Category Archives: Immoral Values

9/11:  History in a Vacuum

I never watch any 9/11 anniversary television coverage. I was in DC on 9/11 and for all of the months after it. I watched the Pentagon burn from the roof of my office building, just a few blocks from the White House. It was a terrifying day and I’m not here to relive it.

But Americans love to relive it. And somehow the round number of 20 has ramped up coverage to take over this entire week. We should absolutely remember those who died and the bravery and selflessness of the first responders who risked and gave their lives so others could live. We should remember the family members left behind.

The 9/11 commemorations always happen in a vacuum. One moment the United States is minding their own business going about a Tuesday, and the next moment the nation is under attack. It’s treated as if the country were sucker punched on the street for no discernible reason.

When you remove 9/11 from its previous context it becomes a cheap way for people who never put their lives on the line, ever, to spend the run up to it and the day itself policing how people feel about it and making it into some kind of patriotic holiday. But it’s the removal of the post 9/11 context that does the most damage.

9/11 was the result of complete carelessness by the Bush administration which was tight with the Bin Laden family to the point of getting them out of the country to shield them from having to provide necessary information. It was the excuse for the Bush administration to launch a war in Afghanistan so they and their cronies could make billions, and then to launch another, even more pointless war in Iraq, to further enrich people like Eric Prince, where the United States committed war crimes.

And it was all sold to us as a triumphant exercise of democracy, and if you opposed it you were asked “what is wrong with you?” I just got asked this question yesterday when someone asked me about 9/11 and I told them the stuff I’ve written here.

Well fuck all that. 9/11 should be a day of introspection and apology to the first responders left without medical care. It should be a day of thanks and asking forgiveness of the men and women who went to Afghanistan and Iraq and came back with mental and physical injuries. It should be a day to apologize to the families who lost people, in the towers, the Pentagon, in PA, in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and who were left to fend with cancer and other illnesses after their service and sacrifice. It should be a day to castigate those member of Congress who refused to fund healthcare for first responders.

And it should be a day to do some serious work on beating our swords into plowshares.

A Confederacy of Dunces

The crap that American women have been dealing with got even worse on Tuesday. Not content with ending abortion in Texas, Greg Abbott assured everyone that women in Texas who were raped didn’t have to worry about any resulting pregnancy because he was going to “end rape” in Texas.

I don’t know about you, but that wasn’t a particularly reassuring statement, given how little most men in power care about rape in this country. In fact, my first thought was that he was just going to decriminalize rape. My second thought was the same thing. Ugh.

Because Abbott is the gaffe that keeps on giving, today he also revealed his complete ignorance about a woman’s reproductive cycle. See, he confidently told everyone that 6 weeks was more than enough time for a woman who was pregnant to get an abortion. I mean, it’s a whole month and a half, right?

Well, here’s the thing:  the 6 week marker (or the 1 month marker, or the 3 month marker), is measured back from the first day of the woman’s last period. And since menstruation (if you’re not on hormonal birth control) is erratic for most women, lots of women wouldn’t even know at 6 weeks that they’d missed a period.

This reminds me of this story:

An Idaho lawmaker received a brief lesson on female anatomy after asking if a woman can swallow a small camera for doctors to conduct a remote gynecological exam.

The question on Monday from Republican state representative Vito Barbieri came as the House State Affairs Committee heard nearly three hours of testimony on a bill that would ban doctors from prescribing abortion-inducing medication through telemedicine.

Dr Julie Madsen was testifying in opposition to the bill when Barbieri asked the question. Madsen replied that would be impossible because swallowed pills do not end up in the vagina.

“Fascinating. That makes sense,” Barbieri said, amid the crowd’s laughter.

The more I read men’s comments about abortion, the more I realize that a lot of men have no idea of how a woman’s reproductive system works. It’s peak Dunning Kruger at work.

And there is some hope that there is a legal basis to undo the Texas law. I’ll let Laurence Tribe explain it:

In the Grendel’s Den case, the unbridled veto power interfered not with a service to which anyone had a constitutional right, like abortion, but just with serving liquor. It was simply being governed by someone unaccountable to nobody that offended the Constitution. In the Texas case, even a judge or justice convinced that Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided and that there is no constitutional right to end a pregnancy would need to confront the long line of precedent establishing that due process of law, enshrined in the Fourteenth Amendment, does not permit, to quote the court in Grendel’s Den “delegate[ing] to private, nongovernmental entities power to veto … a power ordinarily vested in agencies of government.”

As the court said, it is difficult in such situations to imagine “any ‘effective means of guaranteeing’ that the delegated power ‘will be used exclusively for secular, neutral, and nonideological purposes.’ ” As one of us wrote in 1973 in defending the court’s Roe v. Wade ruling, abortion is particularly fraught with deeply religious as opposed to secular concerns and commitments. Just because the religion clauses are not directly implicated by the Texas scheme, it doesn’t follow that the long line of decisions into which Grendel’s Den fits becomes irrelevant in the effort to legally defang the Texas abomination.

Let’s see what happens next.

 

If I Were King of the Forest

I’m going to cut to the chase:  the Republican Supreme Court justices are cowards. Their order came out under the cover of night—and on a night where much of the country was riveted by the complete havoc the remnants of Hurricane Ida were wreaking on the East Coast—and it was unsigned.

They didn’t hold a hearing or consult with legal and medical experts. They didn’t address the substance of the Texas law or even attempt to identify any constitutional issues. They gave an unsubstantiated and unrelated reason to deny the request to block the enforcement of the law, and then they skittered back into the darkness like the intellectual cockroaches they are.

People who have the courage of their convictions don’t do stuff in the dark, anonymously, and while everyone else is focused on something else. People who believe in their ideas present them in public, with facts, and take questions and criticism. People who are proud of what they do seek publicity for their actions.

I hate cowardice. I hate it so much when people do something they know is wrong and then they hide away instead of defending their actions.

It’s been a rough week and seeing how much Republican men hate women has been the main reason for it. I don’t know if men can understand how demoralizing, frightening, and infuriating the last few days have been. Right now in Texas a woman who is raped or is the victim of incest has to carry any resulting child to term unless she has a cycle that is 100000% regular.

There is no logical explanation for this apart from an extremely pernicious expression of sexism. I think Adam Serwer had the right take on it and his tweet can have the last word:

 

 

The American Taliban is Ascendant

There’s a new milepost on the country’s journey to be the American version of A Handmaid’s Tale. Last night the Supreme Court allowed a new Texas anti-woman law to take effect. This law prohibits abortions after 6 weeks, and so effectively outlaws most abortions in Texas.

I say “anti-woman” because that is what the anti-choice movement is these days. It’s not actually about stopping abortion. It’s about actively punishing women for being women, and especially for being sexually active without their permission. The movement went mainstream when TFG casually said that if abortion were made illegal, women who had abortions should be prosecuted.

His communications team later told us that he meant the doctors who performed illegal abortions should be prosecuted, of course. And of course TFG, who paid for abortions right and left, isn’t actually opposed to abortion. He was merely parroting the far right hate speech of the dregs of humanity who advised him, and he deliberately said that as a signal to his reprehensible followers.

The anti-woman movement currently holding the GOP in thrall is rooted in the forced birth movement, which itself is centered not on the baby that is born, but on punishing a woman for her sexuality. This in turn is rooted in the legalization of birth control.

There has been a century-long battle for women to regain a modicum of control over their reproductive health. Abortion was legal in this country until 1880 when the efforts of the AMA, coupled with fears of white “race suicide”, and the suffrage movement led–male–doctors to take abortion out of the hands of pregnant women and midwives and move it into the newly emerging “professional” realm. Female reproductive issues were moved from the home to the doctor’s office, women lost their previous autonomy over their own bodies. It’s also important to note that abortion has existed in all cultures since the beginning of humankind.

Part of the rationale the AMA provided for its push to take over women’s reproductive health was how dangerous abortion was, but instead of working to find safe ways to help women to terminate pregnancies, it instead chose to push to ban the practice altogether. This makes sense against a context of where gynecologists–men–were doing things like arbitrarily removing women’s uteri to cure their “hysteria”; i.e., their growing willingness to stand up for themselves. An uppity woman was a “hysterical” woman, and the cure, obviously, was to remove her uterus. Abortion wasn’t legalized again until 1973. Remember, birth control between married couples was ILLEGAL until 1965, and illegal between unmarried couples until 1972.

The introduction of The Pill, and the subsequent decriminalization of birth control, were watershed moments for women (and just think for a moment that birth control was illegal for a long, long time). On a social level, it allowed women to control their sex lives in an entirely new way. No longer afraid of a nearly inevitable pregnancy, single women turned the tables on men and began to make their own sexual choices, shattering the previous dynamic. The ripples from this transformation are still being seen now. It’s the basis for the increase in slut-shaming sexually active women, only now it’s moved from just single women, to now include married women as well.

On an economic level, delaying motherhood allowed women to get college educations and to begin to compete with men in the larger workforce, and not just the pink collar ghetto. The reactionary movement to ban birth control–because that is where the anti-woman movement wants to end up–is rooted in 2 things:  the desires to wipe out the economic gains of women over the last 50 years and to restore the previous sexual dynamic.

Feldt says, “When you peel back the layers of the anti-choice motivation, it always comes back to two things: What is the nature and purpose of human sexuality? And second, what is the role of women in the world?” Sex and the role of women are inextricably linked, because “if you can separate sex from procreation, you have given women the ability to participate in society on an equal basis with men.”

And today we’re a day closer to that goal.

Coda:  Some commentators are pointing out the bounty aspect of the Texas law and positing that the law will be overturned because that’s clearly illegal. That provision is a Trojan horse, the Harriet Miers dangled in front of you so you don’t smell the poison of the Samuel Alito. The American Taliban is fine with cutting that part out. For now.

And so here are. Bowie gets the final thought.

 I Won’t Forget

Our fearless leader has written 2 thorough and excellent pieces about the Afghanistan War and how we got where we are. If you haven’t read them, please do:  here and here. I have some thoughts, too.

There sure are a lot of familiar faces on the TeeVee over the last few days, blathering on about Afghanistan and tut-tutting over President Biden’s decision to get the hell out of, well, hell. They seem to think they have a blank slate for selling their snake oil. Well, I remember who they are and what they did.

In 1990, Iraq annexed Kuwait and we were supposed to feel it was justified because Kuwaiti women weren’t allowed to drive. Hey, it was going to be awesome! The US was going to beat back these sexist bullies and Kuwaiti women would be able to drive!

In reality there was no reason for the US to go to war with Iraq. But there was plenty of incentive for the Saudi-loving Bush family to protect their monster friends’ oilfields which were close enough for the invading Iraq army to take over. And so the propaganda machine took over. A DC public relations firm, Hill & Knowlton, funded by the Kuwaiti government, began pumping out disinformation to convince Congress to authorize war.

The nadir of the lying was the Congressional testimony of a nurse who said she saw Iraqi soldiers take babies out of incubators and throw them on the floor. This was all it took to convince Congress to go to war. The truth was that she was a member of the Kuwaiti royal family lying and playing a role. But the damage was done.

George H.W. Bush set a deadline of midnight January 16, 1991 for US demands to be met. On the evening of January 16 I attended an interfaith peace service at National Cathedral that culminated in a silent candlelit protest walk to the White House. Houses along Massachusetts Avenue had candles in their windows, and residents stood in their front yards holding candles in solidarity. Of course it didn’t work. But I won’t forget what happened.

The Iraq War was advanced by even more egregious lies and a news media drunk on ratings. Taking their cue from CNN’s non-stop coverage of the Gulf War, this time all of the networks threw in big time. And the Republicans had upped their propaganda approach:  instead of a Kuwaiti royal playacting to tug on the heartstrings of unsophisticated rubes, this time the government made sure reporters got to go play soldier, complete with flak jackets and Jeep rides with the troops. War was exciting! There were big guns!

I didn’t buy any of it. Just like in 1991, I wholly opposed this war because it was all fake news. I took a lot of crap for telling the truth then but the Iraq War was wrong. It was founded on lies related to the 9/11 attacks and it was sustained by media outlets who put profit over truth. And eventually the whole house of cards collapsed.

Now that Biden has taken the steps to end 30 fucking years of wars built on lies, fought by other people’s sons and daughters and designed to make money for people who are already obscenely wealthy, all sorts of stuck pigs are squealing. A bunch of cowards who won’t make their names public are whispering to reporters at the outlets that are the most complicit in repeating the propaganda of rich people with power—CNN, Politico, Axios—about how it’s not their fault. Multiple sources looking to cover their asses after they put their fingerprints all over the Afghanistan fiasco are now bleating self-interested lies to organizations that love to uncritically print pre-digested GOP talking points.

People who perpetuate lies are always angry when their lies are uncovered and they will scramble to drown out the truth by making more noise. I’ll let Jack Mirkinson have the last paragraph as he excoriates some of the worst people liberals made heroes by not thinking critically enough during the Trump years:

But too many in our media cannot seem to admit this, and too many outlets are rolling out the red carpet for the usual gallery of unrepentant hawks. In the Washington Post, Max Boot called the withdrawal “the worst U.S. foreign policy failure since the fall of Saigon in 1975,” which would be news to anyone with even a passing familiarity with the Iraq War, and wondered (yet again) why the U.S. couldn’t just keep troops in Afghanistan forever. NPR decided it was a good idea to ask John Bolton what he thought. In the Atlantic, Tom Nichols told readers, “Afghanistan is your fault,” castigating the American people for demanding an end to the war:

Biden was right, in the end, to bite the bullet and refuse to pass this conflict on to yet another president. His execution of this resolve, however, looks to be a tragic and shameful mess and will likely be a case study in policy schools for years to come. But there was no version of “Stop the forever war” that didn’t end with the fall of Kabul. We believed otherwise, as a nation, because we wanted to believe it. And because we had shopping to do and television to watch and arguments to be had on social media.

So Biden was right to end the war but Americans are still the villains because we care about shopping. Makes sense. Maybe what is happening is the fault of the people who have presided over this calamity for 20 years?

The last word goes to Depeche Mode:

(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding

I read a bunch of stuff written by selfish dumbasses who are inconvenienced by being asked to literally do the least they can to help quell the ongoing pandemic. Like many of you, I am on my last nerve with these people.

But then I found someone who was worse than an anti-vaxxer:

He isn’t some some random tweeter—he’s supposed to be a conservative intellectual. The sheer number of erroneous assumptions in that short statement are immensely irritating.

First, the “average American” has a co-morbidity. That’s our brand, so the idea that most of us shouldn’t care is wrong. Also, the rise in hospital admissions for Covid patients has now put the ICUs of some hospitals at capacity. This means if someone else needs an ICU bed for something non-Covid-related, they may not get the treatment they need in a timely manner.

What else? Well, unvaccinated people run the risk of infecting children under 12 or people who are immuno-compromised, i.e., people who literally cannot be vaccinated right now. A rise in transmission rates leads hospitals and surgical centers to cancel elective surgeries, which doesn’t sound like a big deal, but if you’re suffering from something, it’s quite a lot.

Now those are all fact-based reasons, and so they’re not going to resonate with a right winger like Rothman. But there is another reason, and it’s tied to the crap that Republicans used to love to pontificate about.

We all live together in a society, and each of our lives is linked to lives of people we don’t know. We care about the low rate of vaccination because we care about others in this country. I mean, although it is hard at times to put aside the righteous anger at the stupid intransigence of the anti-vaxxers, it’s not like we want them dead. We just want them vaccinated—they are part of the same society we live in, and their vaccinations protect vulnerable people.

But the right in the US has a different view, one that for years I have been calling “I gots minez”.  It’s not just Covid—they just don’t care about anyone in this nation who is struggling in any way, unless they can bribe those people for their votes. I don’t know how to fix that.

 

Death Cults “R” Us

I’ve been referring to the GOP as a death cult for years now, but over the last few weeks it truly has completed its metamorphosis.

Back in the early days of the madness that has now taken full control of the party, it only venerated the death of people it considered to be bad or evil, and this manifested itself in strong Republican positions favoring the death penalty and wars that killed people of color. But during Ronald Regan’s second presidential campaign, the conservative political movement decided to marry a conservative religious movement:  fundamentalist Christianity.

The GOP promised this bigoted, racist (fundamentalist Christianity was the guiding force of Jim Crow) voting bloc the Moon:  to outlaw abortion, to only appoint anti-abortion judges, and to fight against civil rights for people of color, women, and LBGTQ people. And fundamentalist Christianity sowed the seeds of its deep hatred for post-civil rights era America into the fabric of the Republican Party, seeds that would mean the death of the post-60s culture.

This unholy alliance was in turn led by politicians, exclusively white males. who had no interest in or use for fundamentalist Christianity:  the Bushes were/are Episcopalians, Bob Dole is a Methodist, John McCain identified as an Episcopalian until it was more convenient for him to identify as a Baptist (i.e., he moved from identifying with a mainline denomination to identifying as a fundamentalist because he was the GOP nominee), and Mitt Romney is a Mormon.

Donald Trump is not religious at all, which is eminently fitting as he is the apotheosis of the Reagan campaign’s cynical embrace of fundamentalist Christianity:  he embraced a group of people he has zero actual interest in and in turn they embraced someone who transgressed all of their taboos because they believed he could help them impose their worldview on the rest of us.

This approach is highly problematic, and not just from a moral and ethical stance. When you promise revenge to people who feel disenfranchised and cut off from their society, you also have to justify hurting other people, which is pretty anathema to Christianity. The language of dehumanization and hatred led to a terrible series of race-, faith-, and gender-based mass shootings which the GOP absorbed without an ounce of compassion for the victims or sorrow for so much death wrought by their words.

The GOP gleefully took away abortion access for women, even if that procedure was needed to save women’s lives. It allowed medical professionals to refuse to care for LBTGQ people. Republican governors refused Medicaid expansions–that they would not have to pay for–because the lives that would be improved and/or saved would be poor people who were unlikely to make large financial donations to their never-ending campaign war chests.

When Covid-19 paralyzed the country, the GOP fully embraced its calling and gloried in the pandemic’s sorrow and pain, refusing to take any precautions, spreading lies about the disease, and culminating when the cult’s leader told people to inject bleach into themselves—AND PEOPLE DID. Even after the cult’s leader fell critically ill, the party kept pushing its agenda of death. No one’s life was valuable enough to save from Covid-19.

Not being an organization that sleeps on its laurels, and not content with 600,000+ Americans dead from Covid-19, the GOP broke new ground this week. The state of Tennessee is stopping all vaccine outreach to children and teens. It may even do away entirely with the state health department.

In his official bio on the state government website, the governor of Tennessee, Bill Lee, is described this way:

The governor and first lady are people of strong faith.

I don’t know what to say. I am a person of strong faith and I know it’s wrong on every level to neglect and abandon vulnerable people, and especially children. The idea that professing Christians could be so indifferent to the sickness and death of children, or so cynical that they would be willing to sacrifice their health and lives for a Pyrrhic victory, is unthinkable.

I’ll let the psalmist have the last word, writing about the Israelites wandering the desert with Moses and falling in with other religions when times got tough instead of sticking to their own teachings:

They sacrificed their sons

    and their daughters to false gods. (Psalm 106)

Jesus Was Born On The Fourth Of July

Hobby Lobby July 4 Ad

I’ve spent a good amount of my life in the retail sector.

My parents owned retail stores. I worked in them from the time I was old enough to make correct change. For many years I owned retail stores, a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. Or maybe I was just too lazy to learn another way of making a living. Whatever.

One thing I learned is that it’s bad business to discuss politics or religion with a customer. No matter if they hold the same beliefs as yourself or if they are diametrically opposed to your own beliefs, bringing up those subjects is a certain way to make sure their money never ends up putting food on your table.

I also learned never to congratulate a woman on her pregnancy till SHE mentioned it. That’s another story.

The point is that in retail you smile a lot, eat your personal feelings, and make the sale.

Which brings us to our topic for the day, Hobby Lobby and their insulting 4th of July advertisement.  

Now we all know Hobby Lobby is as Christian conservative as you can get. You have to be to take it all the way to the Supreme Court just to get out of paying for your female employees’ reproductive health care. But to state with such impunity that you believe the United States of America was founded to be a Christian nation and live under the dogma of the Protestant Christian Church, well that’s as meshuge as you can get.

As I have stated before I am an atheist. If you want to believe that is fine with me, but we both live in the land of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and nowhere in that sobriquet does it mention Jesus of Nazareth. Nor is he mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, the Bill of Rights, or any other of the founding documents. Do they mention god? Yes they do, especially that first amendment that says Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion. As a matter of fact it’s the first sentence in the first amendment. And god or a creator or a divine being is not mentioned at all in the main body of the Constitution. I guess the founding fathers really had a thing about wanting to make sure that government and church were kept apart.

Hobby Lobby’s ad wasn’t even a plea for bringing god into political discourse. If it was I’d dismiss it as a waste of some true believer’s money. What it was was a declaration that this particular form of worship, and only this form, is the founding principle of the USA.

Representative government, the will of the people, the enshrinement of liberty and freedom as the cornerstone tenets of the nation, all that goes out the window. According to them, America was founded to be a playground for the true Christian believers. Not even the original believers are good enough; Catholics need not apply. And Jews? I’m sure Hobby Lobby would approve of the answer I once got from a bible thumper when I mentioned Jesus was born Jewish. “Well sure, but then he got smart and converted”.

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The Thumb On The Scale

So yeah, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court let Bill Cosby out of jail. I’m not going to discuss the legal issues because they don’t matter to me—it’s not as if the justices are going to change their minds.

What struck me was the idea that Mr. Philly-Delphia, the dreadful Bruce Castor, would make a deal with a forking rapist to not prosecute him for rape. I mean here’s someone who was credibly accused of rape by 60 women, and at least 1 of the attorneys involved (who knows if it was a deal that also involved Cosby’s attorneys, too) decided to protect…the rapist.

I should be used to the pervasiveness of rape culture in US society. But I’m not. Cosby being let out of jail is a gut punch. Cosby being let out of jail because a pathetic human like Castor deliberately protected him is enraging.

And here’s another upsetting thing:  there are people who think Cosby’s freeing is funny. When the release was posted to the online community I frequent, one male poster responded by repeatedly posting gifs from The Cosby Show of Cosby and cast dancing in celebration. The vast majority of the nearly all male membership there has been silently approving of his celebration of rape culture.

And then the judge in the Britney Spears case refused her request to remove her father from her conservatorship. It wasn’t a great day for women’s rights in America.

Leave Britney Alone

I don’t follow celebrity gossip, I only know 1 Britney Spears song (“Oops I Did It Again”, which by the way is an excellent pop song), and I misspelled her first name throughout the first draft of this post. Nevertheless when I read about this part of her recent testimony I got sick to my stomach:

Spears, who is the mother of two teenage boys, told the court that her father and the group of people who control her affairs do not want her to have any more children. She said she was not allowed to go to the doctor to remove her IUD, or intrauterine device, a small birth control device implanted in the uterus.

It’s heart-breaking that a grown woman is being denied the opportunity to have another child. But what really upset me was her father being so obsessed with her reproductive system.

And then there was this:

On medication: Spears said on Wednesday that she was put on lithium against her will. “I felt drunk. I couldn’t even stick up for myself. I couldn’t even have a conversation with my mom or dad about anything. I told them I was scared and they had six different nurses come to my home to monitor me while I was on this medication that I didn’t want to be on to begin with.” Lithium is commonly used to treat bipolar disorder, which often causes episodes of depression and mania, a feeling of uncontrolled irritability or excitement. It can also be used to treat depression. In court today, Spears did not mention any possible medical condition.

One of the hallmarks of US society is the obsession men have with the uteri of women, whether they know those women or not. And this isn’t a recent phenomenon. At the turn of the 19th century, US women’s reproductive health began to move from the care of midwives to the care of “credentialed” medical doctors during a movement to “professionalize” some of these newly-christened “professions”,

One of the things male doctors did was to give hysterectomies (literally removing the “hysteria” from women) to uppity women seeking the vote and equality because they thought the uterus was the loci of that disruptive behavior. See, an uppity woman was a “hysterical” woman, and the cure, obviously, was to remove her uterus. Surgery was primitive and many women who survived it spent the rest of their lives as convalescents. And because there were no antibiotics, women died from infection. This is still an operation that can be debilitating for women, and it takes the option to have children from women of child-bearing age.

Sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Hmmm.

Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread

Last week the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops took a step toward publicly humiliating President Biden by denying him Holy Communion. This action is short-sighted, mean-spirited, and stupid, which means it’s completely on brand for the USCCB.

It’s no secret that the deeply misogynistic Roman Catholic Church is opposed to abortion. I was raised Catholic and had the full anti-abortion indoctrination of grotesque photos of purportedly aborted fetuses (who knows if any of that stuff was real or fake—propagandists use whatever they have available to push their message).

After I was free of parochial education, I started thinking for myself. As an adult, I saw the issue of abortion—and pregnancy—differently than I did as a teenager. I thought about what decision I would make if I found myself pregnant. And I had empathy for women who had to make that decision.

(I know that the anti-choice people love to yell “ADOPTION!!” when discussing abortion, but the reality is that many women just cannot afford to carry a child to term. In addition to the medical appointments, being pregnant still can get a woman fired, or cost her a promotion. If there are complications, it may require her taking unpaid leave.)

I don’t know what Joe Biden thinks deep in his heart about abortion. But I do know that as a politician he is supposed to represent the people who elected him. The Pew Forum says that 55% of people in Delaware support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And Pew also says that 59% of Americans support abortion being legal in all or most cases. And given the makeup of the electorate who elected him, there is a clear mandate for him to support women’s reproductive rights. That’s his job.

It’s ironic that the big fear about JFK’s Catholicism was that he’d be controlled by Rome. And now we have a bunch of Catholic bishops trying to act as if they were Rome to control Biden. This crazy plan might have worked, except that the Vatican has already weighed in on this issue and told the USCCB to back off.

In the end, the USCCB won’t explicitly say that pro-choice politicians must be denied Holy Communion. That’s not how Pharisees work. They’re cowards who hide behind a wall of words which they then twist to suit their purposes.

Naturally the chance to flaunt misogyny under the guise of morality attracts a lot of fellow travelers, and conservative Catholics are out there making the most of it. And they’re being cowards about any challenges to their obvious hypocrisy:

Karen Tumulty is right—there is a monomaniacal focus on abortion, but no public shaming for Catholic politicians who gleefully support the death penalty, and the Vatican has been very clear about the stance of the RCC on that issue. (Also on display in that exchange—the typical shift to the demand of a public debate when a conservative “thinker” has been shown to be intellectually naked. Pharisees gonna Pharisee.)

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A Postcard From Menlo Park (CA)

Greetings From Facebook Jail

 

This week’s postcard is actually from several places.

It’s from Menlo Park. But it’s actually from East Menlo Park. To be more specific from the campus of Facebook in East Menlo Park.

More specifically it’s from the cyber location called Facebook Jail.

No, I’m not in jail, but in the last few weeks a couple of my friends have been placed there, so like in Monopoly, I’m just visiting. I get to pass Go and collect $200.

It’s the algorithms I tells ya, they rat you out before you can even finish the comment.

Take my friend Don. Nice guy. We used to write together. We even wrote a musical for him to star in.

He’s the blonde on the left. If you’re thinking to yourself I know that face it’s probably from one of his many commercials or appearances on Letterman. He semi-gave up the glamour of show business for the academic life a few years ago and now teaches creative writing at a college in Connecticut. Which makes his crime even more, what’s the creative writing term for it, ironic.

Why is he in Facebook Jail? Because he had the temerity to make the following comment as a reply to someone else’s post:

We have more stupid Americans than at any other point in my lifetime.

That’s it. That’s all. For making the rather obvious statement of fact/opinion that a huge swarth of the American public are stupid. If I’m not mistaken Tucker Carlson has built an entire career on the basis of that assumption. The Repugnicant party as well.

I can hear you now saying to yourself “self, what’s so bad about saying a great number of people are stupid? It’s not like he called a specific person a particular racial slur or maligned an entire group of people by saying all were stupid, he just said there are a lot of stupid people living in America.”

Well self here’s the answer. The algorithm Facebook uses to check for hate speech on it’s site considers the word “stupid” to be hate speech.  Why? Apparently because some people still use stupid as a derogatory synonym for mentally challenged, hence stupid in the context of other human beings is hate speech. Stupid in the context of The Bachelor is okay, though don’t call whoever is the bachelor on The Bachelor stupid even if he was mentally challenged enough to go on a reality dating show.

But stupid has other meanings in relation to humans.

  • “A benumbed or dazed state of mind” as in “I was rendered stupid for awhile after I fell off the ladder”.
  • “Tediously dull, especially due to lack of meaning or sense” as in “This party is stupid”.
  • “In a state of stupor” as in “I am stupid from staying up all night”.
  • “Annoying or irritating” as in “This recitation of all the meanings of stupid is stupid”

So Facebook, do I go to jail for saying “Man last night I was so stupid from going to that stupid party that I tripped on the curb, hit my head, and got stupid for so long that I was stupid to the guy who gave me a ride home”?

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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – False Flags EVERYWHERE edition

Morning, all.

If there’s one thing the Freepers are good at, it’s dodging responsibility. They’re arsonists throwing Molotov cocktails into peoples’ living rooms, and then blaming them because they didn’t have a sprinkler system.

Massage Parlor Massacres Suspect Said He Loved Guns & God
Daily Beast ^ | Updated Mar. 17, 2021 12:05AM ET | Blake Montgomery Chamian Cruz Noor Ibrahim

Posted on 3/16/2021, 11:11:08 PM by conservative98

ATLANTA—A Georgia man who professed a passion for guns and God was in custody on Tuesday night after a string of shootings that police said appeared to target Asian women at massage parlors and left eight people dead.

Aaron Long, 21, of Woodstock, Georgia, was caught on video at the crime scenes and later nabbed on a highway two hours south of Atlanta following a police chase, authorities said.

Police stressed that it was still much too early to announce a motive, but the horrific attacks come amid a wave of targeted violence against the Asian-American community.

Details about the suspect that began to trickle out offered few clues.

“Pizza, guns, drums, music, family, and God. This pretty much sums up my life. It’s a pretty good life,” read the tagline on an Instagram account that appeared to belong to Long.

A student who graduated from Sequoyah High with Long in 2017 who spoke on the condition of anonymity told The Daily Beast, “He was very innocent seeming and wouldn’t even cuss. He was sorta nerdy and didn’t seem violent from what I remember. He was a hunter and his father was a youth minister or pastor. He was big into religion.”

1 posted on 3/16/2021, 11:11:08 PM by conservative98
I don’t even have to put up a “Wait for it” meme, because it’s not much of a wait.
To: conservative98

Oh … now they suddenly have a white face they can apply to the “asian attacks” brought on by racism…

4 posted on 3/16/2021, 11:13:39 PM by Skywise

Oh come on – just say it out loud.
To: conservative98

False Flag.

5 posted on 3/16/2021, 11:15:19 PM by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change with out notice.)

Thenk yew.
To: Shadylake
21-year-olds are at home jerking off to pr0n in Mommy’s basement.

And you know this how, exactly? Observation, or personal experience?

 

False flag.

6 posted on 3/16/2021, 11:15:51 PM by grey_whiskers (The opinions are solely those of the author and are subject to change with out notice.)

Of course it is.
To: lastchance

There is no wave.

This monster has no affiliation with God and guns.

Fake. Fake. Fake.

14 posted on 3/16/2021, 11:22:55 PM by Eddie01

Of course, there’s always gotta be some killjoys:
To: grey_whiskers

False Flag.
******************
Nope… they have this guy pretty well tied to it with video surveillance records. He’s clearly a nut case.

52 posted on 3/17/2021, 1:36:55 AM by House Atreides

To: DesertRhino

Talking about how bots can feed conspiracy theories is interesting. But I think the issue is that the bigger conspiracy theory that he was brainwashed or self-wanted to kill others and ruin his life for a leftist cause is also pretty wild.

This seems like an Occam’s Razor case of an moron. It doesn’t involve the CIA, KGB, Illuminate(sic).

55 posted on 3/17/2021, 1:50:57 AM by Shadylake

Anyone want to offer a rebuttal to “Shadylake”?
To: Shadylake

By the way, you signed up the day after the “insurrection”, when fedzilla turned against us full force, and here you are saying it’s not a false flag. And taking the other side on lots of other little things.

Noted…

56 posted on 3/17/2021, 1:58:50 AM by DesertRhino (Dog is man’s best friend, and moslems hate dogs. Add that up. …. )

That’s tellin’ him!
“Shadylake” does have a reply for “DesertRINO”,  er, “DessertRhino”, er – aw, fuck it.
To: DesertRhino

I hope you don’t smoke weed, cause that could make you even more paranoid.

58 posted on 3/17/2021, 2:07:30 AM by Shadylake

To: Shadylake

“I hope you don’t smoke weed, cause that could make you even more paranoid.”

Why’d you sign up here?

60 posted on 3/17/2021, 2:41:17 AM by ifinnegan ( Democrats kill babies and harvest their organs to sell)

“Ve haff vays of makink you talk!”
To: ifinnegan

For conservative chats. Are you saying weed is required?

61 posted on 3/17/2021, 2:42:31 AM by Shadylake

More at the you-know-what….

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She Didn’t Believe in Transcendence

This is a piece about sexual harassment. Reading it may be difficult or upsetting for survivors of sexual violence. If you need to talk, the National Sexual Assault Hotline is available for help and support 24/7 at 800.656.HOPE (4673) & online.rainn.org.

When I heard the news that Andrew Cuomo is a sexual predator, I just felt…really, really tired. I have no emotional investment in him, and frankly I don’t care for any of the Cuomos. Now I care even less. But after 4 years of the trump assault, no one needed this, least of all his victims. There are now 3 women on the record, but we all know there are a lot more. There always are. No one should be surprised either at how freely he treated women in this disgusting manner. No one should be surprised because when they are in a position of power where there is no one to push back, abusive men talk to women like this—degrading comments, intrusive questions meant to humiliate, the literal and figurative breakdown of our personal space—ALL THE TIME.

I was sexually harassed on the job. I had finished my first round of graduate school and was at home for a few months before I moved to Boston with my best friend. I found a long-term temp job that would carry me until we moved and I actually liked it. It was a family-run company that made some kind of light industrial goods that I don’t remember. The secretary was going out for surgery, but as she told me as she trained me my first day, she was never coming back. I could handle the bookkeeping and accounting so I was happy to have the steady income.

The day-to-day management had passed from the father to his son, who was in his 40s and a big flashy spender. He had a fancy car and an airplane and was desperate to impress me.  As it was summer and all of my siblings were working, I got dropped off and picked up as part of the roving family carpool so I’d bring my lunch and eat in the little anteroom to the women’s bathroom. It was clean and private, and I was the only woman working there so it was fine. I always had a book and it was a quiet hour alone. Or it was when my boss didn’t come in to chat with me about whether I had a boyfriend or what I liked to do for fun (sound familiar?). I began to dread my lunch hour.

Luckily the shop foreman saw him go in one noontime and came and called him out to the shop floor. Later the foreman came to see me, apologized profusely for not knowing, told me he’d told my boss never to do that ever again, and gave me the keys to the company pickup truck ostensibly so I could go the bank and make the daily deposits but really so I could get out at lunch time.  I’ve never forgotten his kindness. And naturally that didn’t stop my boss, it just redirected his efforts into trying to let him fly me up to Boston for my job interviews, you know, to save time that we could then spend together sightseeing. Ugh. That bothered me less because it was nowhere as menacing as being shut up in a small room with him, but it was still unwanted, unwelcome, and pathetic.

And that’s the thing the I see so clearly in Cuomo’s behavior:  its pitifulness. It’s the behavior of insecure, socially deficient men, the kind of men that women immediately know to avoid at gatherings. I’ve been online a long time and one of the communities where I hang out is, and has always been, overwhelmingly male. The women who hang out there tend to either be pleasers or tough, intelligent women who stand up for themselves. Over the years, the pleasers have disappeared and the women who stayed insist on being treated respectfully. This sets up a lot of confrontations with a segment of the male membership. There is the obvious group, the ones who call women disgusting names to their virtual faces. And then there are Cuomos, the ones who are obviously forked up when it comes to women but who don’t immediately call you the c word.

Years ago, in a smaller private subgroup of the community, one of the women shared some intimate details. Years later, and in a less private community subgroup, a guy who had once told us that while he was in his truck he threatened to run over a woman he had catcalled and who flipped him off in return (he later told us that he was “joking” and that it never actually happened—he just thought it would be a funny story to tell (of course it really happened)) started a thread to demand she tell him all of the details again. When she got upset, he essentially pulled a Cuomo. It was supposed to be funny! It was just a light-hearted request! OK, well if you were offended then I apologize! Geez! I was only joking! You’re so uptight! Lather, rinse, repeat.

I hope all the women Cuomo demeaned and harassed and assaulted come forward and sink his political career. It’s time for a few small repairs.

Today on Tommy T’s obsession with Random Ruminations – Creeping cancer edition

Pain issues preclude me doing a regular “Obsession” post this Monday, so here’s a little piece I wrote some years ago :

.

On libertarianism – a creeping cancer

I’ve noticed that so-called “libertarians” (I say “so-called” because no two libertarians can agree on what it is) are really just sociopaths in training.

Greed enters into it, of course, but the real hallmark is loss of empathy. It starts with groups of people they don’t have any contact with (people in other countries, people who have been born into situations they couldn’t imagine, and things that would make them cry like a child if they happened to them) and then expands.

As it grows, their loss of empathy extends to people who occupy the same world but are somehow (usually through lack of hustle) inferior to them, and undeserving of help.

Their circle of give-a-fuck gets smaller and smaller and smaller over time until – guess what? It only extends to them and their immediate families.

And then, in the end, it only extends to them.

And that, my friends, is the textbook definition of sociopathy.

More below the fold

 

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Malaka Of The Week: Rod Rosenstein

Rod Rosenstein & Scoot McNairy.

One of the best things about Showtime’s The Comey Rule is its portrayal of Rod Rosenstein. Rosenstein comes off as a schlemiel, putz, worm, nerd, weasel, and toady. By all accounts, it’s an accurate depiction. And that is why Rod Rosenstein is malaka of the week.

Rod Rosenstein was briefly an unlikely resistance hero. He was seen as the man who prevented Bob Mueller from being fired. There were even demonstrations to “save” Rod Rosenstein from being sacked by the Kaiser of Chaos. From what we’ve learned this year, they should have been calling for his pinhead on a pike.

Bob Woodward has argued that naming the post-Comey investigation after Robert Mueller is a misnomer. He believes that it was really the Rosenstein probe. I concur and I think history will as well. That’s why it was doomed.

Malaka Rod was instrumental in steering the Mueller Probe away from two of the most promising aspects of its investigation: counter-intelligence and Trump’s finances. It always comes down to money with Donald Trump.

Rosenstein let Team Mueller think that the FBI was continuing with its counter-intelligence probe when, in fact, it withered and died after Andrew McCabe was demoted and later fired.

Rosenstein ordered Mueller NOT to investigate President* Pennywise’s ill-gotten gains. Bobby Three Sticks is a rule-follower and an honest man. They were able to flip those good qualities against him and effectively neuter the investigation.

In addition to his Rosenstein probe malakatude, Malaka Rod was up to his neck in the worst thing Team Trump has done: the family separation scandal.

The five U.S. attorneys along the border with Mexico, including three appointed by President Trump, recoiled in May 2018 against an order to prosecute all undocumented immigrants even if it meant separating children from their parents. They told top Justice Department officials they were “deeply concerned” about the children’s welfare.

But the attorney general at the time, Jeff Sessions, made it clear what Mr. Trump wanted on a conference call later that afternoon, according to a two-year inquiry by the Justice Department’s inspector general into Mr. Trump’s “zero tolerance” family separation policy.

“We need to take away children,” Mr. Sessions told the prosecutors, according to participants’ notes. One added in shorthand: “If care about kids, don’t bring them in. Won’t give amnesty to people with kids.”

Rod J. Rosenstein, then the deputy attorney general, went even further in a second call about a week later, telling the five prosecutors that it did not matter how young the children were. He said that government lawyers should not have refused to prosecute two cases simply because the children were barely more than infants.

“Those two cases should not have been declined,” John Bash, the departing U.S. attorney in western Texas, wrote to his staff immediately after the call. Mr. Bash had declined the cases, but Mr. Rosenstein had overruled him. “Per the A.G.’s policy, we should NOT be categorically declining immigration prosecutions of adults in family units because of the age of a child.”

Jeff Sessions’ role in this atrocity should come as no surprise: Steven Miller was his bequest to the Trump regime. Like fellow lackey Field Marshall Wilhelm Keitel, Malaka Rod was just following orders. He’s a dutiful schlemiel, after all.

Back to The Comey Rule. The fine Australian actor Scoot McNairy plays Rosenstein as an awkward, ill-at-ease, and nervous little man. He was eager to please his superiors and easily impressed by more secure men such as Comey and Mueller before turning on them. Weasels will stab you in the back given half-a-chance and a green light from someone higher up the ladder. Orders are orders.

One of the Impeached Insult Comedian’s few talents is an ability to uncover the dark side in other people. It’s part of the con man’s art. He figured Malaka Rod for a mark early on, squeezed him until he was hollowed out, then discarded him. Everything Trump touches turns to shit; even “distinguished lawyers” such as Malaka Rod. And that is why Rod Rosenstein is malaka of the week.

As I wrote this post, I thought of the lyrics to a John Lennon song:

You can wear a mask and paint your face
You can call yourself the human race
You can wear a collar and a tie
One thing you can’t hide
Is when you’re crippled inside

The last word goes to John Lennon whose birthday it is. He would have been 80 if he were still with us:

 

Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – The Darnold’s Even Worse Week edition

Well, so much for a mental health week. I’d hoped that the DNC convention week would give me a respite from Freeperville, but NOOOOOOOOO…

GodfatherJustWhenI wasOut

Also,

CofeeBreaksOver

“Coffee break’s over – back on your heads!”

Well, let’s get suited up and into the airlock.  The warning buzzers and overload sirens are getting on my last nerve.

Breaking — Steve Bannon, Brian Kolfage arrested and charged by DOJ…
www.citizenfreepress.com ^ | Posted by Kane on August 20, 2020 10:04 am

Posted on 8/20/2020, 9:15:08 AM by Red Badger

1 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:15:08 AM by Red Badger

Oh dear.

To: Red Badger

 

I said for a while that the build the wall fund was a scam and wouldn’t result in anything substantial but people wanted to believe that we could throw a buck on the pile to build the wall.

13 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:19:36 AM by Zeroisanumber1

Well, you know what they say – “There’s a Freeper born every minute”.
To: RummyChick

 

Former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has been arrested after being charged with defrauding hundreds of thousands of donors through their campaign “We Build the Wall.”

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/08/20/former-trump-advisor-steve-bannon-arrested-on-charges-of-defrauding-donors-in-fundraising-scheme.html

5 posted on 8/20/2020, 8:45:28 AM by RummyChick (Stop Apologizing for things you didn’t do. Stop Demanding Apologies when refuse to forgive)

And probably the best non-conspiracy-theory-but-her-emails response:
To: RummyChick

 

We thought we were building the wall, but we were buying Bannon’s hookers and meth

7 posted on 8/20/2020, 8:46:54 AM by babble-on

 

WeHaveAwinner

And now, the Southern District of New York fan club chimes in:


To: Red Badge

The indictment was brought by prosecutors in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York.
12 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:19:30 AM by MarvinStinson
To: srmanuel

 

Your article seems to confirm it was the Democrats at SDNY. And it involves that vet was the trying to build the wall, too. More targeted political prosecutions out of the “Trump” DOJ.

16 posted on 8/20/2020, 8:48:34 AM by lodi90

To: Red Badger

 

The SDNY is a very large office with hundreds of prosecutors of which some will be closet Democrats of those that have been accidentally overlooked by the Attorney General and Trump.

Once Attorney General Barr hears about Bannon’s arrest, the charges will be dropped and the rouge(sic) prosecutor will be fired and disbarred.

28 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:33:39 AM by Meatspace

And primates might take wing from my anus…..
.
And just like that – makeup was illegal…..

To: Red Badger

 

Not sure what everyone is complaining about with SDNY.  Audrey Strauss is Barr’s appointee. Trump and Barr fired Berman. Therefore – this would be Strauss doing this – and would be Barr’s “man” (woman) doing this.

21 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:29:25 AM by NELSON111 (Congress: The Ralph Wolf and Sam Sheepdog show. Theater for sheep. My politics determines my “hero”)

 

Details, details….

To: Red Badger

Barr is a deep state stooge

CurleyConcidence

 

and needs to be FIRED now!

35 posted on 8/20/2020, 9:38:36 AM by Swirl

Drain that swamp, baby!!
.
TrumpDerpImpact
.
Come along with me below the fold to see much much more of The Darnold’s Very Bad Day.
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Today on Tommy T’s Obsession with the Freeperati – shortest post ever edition

Taking a short mental health break, people.

Have to.

Saw this while cruising Freeperville for reaction to Kamala Harris’s VP pick:

KamalaFreeper

 

I got nothing.

*****************************************

Actually, that’s not true – I do have one little observation to make :

A few weeks ago, I opined that Trump’s attack on the USPS would backfire on him, and in spectacular fashion.
I’d like to take this opportunity to say “I told you so”.

But why?
It’s not Pelosi’s actions in recalling the House from recess to address this transparent rat-fuckery.
It’s not the Veterans who get almost all of their medications by mail.
(after all, this is a “president” who doesn’t know – or care – what a Gold Star family is)

It’s the older voters.
Voters 50 and above largely have a unique experience with our USPS delivery people.
They’re our friends.
We grew up waving to them as they pulled up to our mailboxes, and talking happily with them. They were a part of our neighbourhoods, and we treated them as such. Not as government employees, or Federal stooges, but as our friends and our neighbours – which they were.

When Reagan disemboweled the Air Traffic Controllers, few of us interacted with (or even KNEW) an ATC.

This is different.

Why does it matter so much this time?
Because we oldies not only fondly remember, we VOTE.
In large numbers.
More than any other demographic.

Keep it up, Trump – and your ship will sink even faster than it currently is.

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Stephen Miller’s Song

Shakespeare At Dusk by Edward Hopper

While we’ve all had our eyes on the pandemic, despicable White House aide and self-hating Jew Stephen Miller has kept busy. You can detect his hand behind President* Pennywise’s immigration “ban.” It was, of course, devised to distract attention from the regime’s supremely inept pandemic response. They’ve tried lying their way through it and it’s blown up in their pasty, white faces or in Trump’s case, orange.

The other reason I’m plagued by thoughts about Miller is a Slate piece by Jeremy Stahl that reminds us of Miller’s racist malefactions. It’s part of a series about Trump administration malfeasance. This post is full of M-words. Here are two more: Miller is a malodorous motherfucker. That felt mighty, mighty good.

You’re probably wondering what I’m on about with the post title. It’s down to Richard Thompson-Edward Hopper month at Saturday Odds & Sods. I’ve been listening to RT’s back catalog a lot of late and one song in particular strikes me as relevant to this moment in time. Time is still on my mind as you’ll see later today. I’ve also thrown one more Hopper painting into the mix as the featured image. Never enough EH or RT.

The exact point-of-view of the 1979 Richard Thompson song, Civilisation, remains somewhat murky; something the songwriter is unlikely to clarify other than to state it doesn’t reflect his own political views. I’ve always interpreted it as a narrative tune with a far-right xenophobic protagonist spouting bigoted bile and nonsense about immigrants. Hence my idiosyncratic connection of it with far-right racist and xenophobic Trump aide, Stephen Miller. There’s occasionally method to my madness.

Civilisation is the opening track of the penultimate Richard and Linda Thompson album, Sunnyvista. It rocks like crazy and, as you might have gathered, has disturbing RT lyrics:

They’re not human, they’re with the Woolwich
They eat food I wouldn’t give to my dog
They’re hygienic, medicated
They wouldn’t live next door to no wog
They’re not human, where do they come from?
I don’t know what they’re living here for
They don’t belong here, on this planet
What are they doing in the house next door?

Wife’s tranquilized, milk’s pasteurized
Kid’s hypnotized by the t.v.
Dad’ll beat you, dog’ll eat you
They’ll treat you like family

All across the nation
It’s civilisation

They’re not human, they’ve got a new car
They’re going to polish it all the day long
Got a brand new rubber woman
They’re going to blow her up all the night long
They’re not human, it’s a double cross
They sold out for a handful of beads
They sold everything for nothing, just a
Headful of dreams and a handful of greed

Keep ’em happy, keep ’em drinking
Keep ’em laughing, no thinking
No dying, no weeping
Keep ’em hypnotized, keep ’em sleeping

All across the nation
It’s civilisation

Pack you off to school, get working
Get a steady job, no shirking
Get to sixty-five, get a handshake
You’re a vegetable with a heartache

All across the nation
It’s civilisation

I hear the sound of Stephen Miller clapping and nodding his head.

There’s an overly literal interpretive video of Civilisation on YouTube by a dude with a handle that I originally thought was German, Mehefinheulog. It turns out to be Welsh. He  uses images of movie space aliens and includes frequent nods to Sir Kenneth Clark’s genteel and erudite teevee series, Civilisation. RT’s protagonist may be wordy but he’s neither genteel nor erudite.

Stephen Miller and his ilk believe they’re stalwart defenders of Western civilization instead of malevolent bigots. I assume his family remains ashamed of him. They should be mortified. That’s the last M-word of this post.

Jumping on the Express Train to Hell

Imagine signing on for this today. 

At this point in the last election, Trump’s campaign employed 19 consultants. Now, there are more than 200. When Trump had all but locked up the nomination by May 2016, he had spent $63 million. Thus far, pro-Trump committees have spent $531 million.

I mean, imagine signing on for it in 2016, when his opening statement was “Mexicans will rape your white daughters” and he followed it up with That Convention and Lock Her Up and Grab ‘Em By The Pussy. That’s bad enough, when he was just a crude old racist asshole and thus, if you were rich and white, kind of a joke.

But now that he’s all that plus — thanks to Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan — an imminent threat to the republic, a fascist presiding over concentration camps, the enemy of anyone who isn’t a suburban Caucasian dipshit, imagine who you’d have to be to say yeah, gimme a piece of that.

I get that we all have to eat, but there are sales on ground beef at the grocery store every week, guys, don’t any of you dare say you needed to resort to this. There’s a liquor store on the corner I’m sure you could halfway competently rob and at least then you’d have my respect.

One of the major solaces these days of having been raised with an understanding of capital-G, Old Testament Charlton Heston God, is imagining that there are in fact circles of Hell, literal physical ones, full of demons torturing people by ripping out their livers for eternity and shit. Everyone involved with this situation is clearly going there, but I choose to have faith in a hierarchy, and anybody who signs up NOW is gonna be a lot closer to the bottom of the pit.

A.