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.

Gun Control And The Latest Mass Shooting In Oregon

“Here we go again, singing the same old song…” The latest mass shooting in Oregon, The Young Turks’ call for gun control, and my response to The Young Turks.

gun-control

Gun control: do we need it, and what form should it take to have any effect?

I watched the TYT video below (I sometimes watch TYT videos when I’m happy and tranquil and feel the need to be miserable and angry) and felt compelled to respond. I like my response so much that I thought I’d share it here.


Other countries have plenty of guns. Granted, not nearly as many as America, but still enough to create way more havoc than they actually do. The problem is easy access to guns coupled with an uninhibited willingness to use them on fellow human beings. Per capita gun-ownership is much higher in America than in any other country we like to compare us to, but per capita use of the guns available to them is much lower in those countries. We have, plainly speaking, a much more murderous culture than other Western, civilized nations.

It’s always amusing to hear the liberal armchair-intelligentsia like Ana Kasparian and the rest of The Young Turds say, “we don’t want to BAN guns, just have ‘common sense’ gun legislation”. Be specific please. Exactly what kind of common sense gun control that doesn’t involve an outright ban or something close to a ban do you think would affect a dramatic reduction in a short amount of time of guns in the hands of people willing to use them on other people?

You’re being disingenuous if you’re not calling for some sort of ban or severe restrictions. And to achieve that, you must get rid of 2A. This is the most important part. Current interpretation of the second amendment to the US constitution (however much you might disagree with SCOTUS, and I agree 2A is shoddily written in the extreme, but the supreme court of the United States has the last word) is that gun-ownership in America is an individual right. I, as an individual, have a personal right to own and carry guns that is protected by the constitution.

I have (at least) two things that Cenk Uygur, Ana and the other turdish sidekicks don’t have. 1) A gun, and 2) a piece of plastic that shows that I have been vetted by the federal government (FBI), the state of Connecticut, and local law enforcement; that I have been fingerprinted and photographed; that searches have been made in all available databases, and found that I have no criminal history and am not a violent person. I am, as far as the government is concerned, a documented good guy. Gun control has been applied to my person and I have been found fit to own and carry guns. Also, I’m not a cuntish, weasel-faced liar.

Go after 2A or SHUT THE FUCK UP! I would respect you for doing so. It’s a (the only) reasonable approach to what you want to achieve. I might even agree with it. Personally I see no reason in a modern society why it should be a constitutionally protected right to own and carry guns. You can come up with all sorts of feel-good laws that make it more difficult for me to enjoy my hobby, but will do exactly zero to address the problem at hand. I am willing to sacrifice some of my rights, but only if the solution proposed has a chance of making a real difference. If you think that stronger, universal background checks would make even a tiny dent in gun violence in this country you’re either stupid, a lying self-serving cunt, or both.

So, to summarize: You need to dramatically reduce the number of guns floating around, and you need to change a culture that fosters and glorifies violence. Whining like little bitches on YouTube doesn’t count.


Vacation Time

My wife finally took a week’s much deserved and needed vacation from her demanding job as chief bunker (fuel) buyer for a leading Greek shipping company. She has spent 100% of it (waking hours only, of course) swearing like an angry, drunken sailor under the hood of her 1996 Ford Ranger. Good times. Right up there with our early ’90s three-week trip to Izmir (formerly Smyrna of classical antiquity, currently ground zero for suicidal Syrian refugees launching the invasion of Europe) in Turkey, including a three-day excursion to historical Ephesus with its well preserved Roman ruins, walking – quite literally – in the footsteps of St Paul.

Ephesus, Turkey vacation ca 1994

Ephesus, Turkey vacation ca 1992.

Ford Ranger vacation 2015.

Ford Ranger vacation 2015.

To Rape Or Not To Rape

Non-rape as a military strategy to dehumanize the enemy.

Israel National News reports that a researcher from Hebrew University has written a paper that concludes that the lack of rapes committed by members of the Israeli military (Israeli Defence Forces or IDF) against Palestinian women is a strategy designed to serve a political purpose.

Well, good! one might say. The “political purpose” of not raping the enemy is obviously to bring as little hatred upon yourself as possible. Wrong!

“In the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, it can be seen that the lack of military rape merely strengthens the ethnic boundaries and clarifies the inter-ethnic differences – just as organized military rape would have done.”
~ Tal Nitzan, doctoral candidate at Hebrew University, Jerusalem

So there you have it. Surely this brings a whole new level of meaning to the phrase “damned if you do, damned if you don’t”. Rape is bad, but somehow not raping is worse. And we thought the SJWs in America were batshit crazy.

Republican Gold

Mark my word, if and when these preachers get control of the [Republican] party, and they’re sure trying to do so, it’s going to be a terrible damn problem. Frankly, these people frighten me. Politics and governing demand compromise. But these Christians believe they are acting in the name of God, so they can’t and won’t compromise. I know, I’ve tried to deal with them.

Barry Goldwater, said in November 1994, as quoted in John Dean, Conservatives Without Conscience (2006)

Labor Day 2015

Happy faux International Workers’ Day (US version) 2015.

Two of the candidates running for president in America in 2016 have made workers’ rights part of their platform. Scott Walker who takes pride in having “broken the unions” in Wisconsin, and Chris Christie who thinks unions should be “punched in the face”.

Why don’t we just retire Labor Day and rename it WalMart Day?

Happy Labor Day y’all!

Workers Unite!

You can donate to Bernie Sanders’ campaign here.

Republican Debate, Condensed Version

Just cringed my way through the 1st Republican “debate”. First of all, what the hell are we doing having a debate 1 year 3 months out anyway?!?! Secondly, what a travesty of the process of electing a president. This was a loss for democracy and a win for reality TV circus and Jesus (because they were all stumbling over each other proclaiming their piety, and also how God was a Republican). This is going to get really tiring fast, and come November next year I predict the lowest voter turnout in living memory.