Latin Grievances

I’m not a linguist, so I’ve never had anything to back it up, but the Latin spoken by actors in movies always was a pet peeve of mine. Heavily American accented, like a high school dropout from Staten Island reading some random text for the first time. That, and medieval peasants with shiny rows of perfect, brilliant white teeth. And Nazis speaking English amongst themselves with fake German accents. And people who use the word “amongst”. In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti (Wikipedia approved version). Amen (ay-men, ah-men?).

New World Order – Trump And Putin Boogeymen-In-Chief

Who is willing to stoke the embers of The Cold War to escape blame for fucking up the election?

Puppet and puppeteer?

Lately I haven’t had the time or interest to share my thoughts about the recent election and the state of the world in general, but I’ll give you the tl:dr version as it stands today, January 9th, 2017.

When Trump announced I thought we were in for an 18-month comedy show (I was right).

As the campaign heated up it became apparent, with a little help from WikiLeaks (thanks Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning, for doing the job our domestic news media neglected) that the Democrats, among other things, had engaged in what was at the very least an informal conspiracy against first Bernie Sanders, and later, Donald Trump, aided by the aforementioned domestic, mainstream media.

It becomes clear that Hillary Clinton is Evil incarnate, with more skeletons in the closet then there are in the ground at Arlington National Cemetery. Given the choice between Evil and Trump, I’ll go for Trump any day of the week. I would have voted Hillary if either Ted Cruz or Mike Huckabee (both religious nutnicks who would have attempted to transform America to a theocracy ruled by a Christian version of Sharia law) were the Republican nominee.

Post election thousands, if not hundreds of thousands (millions?), of social justice warriors riot in the streets across the nation chanting “NOT MY PRESIDENT”.

Universities are offering grief counseling to traumatized students. For real. Tomorrow’s leaders are pissing themselves in fear and huddling in a corner with their comfort blankies when things don’t go their way. Deal with it, precious snowflakes; if you can’t handle this, the real world after you graduate from your gender issues studies is going to be a very brutal wake-up call.

The mainstream media and the Democratic party concoct a fake conspiracy narrative where Vladimir Putin sabotaged the election in Trump’s favor to explain away why the worst candidate in US history (the one with the vagina) didn’t win, and undermine Trump’s legitimacy.

I still think Trump is a narcissistic clown with poor impulse control, but whether you like it or not, he’s our president for the next four years, so get used to it. He is not Hitler and the world isn’t coming to an end. And I’m fresh out fucks to give about his pussy grabbing. Donald Trump may or may not have grabbed pussies (much to the delight of the pussies’ owners, no doubt). Bill Clinton raped and his wife led the cover-up, smearing his victims in the process.

I used to think of myself as a liberal. Just a plain, old fashioned liberal with liberal values. A somewhat left-leaning progressive. I don’t use those terms to describe myself any more. Not because I have changed, but because a massive wave of professional victims have changed their meaning.

I am a white, straight man who thinks there are only two genders. In SJW terms that means I’m a racist, misogynistic, homophobic, transphobic member of the white, cis-male patriarchy who believes in, and uses (unapologetically), traditional pronouns. And I’m privileged for it.

I apologize if this little rant seems a bit disjointed and off the cuff (it is), but I just got off the phone with my health insurance company (Anthem Blue Cross) and it wasn’t a pleasant conversation. I’ll spare you the details, but why worry about the government coming between me and my doctor when my insurance company does such a good job of it? Obamacare, while well intended(?) is a massive gift to corporate America.

3.29 Refills. WTF?!? I can’t even…

Proof-read, but subject to change due to typos and/or grammatical errors.

Requiem For America – I Just Cast My Vote For Donald Trump

I voted for Obama twice. I backed Bernie in the primaries. I ended up voting for Trump. The only way I would have voted for Hillary is if Ted Cruz were the Republican nominee. I don’t particularly like Trump as a person, but I didn’t hold my nose when I voted for him. You would expect a business man of his caliber to exploit all the (perfectly legal) loopholes in the tax laws. You would expect him to be brash and aggressive. I give zero fucks about the pussy grabbing comments. All men have at one time or another uttered similar remarks in the company of other men, myself included. It’s a dick measuring contest. It’s in our genes. We’re animals.

Hillary brags about her life in politics and public service. You would not expect her to be a rape apologist for her husband. You would not expect her to cheat to crush Bernie. You would not expect her to have a private email server as Secretary of State specifically to hide her communications. You would not expect her to solicit money from Saudi Arabia and claim to be a feminist. You would not expect her to lie and give paid speeches to Big Finance saying the diametrically opposite of what she says in public. I’m sick to the stomach of the regressive turn the Left has taken over the past four years.

I don’t like Trump, but I think Hillary is a Machiavellian reptile. Bernie would have had a much better shot at beating Trump, but the establishment conspired to take him down.

I don’t know how America will be under a Trump presidency, but I’m certain Hillary will be worse.

It’s 2:45am and I’m going to bed without knowing for certain who will win, but Hillary calling off her victory party is a good indication. I wonder if she will concede graciously if she loses.

Good night, God bless America and protect our Constitution.

EDITED TO ADD: THIS JUST IN

As I’m proofreading this post Marianne calls out that it’s over. Trump won, Hillary has conceded and the unthinkable 18 months ago has happened . Donald Trump is our next president. Interesting times ahead.

Hillary v Trump Round One

Very short observation.

Just watched the first presidential debate of the 2016 election. I’m not going to spend much time commenting on the debate itself, other than to note that those who thought Hillary would wipe the floor with Trump must feel very disappointed right now.

I watched the debate on PBS, and that’s where my greater concern lies. I get most of my “main stream” news from Public Broadcasting, and it’s very disheartening to see the bias of the commenters shine through so strongly and impenitently; Gwen Ifill and Mark Shields in particular being the be the biggest offenders.

PBS The NewsHour has degraded significantly since Jim Lehrer’s departure, mostly, in my opinion, due to the disproportionately high estrogen content of the program.

This election ain’t over yet.

Nobel Peace Prize To The Bonobos

I suggest that the primate species of Bonobos be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for 2016. Bonobos are the only hominid primates that don’t have a war-like culture. They are led by females. They solve conflict with sex. They rely on cooperation rather than competition as a means to maintain peace and stability; who don’t resolve disputes with violence. Bonobos stand as an example for all humans to follow. The world would unquestionably be a better place if humans were more Bonobo-like.

Copulating Bonobos

Two high-level Bonobo diplomats vigorously negotiating a peace treaty

Urge the Norwegian Nobel Committee to award the 2016 Nobel Peace Prize to the entire species of Bonobos. Nobody deserves it more. Please sign and share this petition. World peace and the future of humanity depends on your support.

CLICK HERE TO SIGN THE PETITION!

Sam Harris On Guns + My Own Thoughts

Anybody interested in the problem of gun violence and America’s unique relationship to firearms (should be all of us), should take the time to listen to this podcast by Sam Harris. It’s probably the most sane and level-headed analysis I’ve heard on the subject in a media landscape dominated by hyperbolic zealots on either side of the spectrum. It’s one-and-a-half hours well spent.

Let me share, briefly, my own feelings on the subject. To set things straight from the get-go, let’s agree to the following: It is indisputable that America has more guns per capita than any other western civilized country we care to compare ourselves to. It’s also indisputable that we have more gun deaths (total and per capita) than any other advanced  nation. It is much easier to get hold of a gun in America than in any other modern, first-world nation. The correlation between the number of guns in our society and the high occurrence of gun violence can hardly be denied. If we cannot agree on these things, don’t bother reading further; you are not a reasonable-minded person.

Still, a few years ago, for whatever reason, I got it into my head that I wanted to own a pistol. The local gun shop in the neighboring town of Monroe informed me that the state of Connecticut requires one to have a gun permit in order to buy a handgun. They kindly offered to provide the training necessary to get the certification. After a six-hour course, including firing a total of twelve shots (the only shots I had ever fired in my life at that point) with a .22-caliber revolver at a shooting range, and passing a 30-question written “test” (open-book, discussion with the other people taking the class allowed, and self-grading of said test), I was given a diploma certifying that I had fulfilled the state-mandated requirements. At the local police station I submitted my application and finger prints for a criminal background check and after about six weeks received notification that I could pick up my pistol permit at the state police facility in Bridgeport. I now had the state’s blessing to own and carry a gun in public.

That very same day I headed off to a gun shop and, on the advice of the store clerk, bought a 9mm Springfield XDM semi-automatic pistol with a total capacity of 19+1 rounds (legislation passed after the Sandy Hook massacre now prohibits me from loading it with more than ten rounds when not on my property, which is rather good news for the 11th person I plan on killing).

Next stop was the shooting range where I had previously “qualified” by shooting a revolver twelve times. The inadequacy of this qualification soon became apparent when I discovered that I didn’t know how to load the magazine of my newly acquired pistol; small wonder as this was the first time I’d ever held a semi-automatic pistol in my hands. Let me repeat this since it’s not insignificant: I was licensed by the state to own and carry any kind of legal firearm, yet I had never operated, and did not know how to load my pistol.

No matter how hard I tried I could only stuff a couple rounds into the magazine before it jammed. I finally sought the help of the range officer on duty, and after he also failed to load up the magazine, he finally discovered the problem: the store clerk had sold me two boxes of .40 caliber ammunition to go with my 9mm pistol.

What I’m trying to say here is that even in Connecticut (and even after Sandy Hook), the requirements to own and carry a pistol, are woefully inadequate. It is absolutely crazy to allow somebody with the training I received to own, buy and carry, openly or concealed (which is the law in CT) any kind of firearm.

I agree with most, if not all, of what Sam Harris said in his podcast, and have become more convinced than ever that what I said in a previous post is true: we need to repeal the second amendment of the US constitution. Or rather, repeal and replace, since I don’t want to ban guns. But the way 2A is worded makes it very difficult to come to any kind of consensus as to what it actually means in practical terms. The gun nuts (the Ted Nugent fan boys) will always point to “the right of the people” and “shall not be infringed”, while the gun grabbers (Bloomberg et al.) will emphasize “a well regulated militia”, and they will both be right. My own vision for a revised 2A might include words to the effect that gun-ownership is indeed an individual right, but not any gun for anybody at any place, and the power to regulate requirements and limitations is given to congress. I believe Sam’s analogy to the requirements to get a pilot’s license is appropriate and sound. I say this knowing full well that any member of Congress who proposes a repeal of the second amendment will have committed political suicide more effectively than declaring an unbelief in Jesus.

 

Political Correctness Gone Amok

alfonso-aguilar

Alfonso Aguilar learning that he is insensitive to the plight of slaves and single moms for using the term “hard worker”.

Look at this face. It is the stunned expression of a man who has just been confronted with pure, unadulterated, full-blown, in-your-face stupidity, and he doesn’t know how to react. Neither would I.

Just when you thought social justice warriors couldn’t get any crazier, Melissa Harris-Perry, progressive talking head, took the movement to a whole new level of being batshit, fucking unreasonable. During a discussion on her MSNBC show, one of her guests, Alfonso Aguilar, a former official in the Bush 2 administration made a grievous and, apparently racist, faux pas when he referred to Paul Ryan as a “hard worker”. Ms Harris-Perry, being acutely perceptive of hidden micro-aggressions from the white, cis-male patriarchy, quickly interrupted to point out that:

Alfonso, I feel you, but I just want to pause on one thing because I don’t disagree with you that I actually think Mr. Ryan is a great choice for this role, but I want us to be super careful when we use the language “hard worker”, because I actually keep an image of folks working in cotton fields on my office wall, because it is a reminder about what hard work looks like. So, I feel you that he’s a hard worker. I do, but in the context of relative privilege, and I just want to point out that when you talk about work-life balance and being a hard worker, the moms who don’t have health care who are working (…) but, we don’t call them hard workers. We call them failures. We call them people who are sucking off the system.

Really? Really??? REALLY?!?

Saying that somebody is a “hard worker” (this presumably is only true for straight, white males) is really racist code speak, an underhanded diss at slaves and working single moms? For fuck’s sake! This shit is getting out of hand.

First Democratic Presidential Debate

Bernie and Hillary dominate the first Democratic presidential debate.

Just got through 2.5 hours of the first Democratic debate in the run-up to the 2016 Presidential election, and it was Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton all the way. The lineup also included former senator and governor from RI Lincoln Chafee, former MD governor Martin O’Malley, and former VA senator Jim Webb. But really, it was all about Bernie and Hillary.

bernie-hillary

It was all about Bernie and Hillary in the first Democratic debate.

My pre-debate ranking of the candidates was:

1 – Bernie Sanders
2 – Hillary Clinton
3 – Jim Webb
5 – Martin O’Malley/Lincoln Chafee tied for last

Post-debate impression of how they performed:

1 – Bernie/Hillary tied for 1st
3 – Martin O’Malley
4 – Lincoln Chafee
5 – Jim Webb

Bernie, in my opinion, didn’t have any glaring bungles, but I’ll freely admit I’m biased. I think he could have stood his ground a bit more firmly on the gun issue; don’t be afraid to own that you voted against a bill that would hold gun manufacturers liable for how their legal product is used! He turned around a possible attack on his patriotism due to being a conscientious objector during the Vietnam war to resounding applause, and had the guts to call for a Revolution and admit to being (some kind of) a Socialist. What set him apart from the others was his non-apologetic, unrelenting attack on Wall Street, the billionaire class, and Citizens United. To paraphrase: Congress doesn’t regulate Wall Street, Wall Street regulates Congress. None of the other candidates—certainly not Hillary—can claim independence from Wall Street and corporate interests.

I thought Hillary, while frankly not being my cup of tea, handled herself well. She got support from the other candidates on the e-mail issue, but her obvious gloating over Kevin McCarthy’s faux pas ruined the moment. Her low point was when she suggested that her having a vagina somehow gave her an edge over the other contenders and was an argument for her candidacy in and of itself. Hillary, read my lips: I will NOT vote for you because you are a woman. Her strongest quality was that she had an air of confidence and competence about her, and she speaks effortlessly and with authority on most issues.

I had heard good things about Jim Webb, but he appeared like a mumbling blockhead. He spent too much energy being angry at Anderson Cooper for getting less time than the two main characters (justifiably so), but it didn’t play out well for him.

Martin O’Malley was relatively unknown to me, but he was able to capture my attention a couple of times in a good way without seeming too rehearsed.

Lincoln Chafee is an old fuddy-duddy and came across as such. Or, as Donald Trump would say, a total loser!

While I personally think Bernie Sanders is the candidate with the policies that best serve America, and seems competent enough, I’m afraid him being branded as an America-hating Commie by the Right will make him unelectable in fly-over country. The only person that can deny Hillary the Democratic nomination is, as I see it, Joe Biden, but first he has to join the race. I hope he does.

Final thoughts: I have to roll my eyes at how these debates are themed like reality TV shows and how we have to play/sing the national anthem every time anybody farts (at least there was no Jesus-peddling, though Hillary Clinton managed to sneak in “god-given” a couple of times). Still, it was a relief to watch mostly sane people have something that resembled an exchange of civilized arguments on topics that matter, quite different from the obnoxious clown pageant and bullying in the Republican debates.

Withdrawing Support for Connecticut Citizens Defense League—Repeal The Second Amendment

I am removing my link to Connecticut Citizens Defense League (CCDL) from OGNDY.

I joined the National Rifle Association (NRA) after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook elementary school right here in Newtown where I live almost 3 years ago. That might sound like a counter-intuitive move from a guy that by no means is a die-hard gun enthusiast. Although I am a gun owner, I don’t identify as such; it’s not who I am. Politically most people who know me would say I’m a (far) Left-leaning, liberal/progressive with a dash of Libertarianism. I wouldn’t be offended if you added some kind of Socialist to the mix.

The reason I joined the NRA was in response to the dishonest politicking that took place in the wake of Sandy Hook, nationally in general, and more specifically here in CT where governor Dannel Malloy used downright unconstitutional bully tactics to force through meaningless, feel-good legislation.

I hadn’t paid much attention to the NRA prior to becoming a member, but I quickly discovered that they were a bunch that held values so far removed from my own that I didn’t want to be associated with them.

Then I tried Gun Owners of America and dropped them quickly for the same reason.

Finally I discovered CCDL, who, on the surface seemed like a less rabid organization, a local group of people who promoted safe gun-ownership, sensible gun laws and a polite way of conveying their ideas. I made a small contribution, put their sticker on my car and linked to them on my blog

I later found out, through various interactions with other members, that the same vitriol, the same hatred, the same fanaticism that is the trademark of the NRA, also permeates CCDL, but I didn’t disown them formally and kept the sticker on my car.

After Thursday’s shooting in Oregon at he Umpqua Community College I had to ask myself why it was important for me to belong to an (any) organization that promotes gun-ownership. I couldn’t come up with a reason. There are more important things for me to do than spend time and money to support the cause of private gun ownership in America.

I’m not strong pro-gun. I’m not strong anti-gun. I’m not getting rid of my guns (even though I haven’ fired any of them in almost two years), but I could live a happy, fulfilling life if I got rid of them all this minute. However, I do see quite clearly that America has a problem with guns. There are a lot of guns out there—I’m not going to say too many, but I am saying too many in the wrong hands. I will also say that the level to which some people fetishize their guns borders on a mental disorder.

To deny that America has a gun problem is to be delusional in the extreme.

Let me be clear: I don’t know what the solution is. The reason we have evolved this gun culture peculiar to America is historical. There is no easy fix. I do know (by my own reasoning; I’m not going to link to polls and academic studies) that limiting magazine capacities, expanding background checks and imposing registration (all of which I have no objection to) will make a very small dent at best in the number of gun killings. I also know that there is an obstacle that will hinder any legislation that will significantly and within reasonable time reduce the level of gun violence. That obstacle is called The Second Amendment To The Constitution Of The United States.

A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.

This is one of the most shoddily written pieces of legal text we have and practically begs for a wide range of interpretations, all the way from regulated militias, and only regulated militias (conveniently leaving out what constitutes a militia, much less a well regulated one) has the right to own guns, all the way to a free-for-all to own and carry whatever they want, wherever they want, whenever they want. The current interpretation (by SCOTUS, the only one that counts) is that gun-ownership is a personal, individual right. My right (and yours) to own and carry firearms, is protected by the Constitution Of The United States. Do you begin to see why gun-control reform is an uphill battle?

I cringe when I hear fellow Liberals argue against guns, argue for stricter gun control laws, cry about dead babies, and in the same breath say they’re not for bans or abolishing 2A. This is cowardly, distasteful dishonesty at best, or downright stupidity at worst.

As long as The 2nd Amendment stands, there is zero chance of any meaningful change to our gun laws. So let me be the first Left-leaning gun owner to say: I support a repeal of the 2nd amendment.

I understand that it is a next-to-impossible task, but just like the obscene amount and importance of money in politics will always stand in the way of a functioning government, so will 2A always stand in the way of meaningful reform of our gun laws.

  • Get rid of money in politics or accept that our democratic institutions are bought and paid for by corporate interests.
  • Get rid of the second amendment or accept that mass shootings is the new normal.
Spot the difference.

Spot the difference.

For clarity: I am not advocating banning guns. I am simply pointing out that our problem with guns can’t be solved as long as the nation’s founding document specifically lists gun ownership as something akin to a natural right imbued in us by our Creator (don’t get me started). Personally, I see no good reason for a modern, advanced society in 2015 to have such a statute on the books. In 1791, yes. 2015, no. But that’s just me.