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December 4th, 2014

What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace Love And Understanding? Let Me Explain…

This came across my Twitter stream today…

@teamyasumura: “For Real: When first on TV in 1966, ‘Star Trek’ was not shown in many Southern states because it portrayed integration.”

I remember watching a broadcast of the Emmy awards when I was a kid. I Spy had only been on for one season but one of the production crew, not sure who now, won an award for the work he’d done on the show and on the podium after accepting his little statue said he wanted to thank the producer. “Sheldon Leonard”, he said, “has a lot of guts.”

I had no idea what he was talking about and I was 13 years old so I let it slide. It wasn’t until many years later, when I read about how some local TV station owners in some parts of the country would reliably get up in arms whenever a show wasn’t sufficiently respectful to race bigots, that I saw what he was talking about. Basically in 1965, by casting a black man, Bill Cosby, as one of the two series leads, he was thumbing his nose at a lot of TV station owners, who between them represented a lot of potential audience.

My generation thought we’d lived to see the day our country put all that behind us. We were wrong. Horribly, laughably, wrong. All that peace love and understanding stuff we believed in didn’t amount to crap. The bitter rage of the gutter only deepened, and bided its time.

I think some part of me did eventually see it, about a decade or so ago, when I first read about towns that buried their community swimming pools, rather than allow blacks to use them too. I remember being stunned. You buried…the whole goddamned pool?? We failed to understand the power…and the potent venom…of race hatred. We failed to appreciate how hate alone can sustain the hater for decades, for generations all carefully taught. And now it is all coming back. We achieved nothing. We were irrelevant.
 
 
 

whitesonlyswimmingpoolsign

by Bruce | Link | React! (1)

November 3rd, 2014

Feeling Persecuted Are We…?

Serendipity in my Twitter feed just now…

persecution

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

October 6th, 2014

“What Did You Expect?” Asked The Scorpion

This came across my news stream the other day…

How Being Gay ‘Decimated’ This Man’s Life Savings

It relates the story of a gay man who took a new job and moved his spouse and their teenage son from a good home in Massachusetts to Nebraska, where there are precisely zero protections for gay people.  He went into it thinking it was a dream come true job. The company recruiter had assured him that the company was “very affirming”.  But the problems began almost the instant they settled into their new home and he into his new job. It was a disaster, financially and emotionally. Now you may wonder why any gay person would leave Massachusetts for Nebraska and expect to be treated like anything other than human garbage. Certainly the company lawyer did…

One day, after losing his job, Paul heard from the company’s lawyer, who asked him the same question that his boss had already raised. “‘What did you think was going to happen in this community?’” Paul recalls the lawyer saying. “‘We’re a Republican town, we’re a conservative town and we’re a Christian town.’”

Not exactly what the recruiter told him, but they probably approach their jobs a bit differently.

Let this man’s story be a warning. Regardless of what you are told, regardless of how friendly they may seem, if the place they want you to move to is homophobic and the company calls that place home, no matter how good the offer looks, take a walk.

One other thing: Read that company lawyer’s spiel again. We’re a Republican town, we’re a conservative town and we’re a Christian town. When someone complains about republicans, conservatives, and Christians being called bigots, laugh in their face and tell them you’re only reading what’s on the label they’re proudly wearing.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

September 29th, 2014

Ultra Rich United

This from Rolling Stone…

Three New Ways the Koch Brothers Are Screwing America

The update [to the documentary film The Koch Brothers Exposed: 2014 Edition], which is now available free online, is centered on their influence in (and outpouring of money since) the Citizens United Supreme Court decision. While researching and producing it with his small staff at Brave New Films, Greenwald says he was “surprised by not just the sheer numbers, but the extraordinary lengths they go to legally to hide the amounts they’re giving.”

The Rolling Stone article goes on to document three areas where the Kochs are surreptitiously funding “Think Tanks”, lobbyists and astroturf groups to achieve their political goals. This is the problem with the argument that even billionaires and corporations have free speech rights too. Yes they do, but they also have a power that the rest of us do not: they can drown out the national dialogue in their own manufactured noise and make it seem like it’s the sound of Americans talking to each other when it isn’t.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

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.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

May 29th, 2014

Like A Side Of Bile With That Hon…?

Le Dance Pathetique…as choreographed by Big Earl

Un…

Collin Dewberry, who was leaving with his partner, said the waitress told them they do not serve a certain type of person at that restaurant. The word she used was derogatory and targets homosexuals.

Deux…

“We’ve never had that kind of hate displayed to us before,” Dewberry said.

Trois…

They explained that the waitress then recited the following phrase: “Here at Big Earl’s we like for men to act like men and for ladies to act like ladies, so we want you to never return.”

Quatre…

That phrase is posted on a piece of paper on the front door of the restaurant.

Cinq…

The owner told us that sign had been here since the restaurant opened three years ago. He also said they have the right to refuse service to that couple in the future because they didn’t follow that policy.

Six…

That waitress who used a derogatory term is Earl’s daughter.

Sept…

“She’s a young lady, didn’t know what else to say, and they just kept on and she finally said we just don’t like fags,” he explained.

Huit…

The owner said plenty of gay couples eat at his restaurant without hassle and he has no problem with that as long as they follow his policy.

Le Curtian…Applaus a vous…

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

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.

 

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

April 5th, 2014

Can’t We All Just Get Along…You Miserable Child Molesting Perverts?

Via Dan Savage this morning, I get a link to this excellent article by Mark Joseph Stern over at Slate…

Just a Reminder: The Campaign for Prop 8 Was Unprecedentedly Cruel

The view that Eich was just expressing his opposition to marriage equality, a common stance at the time, strikes me as naive. Because Prop 8 is now dead, and because its passage was largely overshadowed by President Barack Obama’s election victory, it’s easy to forget the vicious tactics of the pro-Prop 8 campaign. Or, I should say, it’s easy to forget them if you’re not gay—because almost every gay person I know remembers the passage of Prop 8 as the most traumatic and degrading anti-gay event in recent American history.

(Emphasis mine)  On the one hand, you can look at this and say the bigots are merely counting on the short memory of the American voter. But it’s more likely that Eich and his comrades in arms didn’t figure that the wounds over that fight would still be so fresh in the minds of the gay community, because after all they’re homosexuals and homosexuals don’t have normal feelings like the rest of us. When you hear them babbling about political correctness that’s not them attempting to trivialize our feelings about what they did to us, it’s them telling everyone they can’t see the people for the homosexuals. When you run a multimillion dollar smear campaign and you don’t expect the objects of that campaign to remember what you did to them, it’s because you don’t think the people you smeared have any human feelings at all, or you simply can’t be bothered to care.

Stern’s Slate article helpfully refreshes the public’s memory of what kind of campaign the Proposition 8 folks ran by showing everyone the ads they used to get people to vote yes. Look at them and tell me it’s time for gay people to forgive big money donors like Eich and put it all behinds us…

The tactics used by pro-Prop 8 campaigners were not merely homophobic. They were laser-focused to exploit Californians’ deepest and most irrational fears about gay people, indoctrinating an entire state with cruelly anti-gay propaganda. Early on, Prop 8’s supporters decided to focus their campaign primarily on children, stoking parents’ fears about gay people brainwashing their kids with pro-gay messages or, implicitly, turning their children gay.

Oh but it was a tad more than that. The eternal trope of the bigots is that to be gay is to be a child molester. You’re gay because you were molested and now you’re out to turn other kids gay by molesting them. That’s what homosexuals are, that’s what homosexuals do. Homosexuals don’t reproduce, they recruit… That’s what was being dog whistled in Each And Every Proposition 8 Ad. And Brendan Eich bought a thousand dollar share in that ad campaign.

And when his one-grand contribution came back to haunt him, instead of even making a minimal effort to distance himself from that massive, slick, professional The Gays Are After Your Children smear campaign he just clammed up and said it was his personal business. Well, when you throw a multi-million dollar smear campaign at me and thousands like me, designed Specifically to arouse the most primitive fears adults could have about their children and make us a target for violent passions…well…that’s my personal business too.

In his one and only public statement about the affair, Eich bellyached

There is no point in talking with the people who are baiting, ranting, and hurling four-letter abuse. Personal hatred conveyed through curse words is neither rational nor charitable, and strong feelings on any side of an issue do not justify it.

This is such a hoot. The Gays Are Coming For Your Children message is Exactly what you trot out when you Don’t want a rational discussion, you just want to push people’s buttons.

Forgive and forget? At least say you’re sorry. Not that you’re sorry we got angry, not that you’re sorry we felt hurt, but that what you did was wrong. And if that’s too much to ask of you then, let’s face it, you’re still in the fight aren’t you…you’re still waiting for your next chance to arouse the old hatreds, the mindless passions, against me and other’s like me, and what you want isn’t for me to put it all behind me and let’s have a fresh start and all be fellow Americans again, but for me and others like me to let our guard back down so you can kick us in the face again.

What happened in California in the summer and fall of 2008 will go down in history in the annals of anti-minority hate mongering. Gay people have been brutalized, jailed, medicated, lobotomized, tortured, burned at the stake, beaten to death, murdered, for so terribly, terribly long, all the way back to when the first scribe wrote that god hates fags in what was to eventually become the bible. And the lies spread by the Proposition 8 campaign have been the tools by which hate has traditionally excused itself, and incited even more hate. They say that history is written by the victors, but the history written in blood never forgets. If you don’t want your name written in the roll call of hate, the time to make amends is always now, not tomorrow, not some day.

 

by Bruce | Link | React! (2)

January 5th, 2014

Pitchforks And Torches Will Be Handed Out After Today’s Prayer Breakfast…

Via Towleroad…

“The people of Utah have rights, too, not just the homosexuals. The homosexuals are shoving their agenda down our throats…That’s a lie. That’s an absolute lie [that the federal government's ruling overrules Utah's laws]. We have a right to raise our kids without homosexuals being part of the Boy Scouts, the schools and teachers and doing everything. They can be all that, but don’t shove your agenda down my kid’s throat. We have a right to raise our kids how we want not how you want.”

utah_sheriff_children_throats

The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. The homosexuals are coming for our kids. Shoving themselves down their throats.

Does this “lawman” realize that he’s inciting the sort of passions that get gay people beaten and killed? Oh…probably…

jack_d_ripper

Ice cream, Mandrake, children’s ice cream…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

January 2nd, 2014

That Fine Line Between Love And Hate And How To Cross It

I was approaching the U.S. Supreme Court building across from the Capital, a year after their awful decision in Hardwick v. Bowers upholding the sodomy laws. For the first time I think ever, I was going to a demonstration not to be the detached photojournalist, but to actually count myself as a participant.  And to reenforce that I’d not brought any of my cameras (a decision I now regret, but so it goes).  I’d arrived via the subway, got off at Union Station and was walking across Constitution Avenue when I noticed there was a police presence already forming up.  As I walked past a group of them I heard one policeman, an older black gentleman, saying to his companions, “I don’t have no trouble with the older faggots…”

It struck me as a grim echo from another time and the bitter mockery of it made my head spin.  Yes, yes…nobody has any trouble with the ones that know their place.

This came across my news stream shortly after U.S. District Judge Robert Shelby struck down Utah’s anti-gay constitutional amendment denying same-sex couples the right to marry…

Utah weighs impact of ruling allowing gay marriage

While Utah’s attorney general strategizes an appeal of the ruling and Mormons take a softer approach in opposing gay marriage, others in the traditionally conservative state predict broader acceptance of the practice nationwide.

A quote in this leaped out at me…

For Hunt, 44, a bellhop at a swank downtown hotel a few blocks from the LDS church’s sacred Temple Square, the days have been spent discussing the ruling’s impact with family and fellow Mormons.

“Is it the end of the world? No,” he said, shivering in the 15-degree cold. “In the end, we have a message to the gay and lesbian people who live among us — we don’t hate you, it’s nothing like that. But we believe what we believe. And our conviction is strong.”

We don’t hate you…  No dear, of course you don’t.  As long as we stay in our place.  Bet you don’t have no trouble with the older faggots either.

How often I heard this crap back when King and Malcolm X were telling white folk they weren’t shining shoes anymore. We don’t hate them coloreds, they’re fine people…happy cotton pickers…dance with a lot of rhythm don’t they? We don’t hate women either.  How could you say I hate women…my god I married a woman…she’s a nice little homemaker…great in the kitchen…wouldn’t want her running a business though…that’s man’s work.

It’s disingenuous self serving sanctimony.  Sure you don’t hate Them.  You don’t hate Them as long as They know Their place and stay in it.  It’s when They won’t stay in Their place that the hate starts happening.  Torrents of it.

Ever wonder at the passions you see suddenly snap out of a bigot when they’re forced to…you know…behave like a bigot?  It is because now they have to see what monsters they really are deep down inside. You made me do this to you…I hate you for making me do this to you…for making me see what kind of person I really am…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

December 10th, 2013

Yes Actually, Religious Freedom Means You Have To Treat All Your Customers Equally

Another day, another Fox News martyr in the homosexual war on Christians…

The first civil rights laws, so I hear, were passed not to protect black people or red or yellow people, but to protect Irish Catholics in New York from the religious passions of their protestant neighbors. And in point of fact, religious freedom is only possible where government does not take sides in religious disputes and where the rule of law protects minorities from the hostility of others, whether or not that hostility is motivated by religious passions.

Jack Phillips is not a martyr, he is a bigot attacking the rule of law because it grants people he loathes a little human dignity.  Okay…fine…but in the eyes of the law he can be no different from a bar owner who would like very much to keep selling beer to teenagers because it makes him money, and who regards laws against selling alcohol to minors as an infringement on his freedom to do business as he pleases without regard to the consequences to the rest of the community.  The law does not, can not, care what the religious beliefs of Jack Phillips are, only whether as a businessman he’s abiding by the same rules everyone else has to live by, or whether he’s a greedy predator, caring not whether he tears his community apart in the process of making a buck, just so he can pick through and live quite nicely off the wreckage.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

October 22nd, 2013

Today In Connect The Dots…

This came across my Twitter stream just now…

@ThePlumLineGS: “WaPo poll shows that protected House Rs, while safe themselves, are doing huge damage to GOP’s nat’l appeal”

He links to this article of his on the Washington Post site…

The Morning Plum: Outside the conservative bubble, GOP sustains epic damage

Now…perhaps you’ve read those stories that started appearing right after the shutdown ended, about various Tea Party groups agitating for a repeal of the 17th Amendment.  That’s the one that overrules prior clauses of the Constitution by which senators were elected by the state legislatures.  Nowadays they’re all elected by statewide popular vote.  That’s a problem for the extreme fanatical right.  Here’s why:  Gerrymandering only gets you wins in local elections.  So in red states the hard right can dominate the legislatures and in congress they can get enough people in safely gerrymandered far right districts to make it difficult to do anything in that one branch.  Batshit crazy tea party representatives in the house as we have seen, can wreak havoc without a care because their seats are safe because they only have to answer to their batshit crazy voters in that one gerrymandered district.  But in statewide or nationwide elections you’re screwed.  And especially so if you’re pissing off everyone outside of your little gerrymandered districts.

But repealing the 17th amendment would allow those little gerrymandered districts to capture the Senate, by way of control of their state legislatures.  Or at least enough of the senate to insure control by filibuster indefinitely.

And take note, they’ve been making this move on the Electoral College too, with propositions in some states to give all that state’s electors to whoever wins the most Districts not to whoever wins the popular vote.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

October 14th, 2013

What Won’t They Think Of Next?

Via Paul Constant over at SLOG

Ladies and Gentlemen…I give you the Sarah Palin Portable Teleprompter…


@rubycramer: “Sarah Palin’s note to herself yesterday
(captured by the @AP): “Leader not tweeter”

Constant adds that the photo “…tells so many stories, about authenticity, about hypocrisy, about idiocy.”  Yes, and so did the confederate battle flags flying in front of the White House, and the protestors mocking the race of the White House police.  You hear them say they want to take back their country. But this was never their country. That was settled at Appomattox in the parlor of a house owned by Mr. Wilmer McLean on the afternoon of April 9, 1865.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

October 12th, 2013

Deadbeats

This came across my Facebook stream just now…

Big tax cuts for the rich and big business, two wars on the card, and now they’re bellyaching about paying for it.  But no. They’re bellyaching that the democrats won’t let them make the poor, the sick, the elderly and the unemployed pay for it.

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

October 2nd, 2013

I’ll Take ‘Who Poisoned The Well’ For $1000 Alex…

This, from Der Spiegel this morning…

German Press Review on US Government Shutdown

“What Washington currently offers up is a spectacle, but one in which the spectators feel more like crying,” writes the conservative daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung.”Because Republicans and Democrats, House and Senate, Congress and president could not agree on a stop-gap budget, hundreds of thousands of federal employees were sent on involuntary leave and many agencies were forced to shut down,” continues the editorial. “The main actors in this dispute, which brings together many factors, both ideological and political, took a huge risk and, unhindered, proceeded to validate everyone who ever accused the political establishment in Washington of being rotten to the core — by driving the world power into a budgetary state of emergency. The public is left wondering how things could have been allowed to get to this point and why there is so much poison in the system.

(Emphasis mine…)  Poison in the system…did you ask…?


I became an American citizen only so I could own some U.S. TV stations…

Oh…I dunno…

by Bruce | Link | Comments Off

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