They want to be just like Trump


That guy in the image to the right? That’s the so-called ‘King of Instagram’ and self-proclaimed playboy Dan Bilzerian. Before I go any further, I recommend you find a puke bag. Bilzerian recently showered presidential hopeful Donald Trump with praise. To his more than 1 million Twitter followers, Bilzerian said:

In an age of pussified political correctness, you have to respect the people who remain unfiltered @realDonaldTrump

When I first read this Tweet, I felt the exasperation swell within me. For months now, I’ve read who knows how many comments from people who say they like Donald Trump bc he is “unfiltered”, “speaks his mind”, isn’t “politically correct”, is “honest with his thoughts”, or some such bullshit. I’ve wondered for a while now why people think these are positive character traits. To be sure, they can be a good, depending on the situation, but it isn’t inherently a good thing that someone (for instance) speaks their mind. In the case of Donald Trump, speaking his mind often leads to some bigoted rhetoric. But I had an ‘AHA!’ moment while reading Bilzerian’s B.S.

Continue reading “They want to be just like Trump”

They want to be just like Trump

I agree and disagree with Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders has a few words about the media criticism of Dr. Ben Carson-specifically the inconsistencies in various stories he has shared over the years:

NBC “Meet The Press” host Chuck Todd asked Sanders what he thought about “the Ben Carson stuff.”

“Because you have seen some people leak out stuff you wrote 30 and 40 years ago,” Todd continued. “Is this fair game?”

“No,” Sanders replied. “And look, I listened to the interviews with Dr. Carson. And it’s interesting. But you know what, Chuck? The American people want to know why the middle class of this country is disappearing.”

“I think it might be a better idea, I know it’s a crazy idea, but maybe we focus on the issues impacting the American people and what candidates are saying rather than just spending so much time exploring their lives of 30 or 40 years ago,” Sanders continued. “And I think the reason that so many people are turned off to the political process has a lot to do with the fact that we’re not talking about the real issues impacting real people.”

He’s basically saying there are more important things to discuss than whether or not Carson’s story of his rags-to-riches, bootstrapping, come-to-Jesus [bullshit] story is accurate or truthful. What are his actual plans to run this country? How would he tackle the economy? What are his views on foreign policy? How is he going to tackle income inequality? These are questions that need asking. Questions that resonate with many people quite a bit more than “did he or didn’t he tell the truth about his past in his biography”.
I both agree and disagree with Sanders. More the former than the latter though.

Continue reading “I agree and disagree with Bernie Sanders”

I agree and disagree with Bernie Sanders

Sometimes I despair

By now, most USAmericans who pay attention to politics are probably aware of The Donald’s inane idea to build a wall between the U.S./Mexico border. Ya know, to keep out all those rapists, murderers, and drug dealers that he’s worried are pouring into this country (a belief he holds and has no qualms about sharing despite his failure to produce supporting evidence):

Donald Trump said he would force the people of Mexico to build his vowed border wall to keep immigrants out of the United States, warning that if his order was not fulfilled, he would do something “severe.”

When asked how he might force the country to build this wall, Trump said in an interview that aired on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday, “you force them because we give them a fortune. Mexico makes a fortune because of us. A wall is a tiny little peanut compared to that. I would do something very severe unless they contributed or gave us the money to build the wall.”

The 2016 presidential candidate added: “I’d build it. I’d build it very nicely. I’m very good at building things.”

I wonder-scale of 1 to 10…how big is his ego? Hell, it’s probably so big it breaks the scale. In any case, the idea has been called moronic, unrealistic and costly, and ridiculous. Trump has given no consideration to the difficulties in constructing a wall more than 1,900 miles long*, across a varied topography, and through a fair amount of private land. But that’s not what he’s concerned about. No, for him, the important thing is preserving the United States for “us” by keeping “them” out. Trump’s frothy mix of xenophobia and racism has found purchase with some of the brightest stars among the dregs of humanity including:

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Sometimes I despair

The lack of concern for Russian citizens by their own government is repugnant

I just read this article on Russian officials destroying contraband food illegally smuggled into the country:

Authorities earlier this month started bulldozing piles of cheese, peaches and even frozen geese after Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered the destruction of food smuggled into the country illegally.

Now police in the Moscow region say they have arrested six people for producing cheese worth some $30 million (27 million euros) with banned Western rennet, a substance containing enzymes used for cheese production.

Authorities “foiled the activities of an organised international criminal gang in the Moscow region whose members have for a long time been engaged in smuggling sanctioned products from abroad,” police spokeswoman Yelena Alekseeva said in a statement.

My first thought was WTF?! All  that food could have helped feed many of the Russian citizens living in poverty.  My second thought was “an international criminal gang that smuggles in food? What’s bad about that?”Those were still my thoughts even after I considered that maybe officials feared the food wasn’t inspected. After all, why couldn’t they simply inspect it? So I thought maybe there was some other reason-a really good one-to destroy that food.  After all, the number of Russians living in poverty reached 16.1 million last year. I imagine all that food could have been of great use to many of them. I found this article by Russian political analyst Andrew Korybko which attempts to explain and justify the actions of the Russian government:

Continue reading “The lack of concern for Russian citizens by their own government is repugnant”

The lack of concern for Russian citizens by their own government is repugnant

One phrase is causing the destruction of the United States

There’s a phrase people say that annoys me. Like, annoys me worse than people who leave shopping carts in parking spots rather than wheeling them over to a cart rack. Worse than people who leave their turn signal on for miles when I’m driving behind them and cannot ignore that damn blinking light. Worse, even, than parents who let their kids run rampant around a restaurant when employees are trying to deliver food or drinks.

Actually the use of this phrase does more than simply annoy me. The examples I gave above are mere annoyances. This phrase exasperates me. It gets my hackles up. It causes me to…well, I’ll let Mrs. White describe the feeling I get upon encountering this phrase:

Mrs. White, from the 1985 move, Clue, describing how much she despised the woman who had an affair with her husband. Clue is among my most favorite of movies.

Also, when I hear this phrase, I roll my eyes in disgust, because the people using the phrase are condemning something that is good, reasonable, and progressive. Something aimed at changing the discourse in society such that people from marginalized groups are crapped on just a little less. Something that’s about showing respect and decency to women, LGBT people, people with disabilities, and People of Color. Still not sure what phrase I’m talking about?
Continue reading “One phrase is causing the destruction of the United States”

One phrase is causing the destruction of the United States

The GOP has a big problem with racism

*NOTE: This post was accidentally submitted (as ‘Dear GOP: You lied’) before it was ready. My best guess is that I was drowsy and hit ‘publish’, rather than ‘save draft’. The version of this post that was submitted was far from complete. Upon discovering this, I deleted the post. I apologize and I will be more careful in the future.

Jeopardy answer:

Once upon a time, there was a man-an “exceptional” man born into an “exceptional ” Western country.  Over the course of his life, this man was a businessman, a television entertainer, an author, and an investor. His various occupations enabled the man to accrue great wealth, and to many, he was viewed as a celebrity. But wealth and prestige was not enough for this man. He sought more-he sought to be the leader of this Western country. Fueled by ignorance, backed by more wealth than any person truly needs, and armed with a Grand Canyon-sized ego, this mendacious media mogul recently announced his candidacy for presidency of the United States.

Jeopardy question:

Who is Donald Trump?

Continue reading “The GOP has a big problem with racism”

The GOP has a big problem with racism

What. Did. I. Just. Watch?!

Ben Carson.

Ted Cruz.

Carly Fiorina.

Mike Huckabee.

George Pataki.

Marco Rubio.

Rick Santorum.

These are all the GOP contenders clowns hoping to win their party’s nomination as well as a spot in the Oval Office in January, 2017. Oh, wait. I forgot one. This guy:

This is Rand Paul.
This is Rand Paul on some serious drugs. Any questions? (I can think of a few, like “What the hell was the photographer-Gage Skidmore-thinking?” and “Who’s body does that belong to, bc it sure as hell isn’t Rand Paul’s?”)

In an attempt to paint Rand Paul as true patriot will defend mom, apple pie, and the U.S. against President Obama and his nefarious plans, a pro-Rand Paul SuperPAC released a really fucking bizarre commercial. Complete with bald eagles (fire-breathing ones, natch), a bare-chested Rand Paul, and enough explosions to make Michael Bay jealous, after watching this commercial, you’ll probably be scratching your head:

Seriously, what the fuck did I just watch, what demographic was the video aimed at, and why did the SuperPAC think this would help Rand Paul’s campaign?

(h/t Addicting Info)

What. Did. I. Just. Watch?!

Giving Marco Rubio a piece of my mind

The U.S. Senate finally passed the anti-human trafficking bill that has been held up by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R). Prior to the passage of the bill, the Senate voted on several amendments, one of which would have added language banning discrimination against homeless LGBT youth:

One bipartisan amendment, introduced by Democratic Senator Pat Leahy and Republican Senator Susan Collins would have added language banning discrimination against LGBT homeless youth.

“A recent study found that 1 in 4 homeless youth have been victims of sex trafficking, or traded sex for survival needs, such as food or a place to sleep,” Sen. Leahy said in a statement before today’s vote. “The study also found that 50 percent of homeless youth had been solicited for sex by an adult within 48 hours of leaving home. Let me say that again: half of these homeless kids were solicited for sex by an adult within the first two days of leaving home.  These kids – some as young as 12, 13, 14 years old – have nowhere to go, but we can work to make sure they have a safe place to go. That is what our amendment does.”

Leahy added that the language in his amendment “would prevent discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability,” and “is nearly identical to a provision contained in the bipartisan Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 which passed the Senate with 78 votes and was signed into law.”

Earlier this afternoon, the Senate voted down the Leahy-Collins Amendment to protect runaway homeless youth, SA 290, by a narrow margin: 56-43. 60 votes were needed for it to pass. It needed just four more.

No Democrats voted against the amendment, but 43 Republican Senators did. Guess who was one of those Senators?

Yep. Marco Rubio was one of the Republicans who voted against the amendment. I decided to give him a piece of my mind and here is the email I just sent him:

It has come to my attention that you voted against the Leahy-Collins Amendment which would have prevented discrimination against youth based on their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or disability. The Amendment would have protected homeless LGBT youth in this country, but you chose to vote against it. Now, as a gay man, I am fully aware of your rabid homophobia, opposition to any form of equality for LGBT people, and support for a theocratic form of government that would trample on the rights of LGBT citizens across the nation, so on the one hand, I am not surprised that you voted against the Amendment.

On the other hand, I am surprised, because you, on your very own presidential campaign website say:

“Protecting life defines who we want to be as a society. All life is worthy of protection, and all life enjoys God’s love.

I believe that Roe v. Wade was not only morally wrong, but it was a poorly decided legal precedent and should be overturned.

I have a record of supporting pro-life policies, and will continue to do so in public and private life.

I believe that as a nation we must always come down on the side of life. We must speak up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.”

Given that you’ve opposed a bill that very much would help to improve the quality of life for LGBT teens, you clearly do not support policies that promote the well-being and quality of life of citizens of this country. In other words, you are not ‘pro-life’. Or, rather, you only support so-called “pro-life” policies where fetuses are concerned. Why the disconnect? Why do you claim to be “pro-life” when you oppose measures to protect life? Why are fetuses more deserving of your support than LGBT teens? Why do you care so little for so many of the citizens of this country?

No need for a response, automated or otherwise, because I already know you have no interest in serving the needs of the vast majority of the people in this country. You are beholden to an extremist party that is increasingly ruling this country with an iron fist. I will not vote for you for any political office, including the Presidency, and I look forward to watching your train wreck of a campaign.

That said, I wish you no ill will. For all that your bigotry angers me…for all that I’m frustrated that a political leader would display such animus towards people who simply want to exist and share in the same rights and liberties as all other citizens…for all that I look forward to you making a supreme fool of yourself in the presidential primaries (and the debates, if you make it that far)…I don’t actually want you to suffer. I don’t want to see you destitute. I don’t want to see any harm come to you or your family. I actually want you to live a happy healthy life. Empty platitudes aside, I know you do not wish the same for me, or any other LGBT citizen of Florida or the country.

And that’s one of the many, many things that differentiates the two of us.

A proud gay man who is appalled at your bigotry, but is hopeful that one day you’ll rid yourself of all your nasty, hateful, bigoted views

Giving Marco Rubio a piece of my mind

How to fix the United States

Child abuse.

Rape Culture.



Climate change.

Corrupt politicians.

Income inequality.

Domestic terrorists.

Domestic violence.

The War on Drugs.

Childhood obesity.

The War on Women.

The War on the Poor.

Crumbling infrastructure.

The growing police state.

The War on the Homeless.

Skyrocketing student debt.

Rampant institutional racism.

A broken two-party system.

Staggering amounts of gun violence.

The erosion of the wall between church and state.

The ongoing denial of the civil and human rights of LGBT citizens.

These are just some of social, political, and economic issues facing the United States. These problems negatively affect the lives of millions of USAmericans on a daily basis (and they reverberate around the world). Put aside those issues for now, as the country faces a far more dire threat than childhood obesity, unemployment, transphobia, or a racially biased criminal justice system.  Arizona state Senator Sylvia Allen (R) has identified this problem and offers a solution:

Each year a few bills get proposed at the state Capitol that have people shaking their heads.

This year: Mandatory church attendance.

An Arizona state senator thinks it is a good idea for the American people.

State Sen. Sylvia Allen, R-Snowflake, brought it up during a committee meeting Tuesday while lawmakers were debating a gun bill, not religion.

Allen explained that without a “moral rebirth” in the country, more people may feel the need to carry a weapon.

“I believe what’s happening to our country is that there’s a moral erosion of the soul of America,” she said.

Mandatory church attendance.

Such a simple, elegant fix for the moral erosion of the country’s soul. While Sen. Allen’s solution is blatantly unconstitutional and would be all but impossible to enforce even if it became law, let’s not focus on that. Let’s also not focus on the question of whether or not souls exist and if they do, how a country can have one. Let’s not even worry about identifying the specific problems caused by the moral erosion of the country. What’s important is that her solution would set things right in this country and reverse the moral breakdown afflicting the nation. The United States would experience a moral rebirth and everything will be wonderful and glorious and super and awesome again. Just like it was in the glory days of the 1950s:

The original comment occurred during a vote on legislation to allow individuals who have permits to carry concealed weapons to bring them into public buildings. Allen said she did not understand the opposition and talked about moral breakdown.

“Probably we should be debating a bill requiring every American to attend a church of their choice on Sunday to see if we can get back to having a moral rebirth,” adding “that would never be allowed.”

On Wednesday, Allen said that was a “flippant comment” but decried the changes since she was a child in the 1950s.

“People prayed, people went to church,” she said in explaining her views.

“I remember on Sundays the stores were closed,” Allen said. “The biggest thing is religion was kicked out of our public places, out of our schools.”

Ah yes, the wonderful 50s. When people prayed and went to church. When the KKK still roamed the country lynching African-Americans. When LGBT people dared not leave the closet. When women were denied their reproductive rights. When fearmongering McCarthyism gripped the country. Yeah, that was a real swell time-for cisgender, heterosexual, christian, white men.

The irony of a woman longing for the US to be more like it was in the 1950s is not lost on me.

How to fix the United States

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)

I sent the following message to Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, in response to her comments suggesting that racism is a thing of the past:

Rep. Fiore,

I recently became aware of the comments you made during a hearing before the Nevada Assembly’s Legislative Operations and Elections Committee. These comments indicate that you feel racism is over. It is not, and the fact that you think so worries me. I also feel that you have a very limited understanding of racism.

Racism is not just “discrimination or bigotry towards an individual or individuals based on their actual or perceived race”. The sociological definition of racism is ‘power plus prejudice’ and is inclusive of individual acts of bigotry as well as systemic race-based discrimination.

Racism is more than lynching (have you read about the hanging of Otis Byrd yet?).

It is more than calling black people, American Indians, Latinos, or Asians one of the many bigoted slurs used to deny them their basic humanity (slurs which continue to be used to this day).

Racism is more than making black people sit at the back of the bus or enter the back door of an establishment.

Racism isn’t limited to the US imprisoning Japanese Americans in WWII.

It’s more than the Tuskegee Experiments.

It’s more than ‘Birth of a Nation’.

Racism is more than just the way people act, or the things they say. Racism is also about institutions. Institutions like the USAmerican criminal justice system which treats white people more fairly than people of color, disproportionately targets Blacks and Latinos for stopping and frisking, and imprisons African-Americans at an alarming rate.

Racism is also the War on Drugs.  Despite the fact that White Americans use drugs at roughly the same rate as African-Americans, the War on Drugs has had a far greater impact on Black people.

Racism is about people failing to realize that ‘People of Color’ and ‘African-American’ are not interchangeable terms.

Racism is also the way politicians speak about and craft legislation concerning undocumented immigrants.

Racism is also the way people refer to African-Americans as thugs (which is a stand-in for N*gger). Or the way political pundits drone on about “black on black” violence while ignoring the fact that white people commit almost as much violence against other white people.

Racism is also about politicians fighting to end or reduce the effectiveness of government assistance programs. Many political figures think that those making use of government assistance are all unemployed, lazy black people who shouldn’t be supported by the government. They’re ignorant of the facts that show that huge numbers of low-income people *have* jobs and still need government assistance to survive. They’re ignorant of all the poor white men and women who use government assistance, as well as the children of poor families who need it and the senior citizens who need it. Meanwhile, corporations across the country get tax breaks–i.e. government assistance–and there’s not a peep from these politicians.

Racism is also about voter ID laws which disproportionately target People of Color.

Racism is also the way people think of Muslims as being a threat (yes there is a racial component to anti-Muslim bigotry; these bigots likely don’t have white Muslims in mind when they talk about the threat of Muslims and Islam).

Racism is also about the implicit racial biases that float around in the back of the minds of even those people who think they aren’t racist. These biases affect us on subconscious levels and can be difficult to detect, but they are there. Subconscious biases lead people to make snap judgments about others, such as when a woman clutches her purse as she walks past black people.

Racism is also respectability politics. African-Americans are routinely admonished to pull their pants up,

Racism is not over. It is still alive and well. It manifests in both subtle and overt ways and can be seen in individuals or institutions. It affects African-Americans, Asian-Americans, Latinos, and American Indians. While White Americans can be indirectly affected by racism (for instance, white friends or family members of PoC), they are not the target of it. It is American Indians, not White Americans, who are directly impacted by the continued refusal of the Washington Redskins’ owner to change the teams’ name.  It is Latinos and Hispanic-Americans, not White Americans, who have to deal with racist Sheriff Joe Arpaio. It is Asian-Americans, not White Americans, who face labor market discrimination.  It was African-Americans, not White Americans, who were horribly treated-for decades-by the racist Ferguson Police Department.  And rather than White Americans, it is African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and Latinos, Asian-Americans, and American Indians who are routinely face discrimination at all levels in the motion picture film industry. As a White American, you do not get to decide when racism is over. You are not the target.

I hope the pushback you’ll inevitably receive prompts you to learn more about racism in the U.S.  There is a wealth of information available attesting to the continued existence of racism. That it permeates our culture is a fact. Unlike People of Color, that is a fact that you have the privilege of not acknowledging. As racism doesn’t affect your everyday life in any meaningful way, you don’t have to live with the daily realities faced by People of Color. By denying the existence of racism, you erase the stories of people across the country. And that in itself is racist.

So was referring to your colleague as ‘colored’.


A Person of Color who continues to be affected by racism

My response to Rep. Fiore (R-NV)