spanish-speaking since shortly after Christopher Columbus claimed it for the Spanish crown way back in 1493…) [This reminds me of that wonderful saying of anthropologist Wade Davis: “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you; they are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”])    

The more papal pronouncements that “Christo”fascist Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Prick Santorum makes, the more obvious it is why he lost his last election — re-election to the U.S. Senate for Pennsylvania — by a whopping 18 percent.

Santorum’s latest crusade for the Vatican is his promise that as president, he would instruct his attorney general — remember former wingnut Attorney General John Ashcroft putting giant drapes in front of a U.S. Justice Department statue with (gasp!) a bared boob? — to prosecute those accused of distributing pornographic material that the Santorum administration (shudder) deems “obscene.”

Wow. It was one thing, I suppose, for Santorum to pick on women, opposing not just abortion but even birth control, but now he is threatening millions and millions of American men that he will cut off their steady supply of “obscene” pornography.

“Obscene” pornography — and I’m not sure what counts as “obscene” to Prick Santorum; would Playboy be “obscene”? (It very apparently would be to John Ashcroft, the kind of attorney general that Santorum would pick) — “can be very damaging,” Santorum has decreed papally.

Emissions from fossil fuels are far more damaging than is pornography — I mean, no more Homo sapiens and pornography certainly will be a moot point — and alcohol and tobacco products demonstrably are “very damaging,” as are sugary and fatty foods, but Santorum has yet to tackle any of those evils.

Corporations, which put obscene profiteering way above people and the planet and which crush the human spirit like something out of “The Matrix,” are “very damaging,” as is permanent bogus warfare for the war profiteering of the military-industrial complex (indeed, military overspending perhaps is the No. 1 factor in the collapse of the American empire). Is Prick Santorum going to take on the sacred cows that are the corporations and the military-industrial complex?

And how about guns — aren’t guns more dangerous than is pornography? Don’t guns kill far more people than does porn? Is Prick Santorum, who is so fucking eager to protect us all from ourselves, going to take on the gun lobby? 

In the same year (1973) that the U.S. Supreme Court decided the issue of abortion in Roe vs. Wade, in Miller vs. California the court decided the issue of “obscenity” with what came to be called “the Miller test,” which essentially leaves it to the states or other locales to determine what is and what is not “obscene.” (And obviously, what is widely considered to be “obscene” in Salt Lake City, for instance, and what is considered to be “obscene” in such places as New York City, Los Angeles and San Francisco are very different.)

The Miller ruling fairly explicitly prohibits the federal government from imposing a nationally uniform standard on “obscenity,” yet this is exactly what Prick Santorum promises to do as president.

Apparently, all that “the Miller test” allows in all 50 states is mere nudity (without sexual activity, presumably — and I suppose that masturbation would be sexual activity, and perhaps even an erection is indicative of sexual activity) and, according to Wikipedia’s entry on “obscenity,” “male-to-female vaginal-only penetration that does not show the actual ejaculation of semen, sometimes referred to as ‘soft-core’ pornography wherein the sexual act and its fulfillment (orgasm) are merely implied to happen rather than explicitly shown.” (So, if Prick Santorum’s crusade against porn were taken to its extreme, apparently Playboy would be allowed, but not much else. [And indeed, Playboy is pretty tame by today’s standards of porn, probably so that it can be distributed in all 50 states without Miller-related local interference.])

In my book, Miller vs. California is woefully outdated — indeed, the availability of wonderfully raunchy Internet porn in all 50 states, which probably could not have been foreseen in 1973, pretty much makes Miller moot — and thus deeply flawed. In my book, the First Amendment covers all forms of sexually oriented expression with the exception of such things as child pornography and other forms of sexually oriented activity in which the participants are not consenting but are forced. (It is legally recognized that minors, because of their young age, cannot consent, and that certain intellectually incompetent individuals cannot consent, either.) Other than that, willing, consenting participants who are of age should be able to have just about whatever they want to do sexually be visually recorded if they so wish.

I probably digress a little, but I know that millions and millions of men — and, of course, plenty of liberated women — of all sexual orientations are with me when we say collectively to Prick Santorum: You will have to pry our “obscene” porn from our cold, dead fingers.

This “freedom” that the wingnuts bloviate about so much, yet so many of them want to impose their own backasswards religious and “moral” beliefs on the rest of us just like the theofascists of the Taliban wish to impose their own backasswards “moral” code and religious beliefs upon other people. That’s not fucking “freedom.” That’s theofascism. That’s why I call these far-right-wing traitors “Christo”fascists (with the quotation marks because the one thing they most definitely are not is Christian.)

It is very simple, ridiculously simple: If you oppose abortion, then do not have an abortion. If you oppose contraception, then do not use contraception (although those who contribute to overpopulation are major fucking assholes). If you oppose same-sex marriage, then do not marry someone of your own sex. If you oppose pornography, then do not consume pornography.

As I pointed out, Americans’ freedom allows them — us — to possess and/or to consume or use even things that demonstrably, and not even arguably, are harmful to us, such as firearms, cigarettes, booze, certain prescription drugs that easily are abused, and junk food.

Our personal “salvation” is our own to work out as individuals — it’s not the job of Prick Santorum, acting as the puppet of Pope Palpatine, to “save” us against our will.

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The Ides of October

Herman Cain has proposed a so-called "9-9-9" tax plan that would tax people, businesses and sales at a flat nine percent

AFP photo

Maybe “666” wasn’t the best photo op after all… (I mean, it’s pretty pathetic when Michele Bachmann is shown to maybe have been correct about anything.) Anyway, Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Herman Cain has been accused of having sexually harassed at least two women while on the job. Why do I tend to believe that he is guilty as charged? 

So last night I saw the George Clooney political movie “The Ides of March,” which is about how a good old-fashioned sex scandal can bring down a presidential campaign. (While not as good as Clooney’s “Good Night, and Good Luck,” “The Ides of March” is watchable.)

And then, later last night, I saw the headlines that top-tier Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Herman Cain has been accused of having been accused of sexual harassment at least twice in the mid- to late 1990s when he was the top dog of the National Restaurant Association.*

Wow. What timing.

Of course the Cain campaign vehemently denies that Cain ever sexually harassed anyone. (Cain — who, for some fucking reason, many people actually claim is a good speakereven asked a POLICITO reporter who had asked him about the sexual harassment allegations if he [the reporter] had ever been accused of sexual harassment. Yeah, very presidential.)  

While I believe that even a wingnutty scumbag like Cain is (at least more or less) innocent until proven otherwise, the thing is, I still believe Anita Hill, and it looks as though we have another Clarence-Thomas-type of scandal unfolding right about now.

More locally, when he was running in the bullshit do-over California gubernatorial election of 2003, former California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger was accused of having sexually harassed — even sexually assaulted — several women during his years in Hollywood. The Schwarzenegger campaign essentially called all of these women liars. Maria Shriver of the Democratic Kennedy dynasty publicly stated that she stood by her Repugnican man, which helped Schwarzenegger to usurp the governorship from the duly re-elected Democratic governor, Gray Davis.

Then, after his governorship ended in January of this year, Schwarzenegger in May admitted, after he’d been outed by the Los Angeles Times, that he had knocked up his housekeeper and that she had borne his son in 1997. Obviously, had the state’s voters known this juicy fact in 2003, they never would have voted for Schwarzenegger in the Repugnican-orchestrated gubernatorial recall election, and Maria Shriver, understandably, is keeping a very low profile here in California these days.

Gee, if he knocked up his housekeeper, do you think that Baby Daddy Schwarzenegger may actually have sexually harassed all of those (other) women after all?

It all boils down to this, methinks: Men who woefully mistakenly believe that they are qualified for high political office, such as the presidency or the governor of the nation’s most populous state, even when they never have held any elected office before — and both Cain and Schwarzenegger fit this description — obviously have issues with power.

Politics is the exercise of power, as is sexual harassment. (Many of us don’t like to talk about issues of power, which is why sex, politics and religion, which are so interchangeable and which all have to do with the exercise of power, are such taboo topics even though they probably are the most important topics that we possibly could discuss.)

Do I know that Herman Cain is guilty as charged? No. I wasn’t there. But if I had to bet a large sum of money on it, which way would I go?

I’d bet that Herman Cain is another Clarence Thomas.

And it’s a slap in the faces of all women to automatically call any woman a liar when she reports sexual harassment — especially when most of the time such allegations turn out to be quite true.

And after the likes of Clarence Thomas and Arnold Schwarzenegger, do we really want to get punk’d again by another sexual harasser, a man who has demonstrated that he cannot wield his personal (political) power responsibly?

*The website POLITICO broke the story, reporting:

During Herman Cain’s tenure as the head of the National Restaurant Association in the 1990s, at least two female employees complained to colleagues and senior association officials about inappropriate behavior by Cain, ultimately leaving their jobs at the trade group, multiple sources confirm to POLITICO.

The women complained of sexually suggestive behavior by Cain that made them angry and uncomfortable, the sources said, and they signed agreements with the restaurant group that gave them financial payouts to leave the association. The agreements also included language that bars the women from talking about their departures.

In a series of comments over the past 10 days, Cain and his campaign repeatedly declined to respond directly about whether he ever faced allegations of sexual harassment at the restaurant association. They have also declined to address questions about specific reporting confirming that there were financial settlements in two cases in which women leveled complaints.

POLITICO has confirmed the identities of the two female restaurant association employees who complained about Cain but, for privacy concerns, is not publishing their names. … [Full story here.]

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We won’t have Weiner to beat up anymore

It’s no shock to learn that embattled U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner of New York, who perhaps has been attacked even more by his fair-weathered cohorts within the Democratic Party than he has been by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors, is going to resign.

How this helps the Dems I’m not certain. Oh, wait, I forgot: They don’t give a shit about us “professional leftists,” those of us who actually give money and who are politically active (or who would like to be, anyway, if our interests were ever actually fucking represented). The Dems care only about the precious “swing voters,” those who, when they don’t have something else more important to do, actually step inside of a voting booth with their Magic 8 Ball in order to make their ballot decisions.

And we can’t have the precious “swing voters” thinking that the Democrats are OK with — gasp! — penises!

Weiner’s resignation — and the fact that it stems from at least as much as the cowardice and the sanctimoniousness and the pseudo-Victorian hypocrisy of the so-called Democrats than it stems from pressure from the bottom-feeders on the right — make me, for one, less likely to support the Democratic Party in the wake of Weiner.

If I’m going to devote my time, energy and money to a political party, I’d like to know that in exchange for that, that party is going to stand up and fight, not cave in.

Increasingly I see little difference between the craven corporate whores of the Repugnican Tea Party and the craven corporate whores of the Democratic Party. The two parties are like Coke and Pepsi: They’re hard to distinguish and both of them are bad for you.

Weiner at least now knows who his true friends really are, and he can take solace in the fact that he’ll be much better off without such “friends.”

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Save us from the new ‘feminists’!

Nancy Pelosi

Debbie Wasserman Schultz

Associated Press photos

“Democratic” U.S. Reps. Nancy Pelosi and Debbie Wasserman Schultz are coming for your balls (or ovaries…) next!

U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner wisely has decided to take a timeout from “Weinergate,” requesting a leave of absence from the U.S. House of Representatives.

He claims that he is going into treatment, although for what, exactly, I am not sure. Treatment for sex addiction, that is, for sexually compulsive behavior that has disrupted his life? Treatment for the 46-year-old’s apparent midlife crisis, as evidenced by the fact that he even took a picture of his toned and depilated chest — and by the fact that he even depilated his chest in the first place? 

In any event, whether Weiner truly believes that he needs treatment for something or not, it’s a great political move, whether it was intended to be a great political move or not, because now those who are calling for his resignation appear to be self-righteous assbites who are attacking a man who only wants to overcome his problem(s).

Sadly and pathetically, these self-righteous assbites aren’t only members of the treasonous Repugnican Tea Party.

The other day I remarked that

… I don’t expect the spineless Democrats in D.C. to support the now-politically-radioactive Weiner — and that’s how most politicians are, of course: they’re your “friends” only if they perceive it still to be in their best personal political interests — and without the support of his fellow Democrats in D.C., I don’t know if Weiner can politically survive being frozen out of his own party, even if he strives to survive politically.

and

… for the Democrats to cave into this kind of sexual blackmail — instead of fighting back and changing the game instead of playing along with the wingnuts’ game – is yet another example of the spectacular spinelessness and political ineptitude that we’ve come to know and loathe about the Democratic Party.

Am I prophetic or what?

I wrote those words before Democratic Party House leader Nancy Pelosi — whom all of us everywhere on the political spectrum are pretty fucking sick and tired of, I think — and new Democratic National Committee chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (who, up to now, I’ve kinda liked) both publicly expressed their belief that Weiner should resign.

Problem is, in a recent poll, 56 percent of Weiner’s constituents said that he should not resign.

So whose best interests are the likes of Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz looking out for? Their own, perhaps?

Is this the new “feminism,” in which self-proclaimed “feminists” cooperate with and enable the hypocritical right wing in its attempt to shame others over the fact that they are sexual beings?

By just giving the likes of wingnut Andrew Breitbart what he wants (Weiner’s head on a silver platter for Breitbart’s own petty ego), are “feminists” like Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz helping the cause of sexual liberation for everyone, for men as well as for women, or are they only aiding and abetting the sexually hypocritical right wing because they are lazy, self-serving cowards who just want to do the most politically expedient thing, which is to excommunicate Weiner?

Perhaps more to the point: Does Nancy Pelosi want every American male to be castrated? I mean, I generally have opposed the right wing’s attacks on her as being misogynist in spirit, but now I’m starting to wonder about the woman.

This is the deal: Anthony Weiner has not been accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual battery. He has not been accused of having sexually forced himself on anyone, in person or via cyberspace. He has acknowledged that he has had some consensually sexually oriented communications with several women, even after he got married. He claims that he has not had physical sexual contact with these women, and there is no evidence to contradict this claim.

What has happened is that some of these sexually oriented communications of his were made public for some petty wingnuts’ petty political gain. In my book, his privacy has been violated. (I reject the claim that elected officials are not entitled to any privacy. Perhaps legally their right to privacy is diminished, but morally and ethically, in my view, they have as much a right to privacy as does anyone else.)

If Weiner has wronged anyone, I suppose, he has wronged his wife — but that’s between him and his wife. And for all we know, they have an open marriage. We don’t know. It’s their marriage. Not ours. Not any of our fucking business.

But sanctimonious types like Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz, by stupidly calling for Weiner’s resignation instead of just keeping their mouths shut — which almost always is an option, by the way — are only making it not only possible, but more likely that bottom-feeders like the blackmailing Andrew Breitbart will try to destroy the careers of progressive politicians by searching everywhere and anywhere for any salacious dirt on them.

We owe it, in fairness, to Weiner and to everyone accused of sexual impropriety to look at exactly what the allegations are and to proceed only from such a careful examination. To recap some fairly recent U.S. House of Representatives sex scandals that resulted in resignations:

  • Repugnican Rep. Mark Foley resigned in September 2006 after it was alleged that he had sent sexually explicit messages to underaged male congressional pages. So the main problem here (besides Foley’s apparent then-closetedness [he reportedly is out of the closet now, by the way]) is that the alleged victims were underaged and that a U.S. representative apparently was greatly abusing his power over his much less powerful staffers. It is reasonable to expect a U.S. representative who has sexually harassed any of his or her staffers to resign or to be expelled from the House.
  • Democratic Rep. Eric Massa resigned in March 2010 after it was alleged that he had sexually harrassed at least one male staffer. Massa reportedly used sexually charged language with his male staffer or staffers (he copped to having used “salty” language from his Navy days) and apparently he thought it appropriate to continuously tickle at least one male staffer on at least one occasion. (A supervisor just doesn’t tickle or otherwise prolongedly touch his or her supervisees.) The problem here, again, is that of (apparent/alleged) sexual harassment, compounded by the fact of the power differential between the accused and his alleged victim(s).
  • Repugnican Rep. Christopher Lee resigned in February 2011 after it was revealed that he’d sent a shirtless pic of himself to a woman (a male-to-female transsexual?) whom he was trying to pick up on Craigslist. (The woman [MTF?] herself outed Lee to the sleazy website Gawker, and Lee resigned the same day that Gawker ran the story.) Besides sending the sexually charged (but not X-rated) image of himself, the heterosexually married Lee apparently also lied about his marital status. While creepy, as I noted at the time, Lee apparently was guilty of no more than attempted infidelity and being in the grip of a midlife crisis. He was not accused of sexual harassment, sexual assault or sexual battery. Therefore, as I noted at the time, I don’t see that his resignation was called for, and I still see the matter as having been between him and his wife.

So the dog-piling upon Weiner seems to come primarily from the belief that a member of the U.S. House of Representatives may not be sexual outside of (heterosexual, of course) marriage — because sex is dirty, sex is wrong, sex is sinful, etc., and a member of the “lofty” U.S. House of Representatives just should not be acting in any way that is sexual, because sex is only for animals — and for unhappily but dutifilly married heterosexual couples.

Meanwhile, it’s widely considered perfectly OK for fucktarded, wingnutty U.S. representatives like Repugnican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher to do such things as to announce in Iraq that Iraq should repay the United States for the cost of the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War.* (Of course, “unelected,” “illegal,” “immoral,” etc. are my words, not his.)

Now, I find it much more reprehensible that a textbook stupid white man like Dana Rohrabacher would be in another nation making foreign-policy pronouncements for the United States of America as though he had been elected fucking president than I find it reprehensible that Anthony Weiner apparently is going through a midlife crisis a la former Rep. Christopher Lee.

The actions of Rohrabacher and his ilk at least border on treason if they don’t actually cross the line into treasonous territory, yet they are not so much as slapped on the wrist. Weiner has only offended some sexually repressed hypocrites’ sensibilities — boo fucking hoo! — and yet there are calls for his resignation.

And it’s sad and pathetic to hear those calls coming from self-professed feminists**, who spit on the grave of the actual feminists who actually fought for sexual freedom for women. Because the so-called “feminists” who are calling for Weiner’s resignation aren’t advancing the sexual freedom of women, but are diminishing the sexual freedom of all of us because they enable the sexually hypocritical right wing to use our sexuality against us.

Shame on them.

P.S. My defense of Weiner as of late extends only to “Weinergate.” I do not agree with him on every issue, such as his ass-licking of Israel. Like way too many Jewish (and non-Jewish) members of Congress, he is unable to be anything even remotely like fair and evenhanded where it comes to Israel, which can do no wrong and is never guilty of terrorism or any other crime against humanity, even though the angelic Israelis have slaughtered far more innocent Arabs than vice-versa since the state of Israel woefully misguidedly was imposed upon the Middle East in the aftermath of World War II.

*Iraq asked Rohrabacher and his contingent to leave because of Rohrabacher’s incredibly fucktarded remarks, which reportedly included, “Once Iraq becomes a very rich and prosperous country… we would hope that some consideration be given to repaying the United States some of the mega-dollars that we have spent here in the last eight years.”

Gee, I don’t recall that Iraqis ever asked for the March 2003 invasion of their soverign nation that the United Nations Security Council had refused to rubber stamp for the Bush regime and that has resulted in the deaths of tens of thousands of Iraqi civilians.

**Not just to pick on Pelosi and Wasserman Schultz (and some other “feminist” women in Congress, such as Rep. Allyson Schwartz of Pennsylvania, the very first House “Democrat” to stupidly publicly call for Weiner’s resignation), because I’ve also seen so-called “progressive”/“feminist” women writers also dog-pile upon Weiner, including one who apparently believes that it’s up to her to decide whether or not another woman has been sexually harassed (novel!).

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