In other news…

Yeah I can’t think of anything to post that isn’t better covered elsewhere, or really fucking depressing. And recent events that may or may not rhyme with schmivorce, mean I am in the market for a new vehicle unless I want to commute 20 miles each way on my 10 year old Ducati through a Wisconsin winter*. Having said that, the villa of reduced circumstances is 4 miles out of a not very big town in the middle of the woods up a steep gravel driveway, so all wheel or 4 wheel drive is a must. My budget is $25,000 for a new vehicle or $20,000 used. Any suggestions? Or talk about your favorite car from back in the day or your coolest driving story. Happy Thanksgiving.

*I don’t


I don’t have a good title for this

This is just a very disappointed, angry and sad white liberal and or leftist dude’s opinion. Take that for what it’s worth. (Which I’m guessing is close to what you paid for it)

It’s going to be rough. History isn’t over. The same hatreds that cause genocide, wars and ethnic cleansing abroad, also live here at home. The same impulses that cause a people to turn to a dictator in a crisis live here too. We have so much to lose. Every piece of progressive legislation since at least the new deal, and maybe since the civil war is now up for grabs. Every hard fought civil rights victory since the civil rights movement, is on borrowed time. Global warming and the reckless exploitation of fossil fuels will continue unchecked. Social security might be privatized or worse, eliminated completely. Our national forests, maybe even our national parks are now in danger of being sold or rented to mining and logging and drilling and any other extraction industry. Do you hate toll roads? I have bad news for you. Do you like public education? ditto. The people who are ideologically opposed to the concept of government are now running the government. Rome wasn’t burnt in a day, but then again, they didn’t have nuclear weapons.

But we’re not dead yet. Every terrible item on their to-do list is for now, still on their to-do list. This country didn’t have a revolution during the great depression, so it probably won’t have one any time soon. Violence won’t stop what I think is coming. Victor Hugo said “Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come”, I say this goes double for bad ideas. What can we do? Obstruct, distract, delay, resist. Volunteer and donate to good causes. I don’t have a magic strategy to limit the damage of a Trump administration, and I don’t think there are many effective options. What I do know is, if we break down into useless victim blaming and finger pointing, we aren’t fighting the Trump agenda. The fun fact is, nearly every faction opposed to the rise of Trump gets to share some of the blame for failing to stop him. Without the protections of the voting rights act, the familiar terrain of Obama’s election strategy shifted right under our feet. They redrew the districts to their distinct advantage. So did the constituencies that the democrats depend on sit this one out voluntarily, or were they forced to? Did we send the wrong message, or did we send the right message and people weren’t receptive? Did we back the wrong candidate? Some Bernie supporters think so, but just comparing unfavorables from a year ago won’t tell us how he would have done in a general election against a guy all too willing to rally antisemites to his deplorable cause. If we want to win next time, do we move left or right? do we increase our focus on social justice or do we throw our constituency to the wolves in the name of winning? (That was rhetorical, we can’t throw anyone to the wolves unless we want to forfeit the moral high ground which is the only reason anyone votes democratic in the first place). Are there key planks of our platform that we have to add or subtract to regain an electoral college majority? (and we can’t get rid of the electoral college until we win one more time) How do we explain to people that we care more about an extra 5% of undecided voters than we do about one or more of: gay marriage, LGBTQ rights, the environment, global warming, not declaring war on people that don’t have anything to do with us, public education, or public health?

We need unity to build a winning team, but not at the expense of accountability. Not at the expense of building a fragile coalition that will shatter in the face of an external threat or internal disagreements. We don’t get to sweep our failures under the rug, just so we can trip over them next time. When someone in this post election season blames a group of which I am a member for this loss, I’m going to agree. Middle aged white guys did cost Hillary the election. I voted Hillary but far too many of us couldn’t see past the Donald Trump’s appeal to some lost ‘greatness’ (aka structural racism) to see the hatred underneath. We let our fascination with his wealth, abuse of power and impunity blind us to his faults, or worse we allowed ourselves to be seduced by them. He is what far too many white guys aspire to be. He is an unforced error that should be obvious to anyone that can even spell ‘history’. Shave his head and give him an insultingly racist Asian makeup job and facial hair, and stand him next to Ming the Merciless, and even their mothers couldn’t tell them apart. What I’m saying is, anyone who knows that evil exits, should be able to recognize it when it boasts on tape about grabbing women by the pussy. When anyone blames liberals for ignoring the economic plight of the people who have been doing terrible since the great recession, I’m going to admit they are right. Whenever anyone blames leftists for not doing enough to stop the police killing of black people, Native Americans, Latinos and Latinas, LGBTQ people and anyone else they care to execute in the charge of their duties, I’m going to agree. Maybe we did all we could and it wasn’t enough. But that’s no excuse, we need to do better, we need to be better. We need an intersectional approach to race and class in America, because trying to handle those issues as if they were unrelated seems to be making them worse. There are lots of other things we got wrong, but you get my point. I’m going to listen to the criticism, and let it inform my choices in the future. To quote another dead guy “It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so.” (Mark Twain)


The Great Liberal Freakout is On

The truth hurts:

It is not going to happen, liberals. Your echo chamber is reverberating now with your shouts of victory before you’ve won a single state. I almost feel badly for you, because when McCain wins, your astonishment will be overwhelming. I say “almost” because your ideology is nasty, anti-free speech, and absolutist, and every decent person will sigh in relief when it goes down to defeat once more.

Here is how it will go down next week. First, the results from Virginia and North Carolina will come in, and they’ll be declared for McCain. You’ll be disappointed, but “no big deal, change can’t come overnight” will be your comment. Florida will go red, and a little nervousness will creep in. The usual suspects will fall into the usual categories. As the night drags on, Ohio, Colorado, and (much to your horror) Pennsylvania will be too close to call.

My advice at this point to you will be to go to bed. You will wake up to a McCain presidency and the Great Liberal Freakout will be on.

Bookmark this, liberals, as this is exactly how it is going to go down. You will be wonder how the hell I was able to call this.

Eight years behind schedule, but I’m sure it tastes that much sweeter for waiting.

in conclusion fuck 2016.


Guess who’s running for President

In light of this, it seemed appropriate to post this for the weekend:


Shorter entire GOP “establishment”

(Warning: NSFW language)

Previous post was super stale and filled with troll stink. Carry on.


Do you believe in miracles?

If not, it’s a good time to start doing so because here comes your 2-minute Townhall:

Shorter Kurt Schlichter, “Obama Is Too Incompetent To Pull Off A Coup”

Would it be irresponsible to speculate about Obama staging a coup to stay in the White House? It would be irresponsible not to.

Shorter Victor Davis Hanson, “The Dream Of Muslim Outreach Has Become A Nightmare”

It doesn’t matter what the problem is, indiscriminately bombing Muslim countries is always the solution.

Shorter Larry Elder, “Hillary Lies, Cops Die”

According to economist John Lott, just the right number of blacks are being killed by police.

Shorter Jackie Gingrich Cushman, “America’s Potential”

We should select our presidents based on what the candidate’s children think of their parent.

Shorter Veronique de Rugy, “Stop Bleeding Red Ink, Make America Sustainable Again”

Good news everyone, I’m the columnist picked this week to pretend that Republicans care about the deficit!

Shorter David Legates, “Science or Advocacy?”

Science says that many things affect our climate, which means that there’s no need to worry about the impact of human activity.

Shorter Michelle Malkin, “Who Gets Absolute Moral Authority?”

Maureen Dowd wrote some stupid shit in 2005.

Shorter Jonah Goldberg: “GOP Convention Has Become a Stomach-Churning Affair”

Everything was so much better before we had phones and cars.

‘Shorter’ concept created by Daniel Davies and perfected by Elton Beard. We are aware of all Internet traditions.™


This is What “The Blood of Patriots and Tyrants” Looks Like.

We don’t know, although it is easy to speculate, why those cops were shot in Dallas. One thing is sure though, the NRA is not going to come out in support of what looks exactly like what happens when citizens “fight tyranny” with firearms. Dead people. Dead cops, dead soldiers, dead officials, dead citizens, dead people. Blood in the streets and each one, something precious and unique that can never be made whole again. So we could listen to what the NRA has to say on the shooting or…

Or, better yet, let’s not. Let’s not listen to the assholes who can’t bother to print one word in defense of Philandro Castile or Alton Sterling for carrying a handgun in an open carry state, or while in possession of a CCW permit. Because if the NRA can’t say something in defense of two men shot down, without warning and with no provocation, for the exercise of the rights that the NRA has sworn to defend at all times, and under all circumstances, maybe even they think there are some sensible limits on carrying weapons. Granted, it sure appears that those limits are “when the citizen is black”. But now we have evidence that they are willing, and even eager to compromise their principles under some circumstances. And what do those assholes who were at the Bundy Ranch or the Maheuer wildlife refuge have to say? Because let’s face it, living in fear of getting fucking shot in the goddamn face every time they interact with the police sounds a shitload more like oppression than “having to pay far below market rate grazing fees and respect the local wildlife”. I’m not trying to excuse the brutal murder of police in Dallas. I’m not trying to minimize the fear and sadness and shock the Dallas police and people of Dallas must be feeling in the wake of these horrific murders. Clearly they were targeted specifically because of their job. But what I’m sure we won’t see is pictures of these dead officers mugging with guns and doing their level best to look menacing. We won’t hear about any trouble they or their families have had with drug addiction, or domestic violence or any other kind of crime. And we shouldn’t, because none of those are capital crimes, they haven’t been convicted or sentenced to death. Even under Texas’ cruel mockery of a justice system, that takes some time, paperwork, a courtroom and all the other trappings of legality. And I’m sure that we will see more legislative action in the wake of this, than we have for the last hundred people shot in mass shootings, or the last thousand people shot by cops. And if it gets some better gun laws in place, I won’t even argue. But what we will probably see is more “police officer’s bill of rights” like was recently passed in Louisiana, that effectively makes resisting arrest a hate crime, which we can describe as “shit that won’t help and probably makes things worse”.

So, I’m not in favor of killing cops. I’m not in favor of cops killing people. I’d have to say that I’m categorically against murder in general. I’d even say that I’m against the widespread availability of purpose built murder weapons. Like guns, but also, gas chambers guillotines, iron maidens and electric chairs if anyone was thinking of carrying those for “self protection” too. I’m against laws that turn trespassers (or people playing loud music, or people walking at night carrying skittles) into fair game for target practice. I’m against the idea that killing people does anything more than multiply our already multitudinous problems. I’m sure ten minutes work could turn up examples of the usual assholes having terrible opinions, but I don’t have it in me. I’m going to try and not talk news or politics with my family this weekend, while I search for a storage unit to put my stuff while I move out, I’m going to go to a concert with some friends, I’m going to play with my niece and nephews, and I’m going to drink some beer. These are activities I would recommend to anyone except the moving all my stuff into storage part… unless you want to move my stuff into storage, and if so, don’t let me stop you, I just got done moving into this apartment last week and it was a pain in the ass then. I guess I’m going to try and enjoy life a little because if nothing else, the ongoing murder-palooza in this country reminds me that life is short, and as depressing as my situation is, I haven’t been shot in the face. And that’s what optimism looks like for me today. Have a great weekend, try not to get shot, try not to shoot anyone.


Hillary Not as Guilty as People Who Have Spent Thirty Years Hating Hillary for Cash and Prizes Would Have You Believe

In the least surprising development in politics since Bush the younger proved to be as incompetent a president as he proved to be at everything else, Hillary Clinton was not indicted. Which doesn’t mean she is innocent, or as pure as the driven snow. As some ardent Hillary haters never tire of mentioning, she is corrupt. But what she isn’t is uniquely corrupt. She is as corrupt as she has to be to gain power. She isn’t wrong that in order to effect change or to prevent unwanted change, one first needs the power to choose. To gain that power in the US today, it is required to spend billions of dollars running for the office of president. The people who give those billions want something in return for their investment. So Hillary, just like every other successful politician in the US today, must solicit money from the people who own it, who have gotten rich on exploiting the laws, and economy as it exists right now, and who may be unconvinced by the necessity and or desirability of change. So, there are strings attached to the money she needs. There are donors to placate, in order to keep the money stream coming.

This isn’t a pragmatic defense of Hillary, it’s more an indictment of our current electoral system. So what do we do about an electoral system that is actively hostile to progressive change? Two answers that I have heard frustrated people put forth are a new constitutional convention, or revolution. I don’t like either of those options. A new constitutional convention would be a product of the same political process that so warps our current system into alignment with the interests of Wall Street, and a revolution has the obvious drawbacks of being murderous, impractical, and unlikely to provide change in the right direction. I’m not saying anti Hillary people are wrong to try and oppose Hillary, but to oppose Hillary without trying to change the system that produces politicians like her is pointless, since any other politician will be nearly as compromised. Just look at Bernie’s weak ass position on gun control, he refuses to take a strong stand in favor of new regulations or better enforcement because so many of his donors are against that. All of our candidates are going to have their faults, their blind spots, their flaws. Any candidate the Democrats nominate will be investigated for malfeasance by a partisan witch hunt. Any Democrat nominated will have nationally syndicated pundits calling for their investigation, indictment and prosecution. This is why I don’t take the accusations of her enemies seriously. They’d be doing the same thing to the second coming of Jesus when he asked them how much they’ve done for the poor lately. So, to reiterate, Hillary Clinton is a compromised politician who owes favors to interests hostile to the progressive agenda. And Donald fucking Trump is a short fingered vulgarian who actively courts racist votes and whose entire strategy, when it isn’t stream of consciousness shit-flinging seems to come from “Fascism for the Lazy faux-billionaire”.

So, I’m going to vote for Hillary and then I’m going to try and make sure she doesn’t please her more regressive donors any more than she has to drink heavily and hope she doesn’t recklessly bomb foreign people all the goddamn time. And if Trump wins I’ll be drinking heavily too. And I’m getting a divorce, so really whatever happens in politics, I will be drinking heavily.


“Waving the bloody shirt”

It’s an expression I didn’t hear until a few years ago. It’s an old southern slave-owners complaint. It refers to Benjamin Franklin Butler who, while he was addressing Congress, displayed the shirt of a so-called carpetbagger who had been whipped bloody by the Ku Klux Klan. Southerners across the country were outraged by his show of the methods of the KKK. Their attitude was mostly “We didn’t do it”, “Maybe we did do it but you’ll never prove it”, “he had it coming” and finally “what are you going to about it?” It’s a defense of brutality and a mockery of those caught unaware or unable to defend themselves from being whipped like a disobedient slave. It is in short, a very ugly turn of a phrase… that Rod Dreher chooses to evoke in his column in the New York Times. Waving the Rainbow Flag Does he even realize that his phrasing is repulsive to anyone who thinks racism is a blight on this country? (Spoiler: no) I suppose with Trump’s popularity surging on a platform of naked racism, it was only a matter of time before older and cruder defenses of racism were employed by people at the intersection of religious fundamentalism and reactionary politics. I mean, just look at the breathtaking dishonesty of this framing:

The Times took a similar line in its lead editorial today, smearing G.O.P. politicians opposed to various L.G.B.T. rights laws with the blood of the Orlando dead.

This escalates the culture war to an openly religious conflict, in the sense that neither side can back down without compromising what it holds sacred. And it turns L.G.B.T. advocates into heretic hunters who persecute thought criminals by demonizing dissent.

This isn’t “smearing G.O.P. politicians… with the blood of the Orlando dead” this is pointing out that the hateful anti-LGBTQ rhetoric regularly spoken, printed and disseminated from the religious right has deadly real-world consequences. This is not an attack on religion. This is an attack on bigots who wrap their bigotry in religion. The heretic hunters aren’t LGBTQ people and their allies, the heretic hunters are the same hateful opportunistic weirdos that see no problem exploiting the most hateful messages of any scripture they can find to get power by stepping over a mound of corpses. If Rod Dreher doesn’t like the way that looks, he should really stop looking in mirrors.

Oh, he spends a paragraph saying Christians have sometimes been cruel to gay people… in the past, like a long time ago, and despite the fact that gay people are “broken” they are created in the “image of God”. But he jumps right back into his retrograde theology and morality as if it were as if “the meaning of sex and marriage within the cosmic order” were spelled out in letters of fire a thousand feet tall on the side of Mount Everest instead of being arrived at through successive translations of ancient manuscripts allegedly dictated to mythological heroes whose existence can charitably be described as “unproven”.

and of course he defends his point of view with this twaddle:

But I strongly reject the oft-heard accusations from the Left that opposition to whatever identity-politics goal it pursues can only be based in hate. It’s a crude and illiberal attempt to suppress dissent.

So, just what are the reasons LGBTQ people shouldn’t be able to live free from the fear of being targeted for mass murder for their identity? Are they being targeted out of regret, or jealousy, or envy? Does it make their murder better if the motive wasn’t hate? Does the possibility that they were murdered from boredom or ennui or post-thanksgiving-turkey sleepiness make them any less dead? What motivation is behind Rod Dreher’s depraved indifference to the mass murder of dozens of LGBTQ people? What motivation other than hatred could one possibly have for denying LGBTQ people the chance to live their lives with dignity and respect and free from the fear of senseless murder? I know the answer, it’s ‘love’. It’s the particular sick kind of love that fundamentalists have for people who suffer. It’s the ‘love’ that says they won’t lift a finger to help because the poor and downtrodden are going to a reward in heaven. That doesn’t sound like love to me.

As Madonna once said, we are living in a material world, Rod. Spiritual explanations might make a Ghostbusters plot, but they cut no ice in a court of law or in a scientific laboratory. I cannot vouch for their presence in Rod’s daily life, he certainly acts like a god bothering and god-bothered scold. But he might want to bring a microphone to the next one of his little chats with god, and see if it picks up anything besides his half of the conversation.

Because there’s lots of good Christian people, that don’t think the good news boils down to “purge the unrighteous”. I was raised Lutheran, and they at least had the good grace to be embarrassed about the part they played in the 30 Years War.

I would invite Rod, as diplomatically as I can, to look up the definition of “oppression”. Because “Not getting to make the lives of LGBTQ people as miserable as possible” isn’t it. Backing up the freedom of LGBTQ people to fully participate in society with the force of law isn’t oppression. Daily reminding Rod Dreher that he acts just like he’s so deep in the closet he’s finding Christmas presents, isn’t oppression. It may be mean but but he deserves that and worse for the fetid bilge he regularly spills into the national discourse. And that really is as diplomatically as I can put it.

So, as long as Rod is complaining about people “waving the bloody shirt” we can be secure in our knowledge that Rod is more comfortable defending the KKK or in this case the institutionalized oppression and murder of LGBTQ people, than he is for actually fighting oppression.


Ahhhhh! Freak out!

Rod Dreher, American Conservative (do I even need to edit this, it’s like wingnut perfection):
America at the Movies 2016

Ladies, gentlemen, non-binary individuals of all ages, I bring you truly chilling news. News that will shock you to the bone and send shivers down your spine in true unadulterated terror. News that will flay you alive and play merry hell with your insides. News that will open an eldritch portal to nightmare lands man was not meant to know. News that will obliterate all of human existence, plunging us into a perpetual hell from which we may never return. News that will undo everything that is and everything that was in pure nihilistic destruction and leave us all not even memories on a frictionless glass plane extending perpetually in all directions.

Trans people… trans people exist.

I know, I know, I share your outcries of dismay and consternation. How could a loving God allow such a demonic horror to blight our perfect world? How can we ever believe in joy and sunshine and non-gay rainbows when we now can no longer avoid the terrifying idea that people who do not identify as the sex they were assigned at birth freely walk the streets and may even poop in closed cubicles completely unmolested by Republican senators.

And you may be saying to yourself. Okay, but that’s contained, right? In godless heathen Europe lands and reality television and the blighted hellscape that is Target?

But, dear reader, I have bad news.
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