Friday, September 30, 2016

Out of Town.

Going to Florida for a week. Probably won't be posting anything. See you in a week!

Meanwhile. . .

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Dumbest post-debate comments

I didn't watch the debate. I was going to, but then I thought about how much it would cost to replace the tv after the Missus ripped it from the wall and beat it with shoes, so we watched an DVRd episode of Tyrant instead.  I've seen a couple clips and read about it a bit online and I think I got the gist. Jillary Clinton said a bunch of things about presidenting and Donald Trump shputed "Wrong!" and "I never said that" a bunch.

But what's always more interesting than the actual debate is the various spins from various party hacks you get in the aftermath. And by "interesting," I of course mean "maddeningly asinine."

First up: Trump himself:

“I had a problem with a microphone that didn’t work. My microphone was terrible. I wonder, was it set up that way on purpose? My microphone, in the room they couldn’t hear me, you know, it was going on and off. Which isn’t exactly great. I wonder if it was set up that way, but it was terrible.”

Really? Your mic was cutting in and out? Because in everything I've read about the debate, there is no mention of you ever asking for a new mic or complaining about the mic quality or blowing into the mic and asking "Is this thing on?"

Maybe you were talking into a pen?

Also, the mic didn't seem to have a problem picking up every time you sniffed like a cartoon bloodhound!

Next: Rudy Giuliani:

“If I were Donald Trump I wouldn’t participate in another debate unless I was promised that the journalist would act like a journalist and not an incorrect, ignorant fact checker.”

Well, from what I've seen, Holt was neither ignorant nor incorrect when fact-checking your lying buffoon of a candidate. And fact-checking is actually a huge part of the job of a journalist. I know, it's hard to remember when actual journalism was done on the regular, but back before journalism became overpaid stenography, you'd have been laughed out of the newsroom for suggesting that journalists shouldn't check facts.

And let's see who is incorrect in this exchange between Trump and lester Holt:

TRUMP: Wait a minute. I was against the war in Iraq. Just so you put it out.
HOLT: The record shows otherwise, but why—why was…
TRUMP: The record does not show that.
HOLT: Why was—is your judgment any…
TRUMP: The record shows that I’m right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very lightly, first time anyone’s asked me that, I said, very lightly, I don’t know, maybe, who knows?

Okay, Trump is lying. Or maybe he mis-remembers. But either way, what he's saying is untrue. He didn't say "I don't know, maybe, who knows," he said "yeah, I guess so."  And honestly, if he had said "I don't know, maybe, who knows," that's not opposition to invading Iraq. That's saying that you don't have an opinion either way. Or that you're ambivalent or have mixed feelings. That's not even similar to saying "I'm agianst it."

I then did an interview with Neil Cavuto. We talked about the economy is more important.

Again, that's not opposition. That's prioritizing. Here's what Trump said to Cavuto when asked if George W. Bush should focus more on the economy or on invading Iraq:

“Well, I’m starting to think that people are much more focused now on the economy,” Trump said. “They’re getting a little bit tired of hearing ‘We’re going in, we’re not going in.’ Whatever happened to the days of Douglas MacArthur? Either do it or don’t do it.

That's not opposition. That's like saying "kids, finish your homework before you watch TV" and then telling your wife "Oh, yeah, I totally told them they aren't allowed to watch any TV ever. Not in my house!"
Trump's objection is not to the potential invasion of Iraq. His only objection is to the dithering. Saying "either do it or don't do it" is hardly opposing it.

Here's the closest he comes to opposing the war:

“Perhaps he shouldn’t be doing it yet. And perhaps we should be waiting for the United Nations.”

YET! Perhaps he shouldn't be doing it YET!

So, it's pretty obvious that Lester Holt was neither incorrect nor ignorant when he fact-checked the man with no facts. Especially when Trump himself said of Holt immediately after the debate: "I thought Lester did a great job. Honestly I thought Lester did a great job. . . .Yeah, I thought it was very fair." (source)

Oh, and Trump also said this to Holt trying to convince gullible voters that he had in fact opposed the war before it's inception:

I then spoke to Sean Hannity, which everybody refuses to call Sean Hannity. I had numerous conversations with Sean Hannity at Fox. And Sean Hannity said—and he called me the other day—and I spoke to him about it—he said you were totally against the war, because he was for the war.
HOLT: Why is your judgment better than…
TRUMP: And when he—excuse me. And that was before the war started. Sean Hannity said very strongly to me and other people—he’s willing to say it, but nobody wants to call him. I was against the war. He said, you used to have fights with me, because Sean was in favor of the war. And I understand that side, also, not very much, because we should have never been there. But nobody called Sean Hannity.

You know what, Sean Hannity is on TV for an hour every fucking day!  And he's on the radio for three fucking hours! Every day! And he worships you. He loves you like I love Hagen Dazs Rocky Road.  You are a guest on his show All The Time. No one calls Sean Hannity? You call him! Call him up and say "hey, Sean. Would you mind next time you're on the air maybe letting people know about those conversations we had back in 2002/2003 where I was so totally opposed to the war and you were the stupid idiot that was in favor of it? Remember? How I was right and you were wrong because I'm super-smart and you're not? Thanks, that's be great!" And he would be all like "How else may I serve you, master?"

As you wish, my dark lord!

Next: Katrina Pierson, the second worst Katrina in American history:

During the post-debate panel, Pierson was asked to comment on Donald Trump’s recent proposal to get more cities to adopt the kind of stop-and-frisk policy in New York that was found unconstitutional back in 2013.

“It actually did work in New York,” Pierson said of stop-and-frisk. “But we have to get down to why, because that’s why we’re here today.

Well, I guess it depends on how you define "worked." Did the NYPD catch some petty criminals usinf stop-and-frisk? Probably. Because if you stop and illegally search any random group of people, you're going to find a few that have dime bags in their pockets or pistols in their belts. Was it worth violating the civil rights of thousands of black and Latino citizens? I would say no, but I guess reasonable people can disagree on the importance of tossing several weed-smokers into the hoosegow as opposed to preserving the 4th Amendment.

We have two candidates who have very different views. The reason why we have this problem, the reason why stop-and-frisk was implemented, was there were disparities with regard to who people were pulling over. And it’s profiling, criminal profiling, not necessarily racial profiling, even though it comes across that way.

 Wait, the reason that stop and frisk, the policy that resulted in thousands of dark-skinned people being racially profiled by cops, was necessary was that there was too much racial profiling going on?
That can't be what you're saying, is it? So the cops are pulling over too many people of colr, so the answer is. . . stopping people of color on the street instead? I'm lost.

Katrina Pierson talks about Trump's debate performance on CBS (Screen cap).
They just stop the suspicious people.
It only looks like racial profiling because all the suspicious people are racial! 

But the reason why we had it was that we had the First Lady of the United States who went out on the national stage and dehumanized young black children… this has been the conditioning of the American public where black children have been demonized, Hillary Clinton owns that.”

Okay, so it's Hillary Clinton's fault! Oh, now it all makes sense! She said "superpredators" on TV, so Giuliani was, um. . . forced to institute, racist policing policies? Or was it just the power of suggestion, maybe? Once Hillary Clinton said "superpredators" Giuliani somehow got it into his head that he didn't like black guys? Do you even listen to yourself talking?

Monday, September 26, 2016

There are no editors anymore

Amy Schumer Had the Best Reaction to Being Caught on the Kiss Cam at a Mets Game

Amy Schumer is having quite the Sunday fun day!

The star was spotted at a New York Mets game with her father and boyfriend Ben Hanisch

So either there's a serious syntax error here or Ben Hanisch wears a lot of hats around the Schumer house.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Worse than David Brooks

David Brooks is not actually the most ridiculous columnist at the New York Times. There is also a creepy little weirdo named Ross Douthat. 
Eew! Ick ick ick ick!!!
I don't really know how his last name is pronounced, but in my head it sounds like "Douche-Hat."
Anyway, as all conservative columnists are required to do, Ross recently published his "Why TRump is really the Democrats' Fault" column. Here's his incredibly stupid take:

When the histories of the Trump era are written from exile in Justin Trudeau’s Canada, they will record that it was none other than Jimmy Fallon who brought down the republic.
Or so you might have thought, at least, listening to the furious liberal reaction to Fallon’s willingness to treat Donald Trump like any other late-night guest last week: kidding around with him, mussing up his combover and steering clear of anything that would convey to late-night television viewers that Trump is actually beyond the pale.

Okay, first of all, yeah - fuck Jimmy Fallon. If you have as a guest on your show someone with a legitimate chance at the highest office in the land, you do NOT treat that person like any other guest. You  don't say "oh, you want the nuclear launch codes? And command of the world's most powerful military?  Great. When does the new album drop? Hey, what's it like working with Bobby DeNiro?" By having a presidential candidate on your show, you assume a certain responsibility and if you are not capable of handling that responsibility, as Fallon clearly is not, you don't invite a candidate on to your show. Especially if that candidate is a thin-skinned narcissistic sociopath with fascistic tendencies and no impulse control. You don't rumple his hair and try to make him seem cuddly.  Also, you have never been funny. Ever.

That being said, however, Douche-hat does have a point. It would be pretty silly to blame the results of an election on a late-night comic.

But the Democratic Party’s problem in the age of Trump isn’t really Jimmy Fallon. Its problem is Samantha Bee.

Samantha Bee is the problem? Samantha Bee? Really? Oh, this should be good.

Not Bee alone, of course, but the entire phenomenon that she embodies: the rapid colonization of new cultural territory by an ascendant social liberalism.

Really? You righties have been complaining for decades about "liberal Hollywood" and the "Liberal Entertainment Industry" and the "Liberal Media." Now you're going to act like this is some new phenomenon? You've been crying "wolf" for so long, now that a few actual wolves show up, you just don't know what to do? Oh, I know, let's try blaming them for Trump!

The culture industry has always tilted leftward, but the swing toward social liberalism among younger Americans and the simultaneous surge of activist energy on the left have created a new dynamic, in which areas once considered relatively apolitical now have (or are being pushed to have) an overtly left-wing party line.

 I'm pretty sure you don't understand what "left wing" means.  Because "social liberalism," ie not wanting to deny equal rights to women, minorities, and the LGBTs, that doesn't really qualify as like leftist politics. It's just common decency.

On late-night television, it was once understood that David Letterman was beloved by coastal liberals and Jay Leno more of a Middle American taste.

There was no real truth to it, of course, but it was understood nonetheless.
If anything, David Letterman was preferred by younger viewers and Leno by older ones. But there's no real point in getting into that. Please continue.

But neither man was prone to delivering hectoring monologues in the style of the “Daily Show” alums who now dominate late night

 Okay, there are three Late Show alums on late night. Sam Bee, John Oliver and Stephen Colbert. One is on TBS, one is on HBO and only Colbert is on a major network., and only Colbert is on more than once a week. Meanwhile, NBC has two Saturday Night Live alums headlining its late night lineup, And TBS has former SNL writer Conan O'Brien, so I'm not sure you could really say that Daily Show alums "dominate" late night.

 By the way, Seth Meyers is doing really good work in the old Letterman/Conan slot.

Also, there's this. Samantha Bee is not doing a Tonight Show-style late night program like Letterman and Leno used to. She doesn't have guests, doesn't do interviews (well, not often) there's no band or sidekick, etc. She's doing a specifically political comedy show. This is a completely different animal. You can't compare what she does to what Jay Leno or Jimmy Fallon did or do.

Actually, you should probably go back and re-write this entire column and make it about Stephen Colbert.
Colbert is actually doing the classic Johnny Carson-style late night talk show with the celebrity guests and comedy sketches and whatnot. And he absolutely gets his political point of view across.

But while we're on the subject, why do there seem to be so many "liberals" on the late night television? Well, mostly because conservatives are not funny. I mean, you can be a conservative and be funny. Drew Carey is supposed to be pretty conservative and he's relatively funny. But that's because he doesn't do political humor. You can be funny and a conservative, you just can't be a funny conservative.
There area t least two main reasons. One is that when conservatives try to be funny, they punch down. And punching down is almost never funny. You won't get a lot of laughs from normal people with "hey, how about all those losers who lost their homes in the mortgage crisis? Am I right?"

The second reason is that their jokes tend to be based on false premises.

See, that "joke" only makes sense if you believe that Ms Clinton wants to bring tons of Muslim immigrants into America without vetting them, as FOX watchers undoubtedly do believe. In fact, refugees from any part of the world are put through an extremely rigorous investigative process. . .well, you already know this. That's why none of you are laughing at the above comic.

Also, I'm guessing none of you will laugh at this one either:

Okay, so even if that premise were true, joking about people living in poverty is a really shitty thing to do. Still, you can be shitty and still be funny, I guess. But the whole premise of the "joke" is total bullshit. According to census data, the states with the highest poverty levels are
1. Mississippi
2. New Mexico
3. Louisiana
4. Arkansas
5. Georgis
Wait, Georgia? Shit! We're worse than West Virginia?
Anyway, the truth is that it's red states that tend to have the highest poverty levels, not California. In fact, this study shows California as the 9th richest state in the union.So the whole "joke" doesn't make sense.

So, we got a bit off track here, but I guess what I'm saying, Mr. Douche-hat, is that if you want fewer liberals on TV, you conservatives are going to have to learn how to be funny.

Some of them have better lines than others, and some joke more or hector less. But to flip from Stephen Colbert’s winsome liberalism to Seth Meyers’s class-clown liberalism to Bee’s bluestocking feminism to John Oliver’s and Trevor Noah’s lectures on American benightedness is to enter an echo chamber from which the imagination struggles to escape.

 Hmm. you mean it's like switching from FOX News to CNBC to Rush Limbaugh to the Blaze, to World Net Daily to National Review to. . .?

 It isn’t just late-night TV. Cultural arenas and institutions that were always liberal are being prodded or dragged further to the left. Awards shows are being pushed to shed their genteel limousine liberalism and embrace the race-gender-sexual identity agenda in full.

Oh. My GAWD! They're pushing a message of anti-hate? And anti-discrimination? And anti-bigotry? What kind of radical leftist bomb-throwers are these that would have us not hate our fellow Americans based on minor differences? 

Oh, look. It's Emma Goldman and Leon Trotsky!
 Meanwhile, institutions that were seen as outside or sideways to political debate have been enlisted in the culture war. The tabloid industry gave us the apotheosis of Caitlyn Jenner, and ESPN gave her its Arthur Ashe Award. 

 Wait, you think Cait Jenner transitioned because of tabloids? Like I know that whole family is a bunch of publicity whores, but come on!

  Also, you know what the Arthur Ashe Award is, right? Here's how ESPN describes it:

Given out yearly at the ESPY awards, which were created by ESPN to recognize accomplishments in athletics, the Arthur Ashe Award for Courage is unique in recognizing athletes who transcend sports in dedicating themselves to humanitarian or social endeavors.
"Humanitarian or social endeavors." Or, as you put it, "social liberalism." It's named after a man who stood up against societal ills. Again from ESPN:

The award is inspired by the life that Ashe lived, using his fame and stature to advocate for human rights, although, at the time, those positions may have been unpopular and were often controversial. 

 So, it has ever been thus. The Arthur Ashe award has always been given to someone who stood for human rights, civil rights, gay rights, women's rights, etc. This isn't the Heisman trophy. If they gave the Heisman to Cait Jenner, you might have a legitimate complaint. But as it stands, no. You do not.

The N.B.A., N.C.A.A. and the A.C.C. — nobody’s idea of progressive forces, usually — are acting as enforcers on behalf of gay and transgender rights. Jock culture remains relatively reactionary, but even the N.F.L. is having its Black Lives Matters moment, thanks to Colin Kaepernick.

Um, Douche-hat, you're probably going to want to tune out for next year's Ashe Award.

So what I'm getting here is that American culture is growing up, leaving your pre-Enlightenment value set in the dustbin of history where it belongs and somehow this is a problem for Democrats?

For the left, these are clear signs of cultural gains, cultural victory. But the scale and swiftness of those victories have created two distinctive political problems for the Democratic Party.

Oh, okay. Here we go. This is where it should all start making sense.

First, within the liberal tent, they have dramatically raised expectations for just how far left our politics can move, while insulating many liberals from the harsh realities of political disagreement in a sprawling, 300-plus million person republic. 

Yes, some of these crazy Lefties actually think they can advance politics all the way up to where it was in  1950?

Among millennials, especially, there’s a growing constituency for whom right-wing ideas are so alien or triggering, left-wing orthodoxy so pervasive and unquestioned, that supporting a candidate like Hillary Clinton looks like a needless form of compromise.

Looks like? Of course it's a compromise! Of course the voters who supported Bernie Sanders in the primary look at Hillary Clinton as a compromise. Shes' nowhere near as progressive as Sanders, but she's light-years better than Drumpf! And most of us understand this. Most of us know that in politics you rarely get your first choice and we're going to pull the lever for Hillary. We may not be smiling when we pull it, but we understand that compromise is the essence of politics. The people who don't understand compromise are the ones who threaten to shut down the government whenever they don't get their way.

Thus Clinton’s peculiar predicament. She has moved further left than any modern Democratic nominee, and absorbed the newer left’s Manichaean view of the culture war sufficiently that she finds herself dismissing almost a quarter of the electorate as “irredeemable” before her donors.

Okay, first of all, the DNC adopted a very progressive platform, but no one actually believes that she'll feel any obligation to follow it. And second, Manichaeism is pretty much the province of the right wing. Studies have shown that conservatives are far more likely to see everything in terms of black and white, good vs evil, friend or foe, while liberals  see endless shades of grey.

 Third, they are irredeemable! The voters to which she was referring are the neo-Nazis, Klansmen, "Men's Rights" activists, and the other shitgoblins of the "alt-right" that have crawled out from under their rocks to support Trump. Are you really ready to defend these scumbags?

 At the same time, outside the liberal tent, the feeling of being suffocated by the left’s cultural dominance is turning voting Republican into an act of cultural rebellion — which may be one reason the Obama years, so good for liberalism in the culture, have seen sharp G.O.P. gains at every level of the country’s government.

No, you do NOT get to paint Republican voters as rebellious outsiders, No. No way. Why did the Obama years see so many gains for the GOP? Well, we can start with gerrymandering, at which Republicans are much better than Democrats due in part to their utter shamelessness. Then there's the fact that the party in the White House often loses seats in midterm elections. Also, Democrats are notorious for not turning out to vote in non-Presidential years. Oh, and also having a black President really activated the right wing who turned out to vote for "Tea Party" know-nothings in droves.

This spirit of political-cultural rebellion is obviously crucial to Trump’s act. As James Parker wrote in The Atlantic, he’s occupying “a space in American politics that is uniquely transgressive, volatile, carnivalesque, and (from a certain angle) punk rock.” 

What the fuck? "Punk rock?"
 In England, this means "Fuck You!"

 (The alt-right-ish columnist Steve Sailer made the punk rock analogy as well.) Like the Sex Pistols, Parker suggests, Trump is out to “upend the culture” — but in this case it’s the culture of institutionalized political correctness and John Oliver explaining the news to you, forever.
 And in America. . .

Trump’s extremism also limits his appeal, of course. But if liberals are fortunate to be facing a Johnny Rotten figure in this presidential campaign, they are still having real trouble putting him away … and if he were somewhat less volatile and bigoted and gross, liberalism would be poised to close its era of cultural ascendance by watching all three branches of government pass back into conservative hands.

No, if he were less volatile, bigoted and gross, he never would have made it through the Republican primary, because that's what your party has become now. As long as we're making music analogies, you've become the party of Ted Nugent.

 Your party has literally embraced this racist, misogynist, seditious piece of human filth.

Something like this happened once before: In the 1960s and 1970s, the culture shifted decisively leftward, but American voters shifted to the right and answered a cultural revolution with a political Thermidor.

Pictured: A more intelligent thermidor.

That Nixon-Reagan rightward shift did not repeal the 1960s or push the counterculture back to a beatnik-hippie fringe. But it did leave liberalism in a curious place throughout the 1980s: atop the commanding heights of culture yet often impotent in Washington, D.C.
Which is why Tip O'Neill was only able to serve as Speaker of the House from 1977 to 1987. Because liberals were completely powerless in DC. 

By nominating a Trump rather than a Nixon or a Reagan, the Republicans may have saved liberalism from repeating that trajectory. But it remains an advantage for the G.O.P., and a liability for the Democratic Party, that the new cultural orthodoxy is sufficiently stifling to leave many Americans looking to the voting booth as a way to register dissent.

So the problem for liberals is that they have so thoroughly  won the battle of ideas, their ideas so utterly dominate the culture that. . .um. . . that people will vote against liberal candidates? Because. . .um,. . . they want to feel rebellious? Is that seriously the best you got?

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Fuck You, Rudy Giuliani!

So the idiots at USA Today thought it was a good idea to ask Rudy Giuliani his opinion on anything. Surprise, surprise, he thinks Obama is terrible and Trump would be great. Then he chose a topic by spinning  his big wheel of topics (half the wheel is labeled "crime" the other half "terorism) and then filled in the extra words.

Clinton and Obama derelict in terror fight:

Rudy Giuliani
Oh, fuck you.

How many fucking countries does he have to drone-bomb for him to be "tough" enough on terror for you you shit-eating sewer rat?

Last weekend, America once again experienced attacks upon our shores. The resilient people of New Jersey and New York became the intended targets of hate-fueled terror. The 29 New Yorkers wounded by a bomb and the two New Jersey police officers shot by the alleged terrorist were innocent bystanders struck by radical Islamic terrorism.

And the perpetrator was shot and taken into custody the end. 

President Obama and Hillary Clinton did not react as if these Americans were victims of terror, though. They have invested too much time and energy into the narrative that there is no ongoing War on Terror. Look no further than their reactions Saturday: Clinton’s comments came across as if nothing of real consequence occurred, while Obama was once again missing in action.

Yeah! Where the hell was Obama? Doesn't he know that when there's a terrorist attack, true leaders stand on the rubble and  milk as much publicity as they can from the tragedy?
I mean, if you're not going to build your career on a bombing, why even have a bombing at all?

And yeah, Hillary acted like it was just another ordinary day. That's why she said

Like all Americans, my thoughts are with those who were wounded, their families and our brave first responders. This threat is real, but so is our resolve. Americans will not cower, we will prevail. We will defend our country and we will defeat the evil, twisted ideology of the terrorists.

I mean, what else do you want her to say? You want her to scream "we're all gonna die!" and run through the streets sobbing? I mean, I don't know how much more seriously one could address this kind of incident than the above statement.

Oh, and also when has either of them ever, EVER said there was no war on terror? Don't bother to answer, because it's never. Not once.

How many Americans must die at the hands of radical Islamic terrorism before we strike back with our full military might abroad

Our full military. . . what the fuck do you think we've been doing? We invaded, destroyed, and occupied two different countries! AT ONCE! We killed like 200,000 people! And got thousands of our own killed and wounded. And by the way, our invasion and destabilization is EXACTLY what led to the rise of ISIL. And fuck you!

After the 9/11 attacks, President George W. Bush kept the homeland safe for the rest of his presidency by striking back decisively.

And of course Dubya gets a mulligan for 9/11. Doesn't count.

Obama and Clinton continue to ignore the reality that a worldwide terror campaign is being deliberately executed by the very people they refuse to define: radical Islamic terrorists.

Okay, seriously, is there no one at USA Today to look at the crayon scribbling submitted by Giuliani and say "oh, this is a bunch of lies. We can't print this?" There's no editor? No legal department to say "you know, this could really be considered libelous, let's not print this?"

Because President Obama and Secretary Clinton have never ignored the reality of a worldwide terror network. We're currently conducting bombing operations in at least six different countries. Oh, and here's a headline that might interest you:

U.S. Dropped 23,144 Bombs on Muslim-Majority Countries in 2015

So where do you get the balls to pretend that they are "ignoring the reality," you sick little dung beetle?

This refusal is the cornerstone in creating a tyranny of political correctness that encourages people to be reluctant in identifying suspicious activity such as the training at a gun range that took place before the horrific San Bernardino attack.

Someone much smarter than I, and I wish I could remember who, said that whenever right-wingers talk about "political correctness," substitute the phrase "civil rights." This is a good example of how right that smart person was.  Amd no one is going to report any suspicious activity at a gun range, not because of "political correctness," but because A: almost everyone at a gun range looks super suspicious and B: the NRA has made it pretty much impossible to do anything about suspicious individuals as long as they're acting suspiciously with guns.

 We have been here before: Osama bin Laden declared war on the United States. In 1993, radical Islamists bombed the World Trade Center. In 2000, they attacked the USS Cole, killing 17 American sailors.

In 2001 he did 9/11. In n 2002, Bush said he no longer really cared about finding him. In 2011, Barack Obama had the Navy Seals put a bullet through his fucking eye. So who's the one that doesn't take international terrorism seriously? You prolapsed asshole?

 Oh, and blah blah blah Donald Trump will win the war on terror by gleefully committing war crimes abroad and civil rights violations at home so vote for him blah blah blah. . .

Monday, September 19, 2016

How does David Brooks have a Job?

Oh my God, David Brooks is just the worst. The worst!

The Uses of Patriotism

In today's column, Uncle Dave explains which types of patriotism are acceptable and which forms of dissent are not. Basically, if it bothers David Brooks, it is unacceptable, as everyone's main purpose in life should be to prevent people like David Brooks from ever being uncomfortable!

This column is directed at all the high school football players around the country who are pulling a Kaepernick — kneeling during their pregame national anthems to protest systemic racism. I’m going to try to persuade you that what you’re doing is extremely counterproductive.

So this column is directed at teenagers, exactly zero of whom are reading this column. Does anyone under 21 even know what a newspaper is? Or was? See, kids, newspapers used to be these sources of information from all around the world, kind of like the internet but only once a day and without naked people.  Now they exist largely to make sure that people like David Brooks never have to get real jobs.

When Europeans first settled this continent they had two big thoughts. The first was that God had called them to create a good and just society on this continent. The second was that they were screwing it up.

And by "settled," I of course mean "committed genocide against the people who were already living there."
And by "A good and just society," I mean "a society in which their particular religious dogmas would be the only ones indulged or even tolerated."
And by "God had called them," I mean "had delusions of grandeur."

By 1776, this fusion of radical hope and radical self-criticism had become the country’s civic religion. This civic religion was based on a moral premise — that all men are created equal — and pointed toward a vision of a promised land — a place where your family or country of origin would have no bearing on your opportunities.

And since black people were literally considered property and women were second-class citizens at best, and the Native Americans were considered pests in need of extermination, this civic religion was obviously a huge vat of lies and bullshit.  I mean, for fuck sake, who could possibly believe that the founders envisioned a land where a person whose family came from England would have the same opportunities as someone whose family traced back to Mozambique?,_1776.png

 Ugh,  and don't get us started on the Irish!

Over the centuries this civic religion fired a fervent desire for change. Every significant American reform movement was shaped by it. Abraham Lincoln wrote, “If ever I feel the soul within me elevate and expand to those dimensions not entirely unworthy of its almighty Architect, it is when I contemplate the cause of my country.”

And every significant American reform movement was opposed tooth and nail by conservatives like me, David Brooks. Now listen to my advice, black teens!

Martin Luther King Jr. sang the national anthem before his “I Have a Dream” speech and then quoted the Declaration of Independence within it.

Ah, the favorite rhetorical device of the Brooksian conservative. Invoke Martin Luther King to show today's black youth that they're being black all wrong while pretending that conservatives didn't despise King while he was alive. And for some decades afterwards. And still do when he can't be used as a convenient moral cudgel.

This American creed gave people a sense of purpose and a high ideal to live up to. It bonded them together. Whatever their other identities — Irish-American, Jewish American, African-American — they were still part of the same story.

You know, in the sense that Jean Valjean and Inspector Javert were also part of the same story.
Hey, it can't be a happy ending for everyone, just be glad your ethnic group gets to be in the same book!

See how these guys are both in the same scene? So, you know, even-Steven!

Over the years, America’s civic religion was nurtured the way all religions are nurtured: by sharing moments of reverence. Americans performed the same rituals on Thanksgiving and July 4; they sang the national anthem and said the Pledge in unison; they listened to the same speeches on national occasions and argued out the great controversies of our history.

Yes, everyone in America had the exact same experience. Oh, how we loved to perform the July 4th and Thanksgiving rituals, at least those of us who didn't have to work those days, but come on, if you're working on Thanksgiving, are you really an American?

Right? Hmm?

Oh, and the shared moments of arguing out the great controversies! How that brought us together. The black guy arguing that he was a human being with rights and the cracker arguing that no, he was not. Ah, the sense of unity! The suffragist making the argument that women should be treated as adult human beings, sparring fervently but lovingly with the man shouting "get back in the kitchen!"
Why can't we go back to those wondrous days when everyone got along and everyone was happy and knew their place and didn't make David Brooks feel things?

All of this evangelizing had a big effect. As late as 2003, Americans were the most patriotic people on earth, according to the University of Chicago’s National Opinion Research Center.

Mainly because there was a rush of mindless, misguided, jingoistic "patriotism" after 9/11/2001.

Recently, the civic religion has been under assault. Many schools no longer teach American history, so students never learn the facts and tenets of their creed.

Sure, I can't name a school that doesn't teach American history, but trust me. There are "many." Many many school districts these days are run by Soviet spies who eliminate history to allow more time for the teaching of sharia law! It's true, my mom e-mailed me a story about it that she got from a very reliable webpage.

Also, I'm fairly sure that the purpose of teaching history is to indoctrinate kids into the "tenets of their creed." It only takes a few minutes to teach American History properly. It's George Washington, then Lincoln freed the slaves, then we defeated Hitler, then 9/11 happened because they hate our freedom. You can skip over the Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade, the Trail of Tears, the Chinese Exclusion Act, Japanese internment camps, you know all the stuff that makes people feel doubt that America is the greatest country in the fucking world!

A globalist mentality teaches students they are citizens of the world rather than citizens of America.

Because you can't be both! You can't be a citizen of America without saying "fuck the rest of the world." Pick a side! It's us or them! You're either for us or against us!

Critics like Ta-Nehisi Coates have arisen, arguing that the American reality is so far from the American creed as to negate the value of the whole thing. The multiculturalist mind-set values racial, gender and ethnic identities and regards national identities as reactionary and exclusive.

Um, I would never presume to speak for Ta-Nehisi Coates, but I'm pretty sure that the point he's arguing is that he would like to maybe not see so many unarmed black people shot down like dogs in the street? By the people sworn to "serve and protect?" And maybe it would be nice if Republican legislators spent a bit less time trying to prevent black people from voting? I don't know if that's considered a "multi-cultural mind-set" or not, but I'm pretty sure that dismissing it out of hand and painting it as anti-American makes you a pretty huge bag of dicks.

There’s been a sharp decline in American patriotism. Today, only 52 percent of Americans are “extremely proud” of their country, a historical low.

And that has nothing to do with constant right-wing attacks on our government, our media, our schools and colleges, and every other institution that isn't a mega-church. And it certainly has nothing to do with the right's incessant attempts to undermine and de-legitimize this country's first black president! No, I'm pretty sure it's Colin Koepernick!
Augh, look at that muti-cultural mindset!

Sitting out the anthem takes place in the context of looming post-nationalism. When we sing the national anthem, we’re not commenting on the state of America. We’re fortifying our foundational creed. We’re expressing gratitude for our ancestors and what they left us. We’re expressing commitment to the nation’s ideals, which we have not yet fulfilled.

We're ignoring our long history of racial injustice! We're sweeping systemic racism under the rug! We're pretending America is even trying to live up to it's supposed ideals! How could you not want to be a part of that?

Oh, and by post-nationalism, I'm certainly not referring to corporate post-nationalism in the age of "free trade" agreements. No, it's perfectly fine for American companies to ship their factories to China, their tech support to India and their profits to the Caymans. What could be more American than that?

If we don’t transmit that creed through shared displays of reverence we will have lost the idea system that has always motivated reform. We will lose the sense that we’re all in this together. We’ll lose the sense of shared loyalty to ideas bigger and more transcendent than our own short lives.

Got that, teens? If we start acknowledging America's faults, we'll never be able to fix America's faults, if she had any, which she doesn't!

 If these common rituals are insulted, other people won’t be motivated to right your injustices because they’ll be less likely to feel that you are part of their story. People will become strangers to one another and will interact in cold instrumentalist terms.

 Why should a policeman stop shooting black people in the back for no reason if you're not going to be part of his story? Why should anyone want to right an injustice if you don't act in a motivational way? What, are they going to right an injustice just because it's unjust? What are we, Quakers?

Look, if you're upset about the violence perpetrated on innocent people by those in authority, that's understandable. But that doesn't mean you should go around being **gasp!** insulting! Or acting like we're not all part of one big happy family story. I mean, my God! What would Dr. King think?

Mainly, I'm thinking how fucked up it is that this generation still has to fight the same battles.
Also, I'm thinking about how I was all peaceful and patriotic and respectable 
and they shot me anyway.

You will strengthen Donald Trump’s ethnic nationalism, which erects barriers between Americans and which is the dark opposite of America’s traditional universal nationalism.

Right. Donald Trump is not the inevitable result of the last 40 years of right-wing fear-mongering, race-baiting, misinformation, and dumbing down of the electorate.  He certainly can't be blamed on the right-wing media infrastructure whose raison d'etre is to find a way to twist every story into their narrative of white resentment and xenophobia. No, if the blatantly fascist wing of my Republican Party succeeds in taking the White House, the blame will fall squarely on the shoulders of you teenage football players and your shameless exercise of your First Amendment rights.

Et tu, Number 60?

I hear you when you say you are unhappy with the way things are going in America. But the answer to what’s wrong in America is America

Oh, my God I'm gonna win a Peabody for that line!
The answer to what is wrong with America is America! Can anyone else string together that many words that add up to nothing? Nope! That's whay I get the big bucks!

Oh, and all kidding aside, when I say I "hear you?" Yeah, I don't really "hear you." I honestly have no idea what you're talking about. No one I know has ever been shot by police, so I'm pretty sure that things are just fine. Now stand up and salute the goddamm flag!

But the answer to what’s wrong in America is America — the aspirations passed down generation after generation and sung in unison week by week.

Yes, generation after generation of hoping and wishing ad praying that America will someday live up to it's promise. You know what I mean. You're hoping that America will aspire to be a better country, just as your parents did and your grandparents before them, and. . . wait. You know, when you put it like that, it sounds kinda bad!

We have a crisis of solidarity. That makes it hard to solve every other problem we have. When you stand and sing the national anthem, you are building a little solidarity, and you’re singing a radical song about a radical place. 
 Way to appeal to the youth! Oh, Brooksie, you've done it again!

 Yes, it's a "crisis of solidarity." That's why back in the good old days when we all got along and everyone felt good about America, there was no racism or sexism or homophobia or Islamophobis, or anti-semitism, or anti-immigrant. . . wait. What was I saying?
Oh, yeah. The reason we can't give you your civil rights is beacuse you're upset about not having civil rights. So, just stand up and sing the anthem like Dr. King did, and everyone will be so happy and feel such brotherhood that equality will rain from the sky. Just like it did in Dr. King's day!

See? Sean gets it!

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Trump and "Doctor" OZ

Okay, so Trump doesn't want to release his medical records. That's fine. I don't think anyone is going to have their mind changed about Donald Trump by knowing his medical records. A clean bill. of health wouldn't make him any less loathsome, a medical condition wouldn't make the deplorables love him any less.
But why doesn't he just come out and say "I don't want my medical records to be made public. I don't want the public to know that my brain is being ravaged by syphilis" or whatever.
It was totally worth it!

That would be way less ridiculous than this Dr. Oz bullshit.

He was supposed to go on the "Dr.Oz" show and tell the "Doctor" about the results of his latest physical? You mean like I do when I come home from a doctor's appointment and the Missus asks "how did it go?" and I say "Great. Doc says everything's great and I can go back to eating whatever I want. Actually, she says my cholesterol is getting a bit too low and I should probably have some cheesecake!" That's worth putting on television?

Although, compared to what Oz usually shows. . .

Here is an exchange between Oz and Fox News Radio host Brian Kilmeade that aired Tuesday:
KILMEADE: What if there's some embarrassing things on there?
OZ: Well, I bet you he won't release them.
KILMEADE: Oh, it's still going to be his decision?
OZ: It's his decision. You know, I — the metaphor for me is it's the doctor's office, the studio. So I'm not going to ask him questions he doesn't want to have answered. (source)

So, not only is Trump getting to pretend he's disclosing his medical information, the host of the show is planning to abet him in this pretense.

And it just gets more pathetic.

CNN host Brian Stelter reported on Wednesday that just hours before the show taped Trump cowardly backed out of releasing his medical records and letting Dr. Oz read them on the air.
“Trump will be talking with Oz about his physical activity, dietary habits, and broader health-related issues. The plan also calls for Trump to discuss political topics that are of interest to the ‘Dr. Oz Show’ audience, like efforts to fight the Zika virus and Trump’s new child care policies.”

So no records. No physical results, just Trump telling Dr. Quackenfraud about what foods he pretends to eat and what exercises he pretends he does.  And then he's going to say that he's been forthcoming about his medical history and why won't Hillary admit that she died two weeks ago and is now one of the unholy living dead or whatever and no one is going to call him on it.

Look out, Carol! It's Hillary!

For the record, in case any right-wing jerkoffs read this and start a new rumor, I am NOT saying that Hillary Clinton is a walker, a zombie or any other type of undead monster. She has pneumonia.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Its Value Voter Time Again!

Yes, it's time once again for Smart-Alecky-Blogger- Christmas, aka the Values Voters Summit! And what's this year's theme? Well, it may surprise you to learn that it's "Christians are being Persecuted in America" again!

For instance, here is what nominee Donald Trump had to say about the horrible scourge of persecution going on in today's Christian Churches:

The Johnson Amendment has blocked our pastors and ministers and others from speaking their minds from their own pulpits. If they want to talk about Christianity, if they want to preach, if they want to talk about politics, they are unable to do so.

Yes, any church in America you go into you'll see ministers unable to preach. Or talk about religion at all. They're mostly just doing crowd work now. 
So, anyone here from out of town?

And of course, because it's the Trump, he then added this:

 All religious leaders should be able to freely express their thoughts and feelings on religious matters. And I will repeal the Johnson Amendment if I am elected your president. I promise. So important. Thank you. So important.

Ah, the classic promise-to-do-something-a-president-can't-actually-do followed by the repeated sentence fragment. Classic!

Mmm. . .that's good gibberish!

This started in a building of mine in Manhattan. I had 50 pastors in a big conference room. And we actually had 50 pastors, two rabbis, a couple of priests
So, 50 pastors, a couple of priests and two rabbis walk into a buffoon's conference room. . .

we were all talking and we were there for two hours. And at the end, it was a love-fest. We all agreed. It was like a love-fest. …. And I said to them, I'd love your support. … And I know they wanted to give me their total support, 100 percent. Just like I had in the primaries
Yes, Donald. Eeeeveryone loves you!

And I said, “I really would like your support.” And they didn't really know what I was talking about.

No one ever really knows what you're talking about because you speak in gobbeldygook!
Oh, sorry. I mean "because you're so much smarter than everyone else!" heh heh heh!

And they didn't really know what I was talking about. And I said, “What's going on here?” They said, “Well, sir, we can't do that because we would be violating the laws.” 

Okay, first of all, no they did not call you "sir." No one calls you "sir" who isn't on your payroll.
Or Roger Ailes's.

And also, since when do conservative clergymen worry about violating the law? How many conservative ministers speak every year at events like Value Voters Summit, CPAC, the Republican National Convention?

Cleveland Hts minister brings the house down at RNC; Not happy with Sen. Cruz

Posted: Jul 20, 2016 10:24 PM EST Updated: Jul 21, 2016 9:13 AM E

You Won’t Believe Pastor Mark Burns’ Stunning Benediction At the RNC Convention (VIDEO)

You were there! You were there when these ministers addressed the throng of deplorables at the RNC! You know this!

And I said, “What's the punishment?” “Well, we could lose our tax exempt status,” which of course is a massive penalty. I said, “Tell me about this.” And we sat down. They talked about it. … So we were looking down on to the sidewalk and there were people walking on the sidewalk. I said, “So, folks, what you're telling me is those people walking way, way down there on the sidewalk have really more power than you do because they're allowed to express their feelings and thoughts openly and without penalty?” ... They looked at me and they said, “That's actually right. They have more power than we do. We're not allowed to express.

That is a completely ridiculous lie!
Those people on the sidewalk have exactly the same right to freedom of speech as the ministers and rabbis in your made-up make believe conference that didn't happen. 
They both have every right to express their political opinion everywhere except in the pulpit. And these clergymen would have known this if they were real clergymen who actually existed. 

But yeah, point taken. American Christians are totally persecuted every day, fed to the lions, burned at the stake, the whole bit. That's why the catacombs are full every Sunday.