Let's just eliminate all the bullshit, shall we?







Friday, July 8, 2016

What we really need

 The United States has gone far afield of its
stated intentions: a country that celebrates 
diversity, welcomes others, appreciates and 
respects all its citizens, and maintains a solid
separation of church and state.

"All men (people) created equal..."
Let's keep working on making THAT
a reality--not elect a man who
wishes to return to all the worst parts 
of our history.

Follow the Trail






Flame-fanners and shit-slingers






Blood is on your Hands 2






Not Forgotten: The Misery Persists






Thursday, June 16, 2016

More of the same, more of the same

Dan Ponder--Fox News fan, Republican, mayor, and newest owner of The Donalsonville News--and spouse


I didn't even expect that Seminole County's "Donalsonville News' would have any comment
on the massacre at the gay Orlando club early Sunday morning.

Like the GOP representatives and 'leaders' in the aftermath of this shooting, pretending that gay people don't exist --or aren't worth acknowledging-- is par for the course for the sleepy town's rag. Promoting a false sense of invisibility is also the tactic that conservatives and right wing evangelicals around the nation use to try and keep us in the LGBTQ community marginalized, demonized, and great targets for speculation and dismissal. And violence.

The only place the shooting was even addressed was several pages into the publication, under the banner of editorial, which the local man didn't even write. The piece, which of course didn't condemn guns, nor investigate the actual facts of the shooter's motivations, also did not bother to mention that hate crimes against gay people are prolific and on the rise.

No mention of how a multitude of so-called Christian pastors, preachers, and talking heads have been vehemently calling for the murder of gay men and women these past few years. One, Swanson, even headlined an event featuring his "Kill the Gays" stance where Ted Cruz and other GOP Presidential wannabees attended.

No, the editorial depicted the real concerns of 'real Americans,' god-fearing (and inventing,) flag-waving, Fox-News watching, war loving folks; We need to bomb the life out of anyone we suspect is against us, anyone who might one day be against us, and anyone who has looked at us funny.

The hawkish call-to-arms was strident, and not at all concerned that the shooter's connection to ISL (ISIS) or any other terrorist group had not been made. Did the shooter express that he was doing what he did on behalf of ISIS? Yes, he did...among a multitude of other claims. I don't know for a fact, but I imagine if you're out of your mind enough to plan, prepare, and carry out a mass shooting of strangers, likely because 'you don't like what they do in their own lives,' you might be prone to talking out of your backside in the midst of an hours-long rampage.

So what we're really talking about here is an agenda (surprise!) that the paper has to promote attacking Muslim-based areas or countries...because that's what they want to do. NOT because the situation warrants it. NOT because we respond to all terrorist attacks equally (as the response here is VERY different than if white shooters are involved. We're talking about a driving desire for war that circumvents reason and fact. Gosh...that even sounds...extremist.

No, I am not worried about offending anyone. There are Muslim terrorists, and they need to be stopped. But caution and preventative measures and appropriate military response have to be handled with care--this isn't a cowboy movie. (By the way, the actual largest mass shooting in American history--albeit not by a single shooter--was Wounded Knee in 1890, where 300 Lakota Indians were massacred by U.S. forces.) No, I have no problem saying when ANY group of people is guilty of committing horrors, as the Right often accuses.

Ironically, Republicans are themselves loathe to call out terrorism when it comes from a group they choose to turn a blind eye to. How convenient.



No, the way to show respect for the men and women killed for no good reason four days hence is not to jump on a bandwagon of war-starters who are just looking for any excuse to get in a battle, never mind the repercussions. Never mind that our President is already involved in such actions (He's another one they like to either pretend doesn't exist, or make up stories about so as to suit their own pre-existing view.) We couldn't just have some empathy and respect? Some calls for reason and tolerance? Nope. Not even for one day.

You can be in absence of the facts if you so choose. You can falsely accuse people of doing things they aren't guilty of. You can even be in denial over why you do what you do. But at some point, please, just for the sake of human decency, lose the self-importance of it all. You aren't automatically correct just because you refuse to consider that you might be wrong. Others aren't stupid or soft because their reaction is not as extreme as yours. 

If you want to make war, just admit it. But be willing to admit that your 'reasoning' is not supported by the excuses you throw out there. You claim you're truth-tellers, but your actions don't reflect that. 

Sunday, June 12, 2016

As I sit here at my desk, solemn and sickened, I am
still trying to wrap my head around this morning's 
mass murder in Orlando. 

Right now, it's all very surreal, very frightening, quite
maddening, very personal, and yet...not shocking.

Soon enough, the very real tragedy of the lost lives 
will be translated into profit-making and political 
agendas for everyone save the family and friends of 
those killed. Less than 13 hours ago, those people were
merely living their lives, trying to unwind and enjoy 
what can be a stark existence even without the input
of deranged gunmen.

And, even as a gay man, even as a former denizen of
Orlando who still has friends and family there, I too will
fall prey to the same distancing mechanism, albeit as 
coping mechanism. That's who we are; The Detached
States of America.

Will the gunman truly turn out to be an ISIS member?
Was there a conspiracy to get him in the club? How 
will the right-wing react to this tragedy (other than badly
and falsely?) What will be the next target? These and 
other questions and worries plague people's minds now, as the
horror and unreality are not only startling us, but the endless
media coverage is whipping us into a frenzy about.

I can already hear the coming hours and days unfolding:
The endless speculation, the ever-changing stories, the 
rumors, the false leads bandied about with certainty, people
doing everything they can to get their faces on tv and their 
names in the paper. 

There will be Republicans pretending to be outraged, while
in truth this is the sort of terrible repercussion that we can 
expect after decades of hate speech, innuendo, fear-mongering,
baiting, and campaign lies and manipulation. Hell, George W.
Bush won his second term on a hateful, despicable anti-gay 
platform. And just look at what the governors and other GOP
higher-ups have been doing and saying in North Carolina, 
Mississippi, Oklahoma, Indiana, Alabama and elsewhere.

No, the GOP conservatives will do as they have with the 
racism fury of the last few weeks regarding Trump; They will
play innocent and offended and hurl names, while they grin 
through their teeth in private, knowing that these actions are
merely 'worse than' theirs, and make them seem nicer by 
comparison. But 'less hateful' is not something to be proud of, 
nor is it acceptable.

We'll also be getting the usual unstable religious sorts who will
blame us homosexuals for this happening. They will once more
label us 'sinners' and thus detach us from 'regular humans' who 
deserve sympathy and respect. They will do what they do; blame
victims, even as they stroke the fires of their own delusional 
self-righteousness regarding their unholy attack on trans-
gendered people, gay men, lesbian women, and any who dare 
live their live by their own accord. 

But, Rick Warren? You have blood on your hands.
James Dobson? You're a killer too.
National Organization for Marriage? 700 Club? American
Family Association? You are all to blame for this massacre. 
You too are murderers. This hate doesn't come to fruition in a
vacuum. It doesn't manifest magically or mysteriously. 

We know how hate and irrational distrust is formed, and it most
certainly doesn't come 'from god' in an attempt to 'cleanse the
impure.' That's just sorry propaganda designed to give excuse to
very human insecurities and bitterness. Hate and fear and 
distrust is taught, slow and harsh, over the long haul. And 
evangelical churches, broadcasts, literature and groups have 
also been cultivating baseless hate towards the LGBTQ people 
of the planet for decades.

They will all be saying that we 'deserved this,' and that we are
as much terrorists as the people who did this.

They will have celebrated in this morning's services, and will 
continue to use it for their own agenda of 'what happens when 
you aren't following (our version of) god's will.'

They will continue their campaign of hateful divide, or promoting
intolerance through legislation, of blaming and scape-goating, of
raising funds from their flock based on the hate they inspired 
with gays and lesbians.

And they will see to it that this murderous assault is seen as an 
example of what 'good soldiers' are willing to do to enforce 
what they see as the law of a 'higher power,' even though it's
their own feelings they promote.

The religious will also deny culpability and avert attention 
away from their policies and rhetoric, as though in no way 
connected. But as surely as someone gives an arsonist 
matches and gasoline, knowing what he is intending to do
with them, the pastors and talking heads and Donald Trumps 
of the world stir things up from their soap box and pulpit, 
smiling insidiously as their homemade bombs go forth to 
ravage and destroy. "But I didn't do anything!"
Manipulators and cowards, all of them.

It's only a matter of time, given the current insane state 
of conflict and irrationality, before American-born terrorists 
(a.k.a. local church-goers, co-workers, police, and more) 
are mirroring this massacre to make their feelings known..,
because they've been told by people in authority that it's just
that important, and it's an acceptable act. Maybe even the 
'will of god.' This is the power of those who bend people's 
wills with their words.

I'm afraid because this happened so easily.

I'm afraid because it may well happen again.

I'm afraid because this means all of the beatings, assaults, 
murders, and tortures of LGBTQ community members 
that happen every year from 'god-loving ditto-heads' has 
now escalated beyond individual incidents.

I am afraid because our country seems to be on an escalating 
path to destruction, each day advancing further and further
into depravity, and so I unfortunately see this not as isolated
incident,' but rather the Beginning.

A 'Beginning' whose origins have been cemented in the 
pulpits and on GOP platforms for quite some time.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Constant Loathing: Intermittent Victimhood



There's always been a sense of fear amongst the self-proclaimed
'pure-breeds,' or Anglo-descended sorts, that one day their rule
would end.

It may not have been a conscious thought, or an articulated one, but
just there under the surface of the all-important skin it was percolating.

People of any sort or conviction have always been prone to hatred of
other, different groups of people--'different' by means of comparing a
singular distinguishing characteristic that each group has formed a
bond under, at least.

With the election of a black-skinned man for our highest office, many
Americans found that vague discomfort of subverted rule brought
forth with a violent thrust. The sensation may have even surprised and
shamed some of them.

But for others, the fear itself provides a sense of 'proof' to the false
narrative that there is a necessary division between the 'races.' (One
can never mention often enough that the concept of race is just
that--a notion. The pigment of our skin differing is no more or less
significant than a person's eye color or blood type differing. 'Race'
is completely a social and political invention.) People love them
some pigeon-holing!

But back to the scape-goating. We--people, every last one of us--have
a tendency to want to simplify things. To make them more easily-digestible.
Hence, elected leaders to make tough choices, hence religion, hence
a host of addictions and distractions from this terrifying and confusing
world.

But designing or assuming a reason to blame others for our ills doesn't
make that person/group responsible. Again, it's just notions.

But for love of simplicity, people blame.


We blame different religions, the opposite sex, other states, political
parties, family members, neighbors, other 'races;' anyone who is not
the same as us is by default scary and can easily be made into the
bogeyman. It seems to be in our DNA.

But the seemingly-decreased degree of 'people who actually hate
people who are different' seemed to be a sign of improvement for
our country. Really, it was a 'seems too good to be true' scenario,
an actual cauldron of indignance and seething rage boiling and
getting ready to blow.

And then came Donald Trump. Riling people up, blaming these
'others' outright and proudly, giving people permission to engage
in their baseless accusations and disgust, inciting them to act on it.
The fa├žade of civility in America went straight out the window, and
we have seen exposed the deep and disconcerting pall of fear and
loathing for the longtime scapegoats, people of color.

The fear is based on false notions, on stereotypes, on lack of
exposure, on long-held fears and assumptions, and--in large
part--on mob mentality.

If you've ever been to a concert, a festival, a wedding, even a
packed movie theatre, you may have noticed there is a sense of
energy present--"something in the air" as it's often referred to.
There is in fact documented elevation of emotions in groups,
and certain areas of the brain react to the overriding emotion
that is being presented. There is a 'chain reaction' in effect, and
we are most of us easily drawn into whatever energy is most powerful.

So when people in a crowd get riled up, and get reminded of all
that's wrong with their lives, and are then given a simplistic rationale
for why it has happened and who is responsible, they can get carried
away. Mob mentality is a real thing. It isn't an excuse for inappropriate
or criminal behavior, like yelling slurs or assaulting people, but it is
a phenomenon.

And the people behind these pushed buttons are well aware of this.
I'm calling you out, Donald J. Trump. In your desire to increase
followers you are knowingly spreading false narratives to excite
and offend people, unconcerned with the fallout of such reckless
behavior.


((As a side-note, if I or anyone else I know (poor, not a household
name, not carrying the prestige of power and influence) were to
hold a rally and call on people to harm other people, we'd be under
the jailhouse. Our country has a strict set of double standards in
place; the Rules of Law apply differently to the Two Americas.
The Have-Nots get the full force of the law crushing them and the
Haves have no repercussions at all.))

The mindset of these disenfranchised, predominantly-white people who
support Trump and all his euphemisms and hate speech is that they are
justified in feeling and responding this way because they have been
'victimized.'

'Victimized' in the sense that not everything is going their way, life
is not 100% perfect, they are not in control of what everyone says
or does, and the day is coming closer when everyone will have
equal footing in this country. So in other words, not victimized at all,
just confounded that they can't have things the way they want and
wanting a way to act up about it.

I'm reminded of the tumult in the last few years of religious groups
in this country crying foul and painting themselves as victims of
abuse and terror because they were being forced to move into the
21st century and were no longer being allowed the special privileges
they had been accustomed to holding for so long.

See, people do not like giving up things. Whether they were
deserved or not has nothing to do with it. Whether others were
being harmed in order for them to have had that privilege has
nothing to do with it. People are simply severely adverse to
change and loss, and they get a little crazy about it. Others are
simply looking for an excuse to act on being racist prigs. They've
been dreaming of the day when it would be acceptable again
to treat others like second-class citizens.


This phenomenon is not going away. In fact, it's getting worse
the longer this fanning of flames and pandering is allowed to
continue. Our tax dollars are being spent to close down streets,
pay police, pay Secret Service detail, and more so that DJT can
have rallies to work people up and then let them lose back into
their communities where he will never see or experience the results
of his actions.

Because make no mistake--the words he puts into their minds, the
permission he gives folks to combust, it doesn't fade when he closes
out the night. He's planting seeds of constant loathing, and they'll be
fed and nurtured long after his campaign is done.

**************************************************************************************

Thursday, December 24, 2015

Why the Police are a Problem

Any time you give a human being a
smidge of authority (i.e., Power,) it
is automatic that they will become
heady with said authority to command.
 
In time, the mere psychological boost
that comes from being in a dominant
position gives an additional sense of
entitlement.
 
Having a separation state gives a false
view of reality. ("We are the 'good' guys,
and anyone we come up against are
instantly--by default--the 'bad' guys.")
 
Considering oneself correct by virtue of
position and appointment allows for some
real power trips and head trips. The line
between 'what the law is' and 'what bothers
me personally' starts to erode.
 
Being in a high stress job that doesn't pay
well and is rather thankless can get to
anyone. ('Thankless' except for all
the media and foundations and newscasters
and politicians constantly doting, open-
ended, on all our 'brave men and women
who serve the public in law enforcement.'
With no irony, or mention, regarding the
rampant corruption, misuse of authority,
misuse of force, and so on.)
 
The public institutions therefore add
to the sense of infallibility and greatness
that have already been fostered in policing agencies.
Reinforcement of truths not in evidence.
 
Then we have to consider the essence of the
male psyche; that we are programmed to be
combative over compassionate, to escalate
rather than empathize, and to be dominant
rather than diplomatic.
 
The tough guy bravado is used to build an
image of being Indomitable, to keep law men
and women credible agents in dangerous
situations with scary, violent offenders. But it
doesn't get turned off when dealing with the
regular, everyday citizens who made simple,
non-violent mistakes or minor offenses. (Or,
those who have not done anything wrong at all.)
 
Then we add to the mix the whole 'gang mentality'
that any unified group or tribe forms (which is
especially rabid and unwavering amongst police.)
The mafia-esque nature of the Code of Blue makes
these band of brothers willing to go to any lengths
to stop someone looking to 'harm' a fellow. Even
when their fellow is the one guilty of the wrong-doing.
 
The institutionalized notion that cops are great, that
cops deserve respect, that the police are on our
side, that we'll be fine if we've done nothing wrong--
these are all myths perpetrated by a mass of machinery.
It's a false precept. Authority does not equal 'right.'
But authority creates the ego of 'right, no matter what.'
 
It's time to change the thinking.
 
**************************************

Thou knowest whereof thy speak....

#AssholesAnonymous
#DonaldJismDickhead
#AmericanPsycho
#EndTimes

GipperGate

#GhostofChristMessPast
#RaygunRonnie
#GOPDOA

'Fear and Loathing' is not a good choice for a campaign slogan.

#DonaldJTrump
 

Friday, December 18, 2015

"We Didn't Start the Fire"

Horace Vernet's "Barricade rue Soufflot"
Whenever those who seem to have a blanket support
of law enforcement individuals--i.e., disdain for anyone
who questions those in law enforcement--I always ask
myself if they know why they support 'officers of the
law.'

See, the art of knowing thyself is a lost and dying one. And
it seems that self-awareness is another one of those horrid
liberal traits not to be caught dead with, at least in the eyes
of conservatives.

I wonder if people who say "law and order have to be
maintained at all costs" realize that they say this from a
point of privilege. I wonder if they know that, were their
circumstance different, their stiff-upper-lip motif would be
unjustly accused and arbitrarily beaten right out of them.

I know they imagine a world without rules equals a world
of chaos, of anarchy, of blood running in the streets. And
an interruption in the supply line and profits--mustn't forget
that!

So I wonder; Are police supporters and apologists (copologists)
really convinced that the police do no wrong? Or do they simply
enjoy their holier-on-high status and don't want the boat rocked?

Does it make them sleep better to think in black-and-white terms

(literally and metaphorically) of 'good' us versus 'bad' them?

Is it just less stressful to believe that anyone the police pursue or
arrest is obviously guilty? Or do they know the truth and they're
just some slick-ass, two-faced frontin' liars--pretending they're
on the up-and-up with a moral stance while eating their privilege
cake of profiting off the laws they break?

Maybe they're just blindly channeling the 'good boys' and 'good
girls' we were all indoctrinated to be as kids; obedient, compliant,
trusting, and silent.

There's a wide berth between who law enforcement are supposed
to be, in fact who they are purported to be, and who they actually
are. We can keep pretending that theirs is a proud and moral duty
to a higher calling, but the evidence is all around us that this is
sadly no longer the case.

The people of this country are not often lawless for no reason. If
the laws of the land were evenly, justly, and universally applied,
most would be okay with the aftermath of their actions. But that
is not the America we live in.

Laws are arbitrarily upheld, at the whim of the officer(s) on duty.
The people who are watched, pursued, and captured are largely
poor men of color. How you are treated--whether or not you are
arrested for a crime, whether you are prosecuted, how you are then
sentenced--is dependent upon 'race,' income level, who you know,
who your people are, and your perceived importance in the community.

(This is true in small towns and big cities--injustice is all-inclusive.)

When the perceptions, intimations, biases, and personal issues of
those who are in charge of 'dispensing justice' are as lopsided and
commanding as they are, there can be no true justice. We're more
in love with upholding the pretense of a balanced and working
system than we are in attaining true and needed reform.

The duality of our existing society (where those who corruptly take
every advantage of their positions are the very ones determining a
'need' for more fervent crackdown on low-level crimes) is a demon
run amok.

Our President is under fire (again) this week for the release of so
many prisoners being held for minor drug offenses. The practice
this country has had for the last three decades, of ruining lives over
personal use drugs and victimless crimes, is not under the microscope,
however.

Policing has become a means to an end; more arrests means more
money to make more arrests. 'Quotas' should not be a term that is
ever associated with our 'peace keepers.'

In the drawing of a dividing line between 'police supporters' and
supposed 'lawless anarchists,' citizens would be wise to note
that this country has a long history of rebellion against the stringent
rule of those who considered themselves in the right. The truth is not
always what's being crammed down your throat.

It's the grey areas where we are bound to discover resolution. Keeping
things hyperbolically 'black and white' can only lead to revolution.

*******************************************************************