4/23/2014

"Cool Professor" and "Nice Guy" Is Now a "Liberal Dirtbag" Thanks to Idiot Student

Every now and then, the Rude Pundit has to take out his professorin' card and play it, usually when some right-wing scumfucker forces a college instructor to toe the conservative line. Today is one of those days.

Brent Terry is a part-time adjunct professor in the English Department of Eastern Connecticut State University. In case you don't know, "adjunct instructor" is the lowest rung possible in the hierarchy of academia. Everyone from the maintenance staff to the Associate Provost's ball washer has more job security. Part-time adjuncts are treated as disposable at best, as indentured servants at worst. They are professors who are trying to cobble together a living from benefit-free teaching gigs, often at more than one college in the area. They are paid shitty wages, and, generally, they teach most of the classes at many colleges since they cover the basic ones every student must take. Except in rare cases where they have some union representation, they have no power and must hope that there are classes available on a semester-by-semester basis. Surely, there are crack whores in an alley, blowing their tenth scabby cock of the night, thinking, "Well, this is better than being an adjunct."

But, apparently, Prof. Terry was good at his job. His comments and ratings at Rate My Professor were pretty damn positive prior to this week. "Before his class I hated poetry and I now have a respect for it," wrote one student. "Terry is a little out there but overall he's a really nice guy, who really loves his poetry!" said another. It's that "little out there" that ended up pissing off one brave Republican student.

In an Introduction to Creative Writing course, Terry went on a calm, reasonable, and absolutely biased tangent on how "racist, misogynists, money-grubbing people have so much power over the rest of us. And want things to go back not to 1955 but to 1855. There are a lot of people out there that do not want black people to vote, do not want Latinos to vote, do not want old people to vote or young people to vote. Because generally people like you are liberals."

This was recorded by conservative student Jason Veley, who obviously turned it over to Campus Reform, the clearing house for pathetic whiners who can't stand to have any ideas but their own informing the opinions of the precious, delicate angels who are in college. This led to a Fox "news" hategasm, of course, of course.

First, the editor-in-chief of Campus Reform, Jebediah Fuckagoat or something like that, got to go on Greta Van Susterenenenen's show and say things like, "[T]his is creating an atmosphere for conservatives in the classroom where they are feeling -- this is why the student that released this video, this audio, is remaining anonymous. How is he going to be treated to come out as a conservative in an atmosphere where he is called a racist?"

So what intrepid reporter found out that the anonymous recorder was the aforementioned Mr. Veley? Oh, wait. It was Jason Veley himself, who was so afraid of being known that he went on Megyn Kelly's Parade of Shit What I'll Sneer At. Obviously, Veley was there to reveal what a madman Prof. Terry was, just abusing students in a completely inappropriate rant. Except the second that Veley said, "He was talking about this poem that was themed and centered around the ideas of racial inequality," whatever little point Veley and Fuckagoat and Fox wanted to make was over because what Terry said had to do with what they read in class. That's it. Issue done. Academic freedom ain't pretty.

Veley said that he confronted Terry and that the professor refused to back down or apologize. "Really, he just argued with me," he told Kelly. So because he couldn't get his teacher to bow down to his ideology, Veley felt he had no choice but to "go to the media."

And then the minority leader of the Connecticut House, Republican Larry Cafero, took to the floor of statehouse to demand an apology from Terry. "I would hope upon reflection that Professor Terry would have the decency to apologize to his class and apologize to the state university that employs him and frankly, apologize to all citizens of the state of Connecticut for his inappropriate comment," Cafero said in his three-and-a-half minute speech that was totally not grandstanding for the media. The head of the state GOP piled on, calling what Terry said "indoctrination" and that the governor should investigate the "clear abuse of a taxpayer-funded position." Because, clearly, Cafero was not abusing his taxpayer-funded position.

The Rude Pundit's said it before and he'll say it again, dear, dumb college students who believe you should go through life only hearing what Fox "news" tells you: unless your professor gives you a shitty grade because of your political beliefs, your complaints are meaningless. In fact, they are antithetical to the idea of a university education. Argue with your professor. Get others into it. You'll probably just come to a draw. But there's a chance that you might, oh, fuck, what do call it, learn something.

Oh, and the recording of Terry that Veley made contains this from the professor: "That's where creative writing meets up with the real world." Yeah, Terry explains explicitly why he's saying what he's saying, that it's the job of creative writers and good readers to see what's the thought behind what people and characters and authors express. "Even if you never write another story and another poem after this class," he tells them, "that's what you've learned." The Rude Pundit's been at this a long-ass time. He's observed teachers, critiqued teachers, and hired teachers. That's good teaching.

So Terry ended up apologizing because he's an adjunct and what the fuck else was he gonna do? If he'd had tenure, he could have told everyone to kiss his happy ass.

But the dogs of the right are out there, sniffing blood on the street. Now on Terry's Rate My Professor page, people who have never taken a class with him are saying shit like "Some University Professors need to be Banished from the US for their crimes Terrorism Being taught here in American Schools" [sic]. (That's probably been deleted by the site by now.) We'll go through the usual round of the nutzoids bemoaning the "liberal bias" in the liberal arts (while no one seems to complain about the conservatives and Friedmanites running around the Business departments).

And it will all just go to making students more closed-minded, more myopic, and more likely to vote Republican.

(Note: The "scumfucker" mentioned at the top is not Veley. The Rude Pundit just feels sorry for him because he's gonna feel like an even bigger idiot in a few years when he realizes how wrong he was. The scumfuckers are the Campus Reform bastards and the Connecticut GOP. Oh, and Megyn Kelly.)

4/22/2014

Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Handful of Ativan With a Six Pack of Abita


That up there is Cat Island in Louisiana, in a photo from a week ago, which is nearly four years after the Deepwater Horizon ejaculated oil all over the Gulf coast. It used to be a nesting ground for brown pelicans, a lush mangrove-covered island that looks, as Doug Meffert, Vice President of the of the National Audubon Society, said, as if there was a fire. There wasn't a fire.

Sure, there are areas of that have recovered from the spill that started in April, some mitigation by time, water temperature, natural bacteria. Indeed, some of the recovery has surprised scientists.

Of course, there's no telling what's going to happen in the future as the environment continues to adapt to its poisoning by the oil and by the chemicals used to clean up the oil. An environmental chemist at LSU said, "[T]he oil is still in the marsh and it stays buried there, and every time there’s a storm event, tropical storms, it’s going to move some of that oil that’s still in the offshore environment around, and it will resurface." Another scientist says that they're still not sure where a third of the oil is.

We should also take into account the studies that link the oil spill with heart deformities in big fish like tuna and amberjack, ones that, you know, are immensely profitable, overfished already in some areas, now fucked right in their guts. "We can now say with certainty that oil causes cardiotoxicity in fish," says another scientist. Of course, we know what science is worth when it comes to the environment in the United States on this Earth Day 2014.

It really is like BP squatted down just squatted down over the Gulf of Mexico and squirted out the kind of watery shits that you get after drinking a bottle of cheap whiskey and eating a ton of fried food, laughing at how huge a dump it was taking and merely saying, "Whoa, that stinks" when it was done. But at least it wiped, right?

Back on Cat Island, there's one other effect of the decimation of the vegetation there. See, the roots of the mangrove trees held the soil together and, without them, the island is eroding away quickly, destroying not just the nesting grounds of the pelicans, but a buffer between the mainland and storms, and, well, hell, probably oil spills, too.

By the way, here's what Cat Island looked like in July 2010, a couple of months after the spill began, but before the oil had had an impact, during that gut-wrenching period of wondering where it was going to hit.


Pretty isn't it? It's nice that we have photos to remember it by.

4/21/2014

Mitt Romney Became a Grandfather Eight Times While Running for President and No One Gave a Damn

Here are the stupidest goddamn couple of sentences that the Rude Pundit's read in a while: "[A]s anyone who’s had children knows, there’s often nothing like the bond between mother and daughter when the first grandbaby is on the way. If we had to guess, we'd say that Hillary Clinton will be a tad less interested in running for president now that she's about to be a grandmother."

The "we" in this case is not a dimwit. It's Linda Feldmann, the longtime political reporter for the Christian Science Monitor. Yes, earlier in the same paragraph, she wonder if "Perhaps it’s sexist even to ask the question" as to how Chelsea Clinton's uterus providing room and board for a fetus for a few months will affect her mother's presidential ambition. She tries to excuse the question by saying that Bill and Hillary Clinton have said they want grandchildren, as if this means they wish to give up any identity other what's relative to what comes out of Chelsea's vagina. No matter the justification Feldmann gives, it's sexist.

In Washington Monthly, in an article titled, no shit, "Nana for President," Haley Sweetland Edwards offers, "She will also likely provoke a national water-cooler debate, as no male candidate would, over whether she is too involved in her grandchild’s life, or, more likely, not involved enough—'How can she have time to be a good grandmother,' people will ask, 'when she’s out running for president?'" That water cooler is more than likely going to be in the offices of media outlets, at Politico and Time, desperate for something else to talk about that will get hits at the website.

Because, see, out here, no one gives a sad rat fuck about it other than, hey, we wish Chelsea well (except for the assholes who don't).

Here's a recent history lesson: Mitt Romney announced that he was running for president for the first time in 2007. The press noted then, "He and his wife, Ann, high school sweethearts, have 5 children and 10 grandchildren." Hey, groovy. Now tell us about how Romneycare is just a terrible idea for the nation.

Mitt Romney more or less ran for president for the next five and a half years. During that time period, his sons and their wives brought into the family, in various ways, eight new grandchildren. Two of them were born, by way of a surrogate, in May 2012, in the heat of the campaign.

No one asked, at any point, if Mitt Romney might give up on his presidential ambitions because he wanted to spend more time with his litter of grandkids. Fuck, no one even asked in 2012 if Tagg Romney would do less on the campaign trail because he just got two new babies. No one asked because not only did no one care, but because everyone assumed that things would go on as normal because that's what the fuck people do, men, women, grand or otherwise. The only reason anyone is talking about this is because Hillary Clinton has lady parts. And, no matter how you wanna sputter, "But...no," it comes out sexist.

As Rebecca Traister put it in the New Republic, "I tried to look up how many presidents have been grandfathers while serving in office. It’s pretty hard to look up because no one in the history of presidents has ever cared about whether or not they have grandchildren or will ever have grandchildren because it is truly one of the dumbest things to care about in the universe." (Emphasis hers.)

But, well, shit, we live in stupid, stupid times where the press seems to take an active role in making us stupider. So no doubt we'll get the Chelsea truthers, people who believes the Clintons conspired to make sure Chelsea was pregnant in order to make Hillary more sympathetic during an election cycle. When it comes to the Clintons, there is no depth to which the right-wing media will not sink. They won't just scrape the bottom of the barrel; they'll get under the barrel in order to dig in the mud and shit there, coming up filth-encrusted and believing they've found gold.

Hillary Clinton was a lawyer, an active First Lady, a successful senator, a presidential candidate, and an intensely busy Secretary of State. Yeah, her only child is having the first grandchild. And?

If she decides not to run for president this time, it'll have more to do with being exhausted by the very bullshit that she's had to put up with for most of her adult life from debauched media whores looking for the next fake scandal to try to wreck her. It'd be hard to blame her.

4/18/2014

Family Research Council: Pray That God Stops States from Decriminalizing Marijuana

Being that Easter lands on 4/20 this year, it seems like a good excuse to talk about the marijuana. Apparently, it's being decriminalized and legalized all over the place, for medicinal, recreational, and sexual usage, and that's bad because it "only benefits drug peddlers." At least, that's what we're being told by the nutzoid evangelicals over at the Family Research Council (motto: "The only joint we smoke is made of Christ's flesh"). And we gotta pray on this shit because now Maryland, with its Democratic governor being all Democratic and shit, just decriminalized possession of a tiny amount of the demon ganja.

The call has gone out to the email inboxes of glory, and it's time for the Super-Duper Prayer Team to leap to its knees and into action. The Rude Pundit joined the FRC's SDPT a long damn time ago under a nom de rude so he could get the inside scoop on what all he needs to offer up the clasped-hand pray jobs to Jesus. Every week, he gets his directive to implore the Good, Loving Lord Who Is Filled with Wrath and Anger to fuck some shit up for various reasons, usually gays, abortions, or abortions by gays.

But this week, it's about legalization of pot, which is just spreading like a weed across the nation (get it? Stoner humor). Oh, sweet SDPT members, we gotta pray, "May state policies which encourage marijuana use, which serve as a gateway to more harmful drugs and addiction, and that benefit only drug peddlers, be reversed! May those in authority, especially parents, set an example and train our youth to reject mind altering drugs that are dangerous to everyone!" Colorado might argue that the sale of pot doesn't only help "drug peddlers," considering it's gonna benefit schools, especially.

Oh, and, hey, isn't marijuana a plant, created by God? Were we only supposed to admire its leaves? Make rope and itchy clothes with it? Perhaps a handy tote? Well, then, why did God make it so awesome to smoke? Why did God give it medicinal properties that help the sick and dying? That stop children from having seizures? Are we now questioning the ways of the Lord?

The Rude Pundit doesn't understand, and for SDPT members who need some guidance, the Prayer Target letter provides helpful verses straight from the Holy Bible itself. Like Luke 12:35-40, which says that servants need to be ready whenever their master needs them: "It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak." Were the servants getting baked? And what about the masters? Is it cool for them to toke? That one doesn't help.

What about another suggested reading, 1 Corinthians 6:12-20? Let's see here..."The body, however, is not meant for sexual immorality but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body." The hell? Does God want to fuck us? He'd at least need to buy the Rude Pundit dinner. Let's continue...something, something "prostitute." Aaand...oh, here: "Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body." So is this saying that if we get stoned, we'll end up fucking whores? Seems a roundabout way to imply something about marijuana. In fact, it quite specifically says that, if it's not the boning, we're good.

Okay, just one more: Ephesians 5:18. Maybe this will be more on the money: "Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit..." Well, there you go. The Bible says not to get drunk on wine, so you should avoid pot? Huh. That doesn't seem like a direct one-to-one relation there. And, mostly, the Bible has a problem with getting drunk, so is it okay to smoke a little weed, but not get too stupid?

This is all very confusing. The Rude Pundit needs to light up, clear his head, and pray in his own, special way.

4/17/2014

Regarding Torture, Spying, and Our Enabling, Complicit Silence

So Politico does a story on the Guardian and the Washington Post winning the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the documents and files taken by former National Security Agency contract employee Edward Snowden that revealed the extent of the NSA's gathering of heaping piles of yummy data on each and every one of us who uses electronics for communication. The article's author, Dylan Byers, quotes people who are angry about Snowden's whistleblowing. One of those is quoted is John Yoo, described as "a former deputy assistant attorney general and author of the 2002 memos advising the CIA’s use of enhanced interrogation techniques." The Rude Pundit has described him as "a piece of shit." One description does not negate the other, and, indeed, they seem to work well together.

As you might imagine, Yoo was not exactly thrilled. He said, "I’m not surprised the Pulitzer committee gave The Washington Post a prize for pursuing a sensationalist story, even when the story is a disaster for its own country...I don’t think we need automatically read the prize as a vindication for Snowden’s crimes." Huh, the Rude Pundit thought, if there's a man who knows something about abiding crimes that cause a disaster for our country, it's John Yoo. He's a dude who charmingly believes that the President has the right to order torture, even of children, if the President deems it necessary to protect the security of the United States, and he still supports the very program that "damaged the United States' global reputation."

As more and more is revealed, like that above quote, from the still-classified Senate Intelligence Committee report on the CIA's "enhanced interrogation," or "torture" program, the likelihood is still that not only will no one ever be punished for, as one of the conclusions reads, "conditions of confinement for CIA detainees [that] were brutal and far worse than the agency communicated to policymakers" and for outright lying to Congress, but that the entire episode will be tossed onto the shitpile of historical blindness. Except as pages in some book about this shameful age, it will never be confronted, never be grappled with, only repressed like a secret desire for snuff porn, for getting off on the disembowelment of young boys (known as "Cheneying").

Remember: all the awful things that you've heard about, all those "techniques," like waterboarding, stress positions, extreme heat and cold, placement into cramped spaces, that that's the shit that was done by the CIA. That's the shit that was approved by government lawyers like John Yo and Alberto Gonzales, the shit that has memos written about it, the shit that George W. Bush's torture apologists like Marc Thiessen desperately justify so they keep the demons that claw at their consciences at bay. It leaves out the black sites, where the CIA sent detainees to be tortured off the books, in Syria, in Poland, on an island owned by Great Britain, at a secret hidden compartment of Guantanamo Bay, with beatings and electric shock and the usual array of horrors.

Our silence as a nation has allowed so much to continue. There's the joke trials at the still-open Gitmo detention center, where the FBI turned a defense attorney into a secret informant, creating a situation that veers from tragedy to farce in prosecuting people who might actually be responsible for the 9/11 attacks. And, yes, there's the Snowden documents, which reveal the gratuitous paranoia, a national mental illness, that we are forced to exist with.

Ultimately, our failure to demand a reckoning merely enables the continuation of the abuses. Yes, Barack Obama ended the torture program, but, fuck, if no one's going to the Hague for it, what's to stop another president from starting it back up? Obama himself feels he has broad discretion to spy. What kind of precedent has been set here?

Except for a few dissenting voices, almost all of this has been met with a collective shrug and a "Meh, what are you gonna do?" Our mass silence is our complicity. And the feeling that we truly can't do anything about it even if we wanted to is the supreme victory by the powerful to render us powerless.

4/16/2014

The Lesson of the Bundy/BLM Standoff: The Government Allowed the Armed Right-Wing Assholes to Live

What the Rude Pundit understands about the just-concluded stand-off between the Bureau of Land Management and rancher Cliven Bundy and his merry band of other ranchers, children, and militia members, most of them armed, can be summed up in two pictures:


That's the assorted fucknuts, paranoiacs, and numbskulls gathered to defend Bundy's cows and their right to graze on protected federal land. (Some of the cows had been taken by the feds and held in pens.) They're also defending Bundy's desire not to pay the $1 million in fines he's been assessed for his 20 years of flouting the law. Bundy's just a crazed hick asshole, but he's a crazed hick asshole who hasn't given a shit about the law, spending more time losing in court than maybe campaigning for politicians who might change the laws (which is the way things are supposed to work). The land was protected to prevent the extinction of some species and to keep the habitat stable for wild horses. Fuck that, though. Bundy's cows liked free grass.

Of course, who gives a shit when a district court in Nevada ruled against Bundy and for the government, saying, "The public interest is best served by having the federal lands managed without the presence of trespassing cattle on lands that are closed to grazing. The public interest is also best served by removal of trespassing cattle that cause harm to natural and cultural resources or pose a threat to the health and safety of members of the public who use the federal lands for recreation. The court finds that the public interest is negatively affected by Bundy's continuing trespass."

Of course, the fucknuts, paranoiacs, and numbskulls all thought that this was an unconstitutional land grab or tyranny or the beginning of rancher death camps or whatever stupid shit Alex Jones and/or the voices in their damaged brains are telling them. Whatever it is, it requires a Second Amendment solution to keep their property rights that are given to them by God through the Constitution, which is exactly like Moses's tablets and not written by humans at all. Christ, the Rude Pundit is exhausted by simpleminded cocksuckers who wield the Constitution as if they actually understand anything other than a couple of the items they think are about them, like an asshole at a party who says he can play guitar but just strums the one or two chords he kind of knows.

The stand-off came to an end when the fucknuts et al blocked an interstate highway and got set up for the big armed battle (with the charming strategy of letting unarmed women get shot first because they thought that would gain them sympathy). The feds decided, "Oh, fuck it. Nobody needs to die over this literal bullshit. Release the cows." Bundy's son, who had been tasered by federal officers for kicking one of their dogs, declared victory and said, "The people have the power when they unite. The war has just begun." As some on the right have declared, you can view this as an act of civil disobedience over what gets to eat the grass, which is kind of sad, really. Still, you can imagine there was much hooting and hollering in celebration.

Which leads to photo number two:


That's what's left behind after the military drone missile bombs the living fuck out of some place in a desolate landscape, much like Nevada. "The war," if it ever came to that, would be over in a millisecond. But, no, please, lock and load, nutzoids.

The message to Bundy and his followers is simple: you are being indulged, like a child who threw himself on the floor of the Walmart, screaming because he just had to have that WWE action figure. And, frankly, when you start blockading roads and fucking up the land and pretending like you are anything more than a greedy motherfucker who doesn't want to pay his debts, it's hard to find sympathy.

4/15/2014

Florida GOP Congressman Ted Yoho: "Wow, I'm Dumb. Vote for Me"

At a town hall meeting in Gainesville, Florida (motto: "The ugly part of the Sunshine State"), good, faithful Congressman Ted Yoho proudly announced that he's a fucking idiot. Yoho was answering a question on whether or not the severe weather that has affected Florida, which, despite its beaches, bars, and boobs, has a robust agriculture industry, might be related to climate change and, if so, "are scientists right" about its causes.

Yoho responded, "I think there’s an agenda-driven science. I can read stuff that says that the information was skewed. It’s not right. I’m a guy that’s worked out in the weather since I was 16. I can tell there’s climate change. The cause? I’m not smart enough for that." On one level, it's good to know that Yoho trusts his senses when it comes to the existence of climate change. However, if one is not "smart enough" to understand something, perhaps one should rely on the advice of people who, oh, fuck, what do you call it, study it, like, you know, scientists. (Let's not even get into the idea that climatologists might have an agenda but oil companies apparently don't, according to Yoho's "logic." Or the fact that, in this day of internet rubes crapping out whatever they want, you read pretty much any "stuff" you want, from climate change denialism to slash fiction involving Harry Potter, Severus Snape, and a sexy black griffin with a huge cock.)

That was Yoho's response to a lot of questions: shit's just hard. "Our tax system is so complicated and convoluted," he told the crowd during his 90 minute confession of his mental disabilities. But, hell, he knows Obamacare is bad. Probably because the bill is so long.

Most stunning was his confession that he's unsure about the constitutionality of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Asked about by an African-American constituent, Yoho babbled, "Is it constitutional, the Civil Rights Act? I wish I could answer that 100 percent. I know a lot of things that were passed are not constitutional, but I know it’s the law of the land." It's too bad that the United States doesn't have a body that decides the constitutionality of the laws passed by Congress, like a court or something. For 50 years, we've lived under a law that might not even be legal.

Well, except for that unanimous 1964 Supreme Court decision that specifically said that the Civil Rights Act was constitutional. You excise Heart of Atlanta Motel, Inc. v. United States from the historical record, and you've got an argument. So Yoho would be right to be doubtful if he wasn't entirely wrong.

But wisdom rests, as it always does, with the electorate. Let's conclude with the words of Evelyn Suznovich, retired, who said of her representative to DC, "I’m glad that we have somebody in Congress (who) uses his brain...He’s a critical thinker, (who) thinks things out well." Well, for Florida, Yoho might be as smart as it gets. That chill you just felt is a dumbass tripping on your gravestone.

By the way, Yoho spoke at Kanapaha Middle School. "Kanapaha" is a word for houses made of palm leaves in the language of the Timucua Indians. Yeah, they're extinct now, thanks to the diseases that white Europeans brought to the New (to them) World. The missionaries were more successful in spreading infections than spreading the word of God. Yeah, between that and forcing the natives into slave-like labor, it was the perfect setting for Yoho to say that we shouldn't treat people of different races as equals.