Tag Archives: U.S. Supreme Court

On civility and the lack thereof

Updated below (on Thursday, June 28, 2018)

Image result for U.S. Civil War South surrenders

It’s feeling like it’s long past time to become “civil” again…

The writers of fivethirtyeight.com today posted an interesting chat on the topic of civility.

I agree, as usual, with Nate Silver’s take on civility (as I understand his take on it, anyway): There’s a huge difference between a full-on assault on democracy and merely rude words or actions.

Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Goebbels being asked to leave a quaint restaurant because she’s a Nazi spokesweasel, for instance: not actually a threat to the bedrock of our democracy. My calling Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Goebbels “Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Goebbels”: also not actually a threat to the bedrock of our democracy. (Neither is profanity, but over the years I’ve been slammed for my use of profanity here, even while our democracy is dismantled by fascist traitors, piece by piece, before our very fucking eyes.)

The Repugnican Party, under the “leadership” of Senate Majority “Leader” Yertle McConnell, refusing to allow former President Barack Obama to appoint a successor to the late U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia, even though Obama still had more than 11 months left in his presidency when Scalia kicked the bucket in February 2016, not only was uncivil, but it violated the nation’s preceding history and tradition, destroyed any trust that anyone possibly could have in the Repugnican Party to act in good faith ever fucking again, dealt yet another bloody blow to our democracy like the head of a helpless baby harp seal, and, in my book, violated the U.S. Constitution*, which all of the traitors of the Repugnican Party who participated in the Neil Gorsuch debacle had taken an oath to uphold, not to shit and piss upon.

Further, in my book, it was a treasonous act. Why? Because the majority of the American voters had voted Obama in for a second term in November 2012. (I was not one of them, but I recognize that he won the presidential election fairly and squarely, entirely unlike our last two Repugnican “presidents.”)

When the American voters gave Obama a second term, they knew fully well that the possibility existed that one of the members of the U.S. Supreme Court might die or otherwise become incapacitated during his second term. And they chose Obama, not Mittens Romney or the Repugnican Party, to be the one to make that decision.

But while the scaly Scalia’s body was still warm (well, the reptile probably never was warm, but that’s the saying), Yertle McConnell proclaimed, “The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president.”

Acting as though he was following the will of “the American people,” Yertle McConnell of course instead was following the will of his own craven, right-wing, anti-democratic party. He chose political expediency over doing the right thing, and, again, in my view, because he brazenly subverted the will of the American people as they had expressed it in the presidential election November 2012, Yertle committed treason. The people had voted; he then told them to go fuck themselves.

(No, not literally. Because that, you see, would have been “uncivil,” and we cannot have any incivility! It’s perfectly fine to commit treason, you see, but to cuss is the worst thing that you can do [well, outside of tossing the hungry, hungry Sarah Huckabee Sanders-Goebbels from a restaurant].)

That’s how the Repugnicans operate: They fastidiously strain out tiny gnats yet gulp camels whole (except, of course, they find it in their three-chambered reptilian hearts to make exception after exception for “President” Pussygrabber’s incessant vulgarities).

And it’s funny — Pussygrabber recently called the 5-4 Gorsuch Court’s** ruling upholding his hateful, discriminatory ban on Muslims from the United States to be “a tremendous victory for the American people and the Constitution.”

Bullshit.

The treasonous (redundant) Repugnican Party, acting in bad faith and treasonously against the wishes of the American people that they already had articulated via the democratic process, denied our nation’s first black president the right that at least in modern history had been granted to every previous (and white) president without hesitation: the right to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Such a treasonous subversion of our Constitution and our democracy — and anything that stems from it — is no “victory for the American people and the Constitution.”

Neil Gorsuch, like “President” Pussygrabber, is illegitimate. Yes, it matters how you came into a position of power, whether you did it legitimately and fairly or whether you did it illegitimately and unfairly.

Millions of more voters cast their votes for Billary Clinton than for Pussygrabber, yet we tell our young people to vote, that their votes matter, even though at least twice in my lifetime, two of our “presidents” didn’t even fucking win the highest number of votes.

Because Obama was denied his constitutional right, as president, to fulfill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court when he still had more than 11 full months in office to go, Gorsuch always will be illegitimate to me, as will be all of his decisions, all of which only can be the fruit of the poisonous tree (even if he should ever make a decision that I actually agree with).

The only good news in all of this is that the Repugnican traitors have to cheat to “succeed.” They can’t win the popular vote (and have to have the help of Russia to even win the Electoral College, which should have been abolished ages ago) and they have to subvert laws and historical norms to get what they want.

And I’m thinking that even given their reptilian brains, they have to know, in the back of their tiny little minds, that when they celebrate their “victories,” like today’s 5-4 Gorsuch Court summary execution of public-sector labor unions (which had been on the right-wing wish list for many, many years), it’s actually quite fucking hollow, because they had to fucking cheat to get those “victories.”

Another blog post, of course, is why we, the people, have allowed such bullshit as stolen presidential elections, bogus wars and stolen U.S. Supreme Court seats.

It might start with our apparent mass belief that we decent folk must at all times be “civil” — a belief that our treasonous, anti-democratic enemies on the right have demonstrated amply that they do not at all share.

Update (Thursday, June 28, 2018): I neglected to mention above that in April 2017, Yertle McConnell also had taken the “nuclear option” and changed long-standing Senate rules so that Neil Gorsuch could be confirmed by a simple majority of the senators instead of by 60 of them, as was the tradition. Gorsuch thereby was confirmed by only 54 votes.

Again, to get Gorsuch on the bench, the treasonous Repugnicans had to cheat — big time. I mean, it’s fucking uber-blatant: Losing? Just change the rules! Lower the bar so that you “win”!

Also, Yertle actually uttered these words yesterday after Supreme Court “Justice” Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement: “The Senate stands ready to fulfill its constitutional role by offering advice and consent … We will vote to confirm Justice Kennedy’s successor this fall.” (Was Yertle trolling us or is his pathological hypocrisy truly so egregious that he truly sees nothing wrong with it?)

So when the Repugnicans have the chance to fill a vacancy on the nation’s highest court, time is of the essencethe Constitution says so! But when a Democratic president (especially a black one) has the chance to fill a vacancy on the Supreme Court, he must be stonewalled for a year! It’s only fair!

The treasonous wingnuts among us treat the Constitution like they treat the Bible — they pick and choose, emphasize and ignore, based upon what is most politically and personally convenient for them at the moment. One moment it’s a sacred fucking document, and the next moment it’s toilet paper, to be used accordingly.

I always have been able to articulate exactly why I detest the Repugnican traitors (redundant) among us; for me it’s not rank tribalism. They get away with their treason only because we, the people, thus far haven’t done to them what they deserve to have done to them, but if they push the envelope much further — such as try to reverse Roe vs. Wade or actually try to revoke same-sex marriage — that might change.

Revolt always has been and always will be is a legitimate response to tyranny. When your democracy is being destroyed systematically by self-serving traitors whose lack of decency and lack of good faith know no bounds, it’s the only legitimate response.

*Yertle McConnell’s only loophole is that the U.S. Constitution does not give the U.S. Senate an actual, explicit deadline to vote on a new justice/“justice” to the U.S. Supreme Court after a vacancy. Still, long vacancies on the U.S. Supreme Court were common enough in the 1800s but have not been common in modern history; since 1970, the average court vacancy hasn’t lasted even a full 60 days.

McConnell & Co. certainly violated the spirit, if not the letter, of the Constitution, which grants the sitting (not the next) U.S. president the right to nominate a new Supreme Court justice/“justice,” and it’s sad that unless basic fucking decency is expressed explicitly in writing, craven traitors will subvert democracy to get their own way.

**I can only think of the current court as “the (5-4) Gorsuch Court” — because it contains an illegitimate “justice” named Neil Gorsuch, whose very presence on the court taints every court decision in which he participates.

I adamantly refuse to give the dint of legitimacy to those who are illegitimate, such as “President” George W. Bush, “President” Pussygrabber and “Justice” Gorsuch. You don’t reward the blatant theft of political power by doing anything to give it the air of legitimacy.

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Mini-Scalia Neil Gorsuch indeed would be the recipient of stolen property

As I noted at the time, then-President Barack Obama had had more than 11 months left in his second term to appoint a new U.S. Supreme Court justice after fascist piece of shit Associate “Justice” Antonin Scalia keeled over a year ago this month.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors — who now, of course, uber-hypocritically cry bloody fucking murder at any whisper of a hint of Democratic obstruction — for almost a year spectacularly denied Obama’s right to nominate a new justice, claiming that the people should decide.

“The people” whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors claim to wuv so fucking much had fucking decided, when they voted in November 2012 to keep Barack Obama in the White House. When they voted for Obama a second time, they knew fully well that during his next four years in office a seat on the U.S. Supreme Court might come open.

The Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ history-breaking refusal to fill a vacant seat on the nation’s highest court when the sitting president still had almost a year left in office was yet another serious blow to our democracy, not far enough behind how the Supreme Court in 2000 voted 5-4, along party lines, to put George W. Bush into the White House, even though, jut like “President” Pussygrabber, he had lost the popular vote.

This is how much the Repugnican Tea Party traitors truly love the American people: They’ll gladly shit and piss on the U.S. Constitution and wholly ignore presidential (and other) election results if they can get away with it. True to their fascist roots, pure, raw power — no matter how they get it — is all that they fucking care about.

Of course “President” Pussygrabber’s nominee to the vacancy on the Supreme Court, Neil Gorsuch, whose fascist mamma had to quit her job as head of the Environmental Protection Agency because she was destroying the agency for the benefit of her polluting, plutocratic, fascist buddies* — is yet another fascist piece of shit, but to me, his record is (almost) entirely irrelevant.

Anyone whom the Repugnican Tea Party traitors nominate now to the U.S. Supreme Court doesn’t deserve the seat because it will have been a stolen seat.

Yes, not just that you come to power, but how you come to power, fucking matters.

Just as I never will consider Pussygrabber to be the legitimate president of the United States of America because he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes and because he very, very apparently treasonously had a considerable amount of help from the enemy nation of Russia, I never will consider Scalia’s replacement to be a legitimate justice of the U.S. Supreme Court, because the anti-democratic, power-grubbing, wholly honor- and decency-free Repugnican Tea Party traitors deprived Barack Obama — and, by extension, the majority of the American people, who had voted for Obama in November 2012 — of the rightful right to name that justice.**

*Wikipedia notes of Ann Gorsuch Buford:

Gorsuch based her administration of the EPA on the New Federalism approach of downsizing federal agencies by delegating their functions and services to the individual states. She believed that the EPA was over-regulating business and that the agency was too large and not cost-effective.

During her 22 months as agency head [which spanned from part of 1981 through part of 1983], she cut the budget of the EPA by 22 percent, reduced the number of cases filed against polluters, relaxed Clean Air Act regulations, and facilitated the spraying of restricted-use pesticides.

She cut the total number of agency employees, and hired staff from the industries they were supposed to be regulating. Environmentalists contended that her policies were designed to placate polluters, and accused her of trying to dismantle the agency.

This is pretty much everyone whom “populist” “President” Pussygrabber has appointed to his cabinet: fascist plutocrats who want to destroy — for the benefit of themselves and their fascist, plutocratic buddies — the federal agencies that they’re supposed to strengthen.

Yet millions of mouth-breathers actually voted for Pussygrabber, incredibly stupidly believing the billionaire fascist’s lies that he actually gives a shit about us commoners.

**No, I’m not an Obamabot. I voted for Obama in 2008, believing his ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change,” but not in 2012, since he didn’t fulfill his campaign promises in his first term, and as I don’t believe in rewarding broken campaign promises with another vote.

I frequently have criticized Obama here, and that’s because he campaigned as a progressive but actually presided from the center to the center-right. (To paint his record as better than it is because he’s black is to be racist, just as to paint his record as worse than it is because he’s black is to be racist, so the self-defeating identity politicians, most of whom stupidly supported the widely despised, faux populist, Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton and whose obnoxious, hypocritical, self-serving bullshit helped to put Pussygrabber into the White House, can go fuck themselves furiously.)

All of that said, just as I had voted for Ralph Nader and not for Al Gore for president in 2000, knowing that Gore would win all of my state’s (California’s) electoral votes no matter how I fucking voted, and just as I fully recognize Gore as the rightful winner of that presidential election, although I voted for Jill Stein instead of Obama in 2012, of course I recognize Obama as the rightful winner of that election.

(And the pattern continues: I voted for Jill Stein again this past November, knowing that Billary Clinton would win all of my state’s electoral votes anyway, and I recognize only Billary as the rightful winner of that election [the fact that she and the Democratic National Committee worked closely together to fuck over the actual Democrat, Bernie Sanders, aside]).

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Ding-dong! Antonin Scalia is DEAD!

Updated below

FILE - In this June 17, 1986 file photo, President Ronald Reagan speaks at a news briefing at the White House in Washington, where he announced the nomination of Antonin Scalia, left, to the Supreme Court as a result of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's resignation. William Rehnquist is at right. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Justice Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Associated Press file photo

Hell has a new resident. The freshly late Antonin Scalia, left, is shown with then-President Ronald Reagan and then-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” William Rehnquist at a press conference in the White House in June 1986 at which Reagan announced his nomination of Scalia to the Supreme Court. Scalia — who, among others things, took issue with “the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture” and the “homosexual agenda,” and who believed that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee abortion rights but that it does support the death penalty (even for minors and for mentally retarded individuals), and who blatantly treasonously and anti-democratically put George W. Bush into the White House even though he had lost the 2000 presidential election to Al Gore — does not somehow magically become angelic in death, since everyone dies.

Wow.

Fascist U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning, apparently of natural causes, at a luxury ranch resort near Marfa, Texas, at age 79 after he hadn’t shown up for breakfast. At the time of his death he had been the longest-serving of the current members of the court. He was nominated by one of our worst presidents, Ronald Reagan, and mind-blowingly unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1986.

So President Barack Obama gets to nominate another U.S. Supreme Court justice, apparently.

Hopefully this means that 5-4 decisions from the nation’s highest court from here on out will mean decisions that lean to the left rather than to the right, as has been the case for far too long now.

P.S. Years ago, I saw Scalia speak at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I don’t remember most of what he said, as it was so long ago, but I do recall his defense of his strict, supposedly “originalist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and his wholehearted rejection of the view of the Constitution as a living document, which must evolve with the demands of the times.

I recall a woman in the audience lambasting him for his cold-bloodedness during the Q-and-A. His “defense” of his far-right-wing position on constitutional matters was something like, “Do you really want people like me deciding what the Constitution is all about?” (Sadly and pathetically, this “argument” seemed to disarm the angry woman, who then actually apologized to him.)

Anyway, that’s what Scalia did anyway during his time on the U.S. Supreme Court: he interpreted the Constitution to fit his own, far-right-wing political ideology, which included preventing the expansion of freedom beyond those who belong to the elite and otherwise defending the socioeconomic status quo. (It’s only an “activist” judge if it’s a left-leaning judge, you see.)

Update: This was predictable: Politico reports that Repugnican Tea Party Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be filled until after the presidential election in November.

Bullshit.

President Barack Obama still has more than 11 full months in office. (Inauguration Day will be January 20, 2017.)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” the tortoise-like McConnell fascistically proclaimed in a statement.

The American people have had a voice. They elected Barack Obama twice. When they elected Obama for a second term in November 2012, they knew fully well (or should have known, anyway) that he would have the power to nominate, if necessary, a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term.

The Constitution says that the president nominates, and that the Senate must confirm, all new justices to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any constitutional (or other legal) deadline for this process once there is a vacancy. However, the suggestion of the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party that President Obama should be deprived of the president’s constitutional privilege of nominating an individual to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is yet another example of their treason and their treasonous hatred of democracy when the democratic process does not go their way (such as their full support of the blatant electoral theft of the White House in 2000).

Surely if Obama were a Repugnican Tea Party president in his last year in office (and if he were white), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors would demand that any vacancy on the nation’s highest court be filled ASAP, presidential election year or not. They would argue that our democratic process demands it.

Fucking hypocrites.

Holding up the replacement of the abominable Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court when the duly-twice-elected President Obama has more than 11 months to go would be yet another anti-democratic act of war — and treason — against the American people and should be reacted to accordingly.

More than enough is more than enough!

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Throw ‘Christian’ ‘martyr’ Kim Davis to the lions! (Or, A Modest Proposal)

Kim Davis, meet Cecil’s cousin! Cecil’s cousin, meet Kim Davis!

Kim Davis, the insane Kentucky county clerk and shameless attention whore who has made a name for herself by staunchly refusing (in the name of “God”) to do her job of granting marriage licenses to same-sex couples, has achieved the “martyrdom” that she had been seeking; for having violated the will of even the U.S. Supreme Court, a federal judge today finally put her treasonous, theocratic ass in jail, where she belongs.

I have a better idea: Let’s really make Davis a “Christian” “martyr” and throw her to African lions!

After all, an American wingnut killed Cecil the African lion; we Americans owe it to the African lions to feed them an American wingnut, do we not?

But seriously, I have zero sympathy for Davis, who, in typical “Christian” fashion, claims victimhood for herself while she victimizes others.

The Bible – which was written centuries ago by ignorant people – might be against same-sex marriage, but who ever was trying to force Davis (who infamously has been heterosexually married herself four times) into a same-sex marriage?

Same-sex marriage is now the law of the land, but the haters still get to hate non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals (in the name of “God” or not), and they still get to shun same-sex marriage for themselves. The U.S. Supreme Court’s quite-correct ruling in June that prohibitions against same-sex marriage violate the equal human and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution doesn’t violate anyone’s religious beliefs – it only prevents theocratic haters like Davis from discriminating against those of us who don’t share their knuckle-dragging, backasswards religious beliefs.

And it is our First-Amendment right not to share their antiquated and dangerous religious beliefs and to not have their antiquated and dangerous religious beliefs shoved down our throats.

This is the central problem: So-called “Christians” believe that the rest of us must follow their beliefs. It’s not enough for them that they believe their bullshit; the rest of us must, too. They must expand their Bible-based lunacy, these lunatics believe.

This is theocracy, and it is no more acceptable for “Christians” to attempt a theocratic takeover of the United States of America than it would be for theocrats like those of the Taliban, al Qaeda or ISIS to do so.

Kim Davis does not work for a church. She works for a county government, and county governments (as well as all state and local governments) are bound by the U.S. Constitution, by U.S. Supreme Court case law (the U.S. Supreme Court is the final arbiter on the U.S. Constitution), and by federal laws.

Kim Davis is no martyr, no victim, and she does have a choice: Do her job or quit her job — or remain in jail for her refusal to do her job.

This is justice.

God bless America!

Update: It’s being reported that five of the six of Davis’ deputies will begin to issue same-sex marriage licenses starting tomorrow. (The lone holdout is her son; the Podunk County clerk’s office reeks of nepotism, among other things.)

The federal judge who put Davis behind bars for her blatant contempt of court has indicated that he intends to keep her behind bars for a while to prevent her from trying to stop the issuing of the licenses.

Indeed, the constitutional rights of the many are far more important than is Davis’ bullshit claim that she’s simply defending her right to her religious beliefs by imposing them on others.

She can rot in jail for all that I care.

Or be thrown to the lions.

Either one.

Here’s her booking photo, by the way:

As others have noted, it’s ironic that she’s so homophobic, because she really could use some gay men to update her look to this millennium.

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We are the champions, my friends!

Supporters of gay marriage rally after the U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that the U.S. Constitution provides same-sex couples the right to marry

Reuters photo

Jubilant supporters of same-sex marriage celebrate in front of the U.S. Supreme Court today. (The huge red flag in front of them is marked with a pink equality sign.) In a landmark decision (Obergefell vs. Hodges), the nation’s highest court ruled 5-4 today that no state may outlaw same-sex marriage.

It was only in 2004 that former “President” George W. Bush – whose campaign manager at that time is a gay manused same-sex marriage as a wedge issue to help him “win” “re”-election. And it was only in 2008 that while the nation historically elected its first non-white president on November 4, the anti-same-sex-marriage Proposition H8 passed, 52 percent to 48 percent, here in California, the most populous state and one of the bluest states in the nation.

Today, the U.S. Supreme Court, in a long-overdue landmark decision, ruled that all 50 states must allow same-sex couples to marry. The decision isn’t exactly a shocker, as only 14 backasswards states before today’s decision had been holdouts on same-sex marriage. Indeed, apparently the nation’s highest court, which almost always is behind the curve, with 36 states already ahead of it on the legalization of same-sex marriage, had found it politically safe to rule, correctly, that the U.S. Constitution (specifically, the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment [and also the amendment’s Due Process Clause]) forbids any of the states from forbidding any two adults (who are consenting and who aren’t closely related to each other, of course…) from marrying each other.

I wish that today’s landmark decision had been greater than 5-4, but, of course, the wingnutty haters would argue that any decision by the U.S. Supreme Court affirming the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, even a unanimous one, somehow is tyrannical or undemocratic or oppressive or blah blah blah. (Just as elections are valid only when they go the wingnuts’ way, judges are “activist” only when they rule in a way that displeases the wingnuts, you see.)

However, recent nationwide polls unanimously show that a solid majority of Americans support same-sex marriage, with support anywhere from the upper 50s to low 60s.

I have no doubt that were the issue of same-sex marriage put up to a national vote – but let me emphasize that no one’s constitutionally guaranteed equal human and civil rights ever should be put up for a vote – a solid majority of Americans would vote “yes.” The U.S. Supreme Court today has not violated the will of the American people; it has only pissed off a minority of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards.

My same-sex partner of more than seven years and I have yet to marry, even though legalized same-sex marriage was restored in California in late June 2013. I’d like to say that we have been waiting for same-sex marriage to be the law of the land before we get married, that we haven’t wanted to wed until everyone in the United States may wed, but it’s probably closer to the truth that we can be slow to act on things on which we don’t absolutely have to act immediately.

That said, today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling is a milestone, right up there with Loving vs. Virginia, the 1967 U.S. Supreme Court decision that made it illegal for any of the states to outlaw mixed-race marriage.

And today’s Supreme Court decision probably will speed up my marriage to my partner. So maybe we more or less were waiting for this day after all.

P.S. While we’ve had a big victory today, the fight for equal human and civil rights for everyone continues, of course; there are no federal protections for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals in the the Civil Rights Act of 1964, for instance, and the Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA), which would protect non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals from being fired for being who they (we) are, repeatedly has been introduced in Congress since the 1990s but has yet to be passed.

But we’ll keep on fighting ’til the end.

P.P.S. Chief “Justice” John Roberts, in his dissent in Obergefell vs. Hodges, remarked, “The majority’s decision is an act of will, not legal judgment. The right it announces has no basis in the Constitution or this Court’s precedent. … Just who do we think we are? It can be tempting for judges to confuse our own preferences with the requirements of the law. …”

Funny. Roberts wasn’t on the court at the time, but his remarks (especially “Just who do we [U.S. Supreme Court justices/“justices”] think we are?”) make me think of Bush vs. Gore, the 5-4 2000 U.S. Supreme Court decision that put George W. Bush into the White House instead of the vote of the people.

(Al Gore won the popular vote by more than a half-million votes, and I’m confident that he won the pivotal state of Florida, where George W. Bush had a lot of help from his brother, then-Gov. Jeb Bush, and the state’s chief elections official, Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who wrongfully had purged likely Democratic voters from the state’s voter rolls.)

So legally flawed was Bush vs. Gore that the right-wing “justices” who elected George W. Bush to the White House explicitly stated in the ruling that the ruling applied only to the 2000 presidential election.

Again: A justice or judge is only “activist” if one disagrees with his or her ruling. Otherwise, the ruling was quite legally sound. Not that this is sore-loserism or anything.

And I find it awfully interesting that to the right wing it’s perfectly OK for the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court to do such things as pick a Repugnican as president, allow corporations and plutocrats to buy elections, and gut the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Yet should the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court actually do good instead of evil — such as by expanding freedom and civil rights to include everyone, which is in perfect line with such founding sentiments and declarations that “all men* are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness” (from the U.S. Declaration of Independence) and that we should “form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity” (from the preamble to the U.S. Constitution**) — the treasonous right wing cries bloody fucking murder.

P.P.P.S. Roberts also hatefully scribbled in his dissent that “however heartened the proponents of same-sex marriage might be on this day, it is worth acknowledging what they have lost, and lost forever: the opportunity to win the true acceptance that comes from persuading their fellow citizens of the justice of their cause. And they lose this just when the winds of change were freshening at their backs.”

Wow. What a colossal asshole. First of all, Roberts parrots the fascistic belief that we non-heterosexuals (and, to a greater extent, non-gender-conforming individuals) must beg and supplicate heterosexuals for our equal human and civil rights (which is our “cause” of which he speaks). Equal human and civil rights aren’t our birthright, you see; no, we are to be at the mercy of the heterosexual majority to deem us worthy or not.

This is sick, evil shit. Roberts is not fit to practice law as an ambulance chaser, much more sit as chief justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Moreover, as I noted, before today’s ruling, 36 states already had legalized same-sex marriage (without the nation subsequently imploding!), and nationwide polls consistently have shown solid-majority support for same-sex marriage.

Yet in Robert’s sick and fucking twisted, right-wing universe, we non-heterosexuals can’t win. Even when we actually are winning — actually, we already have won in the court of public opinion — he declares, against mountain ranges of reality, that we are losing public support just when we were on the cusp of winning it!

And when would Roberts ever have declared that we’d finally won this precious critical mass of support from the heterosexual majority? Never. It would have been a dream indefinitely deferred, of course.

It’s not the American public that is behind; it’s Roberts and his evil, fascistic ilk who are far, far behind.

*If the founders didn’t include women in their use of the word “men,” we include women now. That’s called progress, which, of course, is anathema to the retrogrades who comprise the right wing.

**Roberts concluded his mean-spirited dissent with this:

… If you are among the many Americans — of whatever sexual orientation — who favor expanding same-sex marriage, by all means celebrate today’s decision. Celebrate the achievement of a desired goal. Celebrate the opportunity for a new expression of commitment to a partner. Celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.

I respectfully dissent. [What a fucking lie — his entire dissent is incredibly disrespectful.]

Again, not only does the Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibit outlawing same-sex marriage because one finds it to be against the crap that is in the Bible (we’re not actually a fucking theocracy) or icky or whatever — rights can be denied only if actual harm can be demonstrated by the exercise of those rights (in which case they’re no longer actually rights, really), and the haters repeatedly have been unable in the courts of law to demonstrate any actual harm caused by same-sex marriage — but the preamble to the Constitution sets the tone and the intent of the entire document, methinks. And again, the preamble is this:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.

Key words there include “establish Justice,” “promote the general Welfare,” and “secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and Posterity.” (Mention of concern for “Posterity” seems to indicate that the authors of the Constitution did have an eye to the future, that they didn’t intend for the Constitution to be Frozen In Time.) And, of course, “a more perfect Union” means that you continue to improvenot that you advocate that the U.S. remain stuck where it was at its founding.

The wingnuts on the U.S. Supreme Court and those who love them claim that the U.S. Constitution says nothing about expanding freedom and justice for all, yet isn’t it there in the opening of the Constitution? Doesn’t the idea and the ideal of continual progress actually foreshadow the entire fucking document? And where does the Constitution say that only heterosexual, white, conservative, “Christian” men are to have equal human and civil rights, while the rest of us are to grovel at their feet for our equal human and civil rights, as Roberts very apparently believes?

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It’s long past time to ban the treasonous Confederate flag throughout the U.S.

Dylann Storm - flag

White supremacist, mass murderer and nutjob Dylann Storm Roof burns an American flag in an image of himself he posted on the Internet. He much has preferred the Confederate flag, you see, from another such image. (Gotta love the Gold’s Gym shirt on such a cowardly pipsqueak…)

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The nation of Germany wisely bans the public display of the Nazi flag or any other Nazi symbol. (Germany, in fact, “prohibits the distribution or public use of [Nazi] … flags, insignia, uniforms, slogans and forms of greeting.”)

Despite its ban on communications espousing (neo-)Nazism, Germany is viewed as a democratic nation that is not oppressive to its people. Germany’s ban is wise; it apparently is meant to prevent the resurgence of a system of right-wing hatred and terrorism that forever will be a stain on that nation.

Similarly, the United States of America should ban the public display of the Confederate flag. Period. (Other such dangerous forms of treasonous, terrorist communication also should be banned, but banning the Confederate flag would be a good start.)

The Confederate flag should, of course, be allowed to remain in museums and in history books. (Its continued use in Civil War re-enactments is, in my book, gray area, since these public events can be rallying points for those whose allegiance is to the Confederate flag — these can be white-supremacist rallies under the guise of “history education” or the like.)

Fact is, most public displays of the Confederate flag are treasonous. They are meant to signify one’s allegiance to an illegal, treasonous, breakaway, illegitimate, deeply racially oppressive “government” that was crushed by the democratically elected government of the United States of America long ago — and more often than not also to signify one’s white supremacism.

The Confederate flag is not neutral. Its public display is meant to strike fear and terror in others — as are the Nazi flag and the flag of ISIS, for example. There is an apt word for this: terrorism.

This is so indisputable that the right-leaning U.S. Supreme Court just this past week ruled that the state of Texas did not act unconstitutionally when it refused to allow a specialty license plate displaying the Confederate flag. (Even wingnutty idiot “Justice” Clarence Thomas was on board with the 5-4 decision.)

Reuters notes in its reportage of the fresh U.S. Supreme Court decision: “During the oral argument in the case in March, a major concern for some justices was that if the state has no say over what messages to allow, it would pave the way for other potentially offensive messages, such as images of Nazi swastikas or statements promoting the Islamist militant group al Qaeda.”

Reuters also notes:

… The [Supreme Court] found that Texas did not infringe on the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment free speech guarantee when it turned away the application by the Sons of Confederate Veterans. The group says it aims to preserve the “history and legacy” of soldiers who fought for the pro-slavery Confederacy in the U.S. Civil War.

“Free speech is a fundamental right to which all Americans are entitled, and today’s ruling upholds Texas’s specialty license plate program and confirms that citizens cannot compel the government to speak, just as the government cannot compel citizens to speak,” Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton said in a statement.

States can generate revenue by allowing outside groups to propose specialty license plates that people then pay a fee to put on their vehicle.

“I hate that we were turned down,” said Gary Bray, commander of the Texas division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

“We deserve the rights like anyone else to honor our veterans,” added Bray, who said his group likely will submit a revised design.

The state declined in 2010 to approve the plate with the Confederate flag. The flag in question, a blue cross inlaid with white stars over a red background, was carried by Confederate troops in the Civil War. …

The “preserving history” and “honoring our veterans” “arguments” for the public display of the Confederate flag are bullshit.

The history of the Civil War isn’t going away. It’s there forever. It’s quite well chronicled and well preserved, in books (fiction as well as non-fiction), in films, in documentaries, in museums, in historical artifacts, in historical documents, in public monuments, in cemeteries, etc., etc. It’s not going to be forgotten if Jeb or Jethro or Zeke or Cooter or Skeeter can’t fly his freak Confederate flag in front of his trailer or on his monster truck.

And the “honoring our veterans” “argument” flies no better here in the United States than it does in Germany, if the neo-Nazis there were to claim that they only wish to “honor” Germany’s Nazi “veterans.”

You say Confederate “veterans”; I say traitors. Traitors don’t deserve to be honored publicly. At best, the Confederate war dead should be remembered only as actors in a dark time in U.S. history, actors who supported a treasonous, deeply racially oppressive, illegitimate “government” — which makes them far from “heroes.”

Speech is free until it becomes hate speech, which predictably can bring harm to others. Hate speech — which includes the display of hateful flags or other symbols — so often precedes unprovoked violence that is based in the hatred of what and/or how someone else is, not based upon anything wrongful and/or harmful that someone else actually has done.

Dylann Storm Roof of South Carolina is an abject nutjob, of which I have no doubt, but the environment in which he grew up — South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union after the democratic election of Abraham Lincoln as president and even before his inauguration — very apparently was instrumental in pushing him over the edge.

The environment in which Roof grew up included the widespread acceptance of the Confederate flag, which still flies on the grounds of the state’s capitol (to “honor” “veterans” of the illegal, illegitimate, treasonous and racially and otherwise oppressive Confederacy, you see). Even worse, Roof’s car sports a state-issued Confederate-flag license plate.

Even Repugnican presidential loser Mittens Romney has called upon the state of South Carolina to remove the Confederate flag from its capitol grounds. (Unfortunately, he has not, to my knowledge, called for the eradication of the Confederate flag anywhere else in the state, such as on its license plates, for fuck’s sake.)

The widespread acceptance of the Confederate flag in the backasswards state of South Carolina no doubt contributed to the deaths — the murders — of the nine black Americans whom Dylann Storm Roof hatefully and cowardly gunned down in cold blood in their own historic church in Charleston on Wednesday night — after apparently having gained his victims’ trust.

Again, this is where free speech has become hate speech, and hate speech, because it so predictably can result in injury or murder, is not protected by the U.S. Constitution.

It is long past time to ban the public display of the Confederate flag, the terrorist symbol of the traitor and the white supremacist — the homegrown terrorist — everywhere in the United States of America (including, of course, on license plates, and yes, even on clothing), just as Germany similarly bans the public display of the Nazi flag.

The traitors who still pay allegiance to the long-defeated-and-defunct Confederacy would be lucky that we’re only eradicating their symbols. After all, the only good traitor and terrorist is a dead one.

The South — as the neo-Confederates think it should be — never will rise again. Not on the watch of those of us who are the true patriots, those of us who are ready for another civil war if the treasonous terrorists make another one necessary.

P.S. It’s rare, thank Goddess, that I ever see the Confederate flag here in Northern California. I still remember that some years ago, when I was at a demolition derby at a fair at a nearby Podunky town, a truck displaying the Confederate flag actually came out into the arena. My jaw dropped. (After the stomach-turning display of the Confederate flag on the truck, I sarcastically remarked to those whom I was with, because it looked like it might rain: “Oh, no! If it rains, how will we have the cross burning?”)

Minimally, the state governments and the federal government should be banned from the public display of, the sale of, or any other promotion of the Confederate flag, be it an actual flag or an image of the flag. (California, thankfully, already has such a statutory prohibition.)

You can sign this online petition to be delivered to the legislature and the governor of South Carolina demanding that the state remove the Confederate flag from all public places. It’s a start.

I also encourage you to make (as I have) a donation to the Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church, where the nine individuals were murdered in Charleston, South Carolina, on Wednesday. You can do so by going to the church’s website and clicking on “Donate.”

I’m an atheist (who pretty much supports “Christian” churches only in that it’s churches’ First Amendment right to exist) and a gay man — and the black church historically has been pretty homophobic, with which I have a real problem — but this was some seriously fucked-up shit, and if we can restore this congregation to some of its former wholeness, we should.

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With Ireland, yet another pink domino topples; next up, the United States

. Dublin (Ireland), 23/05/2015.- People reacting to results coming in from constituencies around Ireland suggesting an overwhelming majority in favour of the referendum on same-sex marriage, in Dublin, Ireland, 23 May 2015. The first results were declared in Ireland's historic vote on same-sex marriage, with every indication that the Yes side has won, as opponents of the measure conceded defeat. Sligo-North Leitrim in the north-west was the first of 43 constituencies to declare with a 53.6-per-cent vote in favour, followed by Waterford in the south-east with 60.3 per cent voting Yes. (Irlanda) EFE/EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

EFE/EPA/Aidan Crawley photo

People in Dublin celebrate the passage of same-sex marriage in the widely-considered conservative nation of Ireland yesterday by more than 60 percent of the vote. Of course, this isn’t all about the Catholick church; it’s about human rights and freedom.

The news story headline from today “Church reels after Ireland’s huge ‘Yes’ to gay marriage” made me giddily happy, but the news story misses so much. It begins:

Dublin (AFP) — The once-dominant Catholic Church in Ireland was trying to come to terms [today] with an overwhelming vote in favour of gay marriage, saying it needed a “new language” with which to speak to people.

As jubilant “Yes” supporters nursed their hangovers after partying late into the night following [yesterday’s] referendum result, the faithful attended mass to hear their priests reflect on the new social landscape in Ireland.

“The Church has to find a new language which will be understood and heard by people,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, one of the Church’s most senior figures, told reporters after mass at the city’s St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral.

“We have to see how is it that the Church’s teaching on marriage and family is not being received even within its own flock.”

He added: “There’s a growing gap between Irish young people and the Church and there’s a growing gap between the culture of Ireland that’s developing and the Church.”

The majority of Irish people still identify themselves as Catholic but the Church’s influence has waned in recent years amid growing secularisation [gotta love the British spelling] and after a wave of clerical child sex abuse scandals.

During the campaign, bishops spoke against changing the law, while older and rural voters were thought to have accounted for much of the “No” vote.

Final results showed 62 percent in favour and 38 percent against introducing gay marriage in a country where being homosexual was a crime until 1993. …

Many things strike me. Where to begin?

As much as I’d love to celebrate the death of the Catholick church, it’s not dead yet. For decades Europeans, Americans, Latin Americans and others throughout the world have been calling themselves Catholicks but have doing what they want to do anyway. They disagree with the church on many issues, such as birth control, abortion and same-sex relationships, but go about living their lives as they wish to live them anyway, but still giving at least lip service to having some fealty to the Catholick church. They have been living compartmentalized lives, and this doesn’t seem to bother them much, if they even think about it much at all.

This phenomenon of compartmentalization (in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, apparently) is quite old, and while of course Ireland being the first nation in the world to establish same-sex marriage at the ballot box (rather via a legislature or court of law) is a milestone in equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — probably especially because Ireland is considered to be a conservative nation — the Catholick church will continue to sputter on until its eventual demise.

Remember that 10 years ago in the heavily Catholick nation of  Spain, the parliament passed same-sex marriage, which was favored by more than 60 percent of the nation’s people10 years ago. (“The ratification of [same-sex marriage in Spain] was not devoid of conflict, despite support from 66 percent of the population,” notes Wikipedia, adding, “Roman Catholic authorities in particular were adamantly opposed, criticizing what they regarded as the weakening of the meaning of marriage.“)

Spain was the third nation to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium, and was quickly followed by Canada, which became the fourth nation to adopt same-sex marriage.

Since Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and parts of the very heavily Catholic Mexico — Mexico City and the Mexican states of  of Quintana Roo and Coahuila — have followed with same-sex marriage. (And it’s important to note that any same-sex marriage that legally was performed anywhere in Mexico must be recognized throughout the nation’s 31 states.)

And following Mexico with same-sex marriage have been Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Finland, England, Scotland and Wales, and now, Ireland.

A lot of Catholicks in the Western world live in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal. Wikipedia, for instance, puts the populations of Ireland, Mexico and Portugal all at more than 80 percent Catholick, Argentina at more than 75 percent, Spain and Luxembourg at around 70 percent, Brazil and France at more than 60 percent, Belgium approaching 60 percent, and Slovenia and Uruguay around 50 percent.

So Ireland’s having joined the same-sex marriage fold yesterday can’t have been a huge shock; it’s not like it was unprecedented.

But I’ll take this latest win for love and for freedom, the freedom to live one’s life the way he or she wishes to, as long as he or she does not harm others — and no, violating some tyrannical, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging theofascist’s backasswards beliefs on how we, the rest of us, may and may not live our lives (whether we even believe in a “God” or not) is not harming anyone else. Quite to the contrary, it’s the theofascists who always have been causing the harm (in the names of “God” and “Jesus” and “love”), to which the masses have been waking up and realizing, and thus the march of same-sex marriage rights continues throughout the globe. (A lot of work remains to be done, especially in the African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Muslim nations, as well as in Russia.)

Speaking of which, I find it interesting that it’s reported that the final tally from the vote in Ireland yesterday is expected to exceed 60 percent, since earlier this month the polling organization Gallup reported that a record number of Americans polled — 60 percent — now support same-sex marriage. That’s fairly fast growth, considering that Americans didn’t reach the 50-percent mark in Gallup’s polling on same-sex marriage until 2011.

True, not even a full quarter of Americans call themselves Catholick (thank God), and of course we can’t blame only the Catholicks for their opposition to same-sex marriage in the United States, since there are plenty of other hateful, ignorant, right-wing “Christian” churches in the United States, such as the Southern Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Methodists, and, of course, the Pentacostalists, who probably are the scariest of the theofascist “Christians” (whom I commonly call “Christofascists,” after “Islamofascists,” as though the fundamentalist Muslims had a monopoly on “God”-based fascism).

And, of course, the Catholicks aren’t monolithic; many if not even most of them personally are OK with same-sex marriage, despite the church’s official stance on the matter. Still, though, I can’t understand how anyone can support such an evil, harmful institution, even peripherally, such as by even still calling oneself a “Catholic,” knowing the damage that the Catholick Church has been wreaking upon humanity for centuries. (Ditto for the Protestant churches, too; even the more liberal Protestant churches still push a belief in “God,” which to me is only a Santa Claus on crack. [He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!] The opiate of the masses, indeed.)

Of course, of what the Catholick Church and other “Christian” churches are most terrified is continuing to lose their grip on the masses’ minds, genitalia and wallets and pocketbooks. Virtually all organized religions, small or huge, are all about those in the upper echelons of the hierarchy, be they the petty pastors of puny Pentecostal churches or Il Papa himself.

These theofascist tyrants never have cared about anyone’s true freedom — only about their own power and wealth, the sustenance of which requires that others be enthralled to them through ignorance and fear, via “God,” “Jesus,” “heaven,” “hell,” “sin,” “eternal damnation,” etc.

The gaining of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals is only one front in the continuing throwing off of the theofascists’ centuries-long tyranny. Science, technology (including, of course, the communications revolution that the Internet has been), logic, reason, true democracy (which necessitates secularism) — in a word, modernity — is what poses the largest threat to the continued existence of the infantilezed organized religions that refuse to let go of their desire to infantilize and enthrall all of us.

Next up, I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule next month that no state in the U.S. may prohibit same-sex marriage, as such a prohibition violates the equal human and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The about-40 percent of Americans who still oppose same-sex marriage will, of course, quite predictably whine that a pro-same-sex marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is an anti-democratic fiat by “activists” judges (of course, if the U.S. Supreme Court actually were to rule against same-sex marriage [which I find unlikely], to the wingnuts this would be wholly democratic and the judges would not be “activist” at all, but simply would have done their job to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, you see).

Of course, in the United States we never have had any national referenda, such as Ireland just did on the topic of same-sex marriage. In the U.S. there is no mechanism in place for the entire nation to vote on any matter other than who will be U.S. president and U.S. vice president, and given that the members of the U.S. Supreme Court are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, we Americans, who elect the president and our U.S. senators, of course have some voice in the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, so to call the court’s rulings (the ones that we disagree with, mostly) entirely anti-democratic is, of course, largely if not mostly bullshit.

And I’m quite confident that were same-sex marriage put to a national referendum in the U.S., it would pass.

Gallup polling this month found 60 percent support for same-sex marriage in the U.S., but a CBS News/New York Times poll taken just before the Gallup poll found 57 percent support, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken right before that one found 58 percent support. A Quinnipiac University poll taken right before that one also found 58 percent support, and an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken at the same time as the Quinnipiac University poll found 61 percent support.

So Gallup’s finding of 60 percent seems to be no more than within a percentage point of two of the actual level of support for same-sex marriage within the United States. (The average of the five nationwide polls cited above, which were taken this month and last month, is 58.8 percent.)

Again, were same-sex marriage put to a national referendum in the United States of America, it would pass. It’s safe for the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging haters to argue otherwise, since we never have national referenda here in the U.S., but the timid, behind-the-curve, right-of-center U.S. Supreme Court (which did, after all, decide the 2000 presidential election even though Al Gore had won more than a half-million more votes than did George W. Bush and decide that bazillionaires may have unlimited spending in elections) would not rule in favor of same-sex marriage if it weren’t confident that a solid majority of Americans are on board with it.

Because a solid majority of Americans are on board with same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps further emboldened by the latest example of Ireland, most likely will rule in favor of same-sex marriage throughout the land.

And the land will not erupt in chaos and violent upheaval, as the theofascist terrorists warn us will happen (it’s just yet another terrorist threat meant to get them their way over the majority, even though they are in the solid minority), because where same-sex marriage is concerned, the U.S. democracy, such as it is, and as slow as it always has been to bring about equal human and civil rights for all, at least in the area of the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, is working.

Not quickly enough, but it is working, and next month we truly freedom-loving and love-loving Americans most likely will be celebrating in the streets like they have been celebrating in the streets of Ireland this weekend.

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