One of the less glamorous aspects of the release by Wikileaks of oodles of secret documents related to the sad circle jerk that is the Afghanistan war is the clear demonstration that the actual day-to-day existence of Afghans is dependent on the occupiers (or, you know, mostly us). Sure, it's important to talk about the other revelations (or confirmations): the collusion between Pakistani intelligence and the Taliban, the ill-equipped troops in battle, and the bullshit Afghan forces that have the discipline of a pack of brain-damaged cats. But, as Evan Hill writes for Al-Jazeera, the mundane and quotidian aspects of Afghan existence demonstrate a level of dependency on NATO and the United States that'd make an opium dealer jealous.
The NATO provincial reconstruction teams (PRT) essentially decide who has power and who does not, who gets paid with reconstruction cash and who goes home empty-handed, and you can bet that every one of those decisions simply leads to the inevitable creation of more enemies that need to be fought.
There are land disputes: "In 2005, men of the Nasir tribe then living in Pakistan came to the Zabul PRT, not the Afghan government, to seek help returning to land along the border they said had been granted to them decades before by the Afghan king."
There are financial decisions related to reconstruction: "In December 2006, NATO forces awarded a bridge-building contract in the village of Pitigal to the local shura. The provincial governor overruled NATO and picked another man for the project. He promised to inform the shura, but never did. Unaware, the shura spent its own money to hire an engineer to conduct an estimate, survey the site and begin supervising construction.
"During a meeting the following January, after the shura realized they had been shut out of the deal, they told NATO officials they felt deceived. Nato made no apologies for the governor's decision and refused to reimburse the shura for the work it had done.
"An attempt by the commanding American captain to 'refocus' the shura on other matters 'was met with disinterest,' the report states."
There's the question of who to trust at all: "In 2006, a PRT in the Paktia province met Colonel Qadam Gul, the chief of police.
"Gul, according to a report of the meeting, had earlier told contractors that he had signed a non-aggression pact with the local Taliban.
"During the meeting, Gul told the PRT that the Taliban were laying low, waiting for coalition forces to leave. He accused another man, a local shura member, of being a Taliban commander and receiving support from Quetta, Pakistan, the reputed headquarters of Taliban founder Mullah Mohammed Omar."
There's a sad, Sisyphean hopelessness to the entire thing: "When an elder from a small farming village of 300 families made an unannounced visit one December to the Nuristan PRT to ask for help to prepare for the upcoming winter, the PRT brushed him off.
"They told the man to take his case to the district governor and that they would give supplies to the governor for distribution.
"The elder said he doubted that the governor would ever deliver the goods to the neediest people."
What you get from these less sexy documents is a portrait of soldiers and officials attempting to transform a country into something it is not. It's impossible. And what Wikileaks has forced us to see is that it's madness to continue.
Do you wanna see a show about fucking? Sure, you do, especially one written and directed by the Rude Pundit. Tickets are on sale for his newest play, and he's going after the politics of sex instead of the sex of politics. It's funny and bruising and, well, kinda hot. And it's live in New York City in August for $15 in advance. C'mon, gang, let's sell this shit out:
Click on the date to purchase tickets for the FringeNYC performances:
Tuesday, August 17 at 6:30 pm
Thursday, August 19 at 2 pm
Saturday, August 21 at 10 pm
Monday, August 23 at 8 pm
Wednesday, August 25 at 2 pm
All performances of Heterosexuals are at The Cherry Pit at 155 Bank Street. The show runs about 75 minutes.
And here's this week's dose of rudeness on the radio with Stephanie Miller:
These days, it's almost sad to see and read Ann Coulter. So long the standard bearer of right-wing ignorance expressed with a savagery that is mistaken as "wit," now, in the wake of the heights of bugfuck insanity that Glenn Beck reaches every time his spike-topped bloated head of doom appears on TV, Coulter's brand of cuntistry seems quaint or used up. She's essentially the oldest whore in the brothel, cooz and asshole so worn out from use that fucking her is like tossing a roll of pennies down a wishing well. Oh, sure, sure, the occasional regular like Sean Hannity will show up at the joint in order to give her a charity screw. But mostly, she's just sadly tramped-up eye candy, which, pathetically, is all she ever was.
However, often her writing contains nice, nutzoid summaries of the memes that make the email rounds and get teabaggers all hetted up. It's one-stop shopping to get a sense of the conservative zeitgeist, like signs with better spelling. In her latest "column" (if by "column," you mean, "a moldy piece of bread found under the refrigerator"), Coulter attempts to make the case that liberals are violent "treasonous" thugs who routinely physically attack conservatives while the Tea Party members and other right-wingers are peacefully and non-racist-ly exercising their First Amendment rights. You hear this all the time from Limbaugh and Beck and Hannity and Ingraham and the rest of 'em. "No video exists proving that black congressmen were spat on by protesters" or "Mean looking black people in Black Panther drag made white people unhappy" or "Tea Partiers ain't racist. It's just a few bad apples that bring the racist signs or say racist things. By the way, that MoveOn ad sent in by a single individual to an open contest that compared George W. Bush to Hitler proves all liberals are crazy. But, hey, isn't Obama just like Hitler?"
Let's do this the easy way:
Coulter says, "Last fall, a conservative had his finger bitten off by a man from a MoveOn.org crowd in Thousand Oaks, Calif."
The Rude Pundit says, "James W. von Brunn."
Coulter says, "In the fall of 2008, Obama supporters Mace'd elderly volunteers in a McCain campaign office in Galax, Va."
The Rude Pundit says, "Jim David Adkisson."
Coulter says, "One Obama supporter broke a McCain sign being held by a small middle-aged woman in midtown Manhattan before hitting her in the face with the stick."
The Rude Pundit says, "Scott Roeder."
Coulter says, "In separate attacks, a half-dozen liberals threw Molotov cocktails at McCain signs on families' front yards in and around Portland, Ore."
The Rude Pundit says, "Joseph Andrew Stack. And Byron Williams. And Richard Poplawski." Murder and mayhem after murder and mayhem, real and wannabe.
Let's just say that the scales weighing recent political violence are tilted quite a bit to the right, which perhaps gives us a reason to fear groups of armed, agitated conservatives gathering to vent.
And when Coulter asserts that she's listing only "a few acts of violence from the left too numerous to catalog," the only thing to say, the "Shut the fuck up" to her is one word, repeated as a chant, "McVeigh, McVeigh, McVeigh."
There the Rude Pundit was, in the Cajundome in Lafayette, Louisiana, a week ago, in the media section, right in front of the stage, for the Rally for Economic Survival. The rally, sponsored by local businesses, but mostly those that are oil-related, was to send a message via the media that most of Louisiana opposes President Obama's six-month moratorium on new deepwater drilling, as well as the suspension of operations on 33 wells currently being drilled (which is less than 1% of the deepwater wells in the Gulf). Everywhere you went in town, you could see signs telling people to go to the rally. Businesses shut down so their workers could attend, some even providing buses for them to get there. And, indeed, the Cajundome, which has a Justin Bieber concert coming up, was pretty much filled with over 11,000 people.
Behind the Rude Pundit was the staff for the Attorney General of Louisiana. Two seats back was Senator David Vitter, the Republican whose affairs with diaper-changing hookers do not seem to matter to the supposedly good Catholics and evangelicals who vote for him. Oil executives were all around. Walking through the Cajundome, you could identify people by their shirts - who worked for Halliburton, who worked for Shell, who worked for every small oil company, who was there for the local Tea Party. Most were the workers whose jobs could be affected by the halt of drilling, although one suspected that they were acting like it was a blanket moratorium and not one so specifically targeted.
A few observations:
1. Lieutenant Governor Scott Angelle is one of those old school politicians who can whip a crowd into a frenzy. Frankly, he's the guy Republicans should be grooming for the future, not Governor Bobby Jindal. The Rude Pundit's mom, who was his "photographer" for the event, found him absolutely thrilling.
2. Bobby Jindal is one of the goddamned worst speakers. His whiny little speech, which featured him saying that "We don't want a check from BP," climaxed by his lame-ass attempt to get the crowd to chant "Let us go back to work," which he approached with all the enthusiasm of a man forced to go to a John Mayer concert with his girlfriend. The crowd clapped a bit and confusedly tried to chant, but it was aborted before it reached its first trimester.
3. Plaquemines Parish President Billy Nungesser is not your roly-poly friend anymore. Oh, how we all loved this man of the people when he appeared on our magical Anderson Cooper show, railing about BP's despoiling of his people's land. But now he mocked President Obama and demanded an end to the moratorium on the very drilling that wrecked his parish's marshes and coasts. He's an old oil guy, so he knows where the big money comes from. It ain't shrimp.
4. Speaker after speaker said that this was a "war" that had to be won. The war was with the federal government, which was criticized (to cheers and boos) constantly in a way that BP was not.
5. The Cajundome and rally organizers did not allow people to bring signs, not inside, not in the parking lot. One imagines it was a way to avoid anyone showing up with an Obama/Hitler or witch doctor poster. But there was a barely contained rage towards the President that popped out every now and then when someone would yell, "Stop Obama." Or when oil lobbyist John Hofmeister started to talk about the "three evils" affecting South Louisiana. He was talking about the evils of what he called "misinformation" in various forms, but dozens of people called out "Obama" or "Obama is evil."
6. Yes, there were black people there. Yes, the vast majority of the crowd was white. No, the representation of non-whites was not in proportion to the truly diverse population of the region.
7. No Democratic politician spoke nor was in the audience. Not Senator Mary Landrieu. Not Representative Charlie Melancon. They both oppose the moratorium, too.
The Rude Pundit felt disgusted by the entire thing. Because you know what? They were right. South Louisiana is bought and owned by the oil industry. In the last century, it has raped the Louisiana landscape like a Russian mobster with a new shipment of hot Ukrainian women who thought they were immigrating for modeling jobs. The state is now the oil industry's willing whore, doing anything it can to please Chevron or ExxonMobil because that where the jobs are.
You drive down, for instance, Highway 90 from Lafayette to New Iberia, and you pass the pipe fitters, the heavy tool operators, the boat repair shops, the undersea explorer offices, the truck rental places, business after business after business, every single one of them, every single person in them, every single restaurant nearby, every single motel and hotel that puts up business travelers, all of them serving the oil corporations. And all of those jobs and all of those sales and service payments make up a huge part of the tax base of the state.
So, yeah, even with just 33 rigs down, that's thousands of jobs that are directly affected. And BP ain't gonna pay it all. And it's kind of a joke to get all upset about the ruined marshes when the canals and paths that have been carved out of the Louisiana landscape have shredded the wetlands for decades, with little attention beyond activists who wave their hands uselessly.
We're fucked. That's the conclusion the Rude Pundit reached. We are so very fucked by oil. Because the cost of weaning this nation off it is astronomical. Last month, when Bill Maher said, "Fuck your jobs" in favor of the environment, it was a fine rhetorical flourish, but so, so very naive, in a way he usually is not. But not because he dreams big. Liberals are dreamers. It's what we do.
We are fucked because every job lost is a family we all gotta help. It would cost trillions of dollars to extricate ourselves from the claws of Big Oil. And we are simply no longer a nation that thinks in such ways any more. That's why the Rude Pundit walked out of the rally angry, sad, and despairing. Unless we are willing to sacrifice as a whole, unless we are willing to shift our entire economy to saving the earth and the air, you may as well let 'em drill.
While we discuss about how the Shirley Sherrod story once again exposes our inability to articulate the complexities of racial relations in the United States, sometimes we need a little nudge, a little something that makes us say, "Oh, goddamnit. Really?"
For the Rude Pundit, while home in Lafayette, Louisiana, it was this sign on Pinhook Road, a main drag in town. Lafayette is not some podunk rural burg. It's a city of over 200,000 people. It's the heart of the oil industry in South Louisiana. People from all over the world visit and study there.
But there it was, this billboard for Eddie's BBQ, which reads "Ah likes da ribs." The Rude Pundit doesn't know how good the ribs are at Eddie's because, well, the restaurant's motto is born of either racism or stupidity or, as usual, the piquant sauce of both mixed together, and he'd rather give his money to the Southern Poverty Law Center or something.
By the way, the Rude Pundit pointed the billboard out to others, locals, who all said, "Oh, huh. Never noticed."
While the Rude Pundit was on vacation, watching while everyone was using the Shirley Sherrod story as another of a million opportunities for (mostly white) navel-gazing about race, while the Obama administration crumbled like Barney Fife facing down the Mafia, and while the mainstream media saw another opportunity to get all indignant about them internets, all he could think was, "Man, that Andrew Breitbart is fuckin' P.T. Barnum, man, and he's got these suckers wrapped around his snot-and-coke-coated little finger."
Andrew Breitbart may be a skeevy coprophage who gobbles shit with an enthusiasm that'd make a dung fly say, "Whoa, leave some for the rest of us," he may have sucked off Matt Drudge as hard as a Hoover set on "deep pile," and he may be a self-aggrandizing whore who buffs his shaved balls so they're nice and shiny for Sean Hannity, but that motherfucker knows how to sell a lie. He lies like lies are bullets and the truth is a mob of hungry zombies.
Breitbart, along with Drudge, have reversed the equation on the credibility of a media source. See, they only have to be right once, they only have to have a single real scoop, and all of a sudden the rest of the old school media are stumbling over themselves to break anything that they have to say, no matter how untrue or unverified the stories may be. So Breitbart and his mighty Final Cut Pro of doom can put together whatever nonsense they want and because there's a chance Breitbart is correct and someone one the left will look bad, Fox "news" will bite immediately. Matt Drudge never has to have a genuine scoop again because he's the guy who broke the Clinton blow-job story. And Breitbart, who, as far as the Rude Pundit can tell, has never had an "exclusive" story or report turn out to be true, is treated the same way.
The Sherrod story is extra pathetic because, almost immediately after the story hit Fox, Shirley Sherrod was told to resign (or, in the popular parlance, "fired") by someone in the fucking Agriculture Department who was afraid of Barack Obama seeming blackilicious. No investigation, nothing. Just running scared from Fox and Andrew Breitbart, a man who must have been passed over for a job because of affirmative action at some point because that son of a bitch hawks the myth of reverse racism like a lame white rapper who can't get a recording deal.
The success of Breitbart and the right-wing liars is that they have so distracted the media with their sad little stories of ACORN and Sherrod's supposed "racism" that other, more important stories have gotten lost. The ACORN nonsense infected the health care debate. The Sherrod affair stole the fire from the financial reform bill and unemployment benefits bill passage. When Breitbart appears on the air or in a speech to smugly defend his stories, he's actually saying, "Gotcha again, suckers." He's a media terrorist, making the news networks run scared because of the threat that he might be right this time.
There's something almost admirable about so Machiavellian a liar. Almost. Breitbart is an awful wart of a man, a wannabe power player, a trash can-licking gossip monger whose hatred and disdain of anyone who dares to point out that the egress is just an exit is just another part of the long con to make him rich.
Huge, huge thanks to this week's designated rudesters, who blew the roof off the dump with their posts on LGBT issues: Will/Wolf of Back2Stonewall, Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend, Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, Michael Petrelis of Petrelis Files, Monica Roberts of Transgriot. Make sure you regularly check out their blogs o' awesomeness. And scroll down to see their work here.
The Rude Pundit got to rest his brain and he's ready to kick out the jams and jam it up some asses. Or at least return to regular blogging. He's got a thing or two to say about Andrew Breitbart, and he attended a huge anti-moratorium rally and was two seats away from David Vitter.
Until Monday, enjoy this past week's liaison with Stephanie Miller:
Tired Of Being Invisible
I get the honor of closing out this LGBT Week of posts here at the Rude Pundit. It has been an interesting week of commentary from some of the leading bloggers in the LGBT blogosphere.
Guest posting stints like this remind me that even though I don’t consider myself an ‘A’ list blogger, other people and my blogging peers think the TransGriot is all that and three bags of chips, and I thank The Rude Pundit for the invite.
So let’s get to what’s on my mind today.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday attending the 2nd Annual Texas Transgender Nondiscrimination Summit on the Rice University campus. One of the conversations I was engaged in during our lunch break on Tuesday was the lack of visibility for African descended trans people.
The overwhelming narrative for transpeople in this country since Christine Jorgensen stepped off the plane from Denmark in 1953 has been disproportionately a vanilla flavored one despite the fact that trans people are found on every inhabited continent on this planet, including Africa.
And contrary to that vanilla dominated narrative, we’ve played some key roles in the shaping of the trans community in the United States.
*The first trans specific protest was a 1965 sit in at Dewey’s Lunch Counter organized by African American transpeople in Philadelphia.
*The first client of the now closed Johns Hopkins gender program was an African American transwoman named Avon Wilson.
*Miss Major was one of our African American trans Stonewall veterans.
*An African American transwoman named Marsha P. Johnson played a key role along with Sylvia Rivera of setting up and organizing the proto organizations that led to the modern GLBT rights movement.
*When then Senator Obama made his historic acceptance speech at the 2008 Democratic Convention in Denver, in the stadium that evening was Dr. Marisa Richmond, the first African-American transwoman elected as a delegate to a major party convention..
African descended transmen have also stepped up to the plate to provide leadership such as NBJC Board Chair Kylar Broadus, the late Alexander John Goodrum, the late Marcelle Cook-Daniels, and Louis Mitchell just to name a few.
But you wouldn’t know that if you peruse the trans history narratives being written, the melanin free White House LBGT receptions and congressional hearings, and the leadership ranks of trans organizations devoid of African American talent.
We even get ignored in our own community, when our fellow African American SGL people put together leadership lists purported to be inclusive of the entire community, but end up having no transpeople of African descent on them.
When they get called on it, they offer the weak excuse that ‘they don’t know of any African-American trans leaders.'
That bull feces needs to stop, especially when we along with our Latina sisters are taking the brunt of the anti trans violence casualties.
We’re not just ‘tragic transsexual’ victims, we are beautiful and talented people in our own rights. We are ready, willing and more than able to provide quality leadership for the entire TBLG community if just given the opportunity to do so.
The point is that this is the beginning of the second decade of the 21st century, and we're beyond sick and tired of being sick and tired of this situation.
You have a choice. It's either take the steps to correct this 'illusion of inclusion' situation, or suffer the consequences for your lack of visionary thinking.
I'm Living With 'Poz Face'
When lipodystrophy affects the face, deep creases and crevices in the cheeks appear, and this was once known as protease face, but has since evolved into poz face.
Other ways lipodystrophy changes the body is when the back of the neck enlarges to the point of a buffalo hump shape, while the stomach expands into a protease paunch, which derives from one key ingredient to the drug cocktail. For some reason, this last term has not devolved to poz paunch.
I'm living with poz face, buffalo hump and protease paunch, and I'm lucky enough to have public insurance and access to top-notch doctors and researchers. The reason why I'm mentioning all this is to, you'll pardon the expression, put a face to what it is like to be a PWA in 2010, after more than a decade of being on ever-evolving cocktails.
I consider my poz face to be one of character, and won't be getting the facial filler treatment to puff up my cheeks. The looks of sadness, obnoxious emails from adversaries and occasional instant rejection when people on the street realize I'm a pozzie, are things I can live with.
Sure, it ain't pleasant to have these and other side effects to contend with, but I know how blessed I am to be alive and able to take the medicines, while too many PWAs perished before the development of these powerful, and expensive, drugs. Oh, what the dead would give to be here facing the weird body changes.
And when I get the temporary blues about my poz face, I think of Mick Jagger. He does not have AIDS, nor is he taking a cocktail, but these days he has the classic poz face and he doesn't seem to want facial filler or other surgery to deal with his facial creases.
I reserve the right to change my mind about the options available to me, but for the time being, my poz face remains the same. The important thing to remember is my inner strength and the love of my friends and family, no matter what changes my body goes through because of AIDS and the drugs.
[Guest blogger Michael Petrelis shares his views on gay and AIDS issues at the Petrelis Files.]
Killing of Man in Cruising Spot
It wasn't until a few days ago that many in the gay community learned about this tragic killing, and questions are being raised by a few gay activists and the Gaymon family, challenging the official police version of what led to the fatal shooting.
The Newark Star-Ledger reports on why law enforcement agents were in the park on July 16:
The two detectives were conducting an undercover investigation after complaints from residents about people engaging in sexual acts in public, authorities said. Sheriff’s officers have made more than 200 such arrests in the park over the last 18 months.
Hundreds of arrests in less than two years, for consensual adult sexual activity in a public park? Questions must be asked why valuable police resources were spent on this undercover sting operation. I doubt that Newark's violent crime rate and major drug problems have been reduced to the point where law officials had to target men gathering for sexual liaisons.
One important component missing from this still-unfolding story is the condemnation of national gay political orgs. The Human Rights Campaign, the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force, and Lambda Legal have said nothing about the sex sting operation of a well-known gay cruising area and the arrest of hundreds of men.
Are these orgs afraid to condemn the Gaymon killing because they don't want to address the location and circumstances of where the death took place? Is defending the right of gay men, and men who have sex with men but don't identify as homosexual, to gather in a park and not contend with police officers with loaded guns?
I am aware of three advocacy orgs that have issued statements about all this - Garden State Equality, Gender Rights Advocacy Association of New Jersey and the Anti-Violence Project of New York City.
The NJ orgs requested the following, among several demands, from the prosecutor and sheriff:
First, we ask you immediately to inform us and our colleagues in Newark – including the LGBTQ Advisory Committee, City of Newark, and the Newark Pride Alliance – whether the killing was part of a sting operation in the park targeting gay men specifically or LGBT people specifically. If so, we ask you to cease and desist such operations in Branch Brook Park, and any others like it in Essex County.
Steven Goldstein, the head of Garden State Equality, shared this note today:
Yesterday, as you know, [we] sent a letter to the Essex County Sheriff, Armando Fontoura, asking to meet about the case, among several other requests we made in the letter. Sheriff Fontoura just called me and has agreed to meet with several of us "within the next week or so." We will keep you posted.
I am pushing Goldstein and his org to plan a public action, be it a press conference or picket line, in Newark about the Gaymon killing, the investigation thus far and the year-and-a-half sting operation, because such visible actions will do much to educate the general public about this tragic case. I hope to soon blog about Garden State Equality organizing a demonstration over Gaymon's death.
At the same time, we need the national gay orgs to speak out about this case, if only to counter some of the outrageous homophobia and sex-hysteria out there on the web over Gaymon, his life and men on the down low.
Click here to read some of the hateful remarks being made in a thread titled "NJ Cop shoots gay Atlanta CEO after bending over and getting a surprise in his ass."
We cannot accept silence from our advocacy orgs in this matter.
(Michael Petrelis blogs at the Petrelis Files, a site dedicated to covering gay and HIV/AIDS issues.)
The National Organization for Marriage (NOM), the folks who have fought every marriage equality amendment for the past few years, and who were particularly active in Maine's recent ballot loss for equality, have embarked on an East Coast tour to promote their message of marriage exclusion. Problem is, their tour has been something of a bust, with very low turnout everywhere they went. The most recent embarrassment was in Trenton, New Jersey, where they managed to rally a massive mob of 63.
You read that right. 63. And that's counting some of the camera crew and casual passersby.
NOM is desperate to try to gain attention and turn this turd-blossom into lemonade. Especially when you consider that this was what the camera's caught at their rally in Providence.
That wasn't the only controversial thing to happen in Providence. At one point during the rally, LGBT activists went behind the speakers in an apparent attempt to disrupt NOM's rally and began chanting. A few went up and began screaming in the face of NOM President, Brian Brown, which provided visuals that were propaganda gold for the anti-marriage movement.
Now, at Box Turtle Bulletin, we're not afraid to call it like it is. So my cohort, Timothy Kincaid, wrote a piece talking about how perceptions matter in the cultural battles we face. Agree or disagree -- I happen to agree in this case -- but we certainly had a rollicking controversy over Timothy's commentary among our reader's comments, with the very first comment demanding that we "take this shit down and write a supportive piece." You know, like what the Stalinist-style propaganda robots at NOM do on their web site.
Naturally, I refused. Because if there's anything we're fighting for, it's for freedom of expression. It's the freedom to express ourselves as gay people to our families and with our families, families that NOM refuses to recognize. And we have the temerity to demand our rights to express ourselves not because we're gay, but because we're Americans.
Now here's where things get absolutely hilarious. NOM's blog has been chronicling every stop of their tour, so today you'd expect an update on yesterday's disastrous turnout in Trenton. But no. They're celebrating because of "infighting among homosexual activists," and they point to our blog's comments as proof.
That's right. Blog readers are now "homosexual activists."
Oh yeah. We're having a lot of fun over that.
Here's the thing. NOM is peeing their collective pants in glee over discovering that the LGBT community is a very diverse group of people, ranging from Christians to atheists, Republicans to Democrats, from right-wing fascist to merely conservative to moderate to merely liberal to left-wing Marxist. You know, like the rest of America.
But Louis Marinelli, NOM's blogger, is so incapable of understanding that concept that he even seems to think Timothy and I are the same people. That confusion is instructive, because like many who fight so hard against LGBT equality, Marinelli is incapable of distinguishing among different people. Where we see people, he sees an agenda. And to him, Timothy and I are all the same.
And so what Marinelli is squealing like a schoolgirl over here is his cognitive dissonance that he has encountered now that his stereotype of the monolithic “homosexual agenda,” that bogeyman who lurks in the shadows and always behaves in a predictable way (bogeyman only exists in the imagination of the dreamer, hence the predictability) evaporates when confronted with the reality that, gosh, different people have different opinions! Imagine that! And furthermore, they’re going to express them!
Well golly willikers! Maybe we disagree with the whole equality thing altogether!
Don’t count on that.
Jim Burroway is the editor of Box Turtle Bulletin, an LGBT blog dedicated to news, analysis, and fact-checking of anti-gay rhetoric.
This should be on the calling card of the perpetually professionally frustrated Elaine Donnelly of the Center for Military Readiness. This is a woman who has for years specialized in educating the American public about her pathological fantasies that are sure to occur when "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" is finally repealed.
The incredibly lacquered coiffured doyenne of discrimination is her own cottage industry -- Elaine serves as an expert in military readiness without any military experience or expertise on sexuality -- by creating sexualized imagery for anyone who cares to pay attention to her that repealing DADT will turn barracks into orgy palaces.
If she didn't exist, someone would need to invent Donnelly. I imagine her at the keyboard, moist, nearly at hot-flash fever pitch, typing...
"We're talking about real consequences for real people," Donnelly proclaimed. Her written statement added warnings about "inappropriate passive/aggressive actions common in the homosexual community," the prospects of "forcible sodomy" and "exotic forms of sexual expression...Like a woman who is stared at, her breasts are stared at," Donnelly explained. She further explained the "absolutely devastating" effect of homosexuals "introducing erotic factors" and made a comparison to Sen. Larry Craig's adventure at the Minneapolis airport. She said admitting gays to the military would be "forced cohabitation" and a policy of "relax and enjoy it."Whew. Did anyone need a cigarette after that? Let's not use that word moist in reference to Donnelly again.
Elaine claims that "homosexual activists are pushing hard to impose their agenda on our military, regardless of the impact on morale and discipline," and that DADT repeal will result in complaints about inappropriate, passive or aggressive actions conveying a homosexual message or approach. She was so intrepid that she developed a "flow chart" of the disaster that awaits.
Elaine CARES, she really does. It's not about the sex, it's the proximity to potential same sex encounters. She's concerned over gay men sharing a "cramped submarine" with other soldiers.
Hey hay! Ho ho! GAY OPRESSION HAS GOT TO GO!!
Let me start by introducing, and plugging myself. My name is Wolf and I run the LGBT Blog, Back2Stonewall.com. I do have to admit I was very surprised when the great and mighty Rude One himself emailed me and asked me to be a guest blogger at the Rude Pundit this week. Not only because of the fact that I I'm just a angry queer with a snarky sense of humor and I really thought I only had about 10 readers, but to be included with such illustrious LGBT blogging company this week such as Pam Spaulding of Pam’s House Blend, Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin, Michael Petrelis of Petrelis Files, and Monica Roberts of Transgriot is just mindblowing for a relatively new blogger like me. And I am humbled but will do my militant gay best. (I suppose Andy Towle of Towleroad was busy but hell I ain’t proud I’ll take it!)
So for the past few days I've been wondering about what to post about when I came across this little bit of revisionist history bullshit that’s being spread by the nasty little anti-gay group The National Organization For Marriage.
REALLY? Well most actual human beings other than those "creatures" at The National Organization for marriage do know that LGBT’s have been persecuted. But do people really know to what extent? Everyone knows about the murders of Matt Shepard and Harvey Milk and the current gay bashings and violence upon the LGBT community but how many people know exactly how long our persecution has been happening, and how many of us have been imprisoned or killed, or the fact that the persecution in most cases leads back to certain groups?
So lets take a jump back in history and start off about 1700 YEARS ago and look at some of (and believe me not all of) of the persecution that we the LGBT community have endured through the ages, and how in many cases it leads back to oldest organized crime family in history. No not the Soprano's. RELIGION.
342 AD – The first law against same-sex marriage was promulgated by the Christian emperors Constantius II and Constans (It's the Christians!)
390- 405 – In the year 390, the Christian emperors Valentinian II, Theodosius I and Arcadius declared homosexual sex to be illegal and those who were guilty of it were condemned to be burned alive in front of the public and Nonnus' Dionysiaca is the last known piece of literature for nearly 1,000 years to celebrate homosexual passion. (The Fucking Christians AGAIN!)
498 – In spite of the laws against gay sex, the Christian emperors continued to collect taxes on male prostitutes until the reign of Anastasius I, who finally abolishes the tax in favor of sampling of the best men. (And as you see the fucking HYPOCRITICAL Christians and as you can see they haven’t changed much in over 1500 years)
589 – The Visigothic kingdom in Spain, is converted from Arianism to Catholicism. This conversion leads to a revision of the law to conform to those of Catholic countries. These revisions include provisions for the persecution of gays and Jews (Do I even have to say it?)
1120 – Baldwin II of the Kingdom of Jerusalem, convenes the Council of Nablus to address the vices within the Kingdom. The Council calls for the burning of individuals who perpetually commit sodomy
1250-1300 – Homosexual activity radically passes from being completely legal in the most of Europe to incurring the death penalty in most European states
1232 – Pope Gregory IX starts the Inquisition in the Italian City-States. Some cities called for banishment and/or amputation as punishments for 1st- and 2nd-offending sodomites and burning for the 3rd or habitual offenders. - 1260 – In France, first-offending sodomites lost their testicles, second offenders lost their member, and third offenders were burned. Women caught in same-sex acts could be mutilated and executed as well.
1370s – Jan van Aersdone and Willem Case were two men executed in Antwerp in the 1370s. The charge against them was gay sex, which was illegal and strenuously vilified in medieval Europe..
1476 – Leonardo Da Vinci is charged with sodomy but no verdict is rendered in his trial.
1532 – Holy Roman Empire makes sodomy punishable by death/ And guess what? They kill more of us Homos!
1533 – King Henry VIII passes the Buggery Act 1533 making all male-male sexual activity punishable by death and then ]Mary Tudor ascends the English throne and removes all of the male-male sexual activity laws passed by Henry VIII. (“Maybe that’s why we say Oh Mary PLEASE!)
Between 1540 and 1700 The Spanish Inquisition begins. Sodomites were stoned, castrated, and burned., more than 1,600 people were prosecuted for sodomy.
1558 – Elizabeth I ascends the English throne and reinstates the sodomy laws. The BITCH! (They imprision and kill MORE Homo’s, of course)
1649 – The first known conviction for lesbian activity in North America occurs in March when Sarah White Norman is charged with "Lewd behaviour each with other upon a bed" with Mary Vincent Hammon in Plymouth, Massachusetts. Hammon was under 16 and not prosecuted. (Sarah wasn’t killed. Just banished)
1721 – Catherina Margaretha Linck is executed for female sodomy in Germany.
1779 – USA- In 1779 Thomas Jefferson (Proof that the ORIGINAL Tea Bagger was a homophobe) prepared a draft of Virginia’s criminal statute, envisaging that the punishment for sodomy should be castration. The bill read:
“Whosoever shall be guilty of rape, polygamy, or sodomy with a man or woman, shall be punished; if a man, by castration, a woman, by boring through the cartilage of her nose a hole of one half inch in diameter at the least.” (Virginia Bill number 64; authored by Jefferson; June 18, 1779 - PLEASE Note that there is nothing about adultery, inter-racial sex, or children out of wedlock mentioned. A Jefferson talent!).1828 – The term "Crime against nature" first used in the Criminal code in the United States.
1871 – Homosexuality is criminalized throughout the German Empire by Paragraph 175 of the Reich Criminal Code
1933 – The National Socialist German Workers Party bans homosexual groups. Homosexuals are sent to concentration camps. Nazis burn the library of Magnus Hirschfeld's Institute for Sexual Research, and destroy the Institute; Denmark and Philippines decriminalizes homosexuality. Homosexual acts are recriminalized in the USSR. In 1945, upon the liberation of Nazi concentration camps by Allied forces, those interned for homosexuality are not freed, but required to serve out the full term of their sentences under Paragraph 175; An estimated 15,000 - 45,000 homosexuals die in Concentration Camps.
1950 – The Organization for Sexual Equality, now Swedish Federation for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Rights (RFSL), is formed in Sweden; East Germany partially abrogates the Nazis' emendations to Paragraph 175; The Mattachine Society, the first sustained American homosexual group, is founded in Los Angeles (YEA! Finally some GOOD NEWS!)
And this is just the TIP of the gay hating persecution iceberg. There are so many more cases of LGBT rape, torture, murder throughout the centuries that it’s insane and far too many to list here. But lets not skip imprisonments in mental institutions, the shock therapies, chemical castrations that were backed and performed by NOM’s buddies in the LDS Mormon Church in the 1970’s until the 1990’s And who could forget America’s own gay hating genocidial version Adolph Hitler of the 1980’s Ronald Reagan who is responsible for at least 20,849 (mostly gay) Americans who died of AIDS by the end of his second term when he finally stopped ignoring AIDS and finally spoke of it and who opened the doors let those FUCKING BIBLE THUMPING CHRISTIANS known as the Moral Majority into the front door of our goverment.
Now I’d be lying if I say we haven’t gained some ground in many countries. But unfortunately the USA is not one of them. It’s actually kind of mind boggling when you think of recent world events and compare them to the evolution of gay rights in America. Even Argentina which was once one of the most fascist countries in the world and was led by Madonna, I mean Juan and Eva Peron now will allow gay marriage and what do we have here in the USA? DOMA! In more than 30 countries, including U.S. allies such as Israel, Canada and the United Kingdom, gays and lesbians are allowed to openly serve in their country's military. And what do we have? DADT! And why is that? Because of supposed fucking “Christians” and religious groups like The National Organization for Marriage, Focus on the Family, The Family Research Council, The Mormon Church, and the oldest organized crime family in the world, The Catholic Church continue to persecute LGBT Americans, just as Christians have been doing for centuries and they won’t stop until we “disappear”.
So next time you see one of these bible thumping, bigoted, anti-gay assholes. Don’t be shy and just walk right up to them, look them in the eye, take a stand and tell them to “Shut the fuck up and to go hell”. Because they’re not going to stop their persecution by politically correct discussion’s or trying to change their “hearts and minds”. (The WORST strategy the LGBT Community has ever had because you can't change hate that comes from religion) They are dangerous. Their hatred of the LGBT community is in their blood, and it is their dogma of thier radical religious beliefs. And there will always be lemmings just as stupid, crazy and hateful as they are that will follow them and escalte the hate. And they won’t stop until ALL of us gay, straight, bi, transgendered, black, white, yellow, brown and fucking purple band together and STAND together despite our differences and let them agressively know that we aren’t going to take their bullshit anymore and turn a blind eye to to the their hateful legacy that has been flowing for centuries and has led to the deaths of so many.
I DID tell you that I was an angry queer. And is there any wonder why?
I just wish there were more like me because this Politically Correct bullshit is killing us.
**If you'd like to leave a comment please feel free to follow this link over to Back2Stonewall.com where this post will be crossposted.
Just a reminder: the Rude Pundit is leaving the bloggery behind for a week in order to reboot his brain. However, he's lined up a mighty sweet collection of writers for your reading pleasure:
Monday, July 19: Will/Wolf of Back2Stonewall
Tuesday, July 20: Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend
Wednesday: Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin
Thursday: Michael Petrelis of Petrelis Files
Friday: Monica Roberts of Transgriot
Yup, a whole week of LGBT bloggers whose own work demands your attention. They'll be writing about whatever they want, but they'll get to kick loose the rude jams in this dojo.
(The Rude Pundit will still keep his regular Monday date with Stephanie Miller.)
Let us pause for a moment here to praise a state for standing up for what we quaintly used to call "civil rights." You remember those? You remember the days before we were all suspects in crimes that hadn't occurred but, boy, oh, boy, they sure might? The Rude Pundit thinks there was a brief period between about 1975 and 2000 when that was actually true. Oh, what fun we had.
Now, amid Arizona's "The Constitution can blow a cactus" show-your-papers law and the support it's been getting from other states (not to mention piquant bits of spicy bullshit like Louisiana's Jesus wants you locked and loaded law), it's almost touchingly nostalgic, a bit retro, if you will, for a state legislature and governor to actually tell police, "No, that's a bit too far."
In New York, despite the amount of spittle flying out of New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg's mouth, Governor David Paterson is going to sign a law that says the police can't keep a database of the names, addresses, and Social Security numbers of every single person they stop and frisk. While "stop and frisk," as the stopping and frisking is called, is still quite a ways over the line of "innocent until proven guilty," at the very least, the cops won't be able to have your name on file so that every time there's a crime in your neighborhood, they come to question or arrest you for suspicion.
As for "stop and frisk," according to the NYPD's own records, "Last year, the police made a record 581,000 stops, bringing the tally since 2004 to nearly three million. Yet more than 85 percent of the stops never led to an arrest or a summons." You got that? In one year, the police intimidated nearly half a million people who didn't even have some weed on them. Oh, and 90% of the people stopped are non-white. And once they do that, the police wanted to keep your info on record forever.
Of course the cops are upset. Of course Bloomberg is upset. Surely, lots of people are willing to give up their rights in order to feel vaguely more safe. But let's let the mayor rather enthusiastically paint the picture of the future in his response to the law: "And what's wrong with keeping the data? We have data on everything. You wait until we have facial recognition software, and somebody's going to have a record of every person that walks down by your house. You just point a camera at them, the software will do it. That's coming. I mean, these days of, we put license plates on your car. You can read those by computer now, and we know where you're driving. Cell phones, everybody knows where you are."
And you know what? He's right. Feel safer?
1. The Rude Pundit is packing right now to leave on one of his walkabouts in Red State America. He's heading to Louisiana, and he's taking a week off, starting Monday, because, for the love GodAllahWhoeverOrNobody, he needs to shut off his brain for a little while. But never fear. He's leaving you in the hands and keyboards of five awesome bloggers.
And here's your line-up:
Monday, July 19: Will/Wolf of Back2Stonewall
Tuesday, July 20: Pam Spaulding of Pam's House Blend (Pam's the returning champ. It's her third go-round as a designated rudester.)
Wednesday: Jim Burroway of Box Turtle Bulletin
Thursday: Michael Petrelis of Petrelis Files
Friday: Monica Roberts of Transgriot
Yup, you've figured out the rainbow connection: they're all LGBT bloggers, and more may be added. That's right: It's Big Lesbian, Gay, Bi, and Trans Week at the Rude Pundit's joint next week. While he will be down in Louisiana, checking out oily marshes and doing his part by contributing to the local bar economy, come join the dance party over here. The iPod's got a kickass raggacore mix, the ecstasy is kept in a carved-out copy of Karl Rove's autobiography, and the extra tequila is behind the tequila.
2. Tickets are on sale now for the first of two plays the Rude Pundit is directing this summer. Opening on Tuesday, July 20, Hunter Gatherers by Peter Sinn Nachtrieb, about two married couples whose evening devolves into mayhem, has sex, violence, nudity, profanity, and animal sacrifice (which is what the Rude Pundit calls "Wednesdays").
And while it's being performed at a theatre at Baruch College in NYC, it's being done by ONETime Productions, a young company with young and luscious actors who are way too willing to do the depraved things the Rude Pundit has told them to do. In other words, good times are guaranteed for all.
(The Rude Pundit knows for certain he'll be at the Saturday, July 24 performance.)
Now the saddest part of this billboard in Mason City, Iowa, paid for by the North Iowa Tea Party, is not the idiotic comparison of President Barack Obama to Hitler and Lenin. Oh, no. It's not the absolutely disingenuous response from the group, which was, "The pictures overwhelmed the message. The message is socialism." That's like saying the real issue in the Roman Polanski case is our extradition treaties.
No, the saddest part is not the moron's understanding of the vast, vast differences between the Nazi's "socialism" and the Soviet Union's. Or that a legally elected President and Congress spending money in the way they said they'd spend money when they campaigned during that election does not equal socialism. When one goes to Beck U, one can't get all those nuances in a 90-minute online lecture. If you're letting a man with no hands fuck you in the ass, you can't expect to get a reacharound.
And, no, the saddest parts are not the unwittingly ironic statements on the billboard. To "Live free or die," one might say, "Umm, didn't you just get to put up a big ass sign that says the President is Hitler? That seems pretty goddamn free, motherfucker." To "Radical leaders prey on the fearful and naive," one might say, "Truer words, man, truer words."
The saddest, most pathetic, most "Tell me about the rabbits, George" part of the thing is this: "Democrat Socialism." Why? Because the use of the word "Democrat" as an adjective. It's a trick that Republican cockmongers toss around, as a way of denigrating the Democratic Party by emphasizing "rat" at the end. It's sort of like looking at Newt Gingrich's big ass and saying, "Now that's a Republi-can." Except not as funny. The GOP's language game goes back, at least, to Joe McCarthy. And it's been used by Republicans since in order to tarnish the name of the opposition.
What's sad is that, by using it, the North Iowa Tea Party is taking on the vocabulary of the elite and powerful on the right. It's as if they're insisting to Mommy and Daddy that they can wear big boy pants now. It's like they're just pleased as punch that they get to be Sarah Palin's and Jim DeMint's lackeys or Frank Luntz's whores. God, how pleased the ultraconservative Republicans must be; how they must laugh. They've got the yokels suckered now, so much so that the yahoos think they can act like they have any power at all or plans more than destroying Obama for the sake of destroying Obama.
Bonus points: The North Iowa Tea Party website features this line about a reading group it's put together: "The aim is to study the Constitution of the United States and focus people's attention on the abominations being perpetrated on us by the 'entitlement people' and the politicians that benefit from their votes." Ya gotta admire the phrase "entitlement people." It's the newest way to say, "Niggers."
Yesterday, the Rude Pundit talked gently to an injured Stephanie Miller about showering with gay people and oil. A splendid time was had by all.
You can take the Rude Pundit into the shower with you if you subscribe to the rude podcast.
You can actually see the moment that Fox "news" host Neil Cavuto loses his will to live. It's at about the five minute mark in his interview with Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle. Cavuto can't get his mind around Angle's allegation that Senator Harry Reid somehow did something wrong by helping MGM Resorts not go bankrupt by making a few calls to banks to give the mega-employer in Vegas more leeway in its loans as it builds the massive City Center. Angle had previously said that federal stimulus funds were given to MGM, which was an ignorant lie.
And here she was, on Cavuto's show, and Cavuto told her it wasn't a stimulus, asking, "Were you not aware that the company did not receive any stimulus money, but that Harry Reid was just phoning lenders on behalf of a big employer in your state?"
To which Angle replied, "Well, truly, he was exercising his influence to do a bailout, if you will, of MGM, at the expense of others."
Now, there's all kinds of things you could say to criticize Reid's actions. You could say that he was giving help to a big damn donor. You could say that Reid's probably never done the same thing on behalf of an individual who was going bankrupt. Or you could go in the other direction and just say that he saved around 80,000 jobs, including 22,000 just in City Center construction and staff, and, hey, isn't that groovy? But the one thing you can't say? That there was a bailout. Oh, you can, but then you're a fucking retard.
Angle is a less-evolved Sarah Palin, who knows to never say anything specific about anything unless you fill your speech with random buzzwords for obfuscation. But this is what you get, GOP, when you allow a power-hungry twit with cash run the joint: a bunch of teabagging nuts who are Team Palin, her "Mama Grizzlies" and others, men, who apparently aren't going to be called "Papa Grizzlies," since male grizzly bears are assholes. By the way, fun facts about grizzly bears: human hunters in places like Alaska are their greatest threat, and, unlike Sarah Palin, Mama Grizzlies have a low reproduction rate.
Angle, though, is a very special bear, indeed. And you could see the despair in Neil Cavuto's eyes and hear the doubt in his voice when he said to the candidate, "[T]his wasn't a bailout, right? This was simply just having its loans extended. No federal money was involved." You could tell he was saying, "Please, please, take my hand on this one or Rupert will make me blow his dog for his amusement again."
Being stupid, Angle slapped his hand aside and plowed on, because nothing like logic was going to stop a person who thinks that the Department of Education should be abolished, that the U.S. should be out of the U.N., and that fluoride in the water is bad: "No, but it was a bank bailout. He was saying you should lend to this one, but it was at the expense of others." Which was actually not what Reid said or did.
God, you knew Cavuto was seeing his world crumble, thinking that this was the caliber of person he was going to have to flack for on Fox "news," that every cycle brings the mutant offspring of the previous cycle to the fore. And while you can't say that there was anything like sympathy for Cavuto, he having been another enabler of our political degradation, you had to think, "That's a man who now realizes what happens when you sell your soul. It's a lesson for all of us."
Weakly, he continued in desperation, "MGM Mirage is very big employer, if not the biggest, in your fine state. So, U.S. senator, if you were duly elected, wouldn't do that? You wouldn't be doing everything possible to keep that big employer employing people?" Angle said, essentially, "Nope."
Ahh, Neil Cavuto, being Sarah Palin's bitch is not as fun as you were led to believe, is it?
Now that the Department of Defense has decided to start, ahem, polling the troops on the consequences of repealing the absurd Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, it has put together a survey with a bizarre focus on showering with the gays. Because, as any kid in a gym class will tell you, the shower is a sanctuary of purity. It's an online, voluntary survey, so the results will be as unscientific as a game of Dungeons and Dragons.
However, a few questions were taken out of the survey for being "too suggestive."
1. If you see a naked service member of the same sex in the shower, would you:
A. Think about how back in high school, you had a wonderful night of exploration.
B. Create elaborate fantasies about group sex and tell a leader about them in excruciating detail.
C. Pray like a motherfucker to put those thoughts out of your sinful head.
2. If you are in your barracks and a fellow service member you know is gay is masturbating in the bunk next to you, do you:
A. Ask if he/she is thinking about you.
B. Masturbate, too.
C. Tell yourself that it's just Satan making him/her do it and flog yourself repeatedly.
3. If you are at war and under fire and the only service member who can assist you is gay, do you:
A. Just let yourself get killed.
B. Allow yourself to be assisted and then call the service member, "Fag" or "Dyke."
C. Are you fucking kidding? Straight, gay, I'd go down on him/her all night if he/she saved my ass.
4. If you were to have anal relations with a service member of the same sex (which may or may not involve a dildo), would you be:
5. Can we watch?
C. Watch? Hell, join in.
Yes, there is so very much to talk about today, like the way-cool DOMA verdict in Massachusetts, so very much to get all foamy and filthy about, like slime bucket David Vitter's abetting of a girlfriend-attacking aide, but for a moment, the Rude Pundit is going to thank someone who, for the better, impacted him like an asteroid hitting the earth and taking out the dinosaurs.
There is one major reason that the Rude Pundit has and holds firm to certain beliefs about people, the nation, and the world, and that is a professor from his first semester of college. The Rude Pundit spent only a year at Tulane University, but in a single course, Professor Jean Danielson completely and utterly transformed his worldview. She died Monday. She wouldn't have remembered the Rude Pundit if he had his name in neon on top of his head, but, chances are, there would be no "Rude Pundit" if it hadn't been for Prof. Danielson.
In her Political Theory class, she taught us freshmen everything from Aristotle to Rousseau, and she did it all with such conviction and genuine, if muted, passion that it forced the young, conservative Rude Pundit to re-examine everything he had been told about the world, by his parents, by the media, by his friends, by Ronald Reagan. When we got to Thomas Hobbes and the social contract, and he realized that that's what Republicans saw in humanity, he bailed on the right and opened his mind to the possibilities of progress through liberal ideology, not the repression and control demanded by a conservative view of the world.
There are two moments that the Rude Pundit remembers fondly: there was a wannabe anarchist in the class, the obnoxious kind of stoner who's read a bit of Carlos Castaneda and thinks he knows it all. Prof. Danielson, who loved arguments in our class, wrote the word "liberty" on the blackboard and asked what we thought it meant. Johnny Needstobathe said, "Well, you may say that word's 'liberty,' but I may say it's 'frog.'" She asked him to repeat himself. He took it further. "You might see it as that word, but I might see it as 'frog.' You only see 'liberty' because someone told you that's what it is."
She nodded and responded, "If you go around telling people that you think 'liberty' is a 'frog,' you won't get very far in this world." And she went on. The lesson? Bullshit is for bullshitters who have nothing else to say. Don't waste everyone's time. Especially if we're talking about liberty.
The other moment is more an image. The Rude Pundit would visit Prof. Danielson in her office, where stacks of books and papers filled the space. There, he laid out the deep conflicts he was having about his worldview. Smoking away, back when that sort of thing was allowed, she led him to understand that you have to construct your web of beliefs on more than just the weak threads of blind obedience to those you're supposed to respect. You have to be willing to go into the tangles and thickets, get cut up and bruised, and then come through on your own to see what you know now. Yes, she was very Yoda in her methods.
The Rude Pundit has often told the story of his walk across the Tulane campus one autumn night, on his way to a Young Republicans meeting, of how the friend he was walking with thought that it was ridiculous that Congress wanted to cut spending on the nuclear arms race, of how the Rude Pundit stopped and said, "No, I think we have enough missiles. I don't think I can go to this meeting," of how he right there and then abandoned Reagan and the right-wing for good.
Prof. Danielson caused that night to happen. And that night led to this blog. He is grateful to her every day. Here's hoping that students in the years and years after had such life-altering revelations because of her.
The Rude Pundit worked up a great deal more enthusiasm for President Obama this week, which titillated a newly repatriated Stephanie Miller out in Los Angeles.
Subscribe to the Rude Pundit's podcast. It's rude and made of pods.
So, remember back in December and January? You remember that long ago? Remember how fucking cold it was? And all that fucking snow? The Rude Pundit remembers watching one little male dog take a piss, and its dick got stuck to the hydrant. Yeah, it was bad. And, oh, what a mad jig of glee did the anti-science climate change deniers do, contorting their bodies into deformed figures to mock the notion that the earth was warming?
Ah, such warm memories of being gathered by the fire, listening to Neil Cavuto say, "This is our Fox News global warming alert for you. It is freezing across the entire globe."
The Rude Pundit thinks he was snuggled under a down quilt between an Eskimo dude and a woman from Iceland in the passionate afterglow of a morning spent in the throes of a three-way creation of human-generated heat when he heard Steve Doocy of Fox "news" say of the frigid weather, "That global warming thing is really kicking into high gear, isn't it?"
And we heard Rush Limbaugh say, "So all you mankind global warming BS holdouts do us a favor, why don't you go out and shovel everybody's driveway and sidewalks for free and maybe we'll let you in the house for five minutes to tell us all about man-made global warming when you finish and the evil of fossil fuels. Why don't you come in and tell us about the evil of fossil fuels while the snowplow is driving by your house to get your stupid little hybrid out of a drift so that you can head to the Whole Foods commune and pick up your bean sprouts?" Ironically, the Rude Pundit was driving to the A&P to pick up Limbaugh-brand Lard Muffins because he's a goddamned American and won't eat that pussy-ass healthy shit.
Yes, we had some fun back when winter was cold. Of course, since it's called "global warming" and not "New York City warming," one should probably have taken into account the entire world, but, oh, no, that'd be thinking outside one's narrow realm of existence.
Oh, and remember how the so-called Climategate emails seemed to demonstrate the insidious nature of the evil scientists involved in trying to get reductions in carbon emissions? Yeah, fuck those subversive researchers whose goal was to destroy us because we're such douchebags. As Laura Ingraham explained, "It's about money, is it not? In the end it's about reducing America's standard of living, so we can then be in parity with other nations who don't have this standard of living. And people just don't like the fact that Americans have lived pretty well, worked hard, but we live pretty well. You know, we have the Second Amendment. We can buy big cars. We can have big families, and that's what they don't like. I mean, they want that to end." Man, now that's a motherfucking conspiracy.
Of course, now Climategate has been proven to be the fraud that anyone who looked at the emails and saw it as a minor slap-fight and dick-measuring knew it was. Still, the media fellated that story like a champion cocksucker at wet tightie-whities night on Fire Island.
But now? Nary a word. Well, other than Rush Limbaugh, who is at least consistent: "I had moved from Sacramento where routinely in the summertime it's 110 degrees, low humidity. I didn't remember it ever being so hot. I grew up in the Midwest, St. Louis, Kansas City, they get the extremes of all four seasons. It was so hot for six weeks. When it rained it felt like you were in a 110-degree-water shower. It was unusual. I'd never experienced anything like this. So this is not unusual, it's not uncommon."
Anyone who understands even the basics of climate change knows that it's based on measurements taken over an extended period of time and that the sudden rises and plunges in temperatures are taken as part of a whole, although extremes in both directions are more likely as overall temperatures rise; hence it's possible to have blizzards and heat waves. But, still and all, a couple of days of record-breaking temperatures in the cities of the northeast? That's pretty much the definition of "unusual" and "uncommon."
Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is a man obsessed. He sees sand berms rising from the seas like nurturing teats, like the oil now well into its third month of gushing into the Gulf will be used to slick up those dirt titties like they're stuffed in a bikini at Spring Break in South Padre Island. He also sees rock barriers like fortresses growing and defending the marshes and inland waters. The rocks will be barged down from Indiana quarries. Next step? Get some of those Canadian super-beavers down here to damn things up. Who doesn't love beavers in action?
And Jindal, who looks like Billy Bibbit from One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, had his press office release a statement when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said that the rock walls would do more harm than good: "No one can convince us that rocks in the water are more dangerous than oil. That is absolutely ridiculous. The only people who believe that are the bureaucrats in Washington, D.C. who can’t see the oil, smell the oil or touch the oil." In other words, science? We don't have to show you no stinking science. We know the rocks will work. We prayed about it. Or some such shit.
What's important is that Jindal project the image that he is acting. And nothing says "action" more than Dutch-approved sand berms being dug out of the eroding wetlands. (To be fair, when the Rude Pundit first heard the idea over a month ago, he said, "Why not?" Well, he was open to an answer to that question, unlike Jindal.) Jindal can say it's "bureaucrats" who are holding things up, but these bureaucrats happen to be civil engineers and geologists and other, you know, scientists, who understand a bit more about what dredging might do to the coast and aren't just waiting for a copy of Jindal's request in triplicate.
When Jindal requested 6000 National Guard troops to help in operations at the Gulf, do you think he had a plan ready to go? The request was approved. Jindal has deployed 1000 of them. And he lied about why he hadn't deployed them all yet, blaming Washington's bureaucracy when, in reality, it was Jindal's. Jindal is a little boy, railing at the teddy bear for the crimes of G.I. Joe.
Of course, this being one of the largest environmental disasters in history, no one gets out clean, not Jindal, not BP, and not the Obama administration, which has kept out independent marine researchers and others who are "begging" to be allowed to do basic measurements that would say how much oil has been leaked and at what rate. So, in this case, the federal government and BP are holding back the very scientists who might be able to come up with the safe ways of dealing with the oil.
Meanwhile, tar balls and oil have finally made their way into Lake Pontchartrain. One imagines that Jindal wishes that Tony Hayward was still around to draw fire.
Look, she's not going away, so we may as well just deal with her. Of course, dealing with Sarah Palin on her terms would mean one would have to become an attention whore of such appetites that entire Broadway chorus lines would say, "Damn, that's some attention whoring." So, instead, let's just let her speak for herself.
In her latest Facebook posting (if by "her," you mean, "whichever pathetic, now-suicidal personal assistant got the short straw and had to crib shit from Keep America Safe or the Heritage Foundation to scrawl down as Palin's own"), Palin lays out a foreign policy doctrine that can best be described as "Hey, world, blow us."
1. "Something has to be done urgently to stop the out of control Obama-Reid-Pelosi spending machine, and no government agency should be immune from budget scrutiny. We must make sure, however, that we do nothing to undermine the effectiveness of our military." Read that again - in one sentence, she says no agency should be immune; in the next, she says, "Well, except the military." Later, she explicitly says, "Cut spending in other departments – apart from defense." The only purpose of the first part is to say "Obama-Reid-Pelosi," as if it's an unholy trinity of cash-engorged corruption.
2. "When George W. Bush came into office, he inherited a military that had been cut deeply, an al Qaeda that had been unchallenged, and an approach to terrorism that focused on bringing court cases rather than destroying those who sought to destroy us." How many things are wrong in that sentence? The Rude Pundit counts at least three (Clinton's military budget was in effect when we invaded Afghanistant, Clinton had been shooting missiles at al-Qaeda sites, and the Bush administration brought more than a few court cases.)
3. "The President’s new National Security Strategy does not even use the word 'Islamic' when referring to violent extremism. Does he think the ideology of those who seek to kill Americans is irrelevant?" This is now just getting exhausting. Please, make it stop.
4. "[The Obama administration] escalated a minor zoning issue in Jerusalem into a major dispute with our most important ally in the Middle East, Israel." This would be about more Jewish settlements being built.
5. "We have a President, perhaps for the very first time since the founding of our republic, who doesn’t appear to believe that America is the greatest earthly force for good the world has ever known." Sigh.
In the National Review Online, Kevin Williamson suggests replacing RNC Chair Michael Steele with Palin: "A Chairman Palin would help set the right tone for the Republican party without having to get herself entangled in the minutiae of policy-development, which has not been her forte." Ya think?
Fireworks in the background? Check. Skyline of Manhattan, too? Check. Little girl on her daddy's shoulders? Fuckin' check, man. Bonus points: The little girl is wearing a red, white, and blue outfit. Bonuser points: she and her family are recent immigrants from Pakistan. Checkmate: They're Muslim.
So, fuck, yeah. Suck it, AP. The only thing that could make this more goddamn 21st-century American is if an oily eagle was eating apple pie out of her hands.
(Note: After this photo was taken, the little girl got scared and started sobbing. Her mother comforted her while her father continued to watch the sky explode. The Rude Pundit took in the show over the Hudson River until the end, grateful that no one had brought a radio for the musical accompaniment, stunned that most people were silent except for spontaneous reactions during the display. Then he remembered he was in Weehawken, New Jersey, standing pretty much where Aaron Burr shot the fuck out of Alexander Hamilton, and, barring any reenactments, there was little to do but head back to his friends' house and start shooting the vodka that the Russian couple had brought, eat grilled chorizo, and share a pipe with the Korean guy who refused to say where he'd gotten the dope. Rockets' red glare, man, 'til the dawn's early light.)