Tag Archives: Current Events

Consequence-Free Sex

It was entirely predictable that right-wing males would act like giant assholes in the wake of the Hobby Lobby ruling; after all, these are the perpetually-aggrieved folks who have felt neutered by “feminazis” since women first demanded the vote.

My favorite response was from Douchebag Emeritus Erick W. Erickson, who tweeted:

erick

And yet, because Hobby Lobby pays for men’s Viagra, that is exactly what this employer is doing: subsidizing consequence-free sex, only just for men. Because, by virtue of biology, all sex for men is consequence-free. It just is. Birth control levels the playing field for women. And it is no surprise that conservative men, whose most unifying feature is an overarching inferiority complex, have been threatened by that since the first cave lady brewed her special cup of herbal tea to keep the babies away. Insecure men will always try to control that which they cannot control. And that’s what we have here.

This, from The New Republic, sums it up thusly:

There’s a reason so many women were outraged on Monday. They saw the decision as yet another attempt to preserve the old double-standard—to dump most of the responsibility for reproductive health and child-bearing on them, in ways that inevitably deter gender equality. With comments like Erickson’s bouncing around cyberspace, it’s easy to see why they had that impression.

Yeah, it’s not an “impression.” It’s called reality.

9 Comments

Filed under birth control, feminism, sex, Supreme Court, women's rights

Religion Is Dead

That will be the upshot of today’s completely outrageous Hobby Lobby ruling. The U.S. Supreme Court has effectively killed religion.

I know, it looks the opposite, but what have I said here a gazillion, bajillion times, folks? When religion gets forced on people by government or corporations, religion always dies. People don’t want this shit foisted on them. As I’ve said a thousand times before, the surest way to kill off religious belief is to declare a “state religion.” The bigger religion’s role in the secular aspects of life, the more people run away from it.

And in this ruling SCOTUS said some corporations can impose the beliefs of some religions on some employees, effectively legalizing discrimination against women and certain religions. If you’re a company owned by Jehova’s Witnesses, sorry, you have to pay for blood transfusions. No out for Scientologists who object to psychiatry and psychiatric drugs. Christian Scientists who don’t believe in most healthcare at all still have to pony up. But if you’re a Christian fundiegelical who believes completely erroneously and incorrectly that IUDs cause abortions — even though they don’t! — you can refuse to offer a healthcare plan covering that form of birth control to your female employees. That’s what SCOTUS just ruled.

The debate wasn’t even really about the Hobby Lobby peoples’ religious beliefs, it was about their completely erroneous, counter-factual scientific beliefs cloaked in religion:

Hobby Lobby already covered 16 of the 20 methods of contraception mandated under the Affordable Care Act, but it didn’t cover Plan B One-Step, ella (another brand of emergency contraception) and two forms of intrauterine devices because of aforementioned ideologically driven and not medically based ideas about abortion.

“These medications are there to prevent or delay ovulation,” Dr. Petra Casey, an obstetrician-gynecologist at the Mayo Clinic, told the New York Times in a piece on the science behind emergency contraception. “They don’t act after fertilization.” As the Times noted, emergency contraception like Plan B, ella and the hormonal IUD do not work by preventing fertilized eggs from implanting in the womb. Instead, these methods of birth control delay ovulation 0r thicken cervical mucus to prevent sperm from reaching the egg, meaning that fertilization never even occurs. That said, when used as a form of emergency contraception, the copper IUD can interrupt implantation, but this still does not mean a pregnancy has occurred.

This ruling was stunningly ham-fisted on so many levels. In a nutshell, in “going narrow” SCOTUS picked a religion — the fundiegelical Christian kind — over the rights of female employees who may not be of that religion, and also over the rights of every other religion out there. This is going to have repercussions, people — and not good ones for the religious folks. It’s gonna get messy, and I think it’s gonna smack religious people on the ass so hard they won’t sit for a month. Stories like this one are going to ripple across the workplace in every state. It’s a ruling that basically legalized gender discrimination and religious discrimination. When it all shakes down it’s not going to be pretty for the people currently doing a happy dance.

In the meantime, folks calling for a Constitutional Convention to repeal corporate personhood just got a little more ammo.

[UPDATE]: ThinkProgress agrees with me.

[UPDATE] 2: Charlie Pierce at Esquire also agrees with me. SCOTUS just perpetrated an act of religious discrimination while professing to do the opposite. WTF is up with that, people?

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Filed under birth control, corporations, healthcare, religious fundamentalism, religious right, Supreme Court, women's rights

Truly Nobody Could Have Anticipated This

[UPDATE]:

This is rich: the guy who was shot at Walmart was a concealed-carry holder who confronted the killers. So he died. For no reason. And his concealed carry ass was wasted for absolutely no reason, stopping absolutely nothing. But apparently the gun humpers are jacking off all over this guy’s corpse because … I dunno, freedom or something. But that kid who used pepper spray to take out the Seattle shooter last week is a wuss or something.

Seems to me this basically nullifies the talking point that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns.

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Someone lifted the rock covering the American west and look what crawled out: Bundy Ranch racists, gun humpers, anti-government loons, wannabe revolutionaries, and, yes, even Walmart. Read about history’s most pathetic revolutionaries:

Residents at an apartment complex where it appeared the two lived together said they had a reputation for spouting racist, anti-government views, bragging about their gun collection and boasting that they’d spent time at Cliven Bundy’s ranch during a recent standoff there between armed militia members and federal government agents.

The duo also told people they planned to commit a mass shooting, said Brandon Moore, a resident of the complex.

“They were handing out white-power propaganda and were talking about doing the next Columbine,” Moore said.

We’ve had over a decade now of non-stop hate speech spewed on conservative-funded television stations, radio stations and websites. Since the black man became president it’s reached fever-pitch. The raging paranoia ginned up by leaders of the right like Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Louie Gohmert and other conservatives who actually hold elected office has been non-stop. They’ve spun completely unfounded tales of government oppression, saying the government will cart people off to FEMA camps, institute death panels, ban the Bible, hand the reins of U.S. government over to UN thugs who will, I dunno, force everyone to eat brie or something, and on, and on, and on.

And after years and years of this shit, we still act surprised when yet another anti-government loon takes up their guns (Constitution! Freedom!) and mows down some innocent people who embody this hated government. In this case it was two innocent cops on their lunch break eating some damn pizza.

And you know what? This wasn’t even the only incident of an anti-government loon trying to take out a symbol of government oppression in the past week. We also had this Constitutional genius in Georgia, who decided to show up for his court date armed with an assault rifle, explosives, and spike strips:

Rather than turn up on time for a court hearing Friday morning on charges of marijuana and firearms possession, Dennis Marx was apparently readying for his assault on the courthouse.

Sheriff’s Department officials told the Associated Press on Saturday that they found a checklist at Marx’s home in Cumming, Ga., that listed all of the weapons and tools that police found inside the car Marx drove toward the courthouse.

The items included zip ties and explosives that could be tied to hostages. Police found more explosive devices at his home, according to the Associated Press.

[...]

Marx had a beef with the Sheriff’s Department, stemming from his 2011 arrest and subsequent indictment on 11 felony drug and weapons charges.

Last August, he sued the department for civil rights violations, alleging in federal court that deputies regularly engaged in excessive force and overzealous searches and seizures. He had been representing himself in the lawsuit.

Marx said in the court documents that inmates in Forsyth County had to deal with sewage on the floors and limited access to medical care. Deputies also hit and kicked him and refused to loosen handcuffs, Marx alleged.

In a court filing in April, Marx said deputies had seized some of his property, which prevented him from protecting his family and contributed to the death of a family member. The case brought against him, meanwhile, was ruining his own life and hurting his chances of finding a job, he said. Marx also described himself as a professional gun collector, with other court documents listing guns as among the items police sought to seize.

I mean, Jesus, I just don’t know what the fuck is wrong with people anymore. It’s the guns, and it’s the mental illness, and it’s the paranoid hate speech that ricochets unrestrained around the land, because there are never any consequences for spewing this stuff any more. At least, not negative consequences: Phil Robertson can open his yap and let some misogynistic, homophobic and racist stupid fall out, and Fox News puts him on TV and he gets invited to speak to the Republican Leadership Conference. No, these days, conservatives are rewarded for extremist rhetoric. Sorry, folks, but the Republican Party’s far-right lurch is a huge part of the problem here. When are you guys going to stop empowering the whackjobs and bigots in your party?

Should we blame Hollywood, too? Sure, why not! Not for its perpetuation of gun culture, but for its endless promoting of the archetype these nutjobs seem to have latched on to: the “independent lone wolf” who saves the country from forces of evil. You know the type: John McClane from Die Hard, Dirty Harry or Jack Bauer. This idea that it’s not just okay but actually necessary for the lone wolf to go rogue and take on the forces of evil because only he knows the truth — well, you know what? Great for a movie script, not so great in real life. Maybe Hollywood will make a movie where Jack Bauer goes rogue and tries to takes down the terrorist ringleader plotting to blow up Los Angeles, you know, the guy everyone else thinks is the city’s esteemed mayor? And only Jack Bauer knows the truth? Except, ha ha, plot twist! Turns out Jack Bauer has actually gone mentally insane from listening to too much Rush Limbaugh and Fox News paranoia and he’s made all of this shit up. The mayor’s security detail takes him down just in the nick of time and Bauer spends the rest of his years in a thorazine-enduced haze at the local mental ward.

I’d like to see that movie. Because goddamn, that’s pretty much how these stories are playing out in real life. I mean, what do you want to bet that the Open Carry Texas gun humpers are going to claim if only they had been at that Vegas Walmart with their AR-15s they could have stopped this? Because, lone wolf, and the government can’t keep you safe, lather, rinse, repeat.

Seriously, when is this shit going to end?

24 Comments

Filed under conspiracies, Current Events, gun control, gun violence

Ugly Americans

From comments, it appears conservatives were for freeing Bowe Bergdahl before they were against it. Check out this June 2011 memory hole.

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Is this some new strain of Obama Derangement Syndrome or what? Republicans are actually going all-in on the “an American POW should rot in an Afghan prison for another 5 years” thing.

Meanwhile, our news media continues to spread misinformation, such as that the Bowe Bergdahl deal was in exchange for “the release” of five Gitmo detainees. Actually, they’re not being released, they’re going to Qatar, for a year at least. Potayto, potahto, perhaps — but it’s not like these guys are gonna show up with explosives strapped to their chests at JFK or anything. I’ve heard people say Qatar can’t be trusted, but if that’s the case why the hell do we have a military base there, from which we launched all of our Iraqi exploits of the past 20 years? Our US Air Force Central Command is located in Qatar. We invaded Iraq the first time to protect Qatar’s borders. Now we can’t trust them? Seriously? The idea that these guys are going to become leaders of terrorist cells seems like blatant, unfounded fearmongering. Some folks just aren’t happy unless we’re on a permanent war footing, I guess.

(BTW, speaking of people who negotiated with the Taliban, remember this? Unocal is now defunct, swallowed by the Chevron Corporation. People upset about negotiating with the Taliban might want to keep an eye on our multinational oil companies, too. Just sayin’.)

Maybe Obama should have brought in Seal Team 6 to rescue Bergdahl. Oh wait, conservatives didn’t like that, either.

While all of this is going on, we have CNN and CBS News starting the character-assassination of Bowe Bergdahl, calling him a deserter or at best an incompetent who walked away from his post and forced the U.S. to expend valuable resources and time trying to get him back. No ticker-tape parade for you, buddy. Saving Jessica Lynch this is not. There will be no movie-of-the week. This dude’s going straight to home video.

I bet you a million bucks that Regnery Publishing is readying its “The Truth About Bowe Bergdahl” smear books right now, in time for the 2016 Presidential Election. You know, Republicans have got nuthin’ if they can’t bang the “Democrats make you less safe” drum during a presidential election.

They are truly horrible people. Hard not to imagine how differently this whole thing might be playing out if the deal were negotiated by a President Romney.

I really don’t think conservatives recognize how repellant their constant criticisms of every single thing the Obama family does looks to reasonable people

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Filed under Afghanistan War, Gitmo

Hillary’s Head Injury Glasses

Karl Rove opened his yap and some stupid fell out and we’re all supposed to be shocked? No one is shocked, certainly not the Big Dog:

Former president Clinton obliterated the former Bush’s brain. Clinton said, “I got to give him credit, you know that embodies that old saying, ‘Consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.’First they say she faked her concussion, now they say she’s auditioning for a part on The Walking Dead. She works out every week, she is strong, she’s doing great. As far as I can tell she’s in better shape than I am now…I was sort of dumbfounded. You can’t get too upset about it — it’s just the beginning, they’ll get better and better at it. I’m still waiting for them to admit there was nothing in White Water.”

Of course they’ll get better at it. They’re still trying to find something in #Benghazzzzziiii, too. I’m sure in about six months we’ll see the Regnery Publishing start churning out its Jerome Corsi-penned Benghazi exposes (yours free with your subscription to WingNut Daily!).

It’s unbelievable to me that the news media is even bothering to play along. Look, folks. Let me make it real simple for you: when Karl Rove starts trying to delegitimize the presumptive Democratic nominee with a crackpot conspiracy theory, this tells you everything you need to know about every single conspiracy furball the right has ever coughed up about the Clintons, President Obama, etc. Because much as the establishment Republican Party would like to pretend that birtherism, FEMA camps, Clinton’s serial rapist past, John Kerry’s Vietnam War record, etc. are all promulgated by some fringe on the extreme right (that they have nothing to do with!), clearly it’s all been coordinated from the heart of the GOP.

Karl Rove just tipped his hand because he forgot we live in an age where there are no secrets anymore. They’re trying to delegitimize any Hillary Clinton candidacy/presidency based on a weird conspiracy theory that they’ve just started.

Let the chain emails to Aunt Edna and Uncle Elmer fly.

10 Comments

Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, conspiracy theory, Hillary Clinton, Karl Rove, Republican Party

Why Laws Are Born

This is an incredibly tragic story, and like all such stories, it has prompted a call for action. The form this action will take will be of the legislative variety: a new law, tougher penalties, more enforcement, and so forth.

And if history is any judge, this very law will be derided as another example of the “nanny state” and “big government” as soon as the memory of Ofc. Michael Petrina fades.

It just seems as if people have forgotten why we have laws, regulations, oversight, etc. in the first place. People have lost touch with where these things come from. It’s not because of Big Government wanting to Control Your Life. Laws aren’t born out of a committee of Nancy Pelosi, the ACLU, a union thug, and an aborted fetus. We have laws because some innocent person or persons got really seriously hurt, maybe even killed, and We The People decided to try to make sure as few people as possible had to suffer that same fate again. We decided to be a society that would would Learn From Its Mistakes.

That’s how it works, folks. Tragedy happens, people mourn, they say “please, never again,” and we pass a law requiring air bags or seat belts or building codes or No Building Here or No Doing That There. And sure as shooting, in a few years some idiot is going to come along and wonder why the hell we do that (or don’t do that), and how stupid is that, and it’s costing us jobs, and it’s the Nanny State, and stupid liberals, and on, and on, and on.

No, it’s not that. It’s because someone died and we don’t want anyone else to die in the same way.

Or maybe someone didn’t die. Maybe something really precious or special was lost, forever. And people decided, let’s not do that again. For example, when I see a bunch of idiots like the Cliven Bundy Clown Car riding ATVs through protected Native American burial grounds in Utah because of Freedom, it’s hard not to remember these assholes, also in Utah (hello, Utah? WTF?), who destroyed a 170 million-year-old rock formation, because Safety (and also Freedom).

This stuff doesn’t come out of nowhere. It comes out of tragedy. Maybe next time some idiot tries to claim that everything from EPA regulations to the local fire code is stupid, maybe we could dig into the memory hole to remind them of the tragedy that spawned said burdensome chains on their freedom in the first place.

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Filed under Tennessee

Compassionate Conservatism Is Dead, If It Ever Lived

Yesterday Gov. Bill Haslam decided not to veto a bill that criminalizes women who use drugs while pregnant, over the strenuous objections of women’s rights and healthcare professionals. Opponents said the law will actually deter drug dependent women from seeking treatment.

Under the law, prosecutors can charge pregnant women with assault if they use drugs that harm the fetus. Vessels, ladies.

Meanwhile, the state of Oklahoma — last in the news for actually making it illegal for a municipality like Oklahoma City to raise the minimum wage — presided over the botched execution of convicted killer Clayton Lockett, who writhed in agony, clenched his teeth, and even sat up to say “man, something’s wrong” before dying of a heart attack 43 minutes later.

Oklahoma was using an untested and unproven chemical cocktail to perform the execution, since the drugs previously used have been withdrawn by manufacturers who oppose the death penalty. Free hand of the market, etc. etc.

Oh and by the way, this was Oklahoma’s second botched execution this year.

I am reminded that the Tennessee legislature celebrated Holy Week by voting to keep secret its lethal injection method, as well. Because things done in secret are always okay, amiright?

Outrage over the botched execution prompted noted conservative douchenozzle and former CNN contributor Erick Erickson to express the following on Twitter:

Erickson2

Meanwhile, last week Sarah Palin thought her team had come up with a real humdinger of a zinger when she told the NRA’s national convention,

“Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

Blood-lust, much? The viciousness, inhumanity, and cruelty displayed by the right in such a short period of time is astonishing. It appears sadism is the new black for your modern Republican Party. That’s certainly the message I’m getting loud and clear.

Botched executions. Criminalizing pregnant women who need treatment, not prison. Secrecy and state-sanctioned torture. State-mandated poverty. Equating torture with baptism to get a laugh. Republicans, y’all are a sick, sick bunch.

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Filed under death penalty, Republican Party, Tennessee