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The Apple Did Not Fall Far From The Tree

I’m referring to Rand Paul. It’s barely been thirty six hours since he won the republican primary for the open senate seat in Kentucky. Since his victory, he’s said some things that make him seem a little bit racist.

Before I can share my opinions on Rand, I must first begin with Ron Paul. I do have to preface all of this by telling you that I do not believe in blaming the son for the sins of the father. I believe that doing so is unfair, and generally unfounded. When I bring up Ron Paul, I do so because I believe that it’s important to understand the ideology under which Rand Paul was raised.

Ron Paul first registered on my radar during the first debate for the republican primary in 2008. It became very clear in the first ten minutes of that debate, that Ron Paul was not your typical republican. He said a lot of things that made sense. I felt as if he was the republican counterpart to Dennis Kucinich in that, he was a conservative truth teller, impervious to party talking points and corporate interests. There were many points in which I vehemently disagreed with Ron Paul, but I definitely felt that he merited a closer look.

So I started to do some research. A few hours into my research, I came across the newsletters that Ron Paul published monthly from 1978 to 1999. I found this article about the newsletters from a January 2008 story in the New Republic. Let me short hand the article for you with some quotes from the newsletters;

“opinion polls consistently show only about 5% of blacks have sensible political opinions,”

“if you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be,”

He claimed that black representative Barbara Jordan is “the archetypical half-educated victimologist” whose “race and sex protect her from criticism.”

“Boy, it sure burns me to have a national holiday for that pro-communist philanderer, Martin Luther King. I voted against this outrage time and time again as a Congressman. What an infamy that Ronald Reagan approved it! We can thank him for our annual Hate Whitey Day”

One newsletter ridiculed black activists who wanted to rename New York City after King, suggesting that “Welfaria,” “Zooville,” “Rapetown,” “Dirtburg,” and “Lazyopolis” were better alternatives.

But don’t worry blacks, you’re not alone in Ron Paul’s world of the unworthy;

In 1990, one newsletter mentioned a reporter from a gay magazine “who certainly had an axe to grind, and that’s not easy with a limp wrist.”

In an item titled, “The Pink House?” the author of a newsletter–again, presumably Paul–complained about President George H.W. Bush’s decision to sign a hate crimes bill and invite “the heads of homosexual lobbying groups to the White House for the ceremony,” adding, “I miss the closet.” “Homosexuals,” it said, “not to speak of the rest of society, were far better off when social pressure forced them to hide their activities.”

“Homosexuals, if admitted, should be put in a special category and not allowed in close physical contact with heterosexuals.”

Feeling left out, Jews? Don’t worry;

A 1987 issue of Paul’s Investment Letter called Israel “an aggressive, national socialist state,”

Of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, a newsletter said, “Whether it was a setup by the Israeli Mossad, as a Jewish friend of mine suspects, or was truly a retaliation by the Islamic fundamentalists, matters little.”

I could go on and on, but you get the point. Being the skeptic that I am, I had to assume that the reporter on the New Republic story might have had an axe to grind with Ron Paul so I kept looking until I found actual copies of the newsletters. You can look at them here, here, and you can download one here.

I don’t want to keep going on and on about Ron because this post is about Rand, but if you want to know more about how Ron reacted to these revelations, just Google “Ron Paul” + newsletters.

Back to Rand. Here’s an interview that he did with Rachel Maddow last night;


And here’s part 2;


A few things struck me about Rand after having watched this interview.

The first thing is Paul’s cowardice. He lacks the courage of his convictions. If you truly believe something, it’s presumably because you think that your belief is the right thing. If that’s the case, there should be no need to evade directly answering questions about what you believe. The way he evaded answering the question tells me that he KNOWS that his views should be suppressed. If you know that you’re right or righteous, there’s no reason to obfuscate. You should believe that your correctness has the power to persuade others.

The next thing that struck me is his intellectual dishonesty in the gun example he brought up. A gun is something that you CARRY. You have the option of leaving it at home, and doing so won’t prevent you from going to a lunch counter.  You can’t leave your “blackness” home. It’s WHAT you are, not what you do. That equivocation was absurd.

There was also a comment on Wednesday. A reporter asked Rand if he was concerned that holding his victory party at a private country club would “send mixed messages”. Rand responded by saying, ““I think at one time people used to think of golf and golf courses and golf clubs as being exclusive. But I think in recent years now you see a lot of people playing golf. I think Tiger Woods has helped to broaden that in the sense that he’s brought golf to a lot of the cities and to city youth, and so no, I don’t think it’s nearly as exclusive as people once considered it to be.”

I thought that it was a little bit unusual that he interpreted the question to be about race. My interpretation would have been that the question was about populism, since he ran as an allegedly populist tea party candidate. The mixed message lies in having your victory party in a venue that appears to be elitist.

I am not a person that feels comfortable labeling people as racists. I have lived in the most liberal parts of this country so racism is not a natural concept for me to wrap my mind around. So when Rand made the Tiger Woods comment, I didn’t jump to a racist conclusion even though I knew how he was raised. I was not willing to combine a seemingly innocuous comment with the sins of the father to conclude that Rand Paul has racist views. When I look at the Maddow interview and silo it apart from everything else, my inclination is to view his comments as staunchly libertarian rather than inherently bigoted. His platform is after all, one of libertarianism.

But when I put the totality of the information about Rand Paul together, I can’t avoid the conclusion that he is a racist.

Here’s the problem with racism today; it’s subtle because it isn’t tolerated in mainstream society anymore. Overt racism isn’t socially acceptable anymore so racists have to go undercover. They have to be subtle. A great example of this is the birthers. Clinging onto the belief that our black president wasn’t born in America, despite all of the evidence to the contrary, is just a subtle way of saying that he’s not one of us.

I really resisted concluding that the apple didn’t fall far from the tree when it comes to Rand Paul, but I can’t avoid it any longer.


Please Stop Wiping Your Ass With My Flag

I am FED UP with the asshats among us using the American flag to spit on other people’s faces. This is an epidemic, and it needs to stop.

I can’t believe I’m writing about these idiots, but they perfectly exemplify a trend that pisses me off to no end.

I couldn’t avoid the story of five boys in a California high school being sent home from school for wearing American flag gear. Here’s the synopsis:

Five high school boys decided that it would be cute if they all went to school wearing American flag laden clothes to school on cinco de mayo. Their principal responded to this by completely ignoring the freedom of speech that we enjoy in this country, and sending them home when the boys refused to take off the “offending” flag apparel. This stupid response by the principal turned this into a national news story.

Let me be clear here, the principal was a jackass for sending them home, or even making an issue out of their clothes. He succeeded in turning five little shitbags into “national heroes”.And he succeeded in eviscerating freedom of speech.

These kids aren’t heroes. They’re shitbags. They thought they were being cute, by sending an “anti” message, draped in the American flag. There’s a Facebook page supporting these little assholes now, and they’re receiving undeserved praise in the national coverage they’re getting. They weren’t sending a pro-America message here. They used the American flag to spit in someone’s face which to me, is as anti-American as you can be.  And their parents, who called in the media are proof that the ass didn’t fall far from the cheek. Righteous indignation over a situation where your kid was an asshole is not good parenting.

Using the American flag to denigrate immigrants fundamentally ignores the rich history of immigration in this country. We’re a country that has, since its inception fought for equality and acceptance for everyone that lives here. In the grand scheme of civilizations, we have raced through issues like slavery, racial equality, gender equality, and now, gay rights. In 245 short years, we’ve leveled the playing field in ways that no other country has ever managed to do. Sure, there’s always opposition to equality, but that opposition consistently loses in America because we’re better than the least among us. Less than 80 years ago, the “loathsome” immigrants du jour were the Irish. Today, it’s Mexicans. The rhetoric is exactly the same then as it is now. We moved on then, and we will move on from this because we’re America. We don’t tolerate this crap against any group for very long.

I am so sick of people wrapping their intolerance up in the American flag. This practice is everywhere; the tea party, far right wing websites, militia websites, anti-gay sites, anti-Muslim sites, anti immigrant sites. You name the “anti”, and I will show you their propaganda wrapped in an American flag.

I’m so OVER people using my flag to be against something.

Why don’t you try being FOR something for a change? Patriots are PRO American. Using our flag as a weapon does NOT make you a patriot, and you should not be shielded from being labeled the asshole that you are, just because you decided to use it.

I understand that you’re so full of shit, that it’s pouring out of you uncontrollably. Can’t you find something to wipe all of that shit off with, other than my flag?

We need to take back our flag. We need to use it for good. I’m ashamed of the way it’s being used now.

And by the way, the situation in California is now spiraling out of control. Apparently, 85 Hispanic kids have staged a walk-out in response to what happened. Great, we’re going to have a race riot over one idiot principal and five jackass students.


Little Help, Republicans?

So everyone knows about Faisal Shahzad by now. He made a lame attempt to detonate a bomb in Times Square last Saturday night. He parked an SUV which contained a bomb that didn’t really have a snow ball’s chance in hell of detonating properly, right in the heart of Times Square.

As an aside, he parked that SUV exactly one block away from where I was hanging out two nights earlier. As a New Yorker, these attempts are personal.

Back to Shahzad. Once he was arrested, fifty three hours after he attempted to detonate the bomb, a couple of troubling and confusing narratives emerged.

The first wave of reporting on this story after his arrest came with questions about how he was able to get on the plane. The criticism over this continues as I write this. I cannot be more perplexed by this attitude. Color me stupid, but I see fifty three hours between attempting to set off a bomb, to being hauled off in handcuffs as a giant victory. I take great comfort in how this was handled and I slept like a baby last night, with the knowledge that NYPD, the FBI, and Homeland Security moved on this so quickly and effectively. And I must say that this is a refreshing since I’m used to the perpetrator of an attack on my city never being put into handcuffs.

I know, I know, there’s one big difference between the Shahzad situation and the Bin Laden circumstances in that, Shahzad was in the US. Okay, I’m willing to make a concession for that. But who sent the anthrax? How long did it take to catch that guy? And where were the people that are unhappy now, over the fact that Shahzad got on the plane back then? I don’t recall hearing much criticism from them, over the fact that the anthrax sender was never apprehended. And where were they when we lost Bin Laden on Tora Bora, because we only had him surrounded on three sides? Where was the outrage then? Good lord, a fucking sheep herder could have pointed out the flaw in that genius plan! Where were all of those crack journalists then?

The other confusing issue that I’ve been hearing is a debate over whether Shahzad should have been read his Miranda rights. This made me wonder which part of US citizen was confusing to these people. Are we seriously debating over whether a US citizen should have access to our justice system? What I found more confusing is that the crowd that is advocating for denying due process are republicans. I’m not sure that they understand their own rhetoric.

Do they distrust the government, or are they so certain the government got the right guy, that they don’t feel due process is necessary? Which is it? Do you irrationally hate government, or do you have unquestioning faith in it?

Is there a republican out there that can help me out?

My confusion leaves me with the impression that you don’t believe anything that you say because what you believe in seems to change, based on who you’re saying it about.

Here’s the problem with this tactic; When you’re willing to contradict yourself to the point of embarrassment, you end up with a very tiny crowd of people that are willing to keep listening. In going after Obama like rabid dogs, you’ve completely eviscerated any credibility you may once have had.

I’m talking to you, John McCain. In ten short years you went from a rational republican that occasionally voted his conscience, to a crazy old man that may well lose a primary to a politician that we already know is corrupt. Peter King and Joe Lieberman, you both get a pass for your hypocrisy because you’ve both always been self serving fools. Embarrassing yourselves is a natural state of being for you. Senators Cornyn and Kyl, you are an embarrassment to your party. Marco Rubio has added his name to the list of republicans that hate the American justice system.

Regular readers of this blog know that I’m not shy about spanking Obama when he deserves to be spanked. But what’s going here isn’t rational because it has very little to do with Obama. When you criticize how this whole thing went down, you’re denigrating New York and I won’t have it. To quote Jon Stewart, “Go fuck yourselves”.

This was a victory for America. It was a victory in that, the community sprung into action minutes after that SUV was parked. It was a victory in that, the police immediately realized that they were facing a serious situation and acted accordingly. It was a victory in that, the suspect was apprehended two short days after his attempt.

I’m sorry for everyone that can’t celebrate America’s victories, because they’re so embroiled in their petty bullshit, that they are incapable of taking pride in their country anymore.


I’m Impotent

Nothing says “I’m impotent” like strapping a semi automatic rifle to your back and marching aimlessly through public streets in a herd. Honestly, do any of these guys look like they’ve experienced an erection in the recent past?

Nothing says “I’m a psychopath” like marching your big gun through public streets on the anniversary of the Oklahoma City bombing.

There are some seriously disturbed people out there that lionize Timothy McVeigh, and I’m afraid that April 19th is forever going to be “embrace your favorite whack-a-doodle” day in America.

And here’s their leader:


Rush, if your world is one in which a tragedy like Waco is a reason for another tragedy like the Oklahoma City bombing, you live in a far uglier place than I do. Here’s a newsflash Rush; Oklahoma City happened because of one mentally imbalanced asshole, PERIOD. There’s no reason or rationale beyond that. And every time you open your mouth to rationalize something like this, another potential asshole finds his wings. I love how Rush sets out to disprove what Clinton said about him by PROVING that what Clinton said was correct.

I’m honestly concerned that every year on April 19th, when a democrat is in office, we’re going to be forced to pay attention to the craziest among us. They seem to be relatively dormant during republican administrations for some inexplicable reason. I guess that warantless wiretapping feels more freedomy than having a fairly elected democratic president does. Sorry, I got off topic for a minute there.

I’m usually not a big proponent of ignoring the crazies. I generally believe that if you don’t shine a light on them, they grow in numbers. But I feel like we need to make April 19th a day of deference toward victims of the Oklahoma City bombings. We need to take this day back, or forever be doomed to celebrate the whackos among us.

So just for one day, let’s ignore Rush, Beck, The teabaggers, and the armed nutjobs in DC. Let’s just mourn a sad day in our history and pay homage to those that lost their lives needlessly.


Obama Can’t Be A Muslim Terrorist

According to a Harris poll that came out a few weeks ago, 57% of republicans think that President Obama is Muslim. 67% believe he’s a socialist, and 24% believe that he may be the Antichrist.

I would like to allay those fears by showing you that he can’t possibly be a terrorist once and for all. Let me show you why.

This guy,

Christopher Paul was arrested in Ohio yesterday for having ties to Al Qaeda. In 1997, he  apparently received a fax from this guy

Mahmedou Ould Salahi, a gitmo detainee and suspected terrorist.

Last month, Pakistani officials claimed to have arrested this guy

Adam Gadahn, a native Californian and suspected Al Qaeda terrorist.

Is anyone else starting to see a pattern here? These guys are all just plain unfuckable. Is it any mystery why they’re all wooed by that whole 72 virgins fantasy? They clearly have no hope of ever achieving human contact with a woman in this life, so what the hell? Why not go for the jihadi brass ring which will not only get you the virgins, but it will also shorten the miserable experience of forced virginity in this life.

Think I’m full of it? Here’s more proof;

Here’s Raja Khan. He’s a Chicago cab driver suspected of sending money to Al Qaeda terrorists. And in case you hadn’t noticed, he’s thoroughly unfuckable.

And here’s KSM. It really doesn’t get more unfuckable than him, does it?

And lastly;

All 19 of the 9/11 hijackers. 19 seriously unfuckable men.Honestly, this wouldn’t even happen with someone else’s vagina!

Now look at our president.

Now this clearly the face of a man that has never had to ask a woman to sleep with him twice, which makes it impossible that he would ever be lured in by the promise of virgins. He’s clearly been there and done that many, many times. When he smiles, the legs of every woman within a 100 mile radius spring open like the jaws of life thrust into action to rescue a baby out from a mangled car. This is a man whose life is spectacular.

No amount of afterlife goodies could cause this man to fuck up the life he has now.

So please, get over your irrational fears. You’re being ridiculous!

Oh, and republican women – if you’re in a state of perpetual fear of a terrorist attack, I have a suggestion for you. Don’t waste your life cowering in fear. Get proactive. You should all go out there and look for the biggest troll that you can find and lay him like carpet. It will probably do you some good as well.

Your country needs you. God bless and go forward.


Who’s Afraid Of Virginia?

Happy Confederate History Month, everyone!

Poor Virginians. Just 13 weeks into the term of their new governor, Bob McDonnell, Virginia has become the laughing stock of the country. I just want to let everyone know that it wasn’t their fault.

First, a little background. Mr. McDonnell was sworn in as the governor of Virginia on January 16th of this year. During his very short tenure as governor, he has reversed (by executive order) non-discrimination protections for gay state workers that were put in place by former governor Tim Kaine. The next item on his agenda was to proclaim that April would be “Confederate History Month” in Virginia. You can read the proclamation here. Did you happen to notice anything missing from his “celebration” of the confederacy? Whoopsie, he forgot all about that whole slavery misunderstanding. He finally apologized for his little memory lapse yesterday.

So far, Bob McDonnell’s thirteen week tenure as governor can best be summed up as an increase of discrimination and celebration of bigotry. Such a proud moment for Virginia!

As I said earlier, this situation isn’t the fault of Virginians. They didn’t vote for this. Bob McDonnell ran as a moderate whose primary focus for Virginia would be job creation. Here’s a Time Magazine article on McDonnell’s campaign from last November. Here’s another one from The Washington Post. He didn’t run as a far right winger whose focus was going to be to stir up hate and bigotry, which tells me that he knows that he couldn’t get elected to the position of dog catcher if he ran under his real agenda. He pulled a complete bait and switch on Virginians because he knew that they wouldn’t have him if they knew who he really was. In my opinion, he’s shown nothing but contempt for Virginians by playing them for fools.

If you really believe that what you’re doing is good for the people in your state, you would run on that platform. Lying about who and what you are says two things to me;

1) You don’t believe your own bullshit on any sort of intellectual level.

2) You know that you can’t get elected by the people because your views are not widely shared.

In short, Bob McDonnell is a viscerally hate fueled coward. You’re a coward, Bob McDonnell because you were too chicken shit to show the voters who you are so that they could make an informed decision about whether or not to vote for you. And your hatred is so viscerally entrenched in who you are, that it’s completely suppressed any rational thought that you may ever have.

I say that because Bob McDonnell gave the rebuttal to President Obama’s state of the union earlier this year, which is a very clear sign that he and republican leaders had national aspirations. Those aspirations have evaporated in the twelve weeks since he made that rebuttal. There’s NO WAY to get elected to national office on an anti-gay, pro-confederacy record. Buh bye, Florida, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Any rational person regardless of ideology can tell you that you can’t win a national election with a record like the one Bob McDonnell is creating. His hate for blacks and gays has blinded him so completely that what was a bright political future a few weeks ago, is now a distant memory.

Bob McDonnell fucked himself and he fucked Virginia.

But don’t go hating Virginians for this. They didn’t know although admittedly, he had a pretty questionable background going into the election. Unfortunately, his opponent was a terrible campaigner and the Obama administration were too cowardly to support him. Thanks for that, Rahm I really appreciate it!


Code Pink Has Reached Code Red

They actually reached code red a long time ago.

Here’s some video of code red at a Karl Rove book signing in Los Angeles on Monday:


Much to my dismay, after watching this I had to side with Rove. It’s hard to throw in with angry, red faced lunatics no matter what they’re saying. It’s hard for me to throw in with them, but I fear that it’s not hard for everyone. You wanna know who posted this video on youtube? Well, several people posted it, but the copy that I embedded was posted by Michael Moore. Given that Michael Moore has been prone to this type of behavior, I took his posting of this video as an implicit endorsement of the behavior contained in this video.

In my opinion, condoning this type of behavior, implicitly or otherwise hurts the message. It turns the conversation away from the facts and moves the focus to the tactics. Karl Rove’s response to what code pink did, “…this goes to show the totalitarianism of the left.” was 100% correct. There’s no arguing against the point that he made, given what everyone witnessed. They managed to turn a calculating liar into a victim. Nice job code pink. Not only didn’t anyone hear what you have to say, but you managed to make anyone else that says it into a whacko.

They should have made an attempt at civilized discourse. Ask him a question and then politely wait for him to answer it before asking the next question. I’ve watched Karl Rove twist himself into a pretzel trying to “explain” the enormous amounts of evidence against him and the Bush administration. It’s not pretty, and he’s not very good at it. He does very well when confronted by angry people. As you saw in the video, he had to summarily dismiss the downing street memos. How much more effective would progressives have been if they then followed up by asking him about Lawrence Wilkerson’s account of the Colin Powell speech, making the case for the US to go into Iraq? And then a follow up question about General Eric Shinseki’s dismissal? How many sources do you think Karl Rove would have to dismiss before sounding like a jackass? Don’t you think that would have been a more effective approach? It would have made Karl Rove the subject of the reporting. What we ended up with was yet another story about crazy extremists.

It’s a slippery slope to extremism. People don’t start off as extremists. It’s something that happens slowly over time so that people don’t realize that they’re becoming radicalized. It starts by condoning crap like this.

Don’t let yourself fall into that trap. Republicans have boxed themselves in by doing the very same thing with the tea party racists. It’s not possible to speak out against the tea partiers while remaining silent about code pink without being a hypocrite.

You have to denounce this from the inside if you have any hope of stopping it. You don’t have to support everyone that agrees with you. So go out there and comment and denounce from the rational left! Let the right deal with their own crazy. If they dismantle it on their side, then good for us! If they don’t, we need to trust that cooler heads will prevail.