The Degeneration Of The Republican Party
In 2004 they swift boated a presidential candidate. In 2014 they’re swift boating a POW.
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June 6th, 2014
The Degeneration Of The Republican Party
In 2004 they swift boated a presidential candidate. In 2014 they’re swift boating a POW.
May 21st, 2014
A Wee Question…
I’ve said this before, much to the distress of some liberal/progressive friends, but here it is again: I have no problem with private gun ownership, I see it as an eminently democratic right, IMO the second amendment does confer a right to individual Americans to own guns, and yes as a matter of fact I own a few myself. And I take responsibility for owning them seriously as I do my automobile. I obey the laws. I concern myself with safety. And I have nothing but contempt for people who use them recklessly, even if they’re not actually breaking the law. That goes for guns, automobiles…anything people use that can do harm to other people.
I’m an American liberal. I believe that public spaces convey public obligations. From respect for the environment to seemingly mundane day-to-day things like traffic safety, the common public spaces we share together are a mutual responsibility…and at minimum that means they are safe to use. Or to put it another way, the common ground that is too dangerous to occupy is more properly called a Battlefield. The last time the shared common spaces of Americans became battlefields we called it a Civil War and it killed more Americans than all our other wars put together.
As a liberal I go even further and insist that even the private workplaces must be at minimum safe to occupy too, since we all need to work to earn a living. I grant that some occupations are very dangerous but also very necessary for the good of all. That said, working in a fast food restaurant, let alone eating in one, does not strike me as one of those occupations.
So I hear Chipotle wants customers to not bring their guns inside their restaurants. So while I’m shrugging my shoulders and and thinking to myself, so much so reasonable, and moving on apparently other people are bursting veins and threatening boycotts.
What the hell is wrong with you? Just…what the hell is wrong with you? No…Seriously. What the hell is wrong with you?
If Chipotle said they wanted gays to stay out of their restaurants because Jesus! you’d be dog piling on it like you did Chick-fil-A. You’re bellyaching that same-sex marriage is going to destroy civilization….
…Does This Fucking Look Like Civilization To You!
They say guns don’t kill people, people do. And that’s true. It’s always the person. The idol is always false. We give meaning to our material objects, they don’t give meaning to us. A weapon, any weapon, finely, skillfully, beautifully made, by a master craftsman, is a noble thing. Until the moment a runt gets their hands on it. Because runts don’t build civilizations, they tear them down so they don’t have to know what runts they are. But let it be said that, unlike those two, not all runts look like they’ve spent their entire lives in mom’s basement. These guys for instance, bear a heavy responsibility for the decay of American society…
All these voices on the right bellyaching about Morals and Traditional Values, and Social Decay and really they don’t give a good goddamn about any of it. None of it at all. They get up on their stages in their suits and ties and slicked down hair and they wave the flag and talk about law and order and it’s all bullshit. Behold the new minutemen at the battle of Chipotle! I have a question…
Thank you NRA for turning a pastime that brought pleasure and even taught a few values to thousands of Americans into an idol for anti-government troglodytes. Thank you for turning the basic democratic right to own your own gun into a totem for ignorance and hate…the very things that kill democracy. You don’t love this country. You don’t even love guns. What you love is power. You loath the peace and prosperity and brighter future Americans have always sought, if it means everyone can have a share of it too. You’d rather it all came crashing down into anarchy and chaos if it means everyone can dream the American dream too, not just powerful white men.
April 13th, 2014
Merely Because I Put A Knife Into Your Heart Is No Reason To Call Me Hateful…
It seems the militant homosexual conspiracy has caused some feelings to be hurt…
One of the sophistries you encounter early on when you walk (or are shoved) into the fight for gay equality, is that treating bigots like bigots just makes you a bigot too. And sure as the rising sun they were canting it loudly after Brendan Eich resigned as CEO of Mozilla. Conar Friedersdorf, took to the pages of The Atlantic to wag his finger at all the militant homosexuals that wouldn’t gracefully forget the multi-million dollar child molester smear campaign Brendan helped to finance, and just let bygones be bygones. And low and behold, he gets fan mail from someone with sincerely held beliefs…
Sick and tired are you lady? This graphic came across my Facebook stream just now…here, let me show you sick and tired…
I was fifteen when the Stonewall riots happened. This man would have been maybe 5. You’d think the world he grew up in would have been better to him than mine but it wasn’t all that much. And for those gay kids growing up in strongly fundamentalist homes still have this same life ahead of them.
But then, homosexuals don’t love they just have sex…so Friedersdorf’s starry-eyed fan doesn’t have to feel badly that the knife in that man’s heart has her name on it too. God made sex just for men and women to have in the context of a godly marriage and if homosexuals have their own special burden to bear…well don’t we all?
This is arrogance disguising itself as humility. The wolf in sheep’s clothing telling itself that it really is one of them and just happens to have a taste for lamb chops every now and then. Lady, if you really thought you were no better than the rest of us you wouldn’t be treating your neighbors lives like they’re your stepping stones to heaven. Your Gay Neighbor Is Not Your Work In Progress!
So many desperately lonely people in this world. But if gay people aren’t lonely, love lorn and despairing then the righteous aren’t being righteous enough. Jack McIntyre, one of the first clients of the first ever ex-gay ministry, Love In Action, wrote the following just before he killed himself…
Sick and tired are you lady? Look at that…a gay man kills himself rather than make another promise god he knows he can’t keep and you are sick and tired of being called a bigot are you? You wish gay people would just listen to you do you? We listen all right. Jack McIntyre listened. The roll call of the dead is full of gay adult and teenagers that have listen to the likes of you. Perhaps it’s time you shut up and listened to us. We are not your work in progress. We are not your stepping stones to heaven. Listen to us if your conceits can stand to hear another voice besides your own. Your kind have been killing us for centuries. When you haven’t killed us outright than through that living death prison of the heart you demand we make of our lives so you can go to heaven. Stop. Just stop. The only thing being compromised by letting us live our lives is your hubris. Stop mistaking it for righteousness, it is turning innocent people’s lives inside out, it is killing people and it is dragging you deeper and deeper into the gutter.
Your work in progress needs a lot more work. Cutting your neighbor’s ring finger off isn’t getting you any closer to being a better person.
March 25th, 2014
In his book African Genesis Robert Ardrey wrote one of the more eloquent analogies for the grandeur of time and the curtain death places between us and the past, so often overlooked when pondering the origins of life. He asks the reader to place themselves on a lonely narrow California beach where foggy mountains slope down into the sea…
I think of this image often when confronted by death. In Ardrey’s sea the ten mile horizon becomes a million years, and each one after that another million, and not many horizons do we travel before the short distance between the sandbar at the beginning of civilization and the shore seems almost laughably, terrifyingly small, let alone our lonely little beach. The joke I heard once is that it isn’t that life is so short but that we’re dead for so long.
I strongly doubt there is an afterlife and the concept seems awkward anyway. If you’re still there then there is no after, only metamorphosis of some sort. And even then the question becomes, of what sort. Do we still have anything left of us that can be thought of as human? In the end, what Tony Kushner said is true; what we want is not so much an afterlife as more life. But I don’t think there is even that.
But there is something. Our lives are as though little pebbles tossed into Ardrey’s sea of death. At the moment they hit the water and disappear we are gone. But there are ripples that fan out and away from our lives: The reputation we leave behind. The things we did to our neighbors in this life. The good and the bad.
There is no point in doing unto Fred as he did unto the rest of us because he won’t be bothered by it, he’s gone. You could think of picketing his funeral as a poke at the little tightly wound church of hate he left behind, but the point is without Fred that little ball of bile would not be. Fred was the problem and now Fred’s gone and he won’t care what you have to say about him now. His last chance of earthly redemption is gone. He done passed the Last Chance station and now it’s too late to get off. He will always be Fred God Hates Fags Phelps. Perhaps that was how he wanted it in the end anyway, to be remembered for what he hated, not what he loved. But at the end, could he even remember anything he had once loved?
There is nothing wrong with being angry at Fred. There is nothing wrong with that feeling of contempt for the man. He earned it, worked hard for it, and probably right up to the very end was immensely proud of it. But stand quietly at his grave, respectfully because this is your destination too someday, and let the life that once was be a warning. Hate does not share power within a heart. It will systematically kill every other thing you have in there, everything fine and noble you ever were or ever could have been, and take from you all the smiles and all the laughs and all the love you might have shared, until there is nothing left inside of you but hate itself. To picket a grave is pointless, there is nothing there anymore, only the ripples of what once was spreading gently across the sea of death. For all his picketing of the dead, and all the obscene hatred he vented at the mourners, he was powerless to stop or alter the ripples of their lives, and all the smiles and all the laughs and all the love that were shared, gently spreading outward in time. All Fred had within his power was to change the nature of his own reputation, his own life’s ripples and he did not. He hurt a lot of people, but he destroyed himself.
Stand quietly. Say a prayer if you have one in you. Will this world be better for your having walked in it? Then let him go. Don’t bury yourself along with him.
[Edited a tad for clarity...and some additional thumping...]
January 25th, 2014
Stare Fleetingly Into This Pit…
If your German is nonexistent or as poor as mine you will need Google Translate to read this Der Spiegel article but I highly recommend it, and then following the link at the end to the more in depth article on this man’s life.
[Note: Google translation awkwardness in this post was corrected freely by me...my apologies to native German speakers if I got it wrong.]
Der Spiegel comes right out and says without Himmler there would have been no Holocaust, and their reasoning is that while yes the Nazi leadership were violent antisemites and ultimately on board with the final solution, it was Himmler who kept pushing mass murder as a policy forward at critical moments, simply by virtue of his utter remorselessness. He kept going where others hesitated, or simply never thought to go at the time. And that was simply, chillingly, because killing did not stir him emotionally one iota. He was neither attracted to it nor repulsed by it. It was simply a thing he regarded as necessary. That infamous quote of his, “It is because we can do such as this and still remain moral men, that we are great” captures him perfectly.
He was no raving vein throbbing ranter. Der Spiegel says of him:
To the end he lived inside his own world, utterly disinterested in the human story beyond. To kill millions and then sit down to tea and cakes with your fellow Nazis as though nothing much happened, you need not to care that those people had lives, let alone thoughts and ideas of their own worth listening to. It is all just so much irrelevant static. A telling detail, according to Der Spiegel, is that after he’d concluded the war was lost he still believed he could work a deal with the allies to help keep the communists out of Europe. He bragged that after the war without him Europe would be in shambles and that he only needed one hour with Eisenhower to convince him of it too. But in the end he ducked down the same escape hatch Hitler did. I sometimes wonder if the prospect of killing himself moved him any more than the millions of others he killed, or whether in the end he simply did it because it was necessary.
I find it stunning there is not more written about this man who, in my opinion, even more than Hitler was the very heart itself of the Third Reich. That might be because the very banality of his person seems superficially to make him appear uninteresting. When you look inside the man, seeking to know what it was about him that was missing, that made everything he did possible, it stuns you to discover how little there is in there to begin with. And that leads to a very disturbing place, which may be the other reason he isn’t widely written about.
The myth that won’t die is the Nazis, and the War, and the Holocaust were possible because of an innate character flaw in the German people. It’s self serving bullshit. The reality more likely is that there are many Himmler’s walking among us right now, right this instant. Quiet, prim, orderly men of orderly habits, and what they’re missing only is the power to act on their belief of what is necessary for the greater good.
January 14th, 2014
So It Begins…
This from Towleroad…
There was a list all ready and waiting. How unsurprising.
So it begins, while the rest of the civilized world a) wrings its hands, b) issues a strongly worded protest, c) washes, rinses, and repeats. Practice makes perfect.
January 13th, 2014
The Long Memory Of Blood…
I see they’re having trouble recalling how glorious World War I was Over There…
Just the kind of thing to get the victors all riled up, that. But one thing you have to bear in mind is who the victors in that war were, because it sure wasn’t the families of those millions of young men who died in it.
Seems the upper classes resent being blamed for that war. But don’t they always…
But if the European aristocracy wanted a war, let it be said they had a lot of willing young men ready and eager to go to war. Der Spiegel is doing a series on the war that’s worth reading. It begins by noting that 100 years after the war we are still living with its consequences. Then it goes into the how and why of it as well as I’ve ever seen. They give the indifferent aristocracy’s pride and arrogance it’s due, but there’s also this…
It wasn’t after all, just the upper classes leading the masses by the nose.
Sometimes I find myself reading the histories of the origins of that war and its consequences and wondering if in an equal amount of time we’ll come to see the beginnings of world war II in the same light. But no…the crucial mistakes of that war were in not taking the threat seriously enough, but the threat was real. World War One it seems to me was a perfect storm of aristocratic ego and arrogance and a disastrously naive romanticized ideal of war that had apparently taken hold in young men all over Europe. Why that happened I still don’t understand…maybe it was always there in European cultures, or perhaps the human male psyche. In his book “Defying Hitler” Sebastian Haffner writes that the majority of Nazi party recruits were young men too young to have actually fought in the war, and knew it only from newspaper dispatches that kept telling people Germany was winning gloriously right up until the surrender. Those were the ones blindly eager for the next war to end all wars. I remember feeling a chill as I read that as the 101st Fighting Keyboarders were at that moment cheering on Bush’s excellent Iraq adventure, and the corporate news media was happily going along with the storyline. Got a lot less glorious as time went on didn’t it?
This poor world is still suffering the consequences of the war to end all wars, let alone all the other wars that came afterward. Yet I lived through a time in my country’s history when the people told their leaders they’d had enough of one war and it stopped. Regrettably, but instructively, that one was followed by one in which, as in Haffner’s Germany, so many young men who’d never gone to war had come to see it as a glorious thing, and couldn’t wait for the next one.
All adolescents, but perhaps especially boys, need to learn the reality of what war does, not just to a human body but also to a nation. When choosing books to feed high schoolers bear the following in mind: Tom Clancy’s poor vision made him ineligible for service, Kurt Vonnegut was a soldier and prisoner of war during world war II, and as a German prisoner witnessed the firebombing of Dresden with his own two eyes. Listen to the stories of men such as Harry Patch, and keep them close, because when the last soldier who fought dies there will be lots of older men, some rich and powerful others merely small, bitter and resentful of their own existence, more than willing to tell the next generation of young males all about how glorious war is, and that it will make men out of them.
January 7th, 2014
Let Us Give Them Comfortable Little Graves…
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
Now why on earth, you may be wondering, would anyone object to telling people who are providing services to kids who have been rescued from human trafficking rings to not discriminate against the gay ones? You may be wondering that is, if you hadn’t been paying attention to the bottomless abyss that is the anti-gay industrial complex…
And there’s the problem right there. There are no homosexual victims, there are only victims of homosexuals…
But then, what do we mean…really…by “denying services?” We give them a place to stay. That doesn’t mean they have to feel comfortable here does it? Behold:
You would expect that child services professionals would be making very sure every kid rescued from this sort of thing, not just the gay ones, knows in their heart that they aren’t to blame for what they were made to do. Every kid was forced into it. There is no “may have” about it. But there’s something else going on in this woman’s line of questioning. Something those of you reading this who haven’t been fighting this fight for so long may be missing here. Homosexuals you see, don’t reproduce, they recruit. There are no gay kids, only heterosexual kids that were abused by homosexuals and “turned”. So really every gay kid was forced into that “alternative lifestyle”. See how that works?
We are not denying these kids services, we are denying they are gay. And these children need rescuing too…from the homosexual agenda. So the religious institutions providing services to exploited children need to be able to tell those kids that Change Is Possible. For God sakes don’t make them comfortable with being turned into homosexuals. Tell them they are not homosexual, that their homosexuality is only the damage their masters inflicted upon them. And never mind this might only make them even more suicidal than they already were.
Those men who did this to you…they made you think you’re homosexual…but God can heal you… And when the healing doesn’t come, when the sexual attraction to their own sex does not go away, because homosexuality is a real thing and some kids after all really are gay, what is that kid supposed to think, except that the men who sold them, and the men who exploited them, damaged them beyond repair. Raped once by the peddlers of children, raped again by the peddlers of righteousness. And then what do those kids do? They do what bullied gay kids do year after year after year after heartbreaking year.
And thus the safe house becomes the final nail in a little coffin that didn’t have to be, but for the ignorance, but for the unmitigated unforgivable arrogance of some theoretically devout people, who just knew they knew better than that kid’s maker what that kid was meant to be, whose arms that kid was made to be embraced by, and loved.
It’s not a bug, it’s a feature. We can’t let them just be homosexual. We can’t just tell them they’re loved just as they are. Dear Lord don’t tell us we have to let them be comfortable in sin. Better dead than that…
December 10th, 2013
The Persistence Of The Closet…(continued)
Slate today runs an article riffing on the New York Times article I linked to yesterday. They headline theirs The American Closet Is Bigger Than We Thought. I assume the ‘we’ in that headline is “heterosexuals’, with maybe a side of ‘those of us also in the closet’, because you don’t live in this country as a gay person without seeing or at least glimpsing that vast nation of the closeted first hand. No kidding there’s more of them than you thought…
But if that Times article helps the heterosexual majority to see, really see, the damage that was done, and is still being done, then good. Seems a lot of folks are noticing that bit in the Times article, about wives in less tolerant states checking Google for advice on whether their husbands are gay. But there was also this…
Back in the 1980s, what I think of as the BBS days, I did volunteer work for a gay community BBS whose creator intended it not to be a hookup site but a serious information and educational resource for gay people. He realized back then, as I did when I connected to those first primitive amateur computer networks, what they could do for us as a people. The BBS advertised in the local gay newspaper, and I think in one of the alternative City Papers, and the ads included a phone number for help getting connected. He told us he would get desperate phone calls on that number in the middle of the night, from men who’d been caught in police vice stings…trolling the parks or some public lavatory…needing emergency legal advice. He said without exception, without exception, those men were all married, and none of then identified as gay. At least, they wouldn’t over the course of that phone call. That was the 1980s.
It’s still going on…
That’s fine, but anger is still a good reaction to have and I hope the heterosexual majority cultivates it…not at the closeted, but at the Righteous and the Upstanding who keep teaching young gay people to hate themselves, so that they can have scapegoats, someone to gloat over, so they don’t have to look at their own failures of moral character. Be angry at them. Ask yourselves what kind of person turns anyone’s basic human need for intimate companionship against them, makes them deeply ashamed, even fearful, of their own human heart…
He regrets virtually every one of his major life decisions… What kind of person does this to another, takes pride in doing it, and can look in a mirror and see a righteous person? Look at that. Really look at it. It’s okay to get angry after looking down into that Pit. But don’t look into it for too long, because Nietzsche was right about an abyss gazing back into you. Just remember what you saw the next time you hear one of them yapping about their sincerely held religious beliefs.
October 2nd, 2013
Pistol Whipping A Dead Gay Kid Because They Can
Debunking Stephen Jimenez isn’t hard…he was involved in the ABC 20/20 whitewash of Matthew Shepard’s murder and makes the same claims here that 20/20 did years ago. But it is necessary, not only to defend a kid who can no longer speak for himself, but because it is a trope of the anti-gay industrial complex that hate crimes against gay people are nothing the nation need concern itself with. Nothing to see here folks…the homosexuals bring it on themselves…and even like it. There is no pattern of violence. Homosexuals are not being targeted. Nothing to see. Nothing to see…
Go read the whole thing…you are going to be hearing more about it soon. His book comes out on the anniversary of the murder because that is the perfect time to spit in the faces of people who are still appalled at what happened that night, and determined to put an end to the hatred that fueled it. Jimenez and his soul brother Andrew Sullivan need everyone to stop making such a big deal out of one little gay kid because, perhaps for different reasons, perhaps not, they think it ridiculous.There’s a nugget in this article that I hadn’t understood before, which might explain Sullivan’s need to whitewash Shepard’s murder…
(Emphasis mine). So it’s about Sullivan’s Clinton hatred again. Or back when the 20/20 episode was production it was, and now he’s just sticking to it because it’s out there, and anyway, isn’t all this outrage about what happened to a little twink a bit overwrought? Sullivan has always been an outspoken critic of hate crime laws, and the narrative that hate played any role that night in Laramie had to be debunked. Because…liberals.
There is nothing mysterious or hidden about the murder of Matthew Shepard. The trial transcripts themselves show clearly, convincingly and overwhelmingly that Shepard not only did not know his killers, but that they beat the 112 pound Shepard mercilessly to the brink of death precisely because he was gay. Some have said, a tad more plausibly, it was merely a robbery gone bad. But they targeted him because he was gay, and I have been to Laramie, I have driven the route that McKinney and Henderson took as they drove Shepard out of town to the isolated place where they tied him to a deer fence and beat him…I drove it at night around the same time…and I promise you that if you do the same you will, if you are even slightly open to the evidence, come to the only possible conclusion: that they had more than robbery on their minds on their way to the killing place.
Who can say why some people prefer their comfortable conceits to reality. Stephen Jimenez may simply be a publicity seeking asswipe. Or he and Andrew Sullivan may really believe that the facts in front of one’s nose are merely a veneer behind which the hidden conspiracies and plots that really move human events lurk. Perhaps they find the idea that the beating death of a pretty gay boy might genuinely shock anyone ridiculous, the thinking being Shepard was a little twink who went looking for rough trade and got what was coming to him. He’d already allowed himself to be raped once didn’t he? Whatever the motivation, ask yourself who is deeper in the human gutter, the knuckle-dragging killers who hated or the respectable upright whitewashers of hate.
September 28th, 2013
There Is A Reason Why The Ungentlemanly Art Is Ungentlemanly
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 11th, 2013
Still Conscience Undetectable
July 28th, 2013
State Of Mind
Depression is when I decide to go for a short pleasure drive and don’t bother taking a camera along. Depression is when I go downstairs to do a laundry, look at my drafting table, and then look away. Depression is when I just want to sleep all day long over the weekend, until its time to go to work again Monday morning.
I took his Christmas cards down off the fridge this afternoon while cleaning the kitchen, and put them in the box with all the other cards and letters I’ve received over the years. All but the first one, which was just a post card it seemed he’d tossed in the mail to me on the spur of the moment.
July 14th, 2013
Why didn’t you just button up your britches and go home George?
Via Death and Taxes…
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…
But This Is Not That World.
This came across my Facebook stream just now…
But this is not that world. Spare some anger today (assuming you are angry) to think about why that is. Because that’s the problem.
Visit The Woodward Class of '72 Reunion Website For Fun And Memories, WoodwardClassOf72.com