8/19/2014

Limbaugh: Ferguson, Like Everything Else Everywhere, Is Obama's Fault

Bloated, saggy-titted doom gorgon Rush Limbaugh was talking to a caller to his radio spoogeatorium about Al Sharpton and Jesse Jackson getting involved in the racial strife in Ferguson, Missouri. After predictably blasting Sharpton in the most predictably specious way (by saying some rumor that he even admitted was probably not true), Limbaugh made a logical leap that'd make Maureen Dowd say, "Oh, fucking come on. You can't do that."

Blurbled Rush, "[T]his is the Democrat Party, folks. The president of the United States is in charge of what's happened here. I think it is time for everybody to come to grips with a simple reality. I don't care what scandal you name -- Benghazi, Fast and Furious, take your pick, IRS - has anybody involved in any of these scandals been fired? Not a single person." Yes, somehow the diet of steak, cigars, cognac, Twinkies, oxy, and Dominican child semen got to Limbaugh's brain and caused it to overload. That's how he decided that the riots in Ferguson are Barack Obama's fault and are part and parcel of a clusterfuck of every fake scandal conservatives have been humping like a horny hobo with a dead horse.

But Limbaugh wasn't done fucking that corpse. Check out this almost breathtaking leap into the mouth of madness: "This is about wiping out the Republican Party. This is about wiping out the Libertarians. This is about wiping out anybody who opposes Obama. Every bit of this. This isn't Al Sharpton. This isn't Jesse Jackson. They're just tag-alongs now. This is Obama and Holder. But all of this is Barack Obama. Every event, every detail, every occurrence is Obama. And the end result is the end and absence of any opposition. So that's what Ferguson's all about, like all the rest of this has been about."

An average person, spouting this shit, declaring that Obama is all, Obama is eveything, Obama is the alpha, the omega, and every Greek letter in between, would rightly be dragged off screaming to scrawl manifestos in his own shit in a concrete room. How Ferguson is about eliminating the Republican Party is something that Limbaugh doesn't say, but, motherfuckers, it's so obviously true that you shouldn't need it explained. It's Obama, after all. Obama, bitches.

If you ever for a moment doubted that Rush Limbaugh was a dangerous cockhead, a puppetmaster who would delight in causing real and actual violence, here's the context he gives for Obama's maniacal drive for absolute power: "By the way, that's not just Obama. That's been the left. They are power mad. They are statists. You think there was opposition to the Soviet Union? You think Mao Tse-tung had opposition, the Gang of Eight, what happened to them, including Madam Mao? Slit throat, adios, see you, sayonara. I mean, they don't put up with it."

Now, what the fuck is a listener supposed to do with that bullshit? If you believe Rush, you believe that the president is turning the nation into the Soviet Union and will murder anyone who gets in his way. What are you supposed to do to stop it? 'Cause elections won't matter, right? It's an inferential call to violence. And Limbaugh would get off on that more than on a fistful of Viagra and a room of tied-up Salvadoran adolescent immigrants.

Obama, to Limbaugh, is a goddamn wizard of manipulation. See, Obama is appearing disinterested in leading and taking lots of vacations (two things that are totally up for argument) because he's faking us all out. Let Rush explain: "How do you get away with [eliminating all opposition] while everybody's looking? You go on vacation all the time. You act like you're opposed to what's going on. You act like you don't even care...Obama is front and center pulling every string, directing every movement of his administration. He is calling every shot. And, remember, a lot of them he doesn't have to verbalize." Ahh, with a wave of his hand, a wink, a nod, a junk-grab, he can signal that it's time to let Americans die in consulates.

Strangely, despite this massive amount of power that Obama uses with razor-sharp precision, Rush Limbaugh is allowed to go on the air and announce these theories without being silenced or murdered. Unless...Limbaugh himself is a tool of the Obama administration, making people believe they understand the truth when, in reality, it's...what? oh, hell, let's say lizard people.

Late Post Today

You know that you're more likely to be killed by a cop than by a terrorist?

Yeah, suck on that for a while.

Back later with more mind-expanding rudeness.

8/18/2014

In Brief: A Thought Experiment on Ferguson

Let us say, and why not, that starting last week, large groups of armed black men and women blockaded the roads to their neighborhood in Ferguson, Missouri. Let us say, and, indeed, why not, that those armed African-Americans said that they were sick and tired of being bullied by the government in the form of the police, with the killing of Michael Brown being the last straw, the one that broke the motherfuckin' camel's back.

And maybe they would declare that they were engaged in an act of civil disobedience against government overreach, that they had the right to walk the streets without being constantly subject to government interference in their daily lives. Perhaps the leaders of the protest would declare that God told them to stand up to the authorities. Perhaps they'd even say that they don't recognize the legitimacy of the police force. Perhaps they'd demand a restoration of government welfare programs that have been cut. Perhaps African-Americans from other cities would show up, armed, to join the Ferguson residents in defiance.

Then, let's say, and, remember, we're still in the realm of fantasy here, just having fun, you know, that a group of law enforcement officers, maybe cops, maybe state troopers, showed up with their armed vehicles and pointed their guns at the protesters. And then the protesters pointed all their guns back, declaring that they were willing to die, that they were making a stand and no one was going to get them to end it or take away their guns.

What would happen? Would law enforcement back down? Would they drive their BearCats back to the station? Would they lower their weapons and leave? Would senators stand with the Ferguson rebels? Would Fox "news" invite them on to praise their attack on a government gone mad?

Or would the cops just fucking waste them because they aren't white ranchers like Cliven Bundy, wanting free shit from the government? Hell, look what the cops are doing now and the Ferguson protesters have done nothing remotely as violent or threatening as the Bundy ranch assholes.

As for the Tea Party and the NRA, all those brave people who stand for "freedom" have pretty much scattered like fleas on an itchy dog and run when it comes time to oppose actual violence, not just playing cowboy. Freedom ain't free, but it sure is white.

8/15/2014

Conservatives Admit That Having Too Many Arms Causes Violence

One of the few hilarious things that has happened in the wake of the violence in and around the shooting of Michael Brown has been the parade of right-wingers declaring that, oh, their stars and garters, the militarization of the police in this country might be a problem. In an editorial in Time magazine this week (motto: "Yes, fer chrissake, we're still a magazine. Stop asking us already"), conservative hero-of-the-moment and a man who always looks like he wants to sell cannabis gummi bears to 3rd graders, Rand Paul, made the case that, gee whizzers, it's a problem that the neighborhood police get up in soldier drag and drive around in vehicles and with weapons that are associated with killing children in Gaza.

Said Senator Paul, "There is a legitimate role for the police to keep the peace, but there should be a difference between a police response and a military response." And he quotes other right-wingnoids who agree with him, like some fuckin' Cato Institute stooge, who offers, "Why armored vehicles in a Midwestern inner suburb? Why would cops wear camouflage gear against a terrain patterned by convenience stores and beauty parlors?"

Following up on this fashion faux-pas is Kevin Williamson at the National Review (motto: "Skull-fucking the actual skull of William F. Buckley on a daily basis"). He writes, "Police in my hometown of Lubbock, Texas, occasionally go about their business in army-green armored vehicles and uniforms with woodland camouflage patterns, in spite of the fact that God never saw fit to put a tree within a hundred miles of there." And it's just so fugly, right, Kevin, the way it clashes with the .50 caliber rifles?

In a shockingly mostly sympathetic column, RedState's Erick "Erick" Erickson says that "since September 11, 2001, many police departments in the country have turned themselves into mini-militaries. It used to be just a SWAT team ready to take on bad guys. More and more the police are suiting up to contain and control the population they are supposed to serve." The result is a heightened threat of violence that breeds distrust in the population.

Paul and Erickson, among others, believe that the placing of armored vehicles, high-powered assault weapons, and, yes, camouflage is part of a big federal government plot to take away our rights or some such shit. It's probably Obama's fault somehow, even though it was Bush who started this push to turn our cops into armies.

But they are also pointing out something very plain: if you allow someone to have the crazy shit, they are going to use the crazy shit. So, of course, the first opportunity they had, the cops in Ferguson were gonna get out the sniper rifles and armored vehicles. This is the the same argument that gun control advocates use. If you let dumbass motherfuckers have stupid-big guns and magazines, dumbass motherfuckers are gonna want to use 'em.

Welcome to the party, bitches. Don't worry. Right now there are a lot of small city police chiefs saying, "Hey, why punish us? We use our military equipment and arms responsibly."

8/14/2014

Let's Be Clear About Michael Brown

Here's a nice picture for your Thursday night:

This is the desperate attempt by Matt Drudge to show that Michael Brown, who was shot down, unarmed, and, from multiple witness accounts, with his hands up and moving away from a police car in Ferguson, Missouri, was some kind of thug. How him flipping off the camera (in a jokey, "I'm-just-scratching" way) accomplishes this only the terrier-fucking Drudge would know. Drudge and other shit-eaters of the right just have to gangsta Brown up in order to protect the power of the cop-soldiers who, until tonight, were acting like total, deranged, over-armed, roided-up cockholes with protesters, reporters, and people at home in Ferguson.

And to what end do Drudge and the cop's water carriers need to show this? To say that it was okay to gun the 18 year-old down?

Let's be fucking clear about Michael Brown:

It doesn't matter if he was the biggest drug dealer in the St. Louis metropolitan area.

It doesn't matter if he was the baddest gangsta in the Ferguson 'hood.

It doesn't matter if he was the biggest pimp in the state.

It doesn't matter if he had committed robberies or purse snatchings.

It doesn't matter how many gang signs he flashed with his hands.

It doesn't matter if he said, "Fuck tha police" every chance he got.

It doesn't matter if he flipped off cops or grabbed his junk while looking at them.

None of that justifies being gunned down by a police officer. None of it.

Of course, Michael Brown wasn't any of the above.

What does matter is what the cop did and what the cops have done and will do. You can bet that the officer who shot Brown didn't ask if he was a future college student. He was just another nigger, indistinguishable from the niggers around him, and that was enough.

Late Post Today, But, Hey, Take a Survey - For Science!

The Rude Pundit is making sure that this much-abused body is in fine working order. He'll be back later with more therapeutic rudeness.

But while you're waiting: The Rude Pundit was contacted by a researcher at Stony Brook who asked him to reach out to rude readers to take a survey about one's beliefs. She flattered him about his bloggery and teased him by saying, "We recently had an onslaught of conservatives complete the survey and are looking for liberals to round out the sample."

Well, fuck those conservatives. This is for science, motherfuckers:

"My name is Julie Wronski and my colleagues and I are conducting an online survey about people’s personal characteristics and beliefs, and how people are able to read emotions in other peoples’ eyes. The study is brief and interesting, and should help us understand how individuals think about other people and American society more generally. In our current political climate, I think developing an understanding of how people relate to one another is critical for America to thrive. I hope you will take a few minutes to participate.

"The survey can be accessed by using the following link. We ask you to please do not discuss your participation in the study for the next few weeks, as to not influence other participants: https://stonybrookuniversity.co1.qualtrics.com/SE/?SID=SV_0VQZPHEYplprmv3

"The research team is based at Stony Brook University. Questions about participation or results of the study can be directed to Julie Wronski at julie.wronski@stonybrook.edu."

8/13/2014

It's a Family Tradition: The Looting, Rioting Founding Fathers

"With respects to the Lieut. Governor’s House, where they ended their vile [transactions]…they had rais’d a greater Number and were intoxicated with Liquor, broke his Windows, threw all his furniture out of his House, stamp’d upon the Chairs, Mahogany Tables, very handsome Large gilt-framed Pictures, the Pieces of which lay in Piles in the Street, open’d his Beds and let all the Feathers out, took ten thousand pounds in Cash, took all his Cloathes, Linnen, Plate, and everything he had, cut the Balcony off the Top of his House, pulled down all the Fruit Trees in his Garden, and did him in all 25,000 pounds damage."

That passage is quoted in an online article titled "American Heroes: Sam Adams and the Sons of Liberty." The Sons of Liberty were reacting to the 1765 passage of the Stamp Act by the British parliament, which levied a bunch of taxes on a bunch of shit in order to pay for the French and Indian War and for the cost of stationing British troops in the colonies. So a bunch of drunken fucks, pissed off at rich people in Massachusetts, went nutzoid and rioted, looting the houses of several wealthy British officials. Adams, who was kind of asshole, led the looters, and we now gladly down beer with his picture on it.

The Sons of Liberty were also in the habit of torturing loyalists through tarring and feathering, which doesn't make you look delightfully like a chicken, but horrifically scarred and, often, killed the victims. And they were responsible for the Boston Tea Party, which, as you probably know, is the greatest event in the history of anything, except Jesus.

Historians point out that the Sons of Liberty escalated the violence in the Boston area, which led to heightened tensions with the British soldiers, which led, eventually, to the Boston Massacre, which led, eventually, to the entire revolution. The Sons were an accelerant for something that was inevitable, and violence was their rhetoric. For that, they are revered as "heroes" in the story of the founding of this nation. The Sons of Liberty, which was never one group but a bunch of terrorist cells, if you will, included John Adams, Patrick Henry, Paul Revere, and John Hancock. In other words, many of those we mythologize and call "Father."

Now, we are supposedly a more advanced society. We are supposed to do our activism by hashtag and Change.org petition, the corporate- and government-approved whines of the connected but dispossessed.

But what's happening in Ferguson, Missouri, is so very American, so very much a part of our DNA. It doesn't excuse the crimes being committed, but if we are supposed to overlook the savagery of the Sons of Liberty as "oh, well, that's what you do to get independence from tyranny," then why should we condemn the Ferguson rioters for showing unhinged outrage at the murder of black males.

Real change doesn't occur without the shock of bodies putting themselves out there. We aren't used to that anymore. We are used to something awful happening, MSNBC doing a few days of reporting on it, left-wing blogs gabbing it up, and then moving on. But the damage will be there for a while in Ferguson, the constant, physical reminders of the tyranny that enacts itself regularly on the bodies of black men.

8/12/2014

We're Lucky There Aren't More Riots


That photo is of police patrolling the streets of Ferguson, Missouri, in the wake of a night of riots and looting in the wake of the shooting of unarmed black teenager Michael Brown by a white cop. In that suburb of St. Louis, the population is 67% black, but there are only 3 black cops on the 53 person police force, with 2 other non-whites). What's fascinating about the picture is that the front line of five officers (two from other areas, no doubt) is all black while behind them are roughly a dozen and a half white cops and not a single other non-white one.  (Side note: Has anyone written about GOP opposition to Obama as a symbolic castration and its effect on blacks in this country?)

And that's the problem, isn't it? It's that no matter where black men turn, there are always white men with guns right behind them, whether it's asshole cops or asshole gun owners. No matter if there's a black man in the White House; there's always a power structure founded on and fostered by whiteness that exists with little challenge.

What is there to say about the riots, about the looting, about the burning of businesses in Ferguson? Yeah, it's wrong to steal shit and fuck up buildings. It's more wrong to gun down a kid who, according to many witnesses, had his hands up and, according to official reports, was 35 feet away from the police car. If you believe the law is no longer on your side - indeed, if you believe its enforcers are using it to harm you - why the fuck wouldn't you riot? Tea Party assholes march around with their guns out right after mass shootings, and no one shoots them down. Maybe it's time for some Black Panther action.

Frankly, it's a shock that there aren't more riots, in Staten Island and in Dayton, in just the last few weeks of cops killing black men. As Brittney Cooper writes in Salon, "To be black in this country is to be subject to routine forms of miscalculated risk each and every day.  Black people have every right to be angry as hell about being mistaken for predators when really we are prey."

The median income in Ferguson is $37,000, ten grand lower than the state average.  The state has refused to expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act.  92% of people arrested in Ferguson are black, taken in by, as mentioned before, the over 90% white police force. Of course, poverty combined with racism combined with the endless stream of whites killing unarmed blacks for no reason is going to add up to an explosion.

We as a nation have fucked over black Americans in so many ways. We've isolated many in neighborhoods with shitty housing, shitty schools, shitty businesses, and shitty health care. We've demonized affirmative action. We've gutted welfare programs, work programs, and other poverty programs. We've given prisons over to private corporations that demand to be filled with any kind of petty criminal under minimum sentencing laws and the worthless drug war.  So we've filled the shitty streets with cops who have been given the right to harass blacks into hatred of the authority they should be able to turn to to stop the crimes that matter. We have made it so that, even if you're not from one of these shitty neighborhoods, you are forever framed by them, forever framed as a thug or a bitch, forever suspect.

Then we've said, "You're an American. You have opportunity. You can pull yourself up by your bootstraps and live the American dream." Goddamnit, the Rude Pundit wants to fuck shit up just writing that. He can't imagine living it.

So, sure, it's a shame that others now suffer economically (mostly) in the wake of the Michael Brown killing. But when when the plants in the ground finally grow, you don't blame the leaves. You blame the people who put the seeds in the dirt and watered them, decade after decade.

8/11/2014

On Robin Williams; On Depression

1. You who know Robin Williams only from Mrs. Doubtfire and Aladdin onward will never understand how liberating and cathartic his early, unhinged stand-up comedy was, how political and anarchic he could be (and still was, even in his recent stand-up), like Jonathan Winters and Richard Pryor had a baby that dropped acid. One of the Rude Pundit's favorite memories from his teenage years is sitting at home and watching An Evening with Robin Williams on HBO with his buddy-to-this-day, Tony.  He annoyed Tony for weeks after quoting lines from it. Hell, everyone was quoting lines from it or from his movies or "Nano-nano"-ing everyone with spread-fingers. Williams was that ubiquitous, that universal, that beloved, in a way that few, if any, performers are now.

2. The Rude Pundit just watched The Fisher King, his favorite Williams film performance, his most successful merging of chaotic humor and pathos into something genuinely Chaplinesque. It's terrific, weird, and emotional.  Other great roles no one will talk about: The Best of Times, as a repressed husband and son-in-law in a working class town; Seize the Day, an adaptation of Saul Bellow's novella, probably his best, least-known dramatic work; and, post-2000, in his faded superstar/indy era, One Hour Photo and World's Greatest Dad, both films where he was consciously wrecking his cuddly, kid-friendly image.

2a. The Rude Pundit never got to see him do stand-up live, but he did see Williams on stage in Bengal Tiger at the Baghdad Zoo on Broadway, giving a fully-embodied performance as the title character, first alive, then dead, wandering around a post-"liberation" Iraq, commenting on the ludicrous world he saw around him.  He was quite, quite moving and, as ever, quite, quite funny.

3. Everyone suffers depression differently. Williams had wrestled with it as privately as possible, although he did not hide his alcohol and drug abuse, all of which made it into his comedy. But as someone who has, fortunately, through the power of scrips, conquered a somewhat milder case of depression, the Rude Pundit has learned that something he felt was felt by others who have or are going through it: You sense that a darkness has opened and the floor is tilting you toward that darkness, and you can feel yourself physically sliding into it. You want to stop. You want to climb out. But you can't. It's an awful, helpless feeling. You have to fall in and stay until the floor tilts you back into the light.

The Rude Pundit believes he leveled the floor. He doesn't know what would have happened if he hadn't been able to.

4. This one hurts.

Against Intervention, Yet For Killing the Fuck Out of ISIS

1. The Rude Pundit's gonna be honest here: Fuck these ISIS fuckers who think wholesale slaughter of civilians is jolly good fun. He can pretend to be having a crisis of conscience or whatever, but he'd be lying to you. Because, see, this is the way he felt about the Taliban when they were taking over Afghanistan back in the 1990s. He felt it when the Hutu were wiping out the Tutsi in Rwanda. He felt it when the Bosnian Serbs were slaughtering Muslims. He felt this way when the Contras were murdering masses of people in Nicaragua in the 1980s. Fuck them all.

You can be a liberal and that bleeding heart can lead you to sympathize with the innocent people stuck in the humanitarian crisis. This is not about "taking sides in a war," as in Syria. It's about halting mass killing. Purely and simply.

And yet...goddamnit, goddamnit, goddamnit. The world just ain't that easy. It ought to be, surely, but it ain't, mostly because of us, the U.S., and our damage.

2. On Sunday, the fetid, ancient ooze that barely forms the human shape of Dick Cheney actually said of the Obama White House, "They can't blame George Bush anymore." How the fuck Dick Cheney is allowed to speak to anyone other than through hand gestures and gurgles as the end of a Bush administration human centipede on display at the National Zoo? Nothing occurs in Iraq except because of George W. Bush. When a child stubs her toe, when an old man dies of natural causes, when a car bomb goes off, it's all because of George Bush. The timing of the withdrawal of American troops is because of George W. Bush. If Barack Obama walked into Baghdad and started shooting people in the head, it would be because of George W. Bush.

Iraq is our burden, like it or not, because of George Bush. And every time we hear about chaos in the government (like, well, shit, now) or suicide bombs or fucking dams being taken over by fucking nutzoid militants, we in this nation (and maybe you in England) feel a queasiness because it simply wouldn't have been this way if we had just left shit alone (and you can take that all the way back to British colonial occupation, if you want). If an uprising within Iraq had deposed Saddam Hussein, then, yeah, it would have sucked to watch all the awful things that would have happened, but we wouldn't have that burden on us.

Anyone who denies Bush is the alpha and omega of causes here or tries to revise that history is deserving of, at the very least, media exile and a punch in the face. Even a fuckin' idiot like Laura Ingraham knows who is to blame. ISIS exists because of the U.S. intervention ordered by George Bush.

3. And yet there's something so immediately evil about ISIS, with the glee it takes in killing civilians. Its postings of internet videos of bombings and executions of innocents are done with such high spirits that it's like watching the ne plus ultra of face plant videos or YouTube clips where people injure themselves while the cameraperson giggles behind the cell phone or minicam. Like that shit, man. Jones to post your own and try to top it. Liveleak it, motherfuckers, to be as graphic as possible.

The savagery of ISIS's attack on the Yazidis, whose only crime was worshiping a sky wizard in a way that offended the assholes, seems to demand response by the world, or at least the United States. According to Iraq's human rights minister, "fighters have killed at least 500 members of Iraq's Yazidi minority — including many women and children — burying some alive and taking hundreds of women as slaves." And they celebrated "with cheers and weapons waved in the air."

No doubt there will be videos because of the bizarro strain of dude-bro douchebaggery that seems to be part of ISIS. They make al-Qaeda beheadings seem like boring art films.

Why isn't every country bombing ISIS (other than the Saudis, Qataris, and others who fund them)? It's okay to acknowledge that a very human part of us wants to kill the fuck out of ISIS. With nauseated stomachs and weary hearts, we still know what needs to be done, do we not?

4. This is the dilemma. We want to do something, but we are teetering once again on theexpansion of an operation that is already promised to go on for "months." While President Obama has wisely cast this as a humanitarian effort to help the Yazidis, the screaming mimis of the right, led by the screamiest of all, Lindsey Graham, have already decided that ISIS is an existential threat to the United States, despite there being absolutely no threat to the United States. How soon until the right drumbeats that lie into the national consciousness?

And, in an act that is either the bitterest irony or saddest reality, the Obama administration is going to help arm the Kurds to fight against ISIS. If we had done so when another Bush had promised to, way back in 1991, there's a good chance we wouldn't be here today.

5. In the end, goddamn us for not being the country we should be in order to do what we know we should. Goddamn those who made us forever suspect in the world and for imposing on us an eternal burden and, for we who are humane, an unending sense of guilt. Goddamn them for forcing us to overthink a no-brainer.