Dear GOP,


No matter how much outrage you manage to muster about Harvey Weinstein we’re not going to forget that Donald Trump coined the phrase ‘Grab ’em by the pussy.’

And while we’re on the subject, one does not excuse the other. Both men are scumbags. It doesn’t matter who they donated to.

#covfefe

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Oh Say Can You Stand

Freedom means something different to just about everyone. For some, it might be not having a nagging wife. Others prioritize financial independence or not being incarcerated. Many folks nowadays seem to equate freedom with owning fully automatic assault rifles with unlimited ammunition or not buying health insurance.

To me, the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment* of the United States Constitution are the most important. In my opinion, without the freedom to say your government is wrong you have no freedom.

If you couldn’t tell where I was going with this, I fully support the right of NFL players to take a knee in protest. I wouldn’t want to live in a country where I had to stand every time the national anthem was played, or I saw a flag. And I certainly wouldn’t want to have to hang a picture of the leader in my home.**

Unfortunately, this means I also support the rights of neo-Nazis and klansmen to march around with tiki torches and shout about how they hate Jews. If freedom of speech doesn’t protect speech I don’t agree with it isn’t really freedom. (Of course, it shouldn’t protect hate speech. You shouldn’t be able to tell an autidorium full of your supporters to rough up protesters, but that’s a whole other discussion.)

But while I fully support the rights of players to protest their government and sypathize with their cause, I’m not sure I agree with the method.

I hate to say that. I’d really like to see the US have an open and honest discussion about the systematic racism and oppression going on every day. But that’s not what’s happening. Kneeling hasn’t started the conversation it needed to. It’s just driven a wedge into an already divided nation.

While I find it difficult to hear the stories of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice without feeling a sense of outrage at what appears to be injustice, others dig in their heels and say these people were thugs who got what they deserved.

While I worry about the world my daughter will grow up in when I see a video of a black teenage girl pulled out of her desk at school and slammed to the floor by an adult police officer, others say, ‘well you don’t know the whole story. She must have done something to provoke that.’^

 

Yes, I see many problems with policing in this country. And I see many problems with racism in this country. While I have eyes I intend to use them. Even Stevie Wonder can see what’s happening.

But while I salute those players taking a stand (or knee) I don’t feel optimistic that it will change anything. Just like Sinead O’Conner ripping up the picture of Pope John Pall II didn’t make a damn bit of difference, I don’t see the current protests doing much good. We’re all aware of the problem, but a surprising number of people just don’t care.

I sure hope I’m wrong. I hope we can start that discussion. If there’s any way I can help I hope someone will let me know. I’d like for this to be a country worth standing up for, but at the moment; I’ll take a knee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

**Unless it was Bill Clinton. And he was nude.

^By the way, if you can give me a reason that convinces me it’s OK for a grown man to strike, slap, slam or otherwise beat on a teenage girl I will pay you all of the money and property I own. You may find it somewher near ‘reasons it’s OK to beat your wife’ or ‘good reasons to hate someone based on skin color’ or in the drawer titled ‘Things That Don’t Exist.’

Patriotism

Everyone keeps talking about patriotism as if it’s a basic need like air or water or a basic emotion that should have been portrayed in Inside Out.

But patriotism isn’t an emotion. It’s not an instilled value or a feeling of pride in one’s homeland.  Patriotism is a product; like computer chips and tampons.

Patriotism is a way for mediocre companies to get you to buy gaudy t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers. And then wrap yourself up in a flag and pretend it’s fashionable. It’s the reason a two-hour Navy commercial called American Sniper was nominated for an Oscar. It’s the reason people buy watered-down hard rock from a band called 5 Finger Death Punch.

Patriotism is a way to get people to vote for something they might not agree with by saying it’s for ‘the good of the country.’ Or to get people to suffer some unnecessarily because their country requires it. Or to kill some poor sap who never did anything wrong but feel patriotism for a different country.

It’s a way for people who never contribute anything to society to feel good about themselves. Patriotism is a way to make people who were born in one area feel like they’re superior to people born in another area.

Patriotism is all of this and more. Available for only $19.95

 

How to Tell If You’re A Racist: Part 1

The other day I overheard three guys talking for half an hour about how not racist they were. I didn’t have the heart to point out that people who aren’t racist don’t need to engage in these conversations, but couldn’t help notice the irony

It is somewhat strange to hear a group of white guys talking about how racism is over and everyone should get over it. I’m guessing they’re probably not experts on the subject.

But then again, maybe they were just practicing for their upcoming Fox News show. “Three Straight White Guys.” I can see it now. They’ll discuss the hot-button issues of the day and provide fair and balanced commentary.

“Tonight on Three Straight White Guys, the gang tackles racism. they say it’s over. Will anyone disagree? Not anyone we let on this station. Later in the week they’ll talk sexism, but only for the men. You get your sweet ass in the kitchen and cook us a meatloaf sugar-tits. Then next week we’ll discuss those whiny Indians. We stole your land like 800 years ago. And God wanted us to have it so get over it crybabies…

… All this and more, only on Three Straight White Guys.”

Check local listings.

 

So Confused

Am I the only person who gets confused when I hear about Donald Trump sticking up for Christian values?

I’m really starting to worry that I bought a fake bible. Or maybe I just really fucking misunderstood the one I bought. I didn’t read it in the original Hebrew or Aramaic so maybe something was lost in translation. But you’d think the big points would carry over. You don’t figure there would be this much debate.

“A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce. He later remarried and returned to televangelism.” -Wikipedia

I guess conservative Christians are saying a Trump impeachment will spark a second American Civil War. And a bunch of churches got together to write something called the Nashville Statement that is just some sort of anti-gay manifesto.

I know there’s a lot of war, smiting and other unpleasantness in the bible (Including homophobia, spousal abuse, incest and absolutely NO eating of pork), but I thought the general message was supposed to be “Love your neighbor as yourself.“*

I believe it was Haruki Murakami that wrote “Either I’m funny or the world’s funny. I don’t know which. The bottle and lid don’t fit. It could be the bottle’s fault or the lid’s fault. In either case, there’s no denying that the fit is bad.” Something is definitely not fitting with what I learned about Christianity versus how the Christian world is acting.

Can we just start using the term “so-called” in front of terms like “Conservative Christians,” “Televangelists” and “Religious Right.”

Murakami also said, “It seemed to me that this world has a serious shortage of both logic and kindness.” **

Current political rumblings have me in agreement.

 

 

 

 

*Mark 12:31

** Both are from his great novel 1Q84

 

A Little Late

 

I guess that by 2017 you’d think this is a conversation that we would have gotten over. Come on, the Confederacy fell over 150 years ago (after existing for only four years and never gaining international recognition). Even the Nazi party was defeated over seventy years ago.

Are you noticing a pattern here? White supremacists poke their heads out for a little while, start some trouble and get their asses kicked.

Have you noticed that none of the people from the alt-right who bemoaned all the ‘political correctness’ in our culture are bitching about the term ‘white nationalist.’

If you’re unsure ‘white nationalist’ is just a euphemism for Nazi or Klansmen.

Unite or Die

I was really excited a few weeks ago when the Trump Administration announced “Infrastructure Week.” I thought, “Great, here’s something everyone can agree on. Republicans and Democrats can work together on a plan to get our roads, bridges, and utilities up to snuff.” Of course, that’s not what happened. 

 

It’s really sad that every issue in this country is now political. You would think there would be a few things we could all agree on. We’re all Americans right? We all want to make our country a great place for ourselves and our children right? So why is it that we cannot work together to solve these problems like adults. I think bipartisanship would help us to make a better world if we could just find some common ground.

 

I have absolutely no evidence to back me up on this theory because I can’t remember the last time we had any bipartisan issues, but I’m going to stick with it until someone proves me wrong.

 

I really don’t understand the question of whether or not we should protect the environment. This seems like a no-brainer. Sure, profit and money are nice, but it doesn’t do a whole lot of good without air to breath or water to drink. We shouldn’t look at the EPA as the bringer of job killing regulation; we should look at it as an entity that challenges us to create jobs while protecting the environment. I don’t see why we can’t do both.

 

(Courtesy of Yes! Magazine)

I have to give props to my Republican Senator who has fought for the Great Lakes Restoration Fund to help clean up Lake Erie. He and many other senators resisted Trump and Obama’s efforts to cut funding to the program.

 

I can understand why there is some friction in the health care debate. This is where I’m reminded that Democrats are for working people and Republicans support big business. I just don’t understand why they can’t get together on a plan to make healthcare more affordable for everyone. I constantly read politicians say Obamacare is not working and we have to do something so we can make insurance more affordable while also fighting the current opioid epidemic, but then Mitch McConnell presents a bill that would do the exact opposite. This shouldn’t be about helping mega rich corporations make more profit, it should be about helping people.

 

And it doesn’t help a whole lot when the president is talking about “victims” of Obamacare. We’re all aware that the law hasn’t worked for everyone, but words matter. If you paint your predecessors biggest legislative accomplishment as something working to hurt people it doesn’t instill a lot of good will to unite people to work on a solution.

 

I’m glad I can say that both sides are starting to stand up to the Russian meddling that occurred during our last election. Many people don’t believe this (or simply don’t care), but unless you’re working for some sort of intelligence agency please don’t argue with me. It’s nice to see bills on Russian sanctions passing Congress with only a few brown nosers voting against them. It’s great to see the Senate working on a bill that would make it harder for President Trump to fire the man investigating him. I will say that it’s taken too long for everyone to get on the same page about this, but it’s great that we’ve all finally gotten there.

 

I just hope we can find some common ground on other issues. We all want to see America succeed and be great, we just disagree on the methods of getting there. But that’s no reason we can’t all come together.