Indiana: Where You Can Go to Prison for a Poorly-Timed Miscarriage

Oh, sweet people of these United States, the Rude Pundit cannot express how much he loathes Indiana. He lived there for a good seven years, and it is like the third nipple of his life story: weird, useless, and aesthetically displeasing to all but the most perverse.  Imagine charming middle America, and then fill it with shit - shitty people, shitty landscape, shitty food, shitty big events, just shit. And then make sure that the people not only don't care that they're shitty, but they love it. They just love all the shit and wallow in it and coat themselves in it and elect the shittiest of themselves to lead them and then pretend to be shocked, just shocked when something shitty happens, which just makes them even shittier than they were in the first place, which was pretty damn shitty.

That's Indiana. Its license plates should read, "Scat Fiends' Paradise."

This has been a terrible week or so for Hoosiers (let's not get started on the utter and complete stupidity of that word). Most of the country is pissed off that the legislature passed and Governor Mike Pence signed into law something that quite clearly and by design was written specifically so that fundamentalist Christians didn't have to serve gay people. Then everyone was pissed because Pence kept denying that the law that was created to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community was created to legalize discrimination against the LGBT community. Get ready for the backlash to the backlash, where all the people who really want to discriminate against the LGBT community get all pissed off that they might not be able to do so.

But if you want another dose of uncut Midwestern fucknuttery and blatant cruelty masking enormous injustice, look no further than northern Indiana. No, not the poverty-stricken hellhole of Gary. Further east, in the Granger/Mishawaka area. The Rude Pundit told you in February about Purvi Patel, an Indian-American woman who was scared of her strict Hindu parents because she got pregnant from sex outside of marriage. When she miscarried the fetus, she tossed it into a dumpster behind her family's restaurant. She was arrested and found guilty of both feticide and child neglect.

Yesterday, she was sentenced to 20 years in prison because she didn't handle her miscarriage in the way that the state of Indiana believed she should have. She could have been given a suspended sentence or house arrest because, you know, she was kind of fucked up by the whole situation, but the prosecutor in St. Joseph County wanted to send a message to women: Your fetus is more important than you.

At the trial, the prosecution couldn't prove that the fetus had lived outside the womb, couldn't prove that Patel had taken the abortifacients she had ordered online but said she never ingested, and couldn't establish the actual gestational age of the fetus to show whether or not it could have survived the miscarriage. That didn't matter. What mattered was that Patel wrapped the body in plastic in a panic and dumped it. Then she went to the hospital for severe vaginal bleeding.

Patel is the first woman in the United States to be sent to prison for feticide. And with the number of Indiana clinics performing abortions dwindling down to possibly just two in the entire state, the burden on women who want to end their pregnancies will be greater.  So if a woman tries to abort her fetus herself (and there's no real evidence that Purvi did that), instead of compassion and outreach and counseling and forgiveness, Indiana is saying, "Lock the bitch up."

Stay shitty, Indiana.  Who are we kidding? Of course, you will.


History Lesson for Assholes: Bill Clinton Is Not Your Religious "Freedom" Tool

Whenever you hear from a weaseltwat like Gov. Mike Pence defend Indiana's odious Religious Freedom Restoration Act, they inevitably point to the original RFRA, a 1993 law signed by President Bill Clinton. In the Senate, the bill was sponsored by Democrat Ted Kennedy and Republican Orrin Hatch. It was supported by everyone from the National Association of Evangelicals to the American Civil Liberties Union. And it passed the House by a unanimous voice vote and the Senate by a 97-3 margin. It was not, in any way, controversial.

And that's because it was designed to undo the fuckery of the Supreme Court in a couple of cases, most specifically the 1990 decision in Employment Division v Smith. In the 6-3 majority's decision, the Court held that the state of Oregon could deny unemployment benefits to two drug counselors who had been fired because they had taken peyote as part of a Native American religious ceremony.

The Court especially had issue with the idea that the state might not have a "compelling interest" in using drug laws against the two men. Said the Court, "If the 'compelling interest' test is to be applied at all, then, it must be applied across the board, to all actions thought to be religiously commanded. Moreover, if 'compelling interest' really means what it says (and watering it down here would subvert its rigor in the other fields where it is applied), many laws will not meet the test. Any society adopting such a system would be courting anarchy, but that danger increases in direct proportion to the society's diversity of religious beliefs, and its determination to coerce or suppress none of them. Precisely because 'we are a cosmopolitan nation made up of people of almost every conceivable religious preference'... and precisely because we value and protect that religious divergence, we cannot afford the luxury of deeming presumptively invalid, as applied to the religious objector, every regulation of conduct that does not protect an interest of the highest order. The rule respondents favor would open the prospect of constitutionally required religious exemptions from civic obligations of almost every conceivable kind."

The decision goes on to list these obligations, like "compulsory military service," "health and safety regulation such as manslaughter and child neglect laws" even minimum wage laws. In some ways, the decision makes a great deal of sense. It's just in the case of the Smith defendants, the overreach is kind of stunning.

By the way, you know who wrote this decision that smacked down religion as a reason to violate laws? Antonin Scalia, motherfuckers. History will fuck up your nice narrative every time. Of course, one could argue that what the Court was really responding to was the drug war hysteria and not so much the religion part of it. Still, it pissed a lot of people off.

So, with nearly the entire Congress on board, the Religious Freedom Restoration Act made it to President Clinton's desk. The New York Times editorialized in support of the bill: "The bill, which President Clinton says he will gladly sign, would instruct government not to 'burden a person's exercise of religion,' even if the 'burden' results from a law that is aimed at everyone and not meant to interfere with religious practice -- unless there is a 'compelling interest.' If religious exercise must be limited, the bill says it must be done in the least restrictive way possible."

At the White House signing ceremony, Vice President Al Gore said, "Those whose religion forbids autopsies have been subjected to mandatory autopsies. Those who want churches close to where they live have seen churches zoned out of residential areas. Those who want the freedom to design their churches have seen local governments dictate the configuration of their building." The law would end these infringements upon religious liberty.

You'll notice that "Those who bake cakes have been forced to bake them for gay couples" is not included in there. Now, of course, the times being what they were, gay marriage wasn't even on the radar, let alone the law of the land in the majority of the country. But you can bet that had Ted Kennedy, Carl Levin, Paul Wellstone, and Patrick Leahy, all of whom voted for it, had thought that it could be used to discriminate against gays and lesbian, the RFRA wouldn't have stood a chance in a majority Democratic congress.

So, really, fuck off with your comparisons between the intentionally discriminatory Indiana law and what was done over 20 years ago.


Indiana Cake Shop That Started the Whole Fuckin' Thing Has Closed (Not Because of Gays)

Let us remember that the push for the bullshit Religious Freedom To Say, "Fuck Off, Faggots" law really got going because a couple of assholes didn't want to bake a cake for a gay couple's wedding. If you'll remember, it was a year ago that Trish and Randy McGath,  owners of the 111 Cakery in Indianapolis, said their mean God would get all angry if they baked a gay cake and end up smiting them or sending them to Hell or whatever shit people make up to justify their hate.

Their religious freedom was being violated. They love everyone, they said. They even made cake for gays and lesbians, probably even friends of theirs. But not marriage, which is from God or whatever shit people make up to justify their hate.

Turns out that, yeah, the controversy was a pain in the ass (not in the fun way). But it also was big for business as everyone who also thinks gays getting married is icky started ordering cakey shit from the couple. A month ago, just before the legislature passed the law that would codify their discomfort with the gays, the McGaths shut down the business. Yeah, they're tired, especially Trish, who wants to spend time with her grandchildren.

So the McGaths won't get to enjoy turning down queers with state law behind them. But because of them, Indiana will get to enjoy being a national pariah and lose a shit-ton of business.

Two last notes here:

The Indy Rainbow Chamber, a Chamber of Commerce for LGBT-friendly businesses, in Indianapolis lists one bakery. And the name really needs to be changed. Because it may be okay for gays to go there, but the owner of Kim's Kake Kreations didn't really take its initials into account. We get it, Kim: the K is the same sound as a hard C. It's not as clever as you think it is.

Finally, you want a little confusion for the weekend? The same day that pug-faced fucknut Gov. Mike Pence signed the Freedom to Face Fuck You With Religion bill, he also declared an emergency because of the rise in HIV infections in his disease of a state. He went against conservatives to order a needle exchange program to help stop the spread of HIV among drug users. Yeah, he did some good with a liberal policy. Now let's hope the people exchanging the needles don't have a problem with gay heroin addicts.


No Post? The Fuck?

This fuckin' day, man. 

Taking a pass. Back tomorrow with more anointed rudeness. 


Duck Dynasty Beard-in-Chief Fantasizes About Raped Children

If you put it in its actual context, the anti-atheist rant by Taliban-bearded fuckbucket Phil Robertson, he of the ratings-challenged Duck Dynasty TV show, is kind of hilarious. See, the actual place was the Vero Beach Prayer Breakfast in, well, Vero Beach, Florida. It's an annual event where, as the organizers' website says, "Inspirational speakers, anointed singing, a delicious breakfast and fellowship with one another make this annual event life-changing for those who attend."

So picture this: a giant white tent, gorgeous in the sunrise, filled with hundreds of people, old people, families with children, all gathered. Flowers decorate every well-appointed table. Local orange juice, coffee, and pastries await the prayer-desiring patrons. Waitpeople in white shirts and black ties take care of everyone. There are opening prayers, songs, and... oh, wait, we don't have to imagine it. Here's what it looked like when people were first arriving:

Just lovely. No doubt, what people were expecting from Phil Robertson was a rousing call to prayer, if not a call to actual arms, along with a few jabs at President Obama and maybe at the culture in general, warrior that Robertson is in that field. So picture it: All these gathered white people dining in the morning, ready for a great time.

And then Robertson got up and spun out a tale of a fantasy atheist husband and father whose home is invaded by two men who rape his atheist daughters, cut off his atheist wife's head, slice off his atheist dick, and mock him by saying that there is no right and wrong because they don't believe in God.

Yeah, that would have been just hilarious to see, the Rude Pundit thought. All those faces gagging on their scrambled eggs. But if you listen to the whole talk? The image of raped little girls and castration was the way Robertson started his sermon. He had another half-hour or more to go, and the audience didn't get up and walk out. The dining pray-people didn't shout him down or say he was wrong. Oh, no, no, no. They listened. Later in the talk, they laughed and cheered and shouted, "Amen!" and applauded.  Phil Robertson didn't alienate the crowd by asking them to picture a vicious crime against nonbelievers. He was speaking their language.

It doesn't even occur to the crowd that what Robertson was saying is beyond some kind of rhetorical pale, let alone impolite breakfast talk. It doesn't occur to Robertson that, really, one can decide that rape and murder and mutilation are wrong without the framework of religion.

So, instead, let's put this out into the universe: A man breaks into Phil Robertson's house and rapes him after tying up Robertson's wife, Kay. Over the next few days, the man rapes the shit out of Robertson, again and again, always in front of Kay. When Robertson's sons try to check on him, the man grabs them and ties them up, using a nail gun to pin their dicks to their chairs. And he rapes Robertson repeatedly, even using various implements to rape him - a duck call, a model duck, a stuffed duck. He just keeps raping Phil Robertson, in the face, in the ass. Sometimes he jacks off on Robertson to mix it up a bit, all while the Duck Dynasty clan watches the rapes and hears their patriarch's cries and moans and, yes, prayers. Finally, before he sets the house on fire and leaves, the exhausted rapist says something.

Now here in our little parable for the damned, the Rude Pundit is conflicted. He can end it with the man saying one of two things.

The man could say, "How come your god didn't stop this from happening?" But that seems too easy, not enough of a mind-rape, too easily dismissed as the madness of the atheist.

How about: Robertson, smelling gasoline, tearfully asks why this has happened. And the man says, "Because God told me to."


Florida: Where the State Government Won't Mention Climate Change, But the Counties Plan for It

Check this shit out:

Those are the climate change pages for four counties in Florida: Miami-Dade Palm Beach, Broward, and Monroe. If you wanted more, you could add in Hillsborough, Sarasota, and other counties that have climate change action plans, if not fancy web pages. Hell, there are monthly meetings in Broward County about climate change.

Because, see, unlike Florida Governor Rick Scott, the local governments don't give a shit about the crazies and the stupids (except in those places where they run things, like Okaloosa County). In obeisance to his funders, Scott may have, officially or unofficially, banned the actual phrase "climate change" from the lips of his agencies' officials. But the climate couldn't give a shit less about vocabulary. It's gonna change. You can either be ready for it or you can just choke on saltwater.

We rarely say anything good about Florida since mostly its citizens and politicians make amazingly hilarious punchlines (and, let's face it, it's through their own actions). Here, though, we can say that the counties are doing what they can. Of course, mostly that's like using a tea cup to bail out the Titanic.

Unlike what we can say about most conservatives, at least it's something.


Imagine a Slightly Different Announcement from Ted Cruz

Imagine an American Muslim man stands in front of an audience of 10,000 Muslims at a college in Virginia to announce that he's running for president. Imagine that audience applauds and cheers for much of what he says.

Imagine that Muslim presidential candidate starts his announcement with "I am thrilled to join you today at the largest Muslim university in the world." And then he continues by telling his family story as a tale of devotion to Islam, saying of his parents, "Imagine a young married couple, living together in the 1970s, neither one of them has a personal relationship with Allah." Imagine that he goes on to describe his parents' separation and his father's journey: "[W]hen he was in Houston, a friend, a colleague from the oil and gas business invited him to a Qu'ran study, invited him to a mosque on Clay Road, and there my father gave his life to Allah, blessed be his name." Imagine that the candidate concludes his parents' story with "There are people who wonder if faith is real. I can tell you, in my family there’s not a second of doubt, because were it not for the transformative love of Allah, I would not have been saved and I would have been raised by a single mom without my father in the household."

Imagine if that Muslim man proclaims that all of our rights come from Allah. Imagine that he promises "a president who says 'We will stand up and defeat radical Christian terrorism.'" Imagine him declaring that "America has enjoyed Allah's blessing" and "Allah’s blessing has been on America from the very beginning of this nation, and I believe Allah isn’t done with America yet" and ending with "Allah be praised." Imagine those thousands and thousands of gathered Muslims yelling their appreciation of the candidate.

That candidate would be laughed out of the election. That candidate wouldn't stand a flea fart's chance in a hurricane. We would be talking about whether he's a threat to the American way of life and whether he would impose Shariah law. But not Ted Cruz. We have to pretend to take him seriously because he's a Christian and just told the world that this is a Christian nation. We have to waste time and energy mocking this idiot, this future loser who sounds like a fifth-grade schoolmarm chiding her students for writing their cursive improperly.

But if you are a Christian devotee of Ted Cruz's and you read this, feeling even the slightest bit uncomfortable at the notion of the fantasy Muslim candidate, well, now you know how the rest of us feel about your man.

(Actually, you're probably thinking that we already have an evil Muslim president, so who cares about you.)


Tom Cotton Pleasures Himself in Front of the Senate

Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas sauntered to the microphone yesterday in the august chamber of the World's Most Deliberative Body with a long leather box in his hands. He placed the box down on the lectern and opened it to reveal a black velvet interior. Nestled into the velvet was a dildo, a veiny, thick mock dick, circumcised, about ten inches long. It was colored with a desert camouflage pattern. Without saying a word, he unbuckled his pants and pulled them down just enough in the back to reveal his ass. Still silent, some would later say disturbingly so, he took the dildo, held it up for all to see, and then, with one hand, he inserted it into his asshole. The only indication on his face that he was pushing a hard plastic phallus into his sphincter was a determined stare and a couple of sudden intakes of air.

Then he started his speech, one hand on the mic, the other manipulating the dildo, in, out, a twist every now and then. He began by congratulating Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu on his party's wins in the recent elections overseas "for myself and on behalf of 3 million Arkansans," most of whom were on the edge of their seats Tuesday, no doubt, wondering if Likud would keep its plurality in the Knesset.

Hitting his prostate with tickling probing that would soon become thudding force, Cotton continued, "Apparently, President Obama harbors such deep-seated and irrational antipathy for Prime Minister Netanyahu that he is now willing to upend this decades-long alliance. President Obama's antagonism toward Prime Minister Netanyahu is longstanding and well known." And, after bringing up an administration official who called Netanyahu "chickenshit" last year (and was roundly condemned by the White House) and talking about how much Obama just wants to destroy Israel with his love of all things Muslim (or words to that effect), Cotton pulled his pants down in front and grabbed his balls just in time to ejaculate all over the Senate floor.

For Cotton really said that comments from the Obama administration about broadening option as regards an Israeli government no longer even paying lip service to a two-state solution "could very well startle some of the smaller parties and their leaders with whom Prime Minister Netanyahu is currently in negotiations. This raises the question, of course, if the administration intends to undermine Prime Minister Netanyahu's efforts to assemble a coalition by suggesting a change to our longstanding policy of supporting Israel's position with the United Nations."

You got that, right? Tom Cotton, the author of the letter from 47 GOP senators telling Iran not to trust the president on a deal to give up nuclear arms, is worried that the words of the president and his aides might have negative influence on Israel. No, wait. On Netanyahu. Because you can sure as hell bet that had the Zionist Union and Isaac Herzog had won, Cotton wouldn't have said a goddamned word.

Cotton concluded with threats to the United Nations should it say mean things to Israel, too. And, without a hint of shame, his jizz on the ground in front of him, the dildo being moved slowly, delicately, even, Cotton said, "For decades, the relationship between Israel and the United States has transcended political and personal differences. Our shared interests were enough to overcome any ideology or personal disagreement, but I fear mutual respect is of little concern to this administration. The President and all those senior officials around him should carefully consider the diplomatic and security consequences of their words. This Congress certainly will."

He went silent again and removed the dildo from his anus, pulling up his pants after. He took out an anti-bacterial cloth and wiped it down before carefully placing it back in the velvet and shutting the case. As he walked away, Lindsey Graham was heard telling an aide, "Find out where I can get one of those Bibi penises."


Indiana Shows Us How GOP Priorities Will Kill Us All

That is an explosion coming out of a manhole at around 6:45 this morning in downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. It's one place where the NCAA College Basketball Tournament is taking place. In fact, several explosions were reported around downtown, blowing out manhole covers. Indianapolis Power and Light Company has assured the public that this has nothing to do with aging infrastructure. Oh, no. It's about electrical cables and the weather. Just like on Monday.

Oh, yeah, right. Probably should mention here that another explosion occurred on Monday. That was caused by a 35 year-old transformer "malfunctioning," which is totally not infrastructure.

As the city gears up for the games of the Final Four, IPL can't guarantee that more explosions won't occur when thousands of fans are in the streets: "When dealing with a large underground electrical system, incidents like Thursday's are a matter of science and 'the laws of physics will prevail,' said Joe Bentley, senior vice president of customer operations at IPL." Ah, physics. Who can tell what wacky things happen because of its laws?

Speaking of laws, the Indiana General Assembly is meeting to decide on some new laws. No, not about upgrading or improving the electrical grid or the infrastructure or whatever is causing the fiery, smoky explosions in the middle of downtown Indianapolis. There's something far more important that needs the attention of the legislature: making sure that no one has to provide services to fags and dykes.

Sorry, wait, that's an unfair description of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Like such measures in other states, it allows businesses, churches, anyone, really, from violating their religion to bake a gay cake. If you feel your "exercise of religion has been substantially burdened, or is likely to be substantially burdened" by putting together a nice bouquet for a lesbian couple, you can refuse and no one can do anything about it or you can sue.

The bill passed through its first test, the House Judiciary Committee, on Monday. A few hours later, the transformer blew out underground near the Capitol, filling the streets with smoke. Last August, a series of transformers exploded, closing down another part of the city. Just like in 2013, 2012, and 2011. Those manhole covers just keep bursting out at all times of year. Someone is gonna get killed.

But at least preachers won't have to marry those gay guys.

(Thanks to John K., the long-lost Rude Two, for the heads up on the stories.)

Late Post Today

Strong Bad is acting like an asshole again. Gotta put an end to that mischief.

Back later with more running rudeness.


Cheney Fade Away

The Rude Pundit was about to write another of his many oh-so-dark-and-clever attacks on former Vice President Dick Cheney. He even had a solid opening line: "Well, if you're gonna get a blow job from a highly-paid whore, it may as well be in Playboy." In an interview with Fox "news" correspondent James Rosen, Cheney talked for over ten hours about his views of himself, President Obama, the world, race, himself, and himself.

Cheney would have been described as some kind of hideous monster, probably oozing from various orifices. The post was going to be filled with all kinds of fellatio imagery, more than a few ejaculations, and probably a good bit of sadomasochism, perhaps even a few tears of joy, of pain. Certainly not of regret. That's how things generally roll around this joint.

But the Rude Pundit just isn't feeling it. And it's not because he has lost any of his deep anger towards Cheney or his firm belief that the ex-VP should be in prison or, barring that, hounded with accusations until his mechanical heart gives out. No, the Rude Pundit doesn't lack hatred. He just lacked the passion today. And why?

Because when he read the Playboy interview with Cheney, the overwhelming feeling the Rude Pundit had was...well, let's put it this way: You know how your aunt had a dog, maybe a Spitz or a Shih Tzu, one of those nasty small-to-medium sized dogs that will bite you if it's feeling remotely pissy. And you know how you'd go over to your aunt's place with your parents when you were a kid, and they'd tell you to play with the dog, but the dog would scare the hell out of you and your fear would make it bite you, and you'd just hate the dog even more and the dog wouldn't care and just bite you? And you'd dread going to visit your aunt because you knew the dog would try to bite you? But then, years later, you're a young adult and you go to visit your aunt on your own. There's that damn dog, but, like your aunt, it's gotten older. It's blind, maybe deaf, incontinent, limping around, but the goddamned thing is still snarling at you. not that it could do anything about it. Now you know that it should just be put down at this point. It's just a sad thing, kept alive only because your aunt loves the dog for some reason. You, though, you now can look on this previously terrifying beast and think, "God, how pathetic you are." It's not pity as much as a feeling that you know the world has left this particular dog behind. There will be other vicious dogs, yes, sure, but this one is, thankfully, almost done. In the end, you realize just how superior you are to the dog because, at the end of the day, it's just a dog.

The entire interview is really just Cheney attempting to remake history. Cheney takes every negative thing that was said about the Bush/Cheney administration and turns it around to blame Obama. See, we're all wrong: Bush was right about everything in foreign policy; Obama is wrong. Bush did everything right for the economy; Obama just screwed it up. Cheney says, "[W]e are going to pay a hell of a price just trying to dig out from under his presidency." Yes, just like Bush dug us out of all that peace and a decent economy that Bill Clinton left us with. Actually, that quote seems like the kind of projection that a serial killer uses when he thinks every victim is actually the father who beat him.

The interview goes on, far too long (and it's only a tenth of what was recorded), with Cheney offering insights into what happened in Ferguson, Missouri: "I don’t think it is about race." Or how awesome it was that we keep prisoners at Gitmo: "I can’t count the hours we spent in what I considered to be—obviously others [chuckles] had a different view—a totally wasted exercise, arguing about 'Let’s close Guantánamo.'" Or how he was right about Vladimir Putin and how even his boss was right about the Russian leader: "I’m not critical of the president for the way he dealt with Putin. I think he handled it pretty well."

Twice, Cheney brings up Obama's 2009 speech in Cairo, where Obama said, " 9/11 was an enormous trauma to our country. The fear and anger that it provoked was understandable, but in some cases, it led us to act contrary to our ideals. We are taking concrete actions to change course." Of course, to Cheney (and many conservatives), this is just an outright betrayal, although, to be fair, if it is, it's a betrayal of Bush and Cheney, not the United States. Cheney characterizes Obama's words as an "apology," which it clearly was not. Cheney said Obama said that "the U.S. overreacted to the events of 9/11, was a huge mistake." Except Obama didn't. What he said was that there was a new sheriff in town. An election by the citizens of the United States changed the course (not as much on Gitmo, but, on other things, it did), not Obama. Of course, we know where Cheney stands on the legitimacy of elections.

But none of it matters. Cheney got away with it, all of it, all of the secret meetings, the approval of torture, involvement with Scooter Libby and in the Valerie Plame affair. And now he's just the ruins of himself, powerless, that snarling old pet that gets a few scratches behind his ear to keep going, but, ultimately, just the fading remnants of the imperious beast he once was.


Don't Bring Your God to a People Fight

Let's face it. Strong religious belief involves a kind of Stockholm syndrome. You have this all-powerful figure who you want to please because, if you do, you'll go to a paradise of figs and pussy or clouds and singing, whatever floats your boat, or, if you don't, you'll be punished with an eternity of some kind of Hell, depending on the flavor of your faith. But you, being brainwashed by years of mindless rituals and propaganda, don't just say, "That seems like a bullshit deal by from a manipulative motherfucker." No, you believe this with all your heart and, what's more, you love this all-powerful figure, this G/god, and you think that nothing happens without his (for the most part) say-so. You pray when you're told to pray. You pretend you're a cannibal. You avoid pork or beef products. Because you are thrilled to please your G/god, you'll condemn anyone who doesn't buy your faith flavor in a kind of "Fuck you, Pepsi lovers. Coke, bitches" way. You might even be so deluded that you think you need to kill people who like Pepsi. Or Jesus. Or leprechauns. Either way. And it's all because you think - no, you know - that your G/god is watching everything everyone does, thinking, "Will this get me pussy and figs or a lake of fire?" and deciding what you do based on keeping G/god smiling on you. That idea inspires you to action, for good, for bad, for stupid. And it inspires lots of people to say dumb shit.

See, if you're gonna invoke your G/god, you gotta think about the consequences of doing so.

Someone who didn't do that was Thomas Dunn, a Leesburg, Virginia, town council member. He was reacting to Phillip Thompson, the head of the local NAACP saying that "if the government hadn’t intervened, I would still be a slave in the field picking cotton" during a discussion of hiring practices at a meeting.

Dunn was outraged, as one is when a black person dares to acknowledge that there was a past. He let everyone know it. "Shame on you, Mr. Thompson, for throwing slavery into this discussion," Dunn said. "There are people who feel that . . . government is supposed to be the answer to everything, and Mr. Thompson, I don’t believe that government freed our slaves we had in this country. That was an evil that this country had. It was the hand of God touching the hearts of man that freed those slaves."

So, just to follow the "logic," such that it is, Dunn is saying that his G/god knew that slavery was wrong and "evil." Then what the fuck took him hundreds, if not thousands of years to touch some motherfucking hearts or maybe smiting a bitch or two to end slavery? If he could have done it but just didn't, your god is a big dick. And if this god of yours is all-fuckin'-powerful, why is there still slavery going on? Don't answer with not-knowing-the-ways-of-God bullshit when you just said you quite specifically knew the ways of your god.

Dunn tried to explain his comments with "I feel much of our government has been ordained and established by men under the influence of God." The Rude Pundit has read history books. He's pretty sure that much of our government was ordained and established by men under the influence of liquor, which, hell, why not, you can say God created.

It's a nonsensical thing that religious right-wingers of all stripes do, bringing G/god into an argument that G/god has no place in, If your G/god were real, he'd probably think, "The fuck I got to do with that? I made your fuckin' planet. Deal with it." Instead, we get, for example, Rep. Paul Ryan, who said in 2012, "Our rights come from nature and God, not government." How did they come from God? Or does he mean the Bible? Conservatives say this shit and don't think about the implications.

Whether it's your G/god says to blow yourself up on a bus or your G/god thinks gays getting married is icky, what you're really saying is that your almighty being is either too lazy or too weak to do shit himself. Or he's an asshole who does things on his own time. And you better shut the fuck up and smile because here's some figs or here's a red-hot anus-poker. Which do you want?


Five Annoying Things About Sen. Tom Cotton's Appearance on Face the Nation

Yesterday, fresh, new GOP savior, this year's Marco Rubio, Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas, he of the authorship of the Republican Senators' "Dear Mullahs" letter, appeared on CBS's Face the Nation with Bob "Sick of All Your Shit" Schieffer. As you might expect, Cotton was an annoying fucker for reasons big and small, and it's got little to do with his saying that Iran controls Tehran (which was a minor slip-up and, really, ain't that big a deal).

1. He kept putting himself before anyone else in how he spoke. Multiple times, he explained things with "I and..." For instance, "I and 46 other senators are focused on stopping Iran from getting a nuclear weapon." Not the significantly less awkward "46 other senators and I," oh, no, not for this Ivy League puke. He comes first, bitches.

2. He's a smug little fuck because he tried to pretend that the pissy 47 were actually teaching Iran's leaders some kind of great and grand lesson in constitutional democracy.  Everything wrong with the letter on that level was revealed when Cotton said, "[W]hat we did was to send a clear message to a dictatorial regime." Motherfucker, what part of "dictatorial" don't you understand?  'Cause, see, one of the things about dictators is they don't give a shit about how great your form of government is. If they did, well, hell, they're dictators. They could just proclaim that's the new way shit will be done in the country.

3. He has no answer other than obstruction. When Schieffer asked a perfectly logical, oughta-be-easy question, about what his big plans are if no deal is made with Iran, Cotton didn't even try to address it. "Well, as Prime Minister Netanyahu said, the alternative to a bad deal is a better deal," he said. What is that "better deal"? Fuck you. That's the better deal. And we should listen to Israel's leader instead of ours? Okay, man, but you better shut your Ozark meth whore mouth if a Democrat ever says, "Well, as Sweden's Prime Minister said" when a Republican is president.

 4. "The Islamic Revolution of Iran has been killing Americans, hundreds of Americans, for 35 years in Iraq and Lebanon and Saudi Arabia," Cotton explained.  First of all, who the fuck is "the Islamic Revolution"? Is he talking about what happened in 1979? But that was over and done. It'd be like saying that the American Revolution is responsible for the Vietnam War.

5. Speaking of Israel, he's really, really concerned about the Jews. Even worse than killing Americans,  "They also -- they killed Jews around the world from Israel, to. . . Argentina," Cotton informed us. You know who Iran has killed more of than Americans or (presumably non-American) Jews? Muslims.  You know who killed a lot of Iranians? Iraq, with arms that we provided it. Mistrust all around, man, but that's complexity and not what Bibi told you to say when it was your turn to suck him off.

This is the new demi-god of the GOP? Damn, the bar is so low at this point that any rat can crawl over it.


Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Roll a Joint With American Flag Papers

Once more into the stupid, sweet Americans, once more into it. For those of us who have been around for a few decades, another damn fight over the perceived mistreatment of the American flag makes us roll our eyes and say, "Sorry, what were you saying, conservatives, about Muslims upset at the mocking of Mohammed?"

Last week, the Associated Students of the University of California-Irvine (motto: "Did you know your campus has a student government? Stop laughing!") passed a resolution by a 6-4 vote to ban all flags from the lobby of the student government offices because...really, who the fuck knows anymore...imperialism, colonialism, oppression, the usual hypochondria of the part of the left that thinks changing symbols and speech requires as much effort as changing laws and leaders (yeah, fuck it, attack the Rude Pundit for saying that - it's a bigger topic for another time). Anyways, it was six non-white college students who were then excoriated in the right-wing media because, you know, it distracts from the "nigger"-chanting white students in Oklahoma. Fox "news" has been at DEFCON Birth Certificate for much of the last week over it, with its implicit "UC campus bans flag."

Except for the fact that the student government's executive council vetoed the whole thing two days later. But why let the end of it stop a good story? It's gotten so bad that the university canceled a scheduled student government meeting because of "viable threats" received. And, of course, it's led to protests and arguments, with cranky old people in Tea Party shirts and veterans showing up to bellow patriotically at the students for daring to use their speech in a way that upset them.

Pro-tip: If your response to people wanting to ban a flag is that you fought so they could have the freedom to do such things, don't fucking complain when they do.

(By the way, those rolling papers totally exist. Burn a flag for freedom.)


A True Story About Homophobia, Racism, and a Fraternity - Updated: It Was SAE

About twenty years ago, the Rude Pundit was attending a Giant University in the South. Even then, he was straddling worlds, writing wild and woolly lefty editorials for the school paper and directing theater. A friend came up to him to tell him about a way to make a bundle of scratch. Every year, during Greek Week, the fraternities and sororities would put on elaborate stage revues, with music and dancing and action and humor, with all kinds of costumes and set pieces. It was a competition with a trophy involved and idiot pride. It was a big damn deal. And they paid directors a shit-ton to herd all those cats into a show, like a few thousand bucks. Well, who says no to that deal?

The Rude Pundit doesn't remember which frat it was and which sister sorority was working with them. But he remembers a hell of a lot from that stupid month working with them.

He met with the leadership of the frat. This being a GUS, the frat has a long history, all kinds of traditions, a big house, legacy members, buckets of money. So the fraternity dudes interviewed the Rude Pundit, telling him their vision of the show. It would be a take-off on Disney's Aladdin, complete with all the songs (lyrics rewritten), with the head douche - let's call him "Chad"- a blonde, very white guy, playing the Genie as a kind of ringmaster. The whole thing would involve all these very white people playing fake versions of Arabs. But it was pre-9/11 and we didn't really think of that as especially racist back then. Besides, it's not like Disney's version was exactly a model of open-mindedness.

The Rude Pundit passed the interview, which mostly meant making these lummoxes laugh at ideas for the show. They gave him the script, which he had to swear he would keep secret lest their amazing slams of other frats and sororities get leaked out.

The things was exactly what you'd expect. The black Greeks were treated as caricatures of thugs or Uncle Toms. One sorority was portrayed as having ugly, fat girls. Another was the sluts. A rival frat's members were written as the fairiest gay guys you could imagine. Moments included the Genie stopping the show just to say that another frat was a bunch of dumb jocks, which was about as idiotic as it sounds. The Rude Pundit had a meeting with Chad that went something like this:

RP: Why are you saying the [some damn Greek letter]s are all fat?

Chad: Because everyone knows that if you're an ugly bitch, that's the only sorority you can get into.

RP: And the [another Greek letter]s fuck everyone?

Chad: Oh, yeah. They're total slut-bags.

RP: You can't do these jokes. I won't direct the show if you keep these jokes.

Chad: Ok, we'll take out the slut jokes.

RP: And you do know that you have to get rid of the gay jokes about the [one more Greek letter]s, right?

Chad: No, that's the joke. Every frat has a reputation. They're fags. We're gonna call them fags.

RP: Are they gay?

Chad: They're a bunch of fags. Everyone is gonna make fun them for being fags. If we don't, we're gonna look stupid.

RP: (Trying a different tactic) You know that some of the judges are gay, right?

By the end of the conversation, the Rude Pundit had gotten Chad to grudgingly agree to give up the gay jokes, the anti-women jokes, and the blackface on the actors playing the black frat.

The rehearsal period was a goddamned nightmare. It involved about fifty mostly drunk male and female undergrads who were more concerned about making each other laugh than with putting together a show. It was pleading with Chad to tell the future lawyers and executives, all working in their Daddy's office, to calm the fuck down and practice. The choreographer walked out midway through and told the Rude Pundit to go fuck himself for bringing her to the proceedings. Eventually, though, there was something like a show, and the night of the performance for competition, Chad, painted head to toe in blue makeup, thanked the Rude Pundit.

They were the first of the groups to perform. The Rude Pundit watched as Chad tossed out the revised script and did every racist, homophobic, sexist joke. He watched as the white actors playing the black frat came out wearing dark pantyhose for skin, loping along like gang-bangers with muscle cramps. He watched as the sisters mocked the other sororities for being whores. And, of course, half the cast had put on tan makeup to appear Arabian.

After the performance, the Rude Pundit walked up to a sweaty Chad and said, "What the fuck was that?"

"What? You got paid." he shrugged. "Watch. Every other show is gonna do the same thing."

Here's the twist in the story, though. While they certainly weren't kind and inclusive by any stretch, maybe one other group had even a single homophobic or racist joke. Certainly it wasn't anything close to the mincing queens all huddling together out of fear of the Genie or the Stepinfetchit act in Chad's show. The sexist jokes were still sadly present, but not as vicious. No, most of the other fraternities and sororities were more concerned with their dancing and singing. During judging, Chad's show got ripped by the panel for all the things the Rude Pundit had said they would slam them for. Chad didn't care. He had done what he set out to do and thought he had won the (im)moral victory.

So when the Rude Pundit saw the video of the SAE group from University of Oklahoma singing about how "niggers" will never be welcome in their frat and that they should be hung from a tree, he had a few reactions. One was a sad lack of surprise.

Another was sadly remembering what he learned after Chad was proud of his actions. The Rude Pundit realized that, at the very least, Chad was honest about what he thought and that a good many others had been lying to make the judges happy. The gross after-party, which the Rude Pundit left very early to go to a dark bar, pretty much confirmed it all. They just didn't do anything to get caught.

Update:  Someone just wrote to the Rude Pundit to clarify. The fraternity was, in fact, SAE.


Lindsey Graham Wants to "Literally" Hold Congress Hostage

The Golden Girls reject known as Senator Lindsey Graham often strains to butch up his Rue McClanahan voice. He advocates for violence constantly, rarely finding an occasion where American soldiers are not needed, in his view, to bring peace to the savages. Got a problem with ISIS? Soldiers. Afghanistan and Iraq not going just like you'd like them to? Soldiers. Shit, he's just barely holding back on saying that we should invade Russia (or at least get involved in the Ukraine).

Graham can barely walk around with that boner for the armed forces, thinking about telling rugged Marines, "Invade me. Storm my beaches. March up my halls of Montezuma to the shores of my Tripoli."

Last week, at a gathering of Republicans in Concord, New Hampshire, a state that has the first primary (not caucus) for president in 2016, Graham came up with a novel way to use the military were he commander-in-chief - and, no, it's not leather chaps added to uniforms. Said Graham, "[A]nd here is the first thing I would do if I were President of the United States: I wouldn’t let Congress leave town until we fix this. I would literally use the military to keep them in if I had to. We’re not leaving town until we restore these defense cuts. We’re not leaving town until we restore the intel cuts."

He would "literally" use the military to hold members of Congress hostage until they did what he demanded. That means that soldiers would be able to arrest or shoot Ted Cruz or Nancy Pelosi if they tried to leave the Capitol. Remember: Graham, who was an Air Force officer back in the day, was not speaking figuratively or metaphorically. If he's saying he'll use the military to force Congress to act on his whims, he's pretty much saying, "Elect me and I'll put the 'dick' in 'dictator.'" The attendees at the speech laughed, maybe a bit uncomfortably, at Graham's Mussolini moment.

Graham hasn't yet explained if he meant that he would literally lead by literally threatening to literally murder Congress.

Update: Quick hint to Sen. Graham, who said he was trying to be funny: If people aren't sure if you're joking, you're doing it wrong.

Briefly Noted: Gun Nuts Win This Round (That's a Pun!)

Way back in February, the Rude Pundit said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives had proposed banning a type of armor-piercing bullet because handguns had been made that could fire it. The proposal was open for public comments, and, boy, howdy, the gun fellaters started deep throating and inundated the ATF with emails of imminent doom, societal collapse, and Mexican zombie apocalypse should the bullet, used in AR-15 rifles (like the ones that kill lots of people in mass shooting), be outlawed. There was barely a whimper from the pro-gun regulation side.

So, as it does with most things gun related, the ATF (and, by extension, the Obama administration) caved and said it would "study" the exemption for the bullet further. Squeaky wheel, enjoy that grease.

Of course, who knows what could happen in the future? (Cue ominous music and sound of Wayne LaPierre cackling madly as he wipes his ass with money sent in from NRA members.)


Sorry That We Cared Too Much: West Virginia Legislature Voting to Make Water More Poisonous

You remember a little over a year ago when 300,000 people in West Virginia, including most of the city of Charleston, had to go without drinking and washing water for weeks because a company of fucknuts called, without a hint of shame, Freedom Industries, didn't inspect the big ass storage containers of dangerous-ass chemicals that were on the edge of a river just 1.5 miles from a water plant. You remember that, right? When everyone had to bathe in bottled water, like they were fancy Kardashians or something?

In response to that, the legislature jumped into action, passing a weak-but-better-than-nothing bill by wide, wide margins. At the very least, it required annual inspections of around 48,000 toxic tanks. It was signed by hilariously hick-named Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, who had proposed even less oversight of chemical storage facilities. A milquetoast victory is still a victory, no?

Well, apparently, it was too much for DuPont, Dow, Bayer, and other polluters...sorry, industry leaders.

Now, this week, West Virginia's legislature is on the verge of passing a new bill that significantly weakens the weak law. Yeah, it seems that 75% of the above-ground tanks that were targeted for inspection don't need it at all. That leaves 12,000, which is actually an optimistic number because the bill contains more exemptions that could lower the number much further. For instance, if you say your tank of toxic goo is associated with oil drilling or coal mining, you can use an exemption.

The bill that amends the law, which had amended a previous law, changes the definition for what tanks need to be inspected: "larger tanks, tanks with more dangerous contents and tanks located within the 'zone of critical concern,' which runs to five hours upstream from drinking-water intakes, and those tanks defined by a new term, the 'zone of peripheral concern,' which goes about 10 hours upstream from water intakes." Obviously, "zone that poisons the shit out of ground water and soil" is not included.

By the way, the original proposed amendment would have reduced the number of tanks inspected to just 100. Those exempted would have included 1,100 that failed inspection last year. When you think about the roughly 80,000 above ground storage tanks in West Virginia (a bunch were already exempt in the first place), 1,100 doesn't seem like much. But the Elk River and 300,000 people were fucked by a single leaking tank that was over 60 years-old.

It doesn't matter. It didn't matter that a priest from the West Virginia Catholic Conference told a hearing that clean drinking water is given to humans by God himself. And it sure as hell didn't matter that someone from the Sierra Club spoke, too. Not when the vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association, among others from business groups, all well-noted for their care of the environment, were for the changes to the law. The bill, one version of which sailed through the House, squeaked out of a Senate committee, with some voting against it because it was still too pro-clean water. It will more than likely pass the Senate this week.

Speaking loquaciously, a local Democratic consultant said, "To say that this bill protects drinking water is like saying Colonel Sanders protects the chickens." The problem is that there's always some idiot telling us how the Colonel takes good care of his chickens on the way to slaughter and that the chickens should be happy about it.


GOP Senators to Iran: Go Ahead and Build Nuclear Missiles

So 47 Republican Senators from the, well, Senate of the United States bravely sent a letter to the leaders of Iran, explaining to them how our government works with respect to treaties and other foreign policy decisions. The letter is related to ongoing talks between the Obama administration and the Iranians over its nuclear program, and, no surprise here, it contains basic misinformation about the process of ratifying a treaty.

It's pretty goddamned insulting, too. Eleven members of the Iranian government's cabinet were educated in the United States. You can be pretty sure they know more than most of the constituents of the senators about how you negotiate an agreement with the U.S. And the senators got to see the back of Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammed Zarif's pimp hand in response: "I should bring one important point to the attention of the authors and that is, the world is not the United States, and the conduct of inter-state relations is governed by international law, and not by US domestic law. The authors may not fully understand that in international law, governments represent the entirety of their respective states, are responsible for the conduct of foreign affairs, are required to fulfil the obligations they undertake with other states and may not invoke their internal law as justification for failure to perform their international obligations." When the Iranian government dismisses your political propaganda as propaganda, you've failed mighty fuckin' badly.

But let's look at the letter in another way. Because not once in it do the senators, led by freshman ass-licker Tom Cotton of Arkansas, say that the end result of this should be that Iran shouldn't build a nuclear defense program. Oh, no. In fact, what the letter does is tell Iran, "Fuck it. You better build some nukes fast or we're gonna bomb your ass."

Or maybe Israel will. You can't really tell the difference between Likud and the GOP on this matter.

Here's one of the final paragraphs of the epistle of doom: "What these two constitutional provisions mean is that we will consider any agreement regarding your nuclear-weapons program that is not approved by the Congress as nothing more than an executive agreement between President Obama and Ayatollah Khamenei. The next president could revoke such an executive agreement with the stroke of a pen and future Congresses could modify the terms of the agreement at any time."

President Obama responded to the missive for missiles, "I think it's somewhat ironic to see some members for Congress wanting to make common cause with the hard-liners in Iran. It's an unusual coalition." He didn't, but he could have added, "Jesus, how much longer do I have to work with these fucking mentally-challenged skid marks?"

Imagine you're one of those hard-liners reading this letter in Tehran, with its implicit threat, as well as its undermining of the Negro president. Everything you believed about Americans would be contained in it: that you can't trust us, that you would be giving up your own safety, that America's ultimate goal is to remake Iran with the same gusto it remade Iraq and Afghanistan and Libya and... Yeah, you'd build a fuckin' nuclear bomb post-haste.

Let's put aside the overheated talk of treason. Let's not go down the rabbit hole of wondering what would have happened if a group of Democrats had done something like this to Bush. Instead, let's say that a group of Republican elected officials from the United States did the impossible: they made the repressive, fundamentalist government of Iran look like the reasonable ones.


Dumb Dumbasses Acting Dumb: Tennessee Sen. Mike Bell Is a Dumbass Towards Women

That goateed, grinning dipshit is State Senator Mike Bell of Tennessee, a place that's working really fuckin' hard to dick over the women who live there. Bell and an assortment of GOP pricks, cunts, and assholes voted to end the funding for the Women's Economic Council, which had been in operation for 17 years.

At a hearing on continuing the Council, Bell, the chair of the General Operations Committee, asked a question that only sexist fuckwads with no idea about history or present reality could ask: "With women making up 51 percent of the population of the state, why don’t we have a men’s economic council?" Really, man? Really? Yeah, really: "Why don’t we have a Hispanic council, why don’t we have an African-American economic council, why don’t we have this group and that group, why do we have a women’s economic council and why is it needed?"

To her credit, Phyllis Qualls-Brooks, the executive director of the council, didn't leap over the table to beat Bell to a pulp with a copy of The Second Sex. Instead, she said, "Because men basically are running everything anyway." And that'd be hilarious if the Tennessee legislature was more than 20% women, which means that, basically, men are running everything. Unfortunately, that 20% includes the Republican women, who are more than glad to do the bidding of the men, like completely nutzoid Senator Mae Beavers (giggle, if you need to), who spoke against funding the Council.

Bell responded to Qualls-Brooks in the classiest way possible. He said, "I need to tell my wife that men are running everything." The Rude Pundit knows what you're thinking: "Wait, some woman married that guy?" 


The Hillary Industrial Complex Gets Back to Work

Oh, listen, dear, sweet, young, innocent readers, there was a time in a century past when an entire machine was constructed for the sole purpose of degrading and destroying President Bill Clinton and his wife, Hillary Clinton. It was a monstrous creation, all squeaky pistons and black smoke-belching ducts, leaving toxic waste wherever it was put to use. The machine was magical in that, all of a sudden, media stars were created by merely giving up their human bodies and becoming cogs in it. The surge of power and popularity in people like Rush Limbaugh and Bill O'Reilly were caused by the machine pumping its foul product through a pipe that went directly up the assholes of conservative commentators and spewed garbage right out of their mouths. Did you know that the only reason that Ann Coulter exists is because of the machine? That Fox "news" came to prominence because it was the machine's vilest output? And the people, oh, the people, dear children, how they gobbled up the trash left for them by the machine, not enough to bring down President Clinton, but enough to tarnish them in the eyes of a huge number of your parents and uncles and aunts so that the mere mention of a Clinton, now mostly Hillary, would remind them of the taste of the machine's effluvia and debris and cause them to reflexively roll their eyes in hateful pleasure.

This Hillary Clinton email story is not a story. Like every other supposed scandal involving the Clintons, it exists solely in the fevered minds of those who cannot stand them who desperately try to get us to think it's more than it is. Yet here we are, like it's the late 1990s all over again, except with better graphics.

The front of the Fox "news" website:

The front of Breitbart, which didn't exist back then, but is a stand-in for others that did:

And, of course, this wouldn't be complete without Drudge, which does look exactly the same:

Turn on conservative talk radio and it's Hillary for a good chunk of the time. The machine is gearing up for the big presidential run, so hungry, ready to be fed, ready to feed again. The obsession, the monomania, the desire not just to defeat but to tear apart, you think that's so new with Barack Obama?

Older rudesters, is your right eye twitching a little, like you're having an acid flashback to a bad trip you thought you had repressed enough so that you didn't see the gorgons and minotaurs roaring at you anymore?

The Rude Pundit is no huge Hillary fan for reasons he'll bother to discuss when she announces she's running for president. But he'd still vote for her against that jagoff Bush, that turd licker Rand Paul, that narrow-eyed geek Walker, that ball of spite Christie. You know, though, what we're gonna have to go through when she's the nominee. You know that the machine will be moving madly, chaotically, smashing anything to wreck her. You know that it's fed on cash and rumor and lies and it cannot ever be sated unless it gets to devour her whole.

We're just getting a preview of what's to come.


Random Thoughts Reading Through the DOJ's Ferguson Police Report

1. You should read it. It's compelling, and it's like a look into Birmingham in the 1960s, except it's now. It makes you understand that the riots in Ferguson, Missouri, were not simply the result of the shooting death of Michael Brown. It was an explosion that the city had earned after years of abusing its black residents.

2. It's blatantly obvious that the white police just enjoyed screwing with the black residents for the sake of writing tickets to make money for the city. Sometimes, the cops were like cartoons, like something you'd see in a terrible film that tried to have a social conscience. For instance, "In October 2012, police officers pulled over an African-American man who had lived in Ferguson for 16 years, claiming that his passenger-side brake light was broken. The driver happened to have replaced the light recently and knew it to be functioning properly. Nonetheless, according to the man’s written complaint, one officer stated, 'Let’s see how many tickets you’re going to get,' while a second officer tapped his Electronic Control Weapon ('ECW') on the roof of the man’s car. The officers wrote the man a citation for 'taillight/reflector/license plate light out.' They refused to let the man show them that his car’s equipment was in order, warning him, 'Don’t you get out of that car until you get to your house.'"

3. This is not to mention that there had to be a culture of silence and racism for cops to get away with things like this: "In another case, from March 2013, officers responded to the police station to take custody of a person wanted on a state warrant. When they arrived, they encountered a different man—not the subject of the warrant—who happened to be leaving the station. Having nothing to connect the man to the warrant subject, other than his presence at the station, the officers nonetheless stopped him and asked that he identify himself. The man asserted his rights, asking the officers, 'Why do you need to know?' and declining to be frisked. When the man then extended his identification toward the officers, at their request, the officers interpreted his hand motion as an attempted assault and took him to the ground. Without articulating reasonable suspicion or any other justification for the initial detention, the officers arrested the man on two counts of Failure to Comply and two counts of Resisting Arrest." That charge, "Failure to Comply," simply means, "We're always right and you're always wrong."

4. You can read the parade of horribles. There's a breathtaking number of cases, of harassment, of violence against young teens, of beatings, of outright attacks. This is not to mention the verbal abuse, the racist jokes, the use of "nigger" like the Ferguson PD was made up of Southern cop caricatures. Except they aren't. They're real people charged with enforcing the law. Except they aren't. They're enforcing their law. They wanted to arrest blacks, and they pushed situations to their breaking point to try to get to do it. The report contains incidents during protests where the cops were purely trying to provoke a reaction so they could bring down the hammer.

4a. Often, the overreactions of the cops are so ludicrous it'd be laughable if it weren't appalling: "[I]n August 2010, a lieutenant used an ECW [a Taser] in drive-stun mode against an African-American woman in the Ferguson City Jail because she had refused to remove her bracelets."

4b. In other words, the cops are just abject dicks.

5. Let's focus in on one case - the unarmed, not violent 14 year-old after whom the cops sent a police dog to bite multiple times. Here's the story in full:

Appalling. Disgusting. Now let's say an adult was there, a man with a gun, and he saw the dog biting the kid and he saw the cops stomping his head. At what point do the cops become bad enough that they need to be stopped? At what point are they the bad guys? At what point would you say that the man with the gun needs to do something? Or that the community needs to do something against the cops? At what point would you not blame them if they did? (By the way, there's a whole section on the overuse of force against students by cops in schools.)

5a. Or, if it's you the Ferguson cops are attacking, at what point are you standing your ground? At what point does your self-defense count? Never, of course. You always have to let the cops do whatever they want and hope that someone gets a written reprimand for breaking your skull.

6. The final sickening feeling the Rude Pundit has reading this is caused by the knowledge that this is just one town and that in towns big and small, all over the nation, the same things go on, the same racism, the same violence against citizens, the same. It's a shame that it will probably take a Michael Brown in each town to shine a light on even a small part of it.

6a. Not that the cop who shot Michael Brown will face any charges.


Bibi at Congress: A Fantasia

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looked out over the gathered members of Congress today. "You are my harem," the Israeli leader said, "and I am your sultan. I could pluck any one of you out and bring back to my tent, adorn you in silk, and ask you if you're grateful that you get the privilege to suck the sultan's cock. You, there, Senator Tom Cotton, part your lips and smoke the cream pipe of paradise. Darrell Issa, your tongue looks ready to wash the leathery folds of the sultan's orb sack. Don't crowd, my concubines. I will bless each of you when my jism geyser is ready to erupt. Each of you will receive the gift of the sultan's pearls on your faces."

The concubines were joyous, especially because the sultan would be showing that foul Moor who presumed to lead them the proper way to take care of a harem. "The sultan thinks we're special," declared the oldest, scabbiest concubine. "I hope he is most pleased with how we pleasure him."

"Indeed," declared the filthiest concubine, "if only he would stay longer so we may enjoy his effulgence in our mouths, in our anuses, all over us."

Many of the concubines nodded. One of the younger concubines added, "I would gladly give up entire banquets just to place his sweaty man pole in my mouth one more time."

The old, scabby concubine brought them all together and offered comfort: "Do not worry. The sultan's thrusting flesh saber will always be ready whenever we wish to cross deserts and oceans to his palace. He will welcome us with open arms and raised robes, and, surely, we, each of us, knows what to do. Now let us turn around. The sultan's face is red. That means he is about to shoot forth."

The concubines pulled back their veils and opened their mouths so that a speck of the sultan's seed would strengthen them to turn their backs on their own people.


CPAC: Phil Robertson Is Everything Conservative

There is no reason to write about the Conservative Political Action Conference, which took place this past weekend. You'd have to go to a Tea Party convention to find a larger gathering of deluded losers, compulsive masturbators, closeted gay evangelicals, and desperate politicians, all pretending that what they are doing and what they are saying has any significance beyond the ability of the organizers to scam the attendees out of some cash. No, indeed, one does not need to hear what kind of pandering Scott Walker or Chris Christie or Carly Fiorina or any other possible presidential candidate did to the cheers of the shit eaters in the Beelzebub Ballroom of Hell's Hilton.

What's fascinating was the way that the schedule of keynote speakers progressed, with pretenders and fakers splitting time with the mad and the irrelevant, a stream of supposed thinkers and leaders, all treated equally. So you could go from RNC chair Reince Preemie...Priebus, whatever, to Donald Trump to Rick Santorum to the crazed patriarch of the Duck Dynasty family, Phil Robertson. And it is here that the Rude Pundit wants to pause, just before huckster Wayne LaPierre and future loser to Hillary, Jeb Bush. Because Robertson, a man who made his fortune by making ducks want to fuck him so he could kill them, serves as an avatar for the entire conservative "movement," such that it is.

Standing at the podium, telling us how we all need to live our lives according to his book of faith, Robertson looked like Osama bin Laden in a post-9/11 video...oh, what, you think that's too hyperbolic? Fuckin' please, motherfucker:

Anyways, Robertson was so batshit crazy that actual bats thought, "He's making us look bad." What makes Robertson's speech, to a crowd that applauded, cheered, and laughed, so symbolic is that he said plainly what so many of the other conservatives tried to hide with a veneer of respectability. It's a good thing that Robertson's a dumb shit because he doesn't need to bother counting how many fucks he gives. So Robertson is free to be the rampant id, delighting the gathered misanthropes by tellin' 'em what's what.

Lecturing from his worn-out Bible from notes that have gotta be hilarious to read ("1. Jesus, 2. Gunz, 3. Don't fuck less yer marrd, 4. consteetooshun"), Robertson rambled for nearly 30 minutes, well past the scheduled time. He was there to pick up the, no shit, Andrew Breitbart Defender of the First Amendment Award. It's like if they gave a Nobel for being a racist, homophobic asshole.

Sure, he went on about gay marriage, about how we need to be more Christian, about how he can dress himself. But, mostly, he just didn't want anyone to catch the herp or any STDs: "What do you call the hundred and ten million who have sexually transmitted illnesses? It's the revenge of the hippies! Sex, drugs, and rock and roll have come back to haunt us, in a bad way." By the way, if you never had the pleasure of watching Duck Dynasty, the theme song was "Sharp-Dressed Man" by fellow beard enthusiasts ZZ Top. It's about how you can get laid if you dress well. It's from the album Eliminator, which features odes to fucking every which way, marriage not required.

Robertson wasn't done with the medical advice: "I mean, I'm reading this stuff from the CDC and it says, 'How many sexual encounters does one have to have to catch a sexually transmitted illness?' It said one. I'm figuring out the odds on that one. How many seconds does it take to get genital herpes? It said 30 seconds. I'm like, whoa, that's pretty quick." And he offered advice if you don't want to get any diseases: "You want a Godly, biblical, medically safe option—one man, one woman, married for life."

Oh, what else needs to be said? That Phil Robertson only wants women who are lesbians to run for office? "For you potential candidates, to keep you out of trouble and to keep the scandals down, let me give you a little word of advice. Carry two things with you wherever you go in case one of you gets to be the president of the United States. Make sure you carry your Bible and your woman." Well, either lesbians or he doesn't think women should run for office, but, surely, CPAC wouldn't invite someone so backwards to a prime speaking spot and a free speech award.

And, in an awesome bit of history, Robertson said, "Stand on the Bible. Stand on the Constitution. Don't budge. Hold onto your weapons. We had to have all three to run the Brits back to where they came from. We had to have all three when the Nazis reared their head. You say the Nazis? World domination was what Hitler had on his mind. Territorial conquest. There was no Jesus, none!" If you were there, you might have thought, "Um, I don't think there was a constitution when we were fighting the British, at least not the first time." But you're a beatnik who only wants to spread diseases with your hippie jizz.

The point here is not just to beat up on a rich man in redneck drag, a kind of cracker minstrel pushed out to dispense crazed backwoods wisdom. It's also to say that the crowd that embraced him (and right-wing websites were overjoyed with his speech) is never going to be won over by "logic" or "facts" or anything that we believe can use to convince people. They are invested in a monolithic lie that some kind of Christian morality will make everything better.

But what they don't see, and what they'd deny until the end of time, is that their desire for a nation based on biblical principles would make the founders they revere recoil in horror from them. And that the dude up there in the photo under Robertson would totally understand where they're coming from.