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

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.