Tag 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

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.

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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

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

Your Modern Libertarian Hellhole

20151128_COLORADO_HP-slide-0H1U-jumbo-v2

 

Congratulations, Colorado Springs, Colorado! Two mass shootings in less than one month! That earns you some kind of 2nd Amendment Hero award for sure. With memories of the Halloween shooting spree still fresh in everyone’s mind, we have yet another armed white guy terrorizing the staff and women at a Planned Parenthood clinic near the UCCS campus — people who were no doubt there for PAP smears and STD tests, not abortions. Three people shot, nine injured, after a five-hour standoff. Slow clap, Colorado Springs.

Yes, wingnuts. DO tell me how I need to be afraid of Syrian refugees and Muslims. Looks to me like the biggest perpetrators of terrorism on American soil are disaffected white guys exercising their constitutional right to be armed to the teeth and terrorize everyone they disagree with.

Oh, I’m sorry. Is it too soon already? Forgive my impolite response. There’s just so damn many shootings, it’s like it’s always too soon!

After our last tragedy in this city, the mayor of Colorado Springs had this to say about the state’s liberal gun laws:

COLORADO SPRINGS — Days after a rifle-toting assailant stormed a Colorado Springs neighborhood, Mayor John Suthers said he sees no reason to restrict residents’ ability to openly carry firearms.

“What your open carry laws are don’t dictate what your violent crime rate is,” Suthers said.

His comments came as debate swirled about a state law allowing people to openly carry guns in public, and numerous publications scrutinized the Colorado Springs Police Department’s initial handling of a 911 call about the gunman on Halloween.

Hmm, really? I’m not so sure about that. Well, by all means, don’t look under that rock, Mayor! And one month later we have another armed nutball waltzing into a Planned Parenthood clinic. Planned Parenthood officials, at least, are no dummies:

Security concerns at the clinic were high enough that the clinic had a “security room” with a supply of bulletproof vests, ….

So, this is your modern Libertarian right-wing conservative Christian world. Where a women’s health clinic is forced to have a “security room” with bullet-proof vests. The Taliban would be proud!

So, do you think open carry activists will now be volunteering to protect Planned Parenthood clinics around the country? Ha ha, I kid, I kid. C’mon, that’s just for military recruiters in strip malls! Women’s health clinics? Fuhgeddabout it. YOYO, y’all.

Although I do love this guy:

There was a moment this afternoon when a man walked up to the scene with a handgun strapped to his waist and ammunition vest around his chest. He appeared to be asking police if he could help. Officers told him to leave immediately because appearing at the scene while wearing firearms and that equipment was a bad idea.

Gee, ya think?!

Already we have the “tin-foil hate” brigade calling this a “false flag,” or blaming it on liberals to smear the anti-choice fetus-fetish zealots, etc. (It’s Breitbart, go over there and look, I’m not leaving any links.)

It’s Colorado Springs, you know? Home of Focus On The Family, a whole bunch of mega-churches, military bases, a real Libertarian paradise. Who is surprised that a women’s health clinic would be attacked here? Not me.

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Filed under abortion, gun control, gun violence, Guns, Housekeeping, 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

Rep. Jim Cooper FAIL

[UPDATE]:

Rep. Jim Cooper, obviously getting angry phone calls from people other than me, explains his vote thusly:

“It’s largely redundant. Republicans don’t want you to know that,” Cooper told The Tennessean in a phone interview Thursday.

Um, actually, no. But before I get to that, let me remind everyone of the Rep. Jim Cooper who made a name for himself by his “mavericky” refusal to go along with politicized, grandstanding legislation. That Jim Cooper would never have voted for something “largely redundant” because, of course, if it’s largely redundant why the fuck are we wasting our time on it? I remember that Jim Cooper, don’t you?

But that’s not what this bill does. This bill requires the FBI director, secretary of Homeland Security and director of National Security to personally certify to 12 different Congressional Committees that each individual refugee does not pose a security threat. It basically gums up an already long and complicated process to the point where applications will be brought to a standstill.

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Jim Cooper voted “aye” on the “American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act,” AKA the Let’s-punch-Syrian-and-Iraqi-refugees-because-we’re-scared-and-crapping-our-pants-and-also-we’re-ignorant Act.

One of only 47 Democrats, and thanks for playing, Rep. Cooper. I’m so over you right now. TN-05 is a pretty safe district now, thanks to Republican gerrymandering, so I’d say we’re safe to make a protest vote now, maybe even find someone who’s a more reliable Democrat who isn’t  stuck in the past and thinking being a Blue Dog is still what the kewl kids are doing.

I called his office and asked the guy who answered the phone what the hell  Cooper was thinking. I was told that “the Congressman supports Syrian and Iraqi refugees as long as they’re vetted properly.” Jesus Christ on a Saltine, they’re already vetted, and far more rigorously than the average shmoe coming into our country on a tourist visa. But thanks for buying into the pants-wettng Fright-wing Fox News meme. Super helpful for the rest of us moving forward!

I can just see it now: “even Democrats agree that refugees are a risk!” Or, even better, “even Democrats don’t support Obama!” Why, lookie here, it’s already on the Wall Street Journal:

In a rebuke to President Barack Obama, a substantial contingent of House Democrats voted for a bill the White House had threatened to veto ….

You ignorant ass. Why on earth would a terrorist subject themselves to a two year UN/Dept. of Homeland Security background check (which was improved in 2011 following the 2009 entry of Waad Ramadan Alwan and Mohanad Shareef Hammadi, the two individuals Rand Paul has been fearmongering about)? Why do that when getting a tourist visa is so much easier? Hell, what about those “porous borders” desperately in need of a wall the wingnuts are always blathering on about? Wouldn’t that be easier?

Why aren’t we doing something about the fact that anyone on the terror watch list can still buy guns? Legally? Isn’t that important? In fact, the best indication we have that this entire thing is ginned up fear-porn BS designed to help Republican electoral prospects is this:

 

NRA defends stance on law that allows terror suspects to get firearms

The NRA says it’s just trying to protect the rights of law-abiding citizens to buy guns — even if their names appear on a terror watch list.

Hey, Rep. Cooper: why don’t you do something about that? No?

Anyone who tells you that all of this ginned up fearmongering is anything other than political posturing designed to make voters run to Republican Daddy is lying. But thanks, Rep. Cooper, for playing along.

Idiot.

You are completely dead to me.

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Filed under fear, Housekeeping, immigration, rants, 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.

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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?

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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