Category Archives: Current Events

Nobody Has The Luxury Of A Protest Vote

What have I been saying, people:

Less than 24 hours after the United Kingdom voted to “Brexit,” those who supported the referendum are already voicing their regret, saying they didn’t think their vote would matter.

The decision, which will remove the UK from the European Union, has already sent shockwaves through the British economy. Just this morning, the value of the British pound hit a 30-year low.

In an interview on BBC’s Victoria Live, one man who voted “Leave” said, “I didn’t think my vote was going to matter too much because I thought we were just going to remain.”

The man, who was introduced as Adam, said he is now “worried” because he assumed “Remain” would win. He added, “I think the period of uncertainty that we’re going to have for the next couple of months — that’s just been magnified now. So yeah, quite worried.”

And check out this News5 video:

Just a quickie sampling here. Mostly what I’m hearing from the “Regrexit” crowd is that they didn’t think their vote mattered, it was a foregone conclusion that Remain would win, they wanted to lodge a protest vote, yada yada.

The lesson learned here? You do not have a the luxury of a protest vote. Ever.

Every fucking vote matters, people. Always.

I hope the “Bernie or Busters” are listening.

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Filed under Current Events, UK

Tweet Of The Day

From Tennessee State Rep. John Ray Clemmons, Democrat (of course), of Nashville:

JRClemmons

Clemmons is referring to the anti-GLBT counseling bill our Republican state legislature recently passed and which our Republican governor signed into law. Two counseling groups pulled conventions out of Nashville over the legislation, even though the Nashville delegation to the legislature overwhelming opposed the bills, in effect punishing those who agree with them.

And God, I am so sick of the hypocrisy. I’m sure the GLBT community really appreciates the thoughts and prayers of Republicans who have devoted the past few years to telling them who they can marry, where they can pee, which counselor they can see, which bakery and pizza parlor to do business with, etc. In fact, enter the search terms “TN anti-gay bill” into any search engine and you’ll find a long list of “thoughts and prayers” from Tennessee Republicans.

Oh lookie, here are some:

tn anti gay bill

Take your thoughts and prayers and shove them, you transparent, phobic, phonies. And stop telling me the enemy is “radical Islam.” The Orlando shooter didn’t need to go to Syria to learn how to hate gay people, we’ve got plenty of assholes spouting that shit right here at home. Some even have friends in very high places. The fact that the Orlando shooter was Muslim, not Christian, seems to be more a matter of time zones and determination.

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Filed under Current Events, GLBT, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

Y’all Qaeda

[UPDATE]:

Tennessee Republican State Rep. Andy Holt supports armed militants in Oregon. But of course he does:

holt

He has since deleted his Tweet.

Holt hates the gummint because the EPA fined him $177,000+ for polluting streams with waste from his hog farm.

————————————————–

In case you haven’t heard, the demon spawn of Cliven Bundy have taken up arms and taken over the offices of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in Burns, Oregon. Balloon Juice has been doing some good coverage of the event (read here and here if you want a recap, as national media seems woefully off the case). Suffice it to say, these patriots perpetually-aggrieved domestic terrorists have vowed to stay at the Malheur offices for years, if it comes to that, and are calling other patriots perpetually-aggrieved domestic terrorist-types to join them, and are basically tamping their widdew feet and having a big hissy fit.

With guns. The guns Obama was supposed to take away from them and never did. Worst tyrant ever!

Here’s a picture from the Bundy’s last adventure in BLM terrorism. Note the message on the T-shirt:

bully

This message tells you everything you need to know about gun loons. “When all else fails, vote from the rooftops.” And that’s what the NRA and “gun rights” is all about, folks. It’s not about the Constitution or “protecting my family” or any of the other BS arguments they use when they roll back gun control legislation. It’s about being a bully, plain and simple. An armed bully. And just to be clear, when armed bullies wear long beards and turbans, we tend to call them terrorists. Just saying.

These are people who can’t get what they want through normal channels. “All else has failed.” These are people who are pissed that they’ve been wrong about every cultural issue. The world has changed and they failed to change with it and they’re taking up arms to take it back because they can’t do it any other way. Here’s a thought experiment: what if the Occupy Wall Street or Black Lives Matter folks behaved this way? Thinking ….

What coverage there’s been refers to this as an “action” or “protest,” and calls men wielding AK-47s targeting the government as “militia members.” These Bundy loons aren’t a militia, well-regulated or any other type: they’re domestic terrorists. That’s easy to see when a bunch of rednecks take over a federal building, even a tiny one in East Bumfuck, Oregon. What gives, media?

And yet, I see very little daylight between these Bundy clowns and the rest of the ammosexual/open-carry/concealed carry crowd. They may not have taken over a federal building (yet), but their mind-set is the same. They’re using their guns to get what they want because they can’t do it any other way.

As I’ve observed before (here, for example), their point of view is the same. They all spring from that same seed of ressentiment. Flashing your gun to assert your right to a parking space isn’t much different, is it?

Check out this Second Amendment Hero in East Tennessee, who says he’s “always expanding my arsenal”:

“Gun control is not the issue. It’s their hearts that’s the issue. People don’t have fear anymore. People don’t care and they don’t read the instructions,” Moore added.

I imagine Moore is just the person to instill that fear and force everyone to “read the instructions” with his ever-expanding arsenal, don’t you?

So that’s what it’s about. Not freedom, or safety, or protection. It’s about being given the right to be a legal, armed bully because the feminists and the brown people and the immigrants and the atheists had the audacity to come in and change things and these clowns were powerless to stop it. The guns are about power, plain and simple.

By the way, I note with tremendous irony that “malheur” is French for “woe.” Goddess does, indeed, have a sense of humor.

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Filed under conservatives, Current Events, gun control, gun violence, Guns

Here We Go Again

Another mass shooting, this time in San Bernardino. Everybody’s thoughts and prayers were so effective after the last mass shooting, that we decided to do it all again! /sarcasm

Meanwhile, on Twitter, we have this, just hours after news of the event started coming in:

 

STAGED

I’m just curious how that’s supposed to work? Obama and George Soros stage a mass shooting, come and take everyone’s guns away, and then what? What happens next? You’re sent to work in the salt mines? (We need more salt?) I mean, what’s the end game here?

Wouldn’t it just be easier for them to do whatever the fuck it is they want to do and then send one of those drones our Pentagon owns down to bomb the crap out of whomever objects? Wouldn’t that be easier than “staging” a mass shooting and then trying to collect hundreds of millions of guns from people in every nook and cranny of Murrica?

I mean, I’m just trying to apply some common sense here, people. I know, futile exercise …

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Filed under Current Events, gun control, gun violence, Guns, Housekeeping, Social Media, twitter

Everyone Can Shut Up About Syrian Refugees Now

Tennessee’s Attorney General has ruled that the state has no say over refugees resettled in the state:

In the opinion released Monday, Slatery notes that through the supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution, federal law pre-empts any rules the state seems to put into place on refugees.

But Slatery said that nothing prevents the state from communicating its preferences and concerns about the refugee resettlement program to the federal government.

We all predicted this, and one would hope that recent acts of terror on the homeland perpetuated by our own right-wing extremists might put this “OMG THEY’RE MUSLIM” BS to rest once and for all. Right-wing extremism is the greater threat to Americans, but we can’t talk about that, can we? It’s not polite! Here in Tennessee, our politicians find it more expedient to deflect and demonize marginalized communities than take responsibility for the violence their own despicable rhetoric creates. I mean, I’m still waiting for Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey to tell women who are “serious about their healthcare” to get concealed-carry permits, right? But I kid, I kid.

So all that our Tennessee Legislature can do is tell the State Department that they’re a-skeered of those Middle Easterners, or, to put it more politely, they have “concerns.” You know what’s really sad? There’s a reason that so many refugees have traditionally been resettled in places like Nashville, Tennessee and across the South: it’s because of all the churches located here, and the support services that faith communities have traditionally provided, to help families resettle and assimilate into American life. I’ve mentioned this before, but many if not most of the groups facilitating refugee resettlement are Christian, and they work with local congregations! You know, Christians used to be known for helping people, not shooting up abortion clinics. Weird, huh?

Not everyone has taken leave of their senses. State Senator Jeff Yarbro — a Democrat, of course — wrote this column in our local newspaper, where he chastised his colleagues for their lack of common sense:

Rather than going through the 24-month refugee screening process, it’s far more likely that terrorists will enter the country on tourist, student or work visas. By virtue of having a passport, French and Belgian nationals can pretty easily board a plane and come to the United States.

We should make it harder for people with the intent to harm us to get into the country. But the rational response is to devote resources to more effectively screen those who can get here pretty easily.

Instead, the entire nation is focused like a laser on Syrian refugees — primarily widows and orphans — who are already subject to some of the most stringent security procedures we have. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Nov. 19 requiring national security agencies to focus greater attention on refugees, thus redirecting resources that should be trained on more serious and imminent threats.

It’s like building a moat around your backyard while leaving the front door open.

What’s worse is that closing the borders to refugees makes it harder for the United States to lead the fight against ISIS.

I know Yarbro is a newbie in our State Senate, but can we send him to Washington, please? Rep. Jim Cooper sent me a letter in response to my angry call after he voted for the SAFE Act; it appears Cooper is still sticking with his “this just reinforces existing law” position. If that’s what he thinks, then he doesn’t need to be in Congress anymore.

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Filed under Current Events, Housekeeping, immigration, Tennessee

The Eternal Victimization Of The Modern Conservative

We’re finally hearing from the 2016 Republican Presidential candidates about the mass shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs:

 

huck

 

Yes, Mike. You’re the real victim here. It’s especially tragic for pro-lifers, who have been spreading lies about “baby parts” and other monstrosities that Planned Parenthood supposedly perpetuated. Really a tragedy for you, not the patients and staff who were there for birth control and STD testing and other regular healthcare services.

Oh, you poor dears. How will you ever get over this?

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Filed under 2016 Presidential Election, abortion, conservatives, Current Events, Housekeeping, Mike Huckabee, Planned Parenthood

Jim Cooper FAIL #2

I’m done with you, buddy. Seriously. You either lied to the Nashville Scene or were utterly clueless about this SAFE Act vote; either way, you don’t belong in Congress anymore.

Okay, Mary Mancini, Chris Moth, Jeff Yarbro … either of you want to move to Washington D.C.? Anyone have any other ideas?

IMG_2350.JPG

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Filed under Congress, Current Events, Housekeeping, immigration, Nashville, Rep. Jim Cooper, Tennessee

“Republican” As A Synonym For Coward

[UPDATE]:

Just as I predicted:

Christian groups break with GOP over Syrian refugees

Faith-based groups, who play a key role in resettling refugees to the United States, say they are dismayed by the wave of anti-refugee fervor set off by the Paris terrorist attacks and are urging supporters to contact elected officials on behalf of victims of the Syrian civil war.

—————————————————
Many of you may not know this but Southern Beale works with refugees. It’s been my job for the past two years. So when I hear Tennessee Republicans like Glen Casada say such repulsive things as,

“We need to activate the Tennessee National Guard and stop them from coming in to the state by whatever means we can. I’m not worried about what a bureaucrat in D.C. or an unelected judge thinks. … We need to gather (Syrian refugees) up and politely take them back to the ICE center and say, ‘They’re not coming to Tennessee, they’re yours.'”

… it really makes me want to punch that guy in the face. Really, the amount of ignorance and hate on display in such comments just boggles the mind. It’s like they’re in a race to see who can be the most despicable human being.

My students have told me stories here and there, so I’ve gained a little perspective  about what it’s like to be a refugee. One thing that’s clear is how hard it is to come to the United States; you don’t just get handed a ticket and land in Nashville. There is a tremendous amount of uncertainty. Some of my students have spent years in refugee camps. When they finally do make it through the arduous process, many of them don’t even know where they’re going. One of my students was first sent to Los Angeles, was immediately redirected to Idaho (Idaho!), was there for just two days (two days!), before then being sent on to Nashville. So  I think stories like this one are not unusual, current events notwithstanding.

Republicans are playing to their fearful, nativist, xenophobic base. I don’t for a second think that they believe the crap that they’re spewing. They’re just trying to gin up a response, and fear is their go-to emotion. Keeping people scared is what they do. Last year it was Ebola, this year it’s refugees. Republicans are the “OMG WE’RE ALL GONNA DIIIIIIE!” party.

What they don’t seem to know is that a large majority of the groups helping refugees navigate these uncertain waters are Christian. Organizations like World Relief, Catholic Charities, and Church World Service are all involved in refugee resettlement. That’s because once upon a time, Christians were interested in more than just abortion and gay marriage. They knew that Leviticus didn’t just have something to say about gay sex, but also about not mistreating foreigners, “for you were foreigners in Egypt.” So as Republicans race to the bottom vilifying people fleeing war in Syria, they’re also pissing off another large contingent of their base.

We’ve seen this all before. It’s an election year, they want to appeal to the lowest common denominator of their base, so they tweak that amygdala,  instead of trying to appeal to the better elements in their party. And come the next post-mortem, Republicans will continue to wonder why they’re perceived as the party that doesn’t care about people. Same as it ever was.

“Republican” is a synonym for coward. Not just because they’re scared shitless of everything — Muslim refugees, Ebola nurses, married gay people, you name it. But because they’re too scared to be anything else.

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Filed under conservatives, Current Events, fear, Housekeeping, immigration, rants, Tennessee, Tennessee politics

History Repeats Itself

Never change, America. Stay afraid:

After Germany annexed Austria in March 1938 and particularly after the Kristallnacht pogroms of November 9–10, 1938, nations in western Europe and the Americas feared an influx of refugees. About 85,000 Jewish refugees (out of 120,000 Jewish emigrants) reached the United States between March 1938 and September 1939, but this level of immigration was far below the number seeking refuge. In late 1938, 125,000 applicants lined up outside US consulates hoping to obtain 27,000 visas under the existing immigration quota. By June 1939, the number of applicants had increased to over 300,000. Most visa applicants were unsuccessful. At the Evian Conference in July 1938, only the Dominican Republic stated that it was prepared to admit significant numbers of refugees, although Bolivia would admit around 30,000 Jewish immigrants between 1938 and 1941.

In a highly publicized event in May–June 1939, the United States refused to admit over 900 Jewish refugees who had sailed from Hamburg, Germany, on the St. Louis. The St. Louis appeared off the coast of Florida shortly after Cuban authorities cancelled the refugees’ transit visas and denied entry to most of the passengers, who were still waiting to receive visas to enter the United States. Denied permission to land in the United States, the ship was forced to return to Europe. The governments of Great Britain, France, the Netherlands, and Belgium each agreed to accept some of the passengers as refugees. Of the 908 St. Louis passengers who returned to Europe, 254 (nearly 28 percent) are known to have died in the Holocaust. 288 passengers found refuge in Britain. Of the 620 who returned to the continent, 366 (just over 59 percent) are known to have survived the war.

Tennessee joins the other Republican states saying no to refugees, proving yet again what horrible people they are.

The story of the St. Louis is an especially dark stain on our past. I’ve noticed over the years, as anti-Semitism has waned as a cultural force, that America has whitewashed its past where the Holocaust is concerned. We all love to hear the stories about the Oscar Schindlers and Irena Sendlers, the heroes and heroines. We want to hear the good news. Please don’t tell us about the St. Louis and the Japanese internment camps. But that was America. We turned that boat away. We imprisoned over 100,000 American citizens of Japanese descent after Pearl Harbor. We said, “never again,” but here we go again.

From Twitter:

Willis

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Filed under Current Events, Housekeeping, immigration

Stop Attacking Refugees

[UPDATE] : 2

German security believes the passport found at the scene of one of the Paris attacks was a plant to turn Westerners away from refugees:

PARIS (AP) — Germany’s top security official says a Syrian passport found with one of the Paris attackers may have been false flag intended to make Europeans fearful of refugees.

Germany’s interior minister, Thomas de Maiziere, told reporters in Berlin that it was “unusual that such a person was faithfully registered in Greece, Serbia and Croatia, even though we’re usually pressing for registration to take place and lament that it isn’t always done properly.”

He said the multiple registrations by a person using the passport were “evidence that this was a trail that was intentionally laid, but it can’t be ruled out at the moment that this was an IS terrorist who came to France…via Germany as a refugee.”

I suspected this all along. Too weird that a passport would be found at the scene, too neat and convenient.

[UPDATE]:

Republicans, useful idiots all, are playing into the hands of ISIS DAESH:

 

Building new barriers to keep them out with the absurd argument that Muslims are inherently dangerous could provide propaganda benefits to the Islamic State. The group, also known as ISIS, has drawn recruits around the globe by offering a cause and a home to Muslims who feel marginalized and scorned.

I just thought that stated the argument really well.  Meanwhile, did you hear about the crazy lady in Michigan who said we should fuck up Dearborn to teach ISIS a lesson? She’s really sorry, you guys.

I’m sure she’s not representative of white Christian ladies or any other group. Right?

———————————————-

Who were the Paris attackers?

While Republicans argue about nonsenscial semantics, authorities are starting to identify those who planned and orchestrated the attacks. And, welp, looks like it was mostly French and Belgian citizens. One of the attackers was born right there in Paris.

So naturally Republican governors have vowed to reject Syrian refugees. Yes that makes about as much sense as invading Iraq after America was attacked by Al Qaeda.

Slow clap, Republicans. Always wrong. Never change!

President Obama, as always, remains the voice of reason:

He said people must “remember that many of these refugees are the victims of terrorism themselves.”

“That’s what they’re fleeing,” he continued during a press conference in Turkey.

“Slamming the door in their faces would be a betrayal of our values. Our nations can welcome refugees who are desperately seeking safety and ensure our own security. We can and must do both.”

Saying no to refugees is exactly what ISIS wants. Reject the refugees so they can be exterminated at home! But hey, it’s not like Republicans care about human life or anything.

I must say, there’s an eerie familiarity to all of this “close the borders” handwringing and fearmongering. It reminds me a lot of last year’s ebola crisis (remember that?) Back then, Republicans attacked Obama for not instituting a travel ban, Boehner was going to bring the House back into session to address the Ebola crisis, and even Marco Rubio jumped into the game, in an effort to look like a problem-solver and “presidential”:

Mr. McConnell, said a spokesman, Don Stewart, was “using shorthand” last week when he said, “It would be a good idea to discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world.” He, too, supports a temporary suspension of visas, a position put into legislative language on Monday by Senator Marco Rubio, Republican of Florida, who vowed to press visa-suspension legislation when Congress returned in November.

Snort. Got that, everyone? Mitch McConnell “was using shorthand” by saying he wanted to “discontinue flights into the United States from that part of the world,” instead of the much longer and more cumbersome, “suspend visas.”

/sarcasm

Because these idiots didn’t know before they opened their fat yaps that there are no direct flights to the United States “from the part of the world.” So there are no flights to suspend.

That was then, this is now. But while the cast of characters has changed, the play remains the same:

In reality, Republicans are not planning a legislative response, at least for now, Republican leadership aides said Monday. They merely want their voices heard.

God, they never fucking shut up! They have their own news network and they still never shut up, but “they want their voices heard.” No, they don’t! They want to spread fear and grandstand and point fingers at “the other.” Ebola, terrorism, refugees, it doesn’t matter. They want to close our borders by hook or by crook.

These Republican governors can’t refuse Syrian refugees. They have no authority to do so. You can’t say, “bring me the blond-haired, blue-eyed refugees from Sweden not the swarthy bearded guys from Syria.” That’s not how it works, and they are powerless so they’re gonna resort to type and just tamp their feet and say scary things.

They never change. They’re always wrong. They’re still wrong.

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Filed under Current Events, immigration