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September 28th, 2013
There Is A Reason Why The Ungentlemanly Art Is Ungentlemanly
by Bruce |
Cartooning. I’m trying now to get back into the routine of regularly producing my political cartoons, at least biweekly for Baltimore OUTLoud. This next issue’s cartoon will be the first I’ve done in nearly a year. It’s topic is the Met Opera’s giving the stage to several Russian opera stars, putting on an opera by Tchaikovsky, and refusing to condemn the horrific outbreak of anti-gay violence in Russia. In its way it’s similar to what the International Olympic Committed is doing. They’re all looking the other way to protect their profits and their access to power.
But in order to do this cartoon I needed to go online for images I could reference in the cartoon, images we’ve (most of us paying attention) all seen from the wave of violence in Russia. Images that will stick in the collective memory of our people for generations I am convinced. And that is reminding me now why I needed to take a break from doing the cartoons. Looking at all those pictures makes me so angry I keep having to walk away from the drafting table.
I keep telling myself it’s okay if I can just channel that anger into the cartoon. I keep telling myself that this kind of thing is Exactly where the political cartoon art form can be at its most effective, and that I need to get this out because it’s necessary. But it’s difficult trying to work when I’m this angry.
When you gaze long into an abyss…
September 25th, 2013
by Bruce |
Headline this morning on Andy Towle’s blog…
I suppose so, since zero means there is nothing to count.
September 11th, 2013
Knock, Knock. Who’s There? False Dilemma…
by Bruce |
Surely one of them is an honest man…
Not necessarily. George says he didn’t have his gun on his person. His (ex) lawyer says he did, but he didn’t pull it out and wave it around. I think there’s room here for another fairly obvious possibility.
September 10th, 2013
Please…Not The Briar Patch!
by Bruce |
Think Progress headline this morning…
Florida can prosecute George Zimmerman even if his wife doesn’t press charge
Sure could. Just like the last time they prosecuted him. I’ll bet he’s quaking in his boots at the prospect. They’re birds of a feather with that resentful angry thug and you don’t seriously want your soul brother going to jail just because he waved a gun at his spouse, or killed an unarmed kid who’d just gone out for some snacks.
[Added some text for clarity of meaning...]
August 25th, 2013
They’re Not All Closet Cases
by Bruce |
It’s a stereotype of homophobes that they’re closet homosexuals, acting out of fear of discovery and/or self loathing. And we’ve all certainly seen evidence in recent years that it’s often true. But it isn’t always.
This came across my Facebook stream this morning…
The Council for Marriage Policy (CMP), a Christian anti-LGBT group that is a division of the right-wing Renew America PAC, issued a frantic warning on Friday that if same sex marriage becomes legal in all 50 states, lesbians will trick gay and straight men into fathering their children and turn them into economic slaves. According to Right Wing Watch, the 37-pragraph column was written by CMP president David R. Usher and was entitled “Our last chance to save traditional marriage.”
On the face of it this is a rant about same-sex marriage, taken to extreme right wing dystopian fantasies. But look closer.
Usher’s dystopian screed warned that the Supreme Court will create multiple classes of marriage. In a section called “Class 1: Mother-Mother marriages,” he predicted that “[w]hen two women marry, it is a three-way contract among two women and the government. Most women will bear children by men outside the marriage – often by pretending they are using birth control when they are not.”
Gay men, he said, will have the worst time of it under legalized same sex marriage because “[i]n most cases, these men will become un-consenting ‘fathers’ by reproductive entrapment,” although how the devious Class-1 lesbians will accomplish this is left to the reader’s imagination.
I find his concern touching. But I don’t think what he’s suggesting there is that lesbians will offer to be surrogate mothers for gay male couples and then back out of the deal once they become pregnant. He’s saying there that they’ll lure gay men into having sex with them.
Now, we gay males are not all perfect Kinsey 6′s, and a lot of us have tried desperately over the course of our lives to be straight, often with hostile clergymen and/or family members pressuring us into it. It isn’t that a homosexual man can’t have sex with women, it’s that he’d much rather have it with men. But the decent humane society is one that encourages self honesty, trustworthiness, and a habit of truth seeking and truth telling in its own. The decent society also treats its women as the equal of its men, and this is what I think Usher has a problem with. It isn’t homosexuality or even lesbianism specifically.
Men will be forced to labor for the economic benefit of marriages between women – marriages men have been “redlined” out of – by the choice of two women who married with intention to have children by men outside the marriage. This approaches the definition of slavery – and perhaps sexual trafficking or bondage
It’s a crude stereotype that gay men are gay because they’re afraid of women. I am not afraid of women nor do I hate them, they were just never on my radar the way they are for a straight guy. For most of us, gay and straight, sexual desire is what makes life sweet and we love and cherish the ones that do that to us. But as some never forgive their libidos for making them gay, and go on a never ending warpath against The Homosexual as a proxy for beating up on themselves, some straight guys never forgive their libidos for giving women power over them.
Usher might well be a closet case but I suspect he’s a straight male supremacist who really hates how a pretty girl can make him all hot and bothered. The homophobia of men like that is really misogyny; gay males draw his contempt for making themselves into woman. That his libido recoils at the thought of having sex with another man makes him feel justified in that contempt. But really, that contempt, or fear, or loathing, or all of it mixed together, is directed at women.
“Progressive terminology morphed from “gay marriage” to “same-sex marriage” over the past five years because the feminist power-agenda is not attached to orientation. The feminist goal has always been to create an institution where any two women can marry each other, have children out of wedlock, and force individuals who cannot be part of the marriage to support it economically, with government as a statutory guarantor.”
Look at that…really look at it. This isn’t about lesbians…it’s not about homosexuality…it’s about women.
[Edited a tad for clarity...]
July 18th, 2013
A Wee Correction
by Bruce |
“The attorney general fails to understand that self-defense is not a concept, it’s a fundamental human right of white people.” -NRA Executive Director Chris Cox
Fixed it for you Chris. You’re welcome.
by Bruce |
Something that needs to be understood about this notion that his wearing a hoodie meant Trayvon Martin’s was a thug or a thug wannabe, is if young black men started wearing bow ties they’d be calling bow ties thugware. And all the nice people living in those gated communities would be telling each other that it’s the bow ties, not the color of their skin, that makes them thugs.
July 14th, 2013
Why didn’t you just button up your britches and go home George?
by Bruce |
Via Death and Taxes…
Now that Zimmerman has a legitimate reason to fear for his life, the threshold for what constitutes a personal threat has got to feel awfully low. What about an unarmed person wearing a t-shirt with George Zimmerman’s face in crosshairs who sees him on the street and swears at him? Could Zimmerman shoot him? Trayvon Martin was unarmed and was wearing a plain sweatshirt. What about a group of protesters shouting hostile messages about him as Zimmerman happens to walk by? Based on the jury’s handling of the Trayvon Martin case, it seems Florida law would allow Zimmerman to pull out his gun and, if he continued to feel threatened by these people for whatever reason, shoot them all in good standing under the law.
You thought the gun made you somebody and it didn’t after all, did it George. You had to chose, as everyone who puts a gun, or any other sort of weapon in their hand, has to choose, between the rule of law and the law of the gun…and you chose the gun…because you thought that made you somebody…and now the gun owns you George…it owns you…
“If I was doing you a favor I’d let them hang you now and get it all over with. But I don’t want you to get off that light. I want you to go on being a big tough gunny. I want you to see what it means to have to live like a big tough gunny. So don’t thank me yet partner. You’ll see what it means.”
-Gregory Peck in The Gunfighter
July 13th, 2013
The Vigilante It Is…
by Bruce |
Zimmerman walks, which is the outcome we should all have expected from Florida, but still…
I was born in the early 50′s and spent most of my grade school years in the 1960s. During that time, probably largely due to the homosexual panics of the 1950s, I got tons of warnings in and out of school about being followed by strange men and how I shouldn’t let them get too close and needed to fight like hell if one of them tried to grab me off the street because I might never be seen again. Maybe they teach kids differently these days, but one of the most striking things to me in this whole episode is Zimmerman could stalk a teenage boy and get away with shooting him dead by claiming that he was mortally afraid of him and people keep saying with pious straight faces that Martin shouldn’t have fought back and because he did Zimmerman was justified in killing him and his race has nothing to do with that.
Seriously. Who tells teenage boys to just do whatever the strange man with a gun tells them to do and everything will be all right? I’m not trying to be snarky here. If you subtract Martin’s race from this, then all the people saying that Martin caused his own death by fighting back are not making sense. That Martin, if (If) he took a swing at Zimmerman, did because he was afraid is obvious. Unless you think that young black men don’t need any reason to try and kill someone with their bare hands because they’re all just animals really.
July 11th, 2013
The Vigilante Or Civilization…Pick One
by Bruce |
The facts show that George Zimmerman armed himself with a gun loaded with hollow point bullets and ended up killing an unarmed teenager who was just out buying some snacks. How that happened is disputed but to me it’s obvious that when you strap on a gun, go looking for trouble and end up stalking and killing an unarmed 17 year old, you’ve done something wrong.
Digby goes on to say “To me, the carrying of that gun morally requires that he be held liable in some way for the unarmed Trayvon’s death”, but there is where I often part company with my fellow liberals on the issue of guns: I am fine with the concept that you have a right to own a gun and defend yourself with it. In fact, I consider that right to be a fundamentally democratic thing.
What isn’t are things like vigilantism and racism. These are poison. They are poison to the person, they are poison to the nation. This case is positively dripping with racism that nobody in the corporate news media wants to look closely at, because we’re all supposed to be beyond all that now. Except we’re not. Zimmerman’s suspicion and fear of Martin only makes sense in the context of Martin’s race, his sex, and his age. There is literally nothing else there but those three things. Zimmerman stalked that kid because of those three things, and his rational for killing an unarmed teenage boy who was out buying snacks can only seem plausible due to those three things. Fear the black male, and especially, fear the young black male. Look, for as long as you can stomach it, at the breathless agreement that Martin posed a threat to Zimmerman’s life, solely on the basis of Zimmerman’s say-so, and the ephemeral signs of a fight on his face and head. That was no beating. You want to see what a beating looks like, look at the photos of recent victims of gay bashers. But it’s simply an accepted fact in certain quarters of the country that Zimmerman’s life was threatened. Were Martin white it would not matter what the race of his stalker would be, other than if his stalker was a black man he’d already have been convicted and on Florida’s death row. Picture it: a white teenaged boy stalked by a strange man, fights back and is found shot to death. Would anyone doubt the adult male had done something horribly wrong? Why is it never considered, that Martin was standing His ground when Zimmerman confronted him? Well, of course a young black male has no such right. Racism was always at the rotten core of this.
But if Zimmerman was a racist, he was also a vigilante and if you approve of vigilantism anywhere outside the pages of a comic book you are no friend of civilization let alone democracy. All those people waving around the second amendment as a defense against tyranny are no defenders of democracy…if anything they are the useful tools of anarchy. The gun is what you need when the the peace is broken, so the first thing, the basic responsibility of the believers in civilization and democracy is to preserve the peace. That means the rule of law and the ballot box as the agent of change. Peaceful disobedience, where the conscience requires disobedience, and responsibility for ones own conduct toward your neighbors. Responsibility. What a concept, that. Zimmerman acted like the gun came with a badge and they don’t. But more than that, he acted as if he had character enough to bear the wearing of a badge and it’s sickeningly obvious he is no such person.
However this trial turns out, if nothing else this case really raises a lot of questions about the kind of nation we are, or should want to be. So many virtuous moral all-American values types cheering on what Zimmerman did. It’s been a while since I’ve been this completely disgusted. Digby’s right, what would be a just punishment for what Zimmerman did isn’t obvious, but what is staringly obvious is that he did something terribly, horribly wrong. A teenage boy went out for snacks and never came back home, because Zimmerman saw a young black man somewhere he thought a young black man didn’t belong, and took that matter into his own hands.
June 26th, 2013
The Untruth At The Heart Of It
by Bruce |
“At the heart of the gay marriage argument is an untruth: unions of two men or women are not the same as unions of husband and wife. The law cannot make it so, it can only require us to paint pretty pictures to cover up deep truths embedded in human nature.”
-Maggie Gallagher, still trying to paint a pretty picture over the untruth at the heart of the anti-gay agenda, that Homosexuals Don’t Love, They Just Have Sex…
Excuses Are Not Mistakes
by Bruce |
This from Slate…
In a speech last week titled “Mullahs of the West: Judges as Moral Arbiters,” Justice Antonin Scalia told the North Carolina Bar Association that the court has no place acting as a “judge moralist” in issues better left to the people. Since judges aren’t qualified—or constitutionally authorized—to set moral standards, he argued, the people should decide what’s morally acceptable.
…and so on. Nathanial Frank pegs it at the end of this piece, thusly:
Morality is not just whatever views a majority has long held, and it’s not simply what you learned on your mother’s knee or whatever it says in your faith’s scripture. Moral belief is a grounded judgment about what harms or helps living things.
(emphasis mine) That. Which leads to this: Scalia, like a lot of homophobes, does not have a misunderstanding about morality; he has an assortment of smokescreens he hides his prejudices behind, that he calls morality.
They do that in the kook pews and that is why their moral judgements seem so haphazard and contradictory: They’re not making moral judgements, they’re jerking their knees, dancing from one thing to another to whatever tune their prejudices call.
June 24th, 2013
Let’s Have A Conversation Past Each Other
by Bruce |
A Facebook friend posted this graphic a short while ago…
Some days I think I’m the only person in the world who sees the various factions in the argument over gun control talking past each other so…Devotedly. Actually, yeah, people do talk about banning the private ownership of guns, usually in the context of saying that it would be impractical at this time or that, like a lot of other idealistic notions it just isn’t practical, so let’s do what we can today. In other words, gosh wouldn’t it be nice if nobody had guns. Well, some of us think not so much, and we’re not all Ted Nugent crackpots or Moloch worshipers. So what some folks insist The Other Side should be paying attention to is “we don’t want to take all your guns away” and the what other folks are paying attention to is that “at this time” or “because it isn’t practical” and so it goes.
Yes we can talk. We can for sure talk about how wonderful a world where nobody but the government can own a weapon, and no I am not an anti-government crank, I am a liberal FDR democrat and I believe that our best defense against tyranny is the ballot box and if you don’t use that wisely your damn household arsenal will not save you and I don’t care how big it is. I am a liberal FDR union supporting social safety net defending equality for all Americans democrat and I don’t see how rendering the common man and woman defenseless improves their lives much. However I Can see how sensible regulation of firearms does. But of course sensible is in the eye of the beholder. Convince me.
Yes, we can talk. We can talk about what sensible gun regulation is. But to have That conversation it would be helpful to hear some general agreement that the second amendment does in fact confer a right on individual citizens to own guns. No more of this “what part of ‘well regulated militia don’t you understand’ crap. What part of “the people” don’t You understand.
How about: “We agree people have a basic democratic right to own their own firearms. But like a lot of basic democratic rights that isn’t absolute either. Freedom of speech for example, doesn’t mean you can shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater. It doesn’t mean you can slander someone without there being consequences. The right to own a gun isn’t absolute, and especially so where our commonly shared public spaces are involved. Simply requiring a background check does not infringe on your right to own a gun, it just means that right comes with the responsibility to be peaceful and law abiding. Everyone has to be that. Simply restricting the capacity of ammunition clips does not infringe on your right to own a gun, it just means that your gun is for your personal protection not for criminal activity, waging armed rebellion, or terrorism. Simply restricting weapons fit only for military uses to just the military does not infringe on your right to own a gun, it just means if you want to be a solider you need to join the Army.
“But yes, you have a basic second amendment right to own a gun.”
Yeah…if only we could have that conversation. But it isn’t just one side of the argument that isn’t interested.
June 11th, 2013
How It All Ends
by Bruce |
This from Truth Wins Out…
Several weeks ago, Tennessee student Marcel Neergaard made a lot of news when he, at the ripe old age of eleven, led a campaign to have an education award rescinded from vehemently anti-gay Tennessee lawmaker John Ragan…
Bullied eleven year old stands up to political bullies in the Tennessee statehouse. It’s a very heartwarming story. And there’s a follow-up everyone should have expected, but I’ll bet his parents didn’t completely…
Sharon Kass is one of the strangest anti-gay activists out there. As far as I can tell, she’s never actually held any official position with an anti-gay organization, so she’s not making money off of being unhinged. But unhinged she is. That may be putting it lightly…
She wrote a letter to the kid’s parents. You can read it in full at the link above and be completely disgusted, as any sane person would be. But this is how the struggle ends. This is how the heterosexual majority finds out this fight has always been between all that is fine and noble in the human heart, verses the human gutter.
It has always been that fight. We win it when heterosexuals finally come to see we all share a common human heart after all. And when they do, they become the enemy too, and the gutter will turn on them as well. And when they finally, Finally see the honest face of what has been preaching at them all these centuries, this fight is over. That is how the story of this struggle ends.
Not with a bang, not with a whimper, but with a tiny little tin voice babbling on and on and on and on and on about gayism.
June 8th, 2013
In Theory You Could Add A Check…
by Bruce |
The EFF as usual, gets it right…
In response to the recent news reports about the National Security Agency’s surveillance program, President Barack Obama said today, “When it comes to telephone calls, nobody is listening to your telephone calls.” Instead, the government was just “sifting through this so-called metadata.” The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper made a similar comment last night: “The program does not allow the Government to listen in on anyone’s phone calls. The information acquired does not include the content of any communications or the identity of any subscriber.”
What they are trying to say is that disclosure of metadata—the details about phone calls, without the actual voice—isn’t a big deal, not something for Americans to get upset about if the government knows. Let’s take a closer look at what they are saying:
They know you rang a phone sex service at 2:24 am and spoke for 18 minutes. But they don’t know what you talked about.
They know you called the suicide prevention hotline from the Golden Gate Bridge. But the topic of the call remains a secret.
They know you spoke with an HIV testing service, then your doctor, then your health insurance company in the same hour. But they don’t know what was discussed.
“In theory, you could add the check of exposing the system to the light of day, but that means wrecking much of its intelligence value”, they’re saying over at Volokh, exposing to the light of day the usual contempt wingers have for democracy. That would be the Voters you’re talking about there Baker, and why goodness gracious the system Was exposed to the light of day, otherwise known as the Voters, we’re all arguing about it now aren’t we, and if they ever catch the whistleblower who let the voters know what their government was doing to them that person will think Bradley Manning had it easy.
But I am just a computer geek who just happens to be working on a space science program which will itself fling a fucking torrent of data back at planet earth for astronomers to make sense of. Every now and then I get a bit worried when I see the disconnect between my understanding of how electronic information systems work and everyone else’s. Then I see articles like that Forbes Magazine one where they described how Target figured out a teenage girl was pregnant before her parents did and sent her helpful offerings of child care products and I feel a little better. Then I see this. Oh they’re not listening to our phone calls, just capturing the metadata…nothing to worry about citizen.
But never mind the metadata. If the deep secrecy going on here, where not just court orders are secret but the government’s interpretation of the laws its supposed to be following are secret too isn’t scaring the hell out of you then I have to wonder why you even bother following the news or taking the trouble to vote.
I am not an anti-government crank. I am a liberal FDR democrat. I believe in democracy. But for democracy to work you need elections, and for those to work you need voters who know what the fuck is going on. Oliver Willis stupid shit reductio ad absurdums notwithstanding. Nobody is demanding Geraldo Rivera follow CIA agents around with a TV camera while Jerry Springer provides a running commentary. But when oversight itself becomes a state secret, when the governments own interpretations of the laws binding it are kept from the voters, then it’s a catastrophe waiting to happen. I am not an anti-government crank, I am a liberal FDR democrat, and I believe in democratic government. And one reason I believe in democratic government is power corrupts. The light of day is a good thing.
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