Katrina Plus Nine Years

Yeah, things are obviously far, far better nine years on since Hurricane Katrina came ashore and tore asunder New Orleans and a good chunk of the surrounding area. But, you know, if people aren't stranded on rooftops and on the interstate highway, then it's a damn sight improved. There has been much rebuilding all over. But in some areas, things have just gone back to a state of nature, like this site that used to have a home on it in the Gentilly neighborhood:

Or some places have been abandoned in the same state they were in August 2005, like this house in the Lower Ninth Ward in a photo taken recently:

Both of these places are surrounded by new or refurbished houses. But they are constant reminders of what happened.

Of course, it's New Orleans, so the cops are still shooting people (and, yeah, yeah, black-on-black crime), poverty is even higher than it was, the schools are almost all charters (like some Republican wet dream), black men have a 53% unemployment rate, the rents have skyrocketed. As the current and former heads of the African American Leadership progress put it, New Orleans suffers from "the self-medicating illusion of progress."

Then there's this:

The amount of wetlands loss in combination with climate change-driven rising water has resulted in a shocking shrinking of the amount of just plain above-water ground.

As we consider this ninth anniversary of the storm that opened up a wound that has never healed, bear in mind that even the most optimistic plan to save New Orleans and the Mississippi Delta region is based on the hope that sea levels do not rise too fast and that the federal government will invest $50 billion in it.

You can bet that Republican intransigence to spending and corporate-driven shortsightedness will drown the area again.


In Brief: How Much Koch Can a Koch Sucker Suck?

This June, GOP Rep. Tom Cotton of Arkansas skipped the annual Pink Tomato Festival, which is not some rural ass-fucking event (although, let's face it, to an extent, every festival in Arkansas is a rural ass-fucking event). Yeah, Cotton, running for Senate, didn't attend "the unofficial kickoff of the Arkansas general election season" in Bradley County because he was at a super-secret retreat in Laguna Beach, California, being Chinese fingercuffs for Davy and Chucky Koch, the oil billionaires who regularly tag team fuck Republicans running for office because, fuck you, they can and you can't.

Cotton and Iowa state Senator Joni Ernst and Cory Gardner of Colorado all took turns heading up to the dais to talk about how much they wanted, nay, needed the Koch cocks filling every orifice, praising the Kochs endlessly for all their ejaculations of delicious, salty money and how they can't wait to gobble up more.

Of course, the most experienced whore pranced to the microphone and took it to the next level. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, in audio revealed this week of the June event, said, more or less, "Yes, you can fuck my ass, fuck my mouth, get handies from my left and my right. Anyone can offer you that. But I'll pluck out my left eyeball to give you one more place to violate."

What any of them actually said is beside the point. Goddamn, the Rude Pundit is weary of reading about politicians from both parties lined up to dance for the pleasure of whatever insanely rich sultan of industry is tossing gold coins at their feet. Our bullshit election process is so blatantly corrupt at this point that, frankly, it'd be refreshing for a candidate to just walk up to one Koch or the other, drop his pants, bend over, and say, "I charge by the minute."


GOP Great Black Hope Ben Carson: The Government Should Run Child Care Centers

The Rude Pundit has no love for Dr. Ben Carson, the black neurosurgeon admired on the right because he's black and says that Obamacare is worse than 9/11 and "the worst thing that has happened in this nation since slavery." So, obviously, many conservatives want him to run for president because, really, why the fuck not?

Imagine the Rude Pundit's shock then when he was a-persuin' today's scribble-scrabble by Carson. Oh, sure, the good doctor starts by saying some worthless bullshit about the shooting of Michael Brown, which boils down to that it was Brown's fault. That's about as surprising as watching Mitch McConnell laugh with a bunch of rich people about not raising the minimum wage. You'd be shocked if you heard the opposite.

But then he got to this section, where Carson proposes solutions to helping poor African Americans out of poverty, spurred on by some vague conservative economic policies that will totally bring in cash money: "[W]e should devote some of the tax revenues generated to child-care facilities that would allow many of those unwed mothers to get their General Education Development or higher degree and become self-supporting. There are also a number of programs across the nation that offer free classes that teach social and job skills, which would give many of the young men some different options."

Now if you know anything about, oh, say, the last 40 or so years of Republican policies, you would understand that the proper response is "Did that fuckin' worshiped conservative just seriously propose government-run child care centers and job training programs? The shit that liberals, and especially feminists, have been calling on for fuckin' years? Are you shitting us?"

No, we are not being shitted. Carson continues, "We must concentrate on these kinds of programs because we cannot afford to lose large segments of our society to despair and underachievement in an increasingly competitive world." No shit, Ben. That's exactly what we've been saying since, oh, fuck, the War on Poverty, maybe earlier. It was Republican fucksacks like, well, everyone who loves Ben Carson who prevented any of that from existing (or helped it fail through budget cuts).

Fer chrissakes, in the current election, Republicans are running on providing a bigger tax credit to help people get child care for their kids, which totally will benefit people who don't earn enough to pay taxes in the first place. One of fuckin' Paul Ryan's great and magnificently useless budgets proposed slashing the federal dollars going to child care. The Bush administration just kept giving money to church groups to take care of the problem.

But here is Ben Carson, mentioned constantly as a voice of reason (even if he is mostly bugfuck crazy) and a beloved speaker on the right, taking a position that is, truly, to the left of what many Democrats would dare to propose. He's not talking about subsidizing child care. He is talking about Big Government taking care of your children, which is a way more socialistic proposition than the terrorism that Carson believes Obamacare is.

So now can we have an actual conversation about programs that actually can get actual poor people out of poverty? Is it safe now that a well-known right-winger has said it?


ESPN Needs to Know: Is Michael Sam Craving Straight Cock?

The only Michael Sam news you should be hearing today is that the defensive end survived the first round of cuts to remain on the St. Louis Rams roster. However ESPN reporter Josina Anderson also let us know, under questioning from the anchor, that Sam might not be showering with some of the players.

In other words, it's very important that ESPN investigate whether or not Michael Sam, who is, in case you haven't heard, openly gay, craves the cocks of his ostensibly straight teammates.

For what else could Anderson be alluding to? That Sam wallows in his own sweat longer than others? That he's shy? No, it's that he can't control his big gay boner checking out all those cocks and assholes.

Anderson "reported" that he may be delaying his showering until others are done, although, you know, it might just be because he's putting in some extra time on the field or exercising, but, no, surely it's because he fears his mad cock-gobbling urges, like some kind of jizz vampire, that he's hoping to use the shower to sate his lust for all things dong, staring at the players hung, cut, steroidally tiny, as the water glistens off their hard bodies, as Sam has to make his shower colder and colder so that he doesn't just throw himself in front of Alec Ogletree, grab his prick, and start sucking like it's a straw in a too-thick chocolate shake.

The Rams' Chris Long took to Twitter to respond with "Dear ESPN, Everyone but you is over it."

Imagine for a minute being a Rams player and Josina Anderson comes up to you and asks, "So have you showered with Michael Sam?" Which is just a way to ask, "So have you given the fag a chance to check out your junk?" Two players told Anderson that they haven't "tracked" Sam's showering habits. The Rude Pundit would bet that a couple of others might have told her to go fuck herself.

Yes, Michael Sam's showering is merely a way to emphasize his sexuality and to turn him from just another player to a predatory homosexual, loading up on jack-off thoughts by staring at Ram dicks. And it's to set the other players up as having to choose being either homophobic or queer-loving when you can pretty much bet that almost all of them don't give a fuck and just hope Sam can make the plays, which, so far, he can.


In Brief: Victor White Deserves Your Marches, Too

You might vaguely remember, in the fog of all the cops-on-black-men brutality, the story of Victor White III, a young black man who was taken into custody in New Iberia, Louisiana in March and somehow, with his hands cuffed behind his back, managed to pull out a gun that wasn't found in a pat-down and shoot himself dead in the back of a police cruiser. Even at the time, there was a certain amount of "What the fuck?" to the story (Note: The Rude Pundit refuses to use "WTF" because fuck your abbreviations). Like "Did he pull the gun out of his asshole? What the fuck?" and "He killed himself after being arrested for possession of pot and a dab of coke? What the fuck?" and "They could find a little bit of coke on him but no gun? Are you fucking kidding me?"

The cops at the time said that White had refused to leave the cruiser, which makes one wonder, "You have a choice in that matter? What the fuck?" Oh, by the way, the cops also said that White shot himself in the back. About that...

Yeah, the coroner's report was obtained by White's father, a preacher, and by NBC News. It shows that White was shot in the chest with no wounds to his back. It shows that left-handed White somehow shot the right side of the chest with the bullet heading left. While handcuffed. Which is only possible if you shoot from the right. It shows that White's wound was not consistent with a close-range shot. Oh, and by the way, the coroner didn't test White's hands for gunpowder residue. And White had abrasions on his face which he did not have when arrested, according to someone who was with White at the time.

Of course, the coroner declared White's death a "suicide." Because it's fucking New Iberia in fucking Louisiana, where the biggest tourist attraction is former plantation house, where the slaves in general worked the sugar cane fields, which was some of the most brutal, backbreaking labor in pre-industrial agriculture.

The Rude Pundit knows New Iberia and its racist history (including beatings of NAACP organizers in the 1940s). He knows a city that is as starkly divided as any he's ever seen. Now, he's not saying that the cops shot Victor White and tried to cover it up. But you can believe that or believe in anatomical magic.

So on this day when people are mourning Michael Brown, take a moment for Victor White, a man who was working at a Waffle House, who lived with his girlfriend and new baby, who was thinking about going to community college or getting a better job to support his family. And then get fucking pissed off all over again.

Late Post Today

This is the last day the Rude Pundit can run around and play this summer, so hello, whitewater and pain. He'll be back later this evening with more dusky rudeness.


There Are Other Kinds of Violence Against African Americans

Check that out. That's an idyllic little town setting, isn't it? All crops and and trees and nicely manicured lawns and is that a diner? Just lovely. It's what the Tennessee Valley Authority promised Uniontown, Alabama, would happen when the local landfill, run by a company called Arrowhead, agreed to take the toxic coal ash from the largest coal ash spill ever in the United States. That happened up the road in Harriman, Tennessee, in 2008, and it just fucked things up for the white, middle-class people in that suburb of Knoxville. So they made a deal to tote the shit down the road, to Uniontown, which is almost 90% black.

Yes, it's that blatant.

And guess what? Things didn't turn out as the TVA promised. 'Cause missing from that pleasant scene is all the "headaches, dizziness, nausea and vomiting...Nosebleeds, sore throats, skin rashes, asthma especially in children, and inflamed sinuses," and the potential for an increase in cancer and lung disease. As for the corn field there, "once vibrant and fertile vegetable gardens that fed their families for generations are now barren, and fruit trees are dotted with deformed and withered fruit."

That's because the landfill wasn't treating coal ash, which contains arsenic, mercury, and lots of nasty shit, as a toxic substance. Arsenic was found in a creek near the landfill, which also takes in garbage from 33 states. For only the 8th time since 2003, the Environmental Protection Agency's Civil Rights Office has begun an investigation of the treatment of the mostly black citizens of Uniontown. The EPA started this week by interviewing residents. A report is expected in December.

By the way, the EPA was called in when the state agency tasked with protecting the citizens refused to even hear their case.

While we grapple with police violence against African Americans, we cannot ignore the more subtle violence committed by the disempowerment caused by poverty, a situation that leads people to be forced to live across the street from:


Video of St. Louis Police Shooting a Man Is Way Fucked Up (Corrected)

The Rude Pundit ain't gonna pretend to be a cop. He ain't gonna pretend to know what it's like to constantly have to see the worst of humanity behaving in the worst ways possible. And he sure as shit ain't gonna pretend to know what it'd be like to be a cop in any place close to Ferguson, Missouri, these days.

But the video of the police shooting of Kajieme Powell in St. Louis? Well, that's some fucked up shit right there. Watch the whole 6 minute thing if you've got six minutes to take from watching every manner of celebrity and politician and friend waste tubs of water and ice in order for charity.

You'll hear the guy with the cell phone giggling as he follows Powell, who was apparently acting erratically and had just shoplifted a couple of energy drinks. You'll see the cops pull up in the distance and jump out of their car with their guns pointed at Powell, who shouts, "Shoot me" while waving what close-up of the video shows is a fairly small steak knife. And while initial reports said that the police said that Powell was 2-3 feet away from the cops, you can see here, in the very second the cops started shooting, it's a bit more than that:

Another thing that shocks the man filming is the speed with which the cops didn't just shoot Powell dead, but shot him nine times. Within seconds of pulling up and getting out, Powell is down, falling forward, off the ledge, landing 2-3 feet from the police officers. So there.

The police will tell you that there was no guarantee that a taser would have worked. They will tell you that they are allowed, if someone is threatening with 20 feet, to shoot to kill. They will tell you that shooting to kill is the only way to assure the officers are safe.

But here's the problem you ought to have with this: Isn't it the job of the police to make sure the public is safe? Until the cops arrived, Powell was a weirdo who stole some shit. But he hadn't threatened anyone. And, as the video clearly shows, Powell was near no one when the police car pulled up. The officers didn't try to talk to him. They didn't back away and give him some space to calm down. Powell even moved from being right near the police to up on the lawn, a bit further away.

Put aside your heroic thoughts that you might have tased Powell or shot him in the leg. Are police in the United States or, at the very least, St. Louis, trained to merely execute someone than to perform the more complicated task of trying to talk them down? Was the first cop just too fucking nervous from everything he had seen in Ferguson so he thought that this was it, that it was go time for the race war? Did they take into account that there were people around who might have gotten caught by a bullet that missed or went through Powell? The cops put handcuffs on Powell after he was on the ground, presumably dead. Was that to make the shooting seem more legit?

And look at what happens after the shooting. The shocked camera guy immediately falls into obeying every cop who shows up (although he bravely does not stop filming). They push people back further and further, to where cell phones cannot film what is happening to the body, making sure what happens next is out of view, from what we've seen so far. How much room do they need to investigate or is it just to ensure the safest cover-up?

Something stinks here. The only question is how far into the trash we'll have to plunge to find its source.

(Correction: An early report said there were a dozen shots. That's been corrected to nine, which is still ludicrous bullshit.)


The Difference Between the Left and the Right (Rick Perry Edition)

Blithering idiot Gov. Rick "These Poindexter Glasses Sure Make Me Look Smarter Than I Am, Buddy" Perry was indicted for abuse of power for line-item vetoing the budget of the state's public integrity office because...you know, really, who the fuck cares, right? It's a veto. If he was doing something so outrageous, then his toady legislature should be able to override it, no? And if not, then if the public gives a flying fuck, it would vote in new legislators or something. Fuck if anyone knows how democracy works anymore, especially in Texas.

Anyways, the easy thing to do for liberals and Democrats would have been to pile on, to jump on the felony charges (which included the smarmiest mug shot this side of Tom DeLay's gap teeth) and ride Perry with all the vigor of a Bushwick leather stud breaking in a Westchester twink. Yeah, it'd be really nice to just say, "Yeah, fuck that guy. Whatever he gets, he deserves."

But we're not like that. Oh, no. We have a conscience, goddamnit. We believe in right and wrong (real and actual right and wrong, not fake shit like Benghazi or IRS scandals or Oval Office blow jobs). And fuck if we don't say it: This Perry indictment is kind of nonsense. Sure, some Democrats have used it as a horsewhip to maim Perry's ass. But that's different from a full-on blitz.

'Cause, see, if Perry were a Democrat, every goddamn Republican would have been on every goddamn cable news gabfest, all repeating the roundelay of condemnation. There would have been calls for investigations, special prosecutors, anal probes, and blood samples. Darrell Issa would have already subpoenaed everyone who ever knew Perry. It would have become the newest way that the GOP would have raised money.

How do we know? Because, despite a Republican-led House Intelligence Committee report saying that the Obama administration did not do a goddamn thing wrong on the Benghazi attack, the House GOP's website says that the "investigation" by the "select committee" is going to get to the true truth, not the bullshit truth its own committee got to that wasn't the truth they wanted.

Over here in Leftville, we give a damn about things like reality. And we call "bullshit" when we see it. Over there? "Truth" is an ephemeral concept, so much dust, so much noise.

Meanwhile, in the Senate, should Republicans win a majority there, Mitch McConnell is already planning on how he will shut down the government if President Obama doesn't  accede to all their demands. Man, while we're arresting fuckwads and suing people, can we get congressional Republicans for malpractice?


Limbaugh: Ferguson, Like Everything Else Everywhere, Is Obama's Fault

Bloated, saggy-titted doom gorgon Rush Limbaugh was talking to a caller to his radio spoogeatorium about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson getting involved in the racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri. After predictably blasting Sharpton in the most predictably specious way (by saying some rumor that he even admitted was probably not true), Limbaugh made a logical leap that'd make Maureen Dowd say, "Oh, fucking come on. You can't do that."

Blurbled Rush, "[T]his is the Democrat Party, folks. The president of the United States is in charge of what's happened here. I think it is time for everybody to come to grips with a simple reality. I don't care what scandal you name -- Benghazi, Fast and Furious, take your pick, IRS - has anybody involved in any of these scandals been fired? Not a single person." Yes, somehow the diet of steak, cigars, cognac, Twinkies, oxy, and Dominican child semen got to Limbaugh's brain and caused it to overload. That's how he decided that the riots in Ferguson are Barack Obama's fault and are part and parcel of a clusterfuck of every fake scandal conservatives have been humping like a horny hobo with a dead horse.

But Limbaugh wasn't done fucking that corpse. Check out this almost breathtaking leap into the mouth of madness: "This is about wiping out the Republican Party. This is about wiping out the Libertarians. This is about wiping out anybody who opposes Obama. Every bit of this. This isn't Al Sharpton. This isn't Jesse Jackson. They're just tag-alongs now. This is Obama and Holder. But all of this is Barack Obama. Every event, every detail, every occurrence is Obama. And the end result is the end and absence of any opposition. So that's what Ferguson's all about, like all the rest of this has been about."

An average person, spouting this shit, declaring that Obama is all, Obama is eveything, Obama is the alpha, the omega, and every Greek letter in between, would rightly be dragged off screaming to scrawl manifestos in his own shit in a concrete room. How Ferguson is about eliminating the Republican Party is something that Limbaugh doesn't say, but, motherfuckers, it's so obviously true that you shouldn't need it explained. It's Obama, after all. Obama, bitches.

If you ever for a moment doubted that Rush Limbaugh was a dangerous cockhead, a puppetmaster who would delight in causing real and actual violence, here's the context he gives for Obama's maniacal drive for absolute power: "By the way, that's not just Obama. That's been the left. They are power mad. They are statists. You think there was opposition to the Soviet Union? You think Mao Tse-tung had opposition, the Gang of Eight, what happened to them, including Madam Mao? Slit throat, adios, see you, sayonara. I mean, they don't put up with it."

Now, what the fuck is a listener supposed to do with that bullshit? If you believe Rush, you believe that the president is turning the nation into the Soviet Union and will murder anyone who gets in his way. What are you supposed to do to stop it? 'Cause elections won't matter, right? It's an inferential call to violence. And Limbaugh would get off on that more than on a fistful of Viagra and a room of tied-up Salvadoran adolescent immigrants.

Obama, to Limbaugh, is a goddamn wizard of manipulation. See, Obama is appearing disinterested in leading and taking lots of vacations (two things that are totally up for argument) because he's faking us all out. Let Rush explain: "How do you get away with [eliminating all opposition] while everybody's looking? You go on vacation all the time. You act like you're opposed to what's going on. You act like you don't even care...Obama is front and center pulling every string, directing every movement of his administration. He is calling every shot. And, remember, a lot of them he doesn't have to verbalize." Ahh, with a wave of his hand, a wink, a nod, a junk-grab, he can signal that it's time to let Americans die in consulates.

Strangely, despite this massive amount of power that Obama uses with razor-sharp precision, Rush Limbaugh is allowed to go on the air and announce these theories without being silenced or murdered. Unless...Limbaugh himself is a tool of the Obama administration, making people believe they understand the truth when, in reality, it's...what? oh, hell, let's say lizard people.

Late Post Today

You know that you're more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist?

Yeah, suck on that for a while.

Back later with more mind-expanding rudeness.


In Brief: A Thought Experiment on Ferguson

Let us say, and why not, that starting last week, large groups of armed black men and women blockaded the roads to their neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri. Let us say, and, indeed, why not, that those armed African-Americans said that they were sick and tired of being bullied by the government in the form of the police, with the killing of Michael Brown being the last straw, the one that broke the motherfuckin' camel's back.

And maybe they would declare that they were engaged in an act of civil disobedience against government overreach, that they had the right to walk the streets without being constantly subject to government interference in their daily lives. Perhaps the leaders of the protest would declare that God told them to stand up to the authorities. Perhaps they'd even say that they don't recognize the legitimacy of the police force. Perhaps they'd demand a restoration of government welfare programs that have been cut. Perhaps African-Americans from other cities would show up, armed, to join the Ferguson residents in defiance.

Then, let's say, and, remember, we're still in the realm of fantasy here, just having fun, you know, that a group of law enforcement officers, maybe cops, maybe state troopers, showed up with their armed vehicles and pointed their guns at the protesters. And then the protesters pointed all their guns back, declaring that they were willing to die, that they were making a stand and no one was going to get them to end it or take away their guns.

What would happen? Would law enforcement back down? Would they drive their BearCats back to the station? Would they lower their weapons and leave? Would senators stand with the Ferguson rebels? Would Fox "news" invite them on to praise their attack on a government gone mad?

Or would the cops just fucking waste them because they aren't white ranchers like Cliven Bundy, wanting free shit from the government? Hell, look what the cops are doing now and the Ferguson protesters have done nothing remotely as violent or threatening as the Bundy ranch assholes.

As for the Tea Party and the NRA, all those brave people who stand for "freedom" have pretty much scattered like fleas on an itchy dog and run when it comes time to oppose actual violence, not just playing cowboy. Freedom ain't free, but it sure is white.


Conservatives Admit That Having Too Many Arms Causes Violence

One of the few hilarious things that has happened in the wake of the violence in and around the shooting of Michael Brown has been the parade of right-wingers declaring that, oh, their stars and garters, the militarization of the police in this country might be a problem. In an editorial in Time magazine this week (motto: "Yes, fer chrissake, we're still a magazine. Stop asking us already"), conservative hero-of-the-moment and a man who always looks like he wants to sell cannabis gummi bears to 3rd graders, Rand Paul, made the case that, gee whizzers, it's a problem that the neighborhood police get up in soldier drag and drive around in vehicles and with weapons that are associated with killing children in Gaza.

Said Senator Paul, "There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response." And he quotes other right-wingnoids who agree with him, like some fuckin' Cato Institute stooge, who offers, "Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors?"

Following up on this fashion faux-pas is Kevin Williamson at the National Review (motto: "Skull-fucking the actual skull of William F. Buckley on a daily basis"). He writes, "Police in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas, occasionally go about their business in army-green armored vehicles and uniforms with woodland camouflage patterns, in spite of the fact that God never saw fit to put a tree within a hundred miles of there." And it's just so fugly, right, Kevin, the way it clashes with the .50 caliber rifles?

In a shockingly mostly sympathetic column, RedState's Erick "Erick" Erickson says that "since September 11, 2001, many police departments in the country have turned themselves into mini-militaries. It used to be just a SWAT team ready to take on bad guys. More and more the police are suiting up to contain and control the population they are supposed to serve." The result is a heightened threat of violence that breeds distrust in the population.

Paul and Erickson, among others, believe that the placing of armored vehicles, high-powered assault weapons, and, yes, camouflage is part of a big federal government plot to take away our rights or some such shit. It's probably Obama's fault somehow, even though it was Bush who started this push to turn our cops into armies.

But they are also pointing out something very plain: if you allow someone to have the crazy shit, they are going to use the crazy shit. So, of course, the first opportunity they had, the cops in Ferguson were gonna get out the sniper rifles and armored vehicles. This is the the same argument that gun control advocates use. If you let dumbass motherfuckers have stupid-big guns and magazines, dumbass motherfuckers are gonna want to use 'em.

Welcome to the party, bitches. Don't worry. Right now there are a lot of small city police chiefs saying, "Hey, why punish us? We use our military equipment and arms responsibly."


Let's Be Clear About Michael Brown

Here's a nice picture for your Thursday night:

This is the desperate attempt by Matt Drudge to show that Michael Brown, who was shot down, unarmed, and, from multiple witness accounts, with his hands up and moving away from a police car in Ferguson, Missouri, was some kind of thug. How him flipping off the camera (in a jokey, "I'm-just-scratching" way) accomplishes this only the terrier-fucking Drudge would know. Drudge and other shit-eaters of the right just have to gangsta Brown up in order to protect the power of the cop-soldiers who, until tonight, were acting like total, deranged, over-armed, roided-up cockholes with protesters, reporters, and people at home in Ferguson.

And to what end do Drudge and the cop's water carriers need to show this? To say that it was okay to gun the 18 year-old down?

Let's be fucking clear about Michael Brown:

It doesn't matter if he was the biggest drug dealer in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

It doesn't matter if he was the baddest gangsta in the Ferguson 'hood.

It doesn't matter if he was the biggest pimp in the state.

It doesn't matter if he had committed robberies or purse snatchings.

It doesn't matter how many gang signs he flashed with his hands.

It doesn't matter if he said, "Fuck tha police" every chance he got.

It doesn't matter if he flipped off cops or grabbed his junk while looking at them.

None of that justifies being gunned down by a police officer. None of it.

Of course, Michael Brown wasn't any of the above.

What does matter is what the cop did and what the cops have done and will do. You can bet that the officer who shot Brown didn't ask if he was a future college student. He was just another nigger, indistinguishable from the niggers around him, and that was enough.

Late Post Today, But, Hey, Take a Survey - For Science!

The Rude Pundit is making sure that this much-abused body is in fine working order. He'll be back later with more therapeutic rudeness.

But while you're waiting: The Rude Pundit was contacted by a researcher at Stony Brook who asked him to reach out to rude readers to take a survey about one's beliefs. She flattered him about his bloggery and teased him by saying, "We recently had an onslaught of conservatives complete the survey and are looking for liberals to round out the sample."

Well, fuck those conservatives. This is for science, motherfuckers:

"My name is Julie Wronski and my colleagues and I are conducting an online survey about people’s personal characteristics and beliefs, and how people are able to read emotions in other peoples’ eyes. The study is brief and interesting, and should help us understand how individuals think about other people and American society more generally. In our current political climate, I think developing an understanding of how people relate to one another is critical for America to thrive. I hope you will take a few minutes to participate.

"The survey can be accessed by using the following link. We ask you to please do not discuss your participation in the study for the next few weeks, as to not influence other participants: https://stonybrookuniversity.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0VQZPHEYplprmv3

"The research team is based at Stony Brook University. Questions about participation or results of the study can be directed to Julie Wronski at julie.wronski@stonybrook.edu."


It's a Family Tradition: The Looting, Rioting Founding Fathers

"With respects to the Lieut. Governor’s House, where they ended their vile [transactions]…they had rais’d a greater Number and were intoxicated with Liquor, broke his Windows, threw all his furniture out of his House, stamp’d upon the Chairs, Mahogany Tables, very handsome Large gilt-framed Pictures, the Pieces of which lay in Piles in the Street, open’d his Beds and let all the Feathers out, took ten thousand pounds in Cash, took all his Cloathes, Linnen, Plate, and everything he had, cut the Balcony off the Top of his House, pulled down all the Fruit Trees in his Garden, and did him in all 25,000 pounds damage."

That passage is quoted in an online article titled "American Heroes: Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty." The Sons of Liberty were reacting to the 1765 passage of the Stamp Act by the British parliament, which levied a bunch of taxes on a bunch of shit in order to pay for the French and Indian War and for the cost of stationing British troops in the colonies. So a bunch of drunken fucks, pissed off at rich people in Massachusetts, went nutzoid and rioted, looting the houses of several wealthy British officials. Adams, who was kind of asshole, led the looters, and we now gladly down beer with his picture on it.

The Sons of Liberty were also in the habit of torturing loyalists through tarring and feathering, which doesn't make you look delightfully like a chicken, but horrifically scarred and, often, killed the victims. And they were responsible for the Boston Tea Party, which, as you probably know, is the greatest event in the history of anything, except Jesus.

Historians point out that the Sons of Liberty escalated the violence in the Boston area, which led to heightened tensions with the British soldiers, which led, eventually, to the Boston Massacre, which led, eventually, to the entire revolution. The Sons were an accelerant for something that was inevitable, and violence was their rhetoric. For that, they are revered as "heroes" in the story of the founding of this nation. The Sons of Liberty, which was never one group but a bunch of terrorist cells, if you will, included John Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. In other words, many of those we mythologize and call "Father."

Now, we are supposedly a more advanced society. We are supposed to do our activism by hashtag and Change.org petition, the corporate- and government-approved whines of the connected but dispossessed.

But what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri, is so very American, so very much a part of our DNA. It doesn't excuse the crimes being committed, but if we are supposed to overlook the savagery of the Sons of Liberty as "oh, well, that's what you do to get independence from tyranny," then why should we condemn the Ferguson rioters for showing unhinged outrage at the murder of black males.

Real change doesn't occur without the shock of bodies putting themselves out there. We aren't used to that anymore. We are used to something awful happening, MSNBC doing a few days of reporting on it, left-wing blogs gabbing it up, and then moving on. But the damage will be there for a while in Ferguson, the constant, physical reminders of the tyranny that enacts itself regularly on the bodies of black men.


We're Lucky There Aren't More Riots

That photo is of police patrolling the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of a night of riots and looting in the wake of the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white cop. In that suburb of St. Louis, the population is 67% black, but there are only 3 black cops on the 53 person police force, with 2 other non-whites). What's fascinating about the picture is that the front line of five officers (two from other areas, no doubt) is all black while behind them are roughly a dozen and a half white cops and not a single other non-white one.  (Side note: Has anyone written about GOP opposition to Obama as a symbolic castration and its effect on blacks in this country?)

And that's the problem, isn't it? It's that no matter where black men turn, there are always white men with guns right behind them, whether it's asshole cops or asshole gun owners. No matter if there's a black man in the White House; there's always a power structure founded on and fostered by whiteness that exists with little challenge.

What is there to say about the riots, about the looting, about the burning of businesses in Ferguson? Yeah, it's wrong to steal shit and fuck up buildings. It's more wrong to gun down a kid who, according to many witnesses, had his hands up and, according to official reports, was 35 feet away from the police car. If you believe the law is no longer on your side - indeed, if you believe its enforcers are using it to harm you - why the fuck wouldn't you riot? Tea Party assholes march around with their guns out right after mass shootings, and no one shoots them down. Maybe it's time for some Black Panther action.

Frankly, it's a shock that there aren't more riots, in Staten Island and in Dayton, in just the last few weeks of cops killing black men. As Brittney Cooper writes in Salon, "To be black in this country is to be subject to routine forms of miscalculated risk each and every day.  Black people have every right to be angry as hell about being mistaken for predators when really we are prey."

The median income in Ferguson is $37,000, ten grand lower than the state average.  The state has refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  92% of people arrested in Ferguson are black, taken in by, as mentioned before, the over 90% white police force. Of course, poverty combined with racism combined with the endless stream of whites killing unarmed blacks for no reason is going to add up to an explosion.

We as a nation have fucked over black Americans in so many ways. We've isolated many in neighborhoods with shitty housing, shitty schools, shitty businesses, and shitty health care. We've demonized affirmative action. We've gutted welfare programs, work programs, and other poverty programs. We've given prisons over to private corporations that demand to be filled with any kind of petty criminal under minimum sentencing laws and the worthless drug war.  So we've filled the shitty streets with cops who have been given the right to harass blacks into hatred of the authority they should be able to turn to to stop the crimes that matter. We have made it so that, even if you're not from one of these shitty neighborhoods, you are forever framed by them, forever framed as a thug or a bitch, forever suspect.

Then we've said, "You're an American. You have opportunity. You can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and live the American dream." Goddamnit, the Rude Pundit wants to fuck shit up just writing that. He can't imagine living it.

So, sure, it's a shame that others now suffer economically (mostly) in the wake of the Michael Brown killing. But when when the plants in the ground finally grow, you don't blame the leaves. You blame the people who put the seeds in the dirt and watered them, decade after decade.


On Robin Williams; On Depression

1. You who know Robin Williams only from Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin onward will never understand how liberating and cathartic his early, unhinged stand-up comedy was, how political and anarchic he could be (and still was, even in his recent stand-up), like Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor had a baby that dropped acid. One of the Rude Pundit's favorite memories from his teenage years is sitting at home and watching An Evening with Robin Williams on HBO with his buddy-to-this-day, Tony.  He annoyed Tony for weeks after quoting lines from it. Hell, everyone was quoting lines from it or from his movies or "Nano-nano"-ing everyone with spread-fingers. Williams was that ubiquitous, that universal, that beloved, in a way that few, if any, performers are now.

2. The Rude Pundit just watched The Fisher King, his favorite Williams film performance, his most successful merging of chaotic humor and pathos into something genuinely Chaplinesque. It's terrific, weird, and emotional.  Other great roles no one will talk about: The Best of Times, as a repressed husband and son-in-law in a working class town; Seize the Day, an adaptation of Saul Bellow's novella, probably his best, least-known dramatic work; and, post-2000, in his faded superstar/indy era, One Hour Photo and World's Greatest Dad, both films where he was consciously wrecking his cuddly, kid-friendly image.

2a. The Rude Pundit never got to see him do stand-up live, but he did see Williams on stage in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, giving a fully-embodied performance as the title character, first alive, then dead, wandering around a post-"liberation" Iraq, commenting on the ludicrous world he saw around him.  He was quite, quite moving and, as ever, quite, quite funny.

3. Everyone suffers depression differently. Williams had wrestled with it as privately as possible, although he did not hide his alcohol and drug abuse, all of which made it into his comedy. But as someone who has, fortunately, through the power of scrips, conquered a somewhat milder case of depression, the Rude Pundit has learned that something he felt was felt by others who have or are going through it: You sense that a darkness has opened and the floor is tilting you toward that darkness, and you can feel yourself physically sliding into it. You want to stop. You want to climb out. But you can't. It's an awful, helpless feeling. You have to fall in and stay until the floor tilts you back into the light.

The Rude Pundit believes he leveled the floor. He doesn't know what would have happened if he hadn't been able to.

4. This one hurts.

Against Intervention, Yet For Killing the Fuck Out of ISIS

1. The Rude Pundit's gonna be honest here: Fuck these ISIS fuckers who think wholesale slaughter of civilians is jolly good fun. He can pretend to be having a crisis of conscience or whatever, but he'd be lying to you. Because, see, this is the way he felt about the Taliban when they were taking over Afghanistan back in the 1990s. He felt it when the Hutu were wiping out the Tutsi in Rwanda. He felt it when the Bosnian Serbs were slaughtering Muslims. He felt this way when the Contras were murdering masses of people in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Fuck them all.

You can be a liberal and that bleeding heart can lead you to sympathize with the innocent people stuck in the humanitarian crisis. This is not about "taking sides in a war," as in Syria. It's about halting mass killing. Purely and simply.

And yet...goddamnit, goddamnit, goddamnit. The world just ain't that easy. It ought to be, surely, but it ain't, mostly because of us, the U.S., and our damage.

2. On Sunday, the fetid, ancient ooze that barely forms the human shape of Dick Cheney actually said of the Obama White House, "They can't blame George Bush anymore." How the fuck Dick Cheney is allowed to speak to anyone other than through hand gestures and gurgles as the end of a Bush administration human centipede on display at the National Zoo? Nothing occurs in Iraq except because of George W. Bush. When a child stubs her toe, when an old man dies of natural causes, when a car bomb goes off, it's all because of George Bush. The timing of the withdrawal of American troops is because of George W. Bush. If Barack Obama walked into Baghdad and started shooting people in the head, it would be because of George W. Bush.

Iraq is our burden, like it or not, because of George Bush. And every time we hear about chaos in the government (like, well, shit, now) or suicide bombs or fucking dams being taken over by fucking nutzoid militants, we in this nation (and maybe you in England) feel a queasiness because it simply wouldn't have been this way if we had just left shit alone (and you can take that all the way back to British colonial occupation, if you want). If an uprising within Iraq had deposed Saddam Hussein, then, yeah, it would have sucked to watch all the awful things that would have happened, but we wouldn't have that burden on us.

Anyone who denies Bush is the alpha and omega of causes here or tries to revise that history is deserving of, at the very least, media exile and a punch in the face. Even a fuckin' idiot like Laura Ingraham knows who is to blame. ISIS exists because of the U.S. intervention ordered by George Bush.

3. And yet there's something so immediately evil about ISIS, with the glee it takes in killing civilians. Its postings of internet videos of bombings and executions of innocents are done with such high spirits that it's like watching the ne plus ultra of face plant videos or YouTube clips where people injure themselves while the cameraperson giggles behind the cell phone or minicam. Like that shit, man. Jones to post your own and try to top it. Liveleak it, motherfuckers, to be as graphic as possible.

The savagery of ISIS's attack on the Yazidis, whose only crime was worshiping a sky wizard in a way that offended the assholes, seems to demand response by the world, or at least the United States. According to Iraq's human rights minister, "fighters have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority — including many women and children — burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves." And they celebrated "with cheers and weapons waved in the air."

No doubt there will be videos because of the bizarro strain of dude-bro douchebaggery that seems to be part of ISIS. They make al-Qaeda beheadings seem like boring art films.

Why isn't every country bombing ISIS (other than the Saudis, Qataris, and others who fund them)? It's okay to acknowledge that a very human part of us wants to kill the fuck out of ISIS. With nauseated stomachs and weary hearts, we still know what needs to be done, do we not?

4. This is the dilemma. We want to do something, but we are teetering once again on theexpansion of an operation that is already promised to go on for "months." While President Obama has wisely cast this as a humanitarian effort to help the Yazidis, the screaming mimis of the right, led by the screamiest of all, Lindsey Graham, have already decided that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, despite there being absolutely no threat to the United States. How soon until the right drumbeats that lie into the national consciousness?

And, in an act that is either the bitterest irony or saddest reality, the Obama administration is going to help arm the Kurds to fight against ISIS. If we had done so when another Bush had promised to, way back in 1991, there's a good chance we wouldn't be here today.

5. In the end, goddamn us for not being the country we should be in order to do what we know we should. Goddamn those who made us forever suspect in the world and for imposing on us an eternal burden and, for we who are humane, an unending sense of guilt. Goddamn them for forcing us to overthink a no-brainer.


A New Story Brings Up an Old Death

The Rude Pundit doesn't know if he's told you the story of his friend Ronald, a black, gay actor from Louisiana who died in 1989. He's not going to go back through the archives to find out. This isn't about him so much as it is about what happened after Ronald's death.

The short version of the story is that Ronald got HIV from his drug-addicted lover in New York City, and he returned to Louisiana shortly thereafter to be taken care of by his mother. The Rude Pundit had known Ronald since he was 13 and Ronald was 18. Our mothers had been friends and co-workers. Then in our 20s, when the HIV became AIDS, the Rude Pundit was always bringing him to K-Mart to get his drugs, which included the just-approved AZT. This did not go on for long.

Dee, Ronald's mother, called the Rude Pundit one Saturday morning to tell him that Ronald was gone. Ronald had been getting weaker and weaker, thinner and thinner.  The Rude Pundit drove to their clapboard house in a neighborhood that was worn out and, frankly, had been that way for decades, what we politely referred to as "the black section of town," as if that made it okay. He walked in to see Ronald's peaceful-at-last body. He waited with Dee until the funeral home came to pick him up.

Ronald's funeral was rather extraordinary. It took place in a medium-sized Baptist church with a primarily African-American congregation in that same neighborhood. If you don't know black Baptist churches in the South, they can be intensely narrow-minded and conservative about many things, especially about gays. But Dee and her family had attended that church for years.

The Rude Pundit thought that no one was going to say how Ronald had died, that everyone knew and understood, that everyone knew who Ronald was but kept it quiet in that quaint way people in the South sometimes do. But Ronald's sister got up to give a eulogy and the very first thing she said in that Lafayette, Louisiana church in 1989, during a time of continuing paranoia about the disease and a rising number of deaths and infections, was "Ronald was gay and he died of AIDS."

And no one, not a single person in that church, which was filled with people of all ages, offered anything but sympathetic "amens" and "mm-hmms." If you are too young to remember that time or weren't even around, you cannot grasp how amazing this was, considering the sheer amount of fear and bigotry that surrounded the disease and gay people in general. It would not have been surprising for the church members to fear that the body itself would spread AIDS, even though that's idiotic. But there were no protests at the church. There were only sadness and tears for the loss of Ronald. And the pastor of the church blessed him and all of us for being there.

The Rude Pundit was moved to think about Ronald by a story yesterday, out of Tampa, Florida, about another dead, gay, black man and another black church. It seems that the New Hope Missionary Baptist Church canceled the funeral for Julion Evans, who died of a rare disease, when members of its congregation saw Evans's obituary, which said that Kendall Capers was his husband. The two had been together for 17 years, married for 1. Here they are, looking menacingly gay and happy:

Pastor T.W. Jenkins couldn't abide such an abomination in his church. He told Evans's family, which includes members of his church because, Jenkins said, "Based on our preaching of the scripture, we would have been in error to allow the service in our church...I'm not trying to condemn anyone's lifestyle, but at the same time, I am a man of God, and I have to stand up for my principles."

Even if those principles are as ungodly and anti-Christian as they can possibly be.


In Brief: Quotes That Make Saddam Hussein Laugh His Ass Off Down in Hell

"The seizing of dams and reservoirs gives the militants control over water and electricity that they could use to help build support in the territory they now rule by providing the scarce resources to residents. Or they could sell the resources as a lucrative source of revenue.

"There are also fears the militants could release the waters of the dam and devastate the country all the way down to the capital Baghdad, though maintaining the dam's power and water supplies will be key to their attempts to build a state."

The "They" in that quote are the crazy-ass motherfuckers in the rather literal-named Islamic State (formerly ISIS or ISIL, depending on who was writing), the group of overly-armed, mad goat fuckers who are running rampant in Iraq, pissing everyone off, slaughtering anyone who doesn't worship in the same way as them, and threatening to take the joint over, making life for Iraqis so miserable that Afghanistan under the Taliban will look like a decadent orgy.

Yeah, they've taken over a dam, the biggest one in Iraq. And you don't really want a group of people who are so brutal that al-Qaeda might end up attacking them for being such assholes in charge of where the fucking water and electricity go.

Down in Hell, Saddam Hussein, in between being ass-fucked by spiked demon cocks that blow boiling-hot loads in his anus, got a few laughs when he heard about the destruction of the country he once ruled. "Can't wait to taunt Bush and Cheney about this when they get here," he said before being sodomized once again.


Flying, But...

Man, Rand Paul is kind of a pussy, ain't he?


Late Post Today

Perhaps no post. It's the last day with the Rude family in Louisiana, where the local modern rock station was just bought and put out of business by the Bible Broadcasting Network.

'Cause that's how we roll down here, sinning motherfuckers.


"We Tortured Some Folks" and We Will Do Nothing About It

Someone's gonna have to fuckin' explain this to the Rude Pundit. Someone's gonna have to fuckin' explain how Barack Obama, the President of this damn nation, can go before the press, the TV cameras, the world, and declare, "[I]n the immediate aftermath of 9/11 we did some things that were wrong...we tortured some folks" and not follow that up with "And we're going to prosecute those who did it and those who ordered it."

Someone smarter than the Rude Pundit is gonna need to tell him how what the President said next is any sort of alibi: "I understand why it happened. I think it’s important when we look back to recall how afraid people were after the Twin Towers fell and the Pentagon had been hit and the plane in Pennsylvania had fallen, and people did not know whether more attacks were imminent, and there was enormous pressure on our law enforcement and our national security teams to try to deal with this."

And what the fuck does this even mean? "And it’s important for us not to feel too sanctimonious in retrospect about the tough job that those folks had. And a lot of those folks were working hard under enormous pressure and are real patriots." So if we think that it was possible to defend the country without breaking the law and torturing innocent people, we're sanctimonious? Fuck you, man. There's a shit-ton of military, intelligence, and law enforcement professionals who would say, "Fuck you" to that, too.

Let's be clear: when someone says that we're talking about torture right after 9/11, as if a couple of rogue agents twisted the nuts of Abdul al-Suicidebomb as he ululated, "Death to America," that's a fucking lie. That's revisionist history for our increasingly short-term memory. What we're really talking about is a system of torture used for years that was approved at the highest levels of government. We didn't just torture "some folks." We tortured lots of people. And if we weren't torturing them bad enough to get the answers they didn't have, we sent them places where they could be tortured even worse.

And let's be clearer: By not much of a stretch of Obama's reasoning, any time a cop, in the heat of an interrogation, beats the shit out of a perp, he is justified. Hell, every Stand Your Ground incident is legitimate because of the "enormous pressure" on the person thinking the stranger knocking at the door is going to off them. Most frighteningly, everything our government does after an attack is ok because, goddamnit, those interrogators forcing nude, kidnapped detainees into stress positions and slamming them around are motherfucking patriots and the rest of us Don't Understand Reality.

Don't worry, though. Obama is on the case: "[W]e did some things that were wrong. And that's what that ["forthcoming" Senate torture] report reflects. And that's the reason why, after I took office, one of the first things I did was to ban some of the extraordinary interrogation techniques that are the subject of that report." Which is great, kudos, and all that shit, but "some"? Not "all"? And what about the people who tortured? What about Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Yoo, and the rogue's gallery of unapologetic cunts who made it happen?

Said the President, "And my hope is, is that this report reminds us once again that the character of our country has to be measured in part not by what we do when things are easy, but what we do when things are hard. And when we engaged in some of these enhanced interrogation techniques, techniques that I believe and I think any fair-minded person would believe were torture, we crossed a line." So we're gonna frog march the bastards and put 'em in prison, right?

No. "And that needs to be -- that needs to be understood and accepted. And we have to, as a country, take responsibility for that so that, hopefully, we don't do it again in the future."

In other words, the character of the country is shit because we did such things, and we just need to accept it and move on, hoping we don't repeat these crimes that no one was ever charged with. You know, apparently Obama doesn't think he's the leader of a nation based on laws in this case. No, apparently, he's our pathetic dad, telling us that, hey, your uncle raped you, but we don't want to cause turmoil in the family, so you'll just have to get over it, even though you'll see him at every cousin's birthday party.

(One last thing: Could someone tell Obama he's a fucking law professor and to be a little more precise in his words? The people who were tortured are "folks." The people who did the torturing are "folks." We're all just "folks"? Maybe the Rude Pundit's being sanctimonious, but there's some monsters he doesn't want to be lumped in with beyond species.)

Update: Tom Tomorrow pointed out the "some" in the interrogation techniques statement.  Yeah, that's fucked up.


The Rude Pundit Goes Places So You Don't Have To

(Note: Yeah, there's tons more important shit going on in the world, but the Rude Pundit is Down South, visiting family and friends in Louisiana, so he'll be dicking around like this for a couple of more days.)

Back in March, the Rude Pundit posited that, because it was likely they were made in China, if you buy a cross at anti-contraception-paying Hobby Lobby, you were helping to pay for forced abortions.  Well, yesterday, he had a chance to go into the fine establishment (which says on its door that it's closed on Sunday "in order to allow our employees and customers more time for worship and family"), and he proved his point:

Indeed, every cross of every sort was "Made in China." So, demonstrably, the Sunday-worshiping, Jesus's taint-huffing owners of Hobby Lobby, who refuse to pay for birth control that they believe causes abortions (even thought they don't), most definitely help pay for the Chinese government's population control program (or, you know, abortion) through the sale of the symbol of their oh-so-important faith.

Right next door to Hobby Lobby was an even more special store: Mardel Christian and Education superemporium. A-perusin' the aisles of "education books," he came across the series "Heroes of History." As you can see below, the authors don't seem to have an understanding of two of those words (hint: "of" is used correctly):

That's Abraham Lincoln on an equal plane with beloved conservative black man of the moment, neurosurgeon and Fox "news" fave Ben Carson, that crazy motherfucker who says stupid shit like "marriage is between a man and a woman. It's a well-established, fundamental pillar of society and no group, be they gays, be they NAMBLA, be they people who believe in bestiality. It doesn't matter what they are. They don't get to change the definition." Also, despite being a doctor, he doesn't believe in evolution (which doesn't really give a fuck if Ben Carson believes in it or not - evolution ain't Tinkerbell).

But he's black, conservative, and might run for president. So, yes, this is definitely someone who is the equal of Abraham Lincoln and should be taught to schoolkids. If it was two years ago, no doubt Herman Cain would have his own volume.

The "textbooks" for the homeschool kids were even hilariouser (if by "hilarious," you mean, "Shit yourself scary"):

The titles alone, Exploring Creation with Biology (or Physical Science or Chemistry) made the Rude Pundit giggle and then get sad.  Indeed, very quickly, the whole place made him feel like he was in some alternate universe (not helped when several relatives said that they had recently been there for non-ironic reasons).

So he headed out to a vintage shit/tchotchke shop where, he swears to...well, no one really...that these two items were across a small aisle, facing each other, each in displays that featured like items. The Rude Pundit merely brought them together for this photo op:

That's mini-Jesus on a huge crucifix, dead. Next to him is Filthy Cock soap, ha-ha. One promises eternal salvation if you believe. The other offers to clean your dirty dick. Which is which?

That aisle in that store ought to be used to explain Louisiana to anyone who asks.