Author Archives: Daniel "Gateman" Harned

Understanding Romney And The Modern Republican

Hey guys, did you miss me? I’ve been on sabbatical for the holidays and my birthday, but after an evening spent trolling Teabillies, my batteries are fully charged and I’m ready to play. Today, though, I’m going to deviate a bit from protocol; rather than the usual rant full of cynicism and vitriol, I’m going to try and educate you, dear reader.

By this point, you’ve undoubtedly already heard about the federal case being proposed against good old Mr. 47%, Mitt Romney. While it doesn’t surprise me that a businessman – let’s not forget he was always a CEO first and politician second – would be guilty of racketeering, what I found while looking into it did. See, I was originally just going to do a rant on how his love of money shows a distinct disconnect from his coveted religion, and it shows the kind of two-faced individual he really is, but then something odd happened; I looked into his political history. Now this has turned into something bigger that, to me, shows something a lot of people might not have noticed (I sure as hell didn’t) about him, and the republican party as a whole, amidst ramblings on the joys of Randian capitalism.

Nowadays, good old Mitten is adamantly pro-life, with the exception of incest/rape and medically necessary abortions (a damn near liberal stance for a republican), and wants the same views put into law, but back in the day – 1994 to be exact – he had a more central stance befitting someone who once lost a member of his extended family due to a back alley abortion. Hell, he even went so far as to advocate for proper sex education (here meaning that abstinence-only education would be banned and replaced with something actually teaching kids about sex) and emergency contraception by 2002. The Mormon faith has actually emphasized the importance of the nuclear family in deciding contraception since at least 1992, which not only makes much more sense than the “traditional” Catholic view infecting the new GOP, but actually makes a lot of sense for someone who’s so devout to his faith he doesn’t even drink caffeinated beverages. Get on him all you want for believing life begins at conception, but at least he tried to stay true to his faith.

Come 2012, having teamed up with America’s favorite man-child Paul Ryan, Suddenly he’s toeing the party line, with plans to defund Planned Parenthood, the biggest provider of emergency contraception (and, to be fair, abortions do get performed as well, with 5% of the total budget going to performing them). In addition, he’s against embryonic stem cell research being performed on those fetuses aborted, saying I have a wife that has a serious disease that could be affected by stem cell research and others. But I will not create new embryos through cloning or through embryo farming, because that will be creating life for the purpose of destroying it. Oh, and while we’re on the topic, that previous link also mentions that he would attempt to repeal Roe v. Wade, granting the ability to enact pro-life legislation on a state level. Given how the states have reacted to the gutting of the Voter’s Rights Act, with numerous lovely little acts of discrimination, you can imagine how such a repeal would have affected the country.

Let’s move on to economics and look at some of the bigger turnabouts we witnessed. A big talking point was the expiring Bush-era tax cuts,  which are considered instrumental in causing the economic collapse we all lived through. During the years where Dubya thought he was a cowboy, and Old Man Cheney was busy making his friend take it in the face, Mitt refused to take a stance, but a few years later, when he was vying for the nomination, he was suddenly for expanding them; quite honestly, this seems much more likely given he was head of a company (possibly) named after a Batman villain. On top of that, while he wasn’t dumb enough to deny climate change, he thinks it is inappropriate for us to spend billions/trillions on fighting CO2 emissions.

Now, I just spent 600+ words pointing out how Mr. Romney flips more often than a pancake – hilariously enough, he even flip-flopped on flip-flopping – and at this point you might be wondering why. Well, a while back, Justin wrote a little on how Conservativism has become a cult; before that, his lovely colleague at Addicting Info, Julie Driscoll, wrote an article explaining the similarities between the GOP and an abusive partner. I read both articles when they were published, and again while writing this article, and they hit it on the head both times.

I used to think that the way the GOP has changed since being infected with a terminal case of Camellia sinensitis (Tea Party Disease, for those of us not caught up on latin) is like something out of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. After writing this article, I see it’s closer to Romero’s Of the Dead series; a mindless, shambling mass of limbs and hungry, parasitic mouths, spreading their disease to anyone who gets too close. Hell, look at Mr. Mitten; he was never a great man, but at least at some point he had convictions, and as soon as he was vying for the support of the GOP, all that went out the door. He went from being someone with somewhat strong convictions to someone who would say or do anything to get supporters, knowing that if he stopped toeing the line for even a second, he was done for because he had chosen to align himself with a party grown fanatical.

Warren Ellis created a character in  his Cyberpunk epic Transmetropolitan known as The Beast: a politician who’s seemingly an amalgamation of Reagan and Nixon’s worst parts. For the first half of the series, The Beast is built up to be the villain to end villains, only to find out that he had been driven to that point by his party, and at this point in his career was only worried about “getting through the day.” He was the kind of president who would do the bare minimum of work to keep the country functioning properly and the bare minimum population safe and (relatively) happy. I believe that, if the election would have gone the other way, President Romney would have become The Beast (if you don’t believe me, check out the comic; I first read it over a decade after the series was conceived and it was a little scary how everything synched up). In the end, the country would be in shambles, with the person in power a figurehead, the control having long ago been usurped by corporate interests.

Oscar Wilde once said, in his 1889 essay The Decay of Lying, ”Life imitates art,” but, the sad thing is, sometimes I think he was right.

-Don’t Panic

(Alright guys, I have an assignment for you. I’ll be splitting my time between writing here and my new freelancing gig with Pride Media, as well as my personal site. You fine folks must be coming here for something, so I want you guys to suggest what I should write on next, and if I can, I’ll write on anything you suggest. Leave me good ideas in the comments!)

Season’s Beatings, Everyone!

Salvation-Army-Kettle-Ringer-2-originalThis article was inspired by the always funny Steve Marmel.

Well folks, after a finals week that saw me sleeping once every three days, I’m finally back to rant at your face holes; and what great thing will we start the week off with? Well, how about someone getting attacked for saying Happy Holidays? Christian Post  mentioned last week that a Salvation Army bell-ringer was attacked by a woman in front of Walmart for being politically correct. While I can certainly understand if she’s upset, does it really warrant a haymaker? I hate political correctness, and even I say happy holidays!

Now, the Salvation Army has some questionable policies regarding homosexuals, and even more questionable rules and conditions in their homeless shelters – my night spent in there found me sharing a dorm with about 100 people per room, and having to pay my last $5 to get a bed with no pillow, blanket, or sheets for the night – but the fact is that the individuals in the church will often balk at the misconceptions placed on them. Much like there are good Christians out there, there are good “Soldiers,” The Ex notwithstanding, and they are often only trying to do good.

Bear in mind, Kristina Vindiola was attacked for saying Happy Holidays by a woman who thought the only acceptable winter holiday is Christmas, going so far as to ask “Do you believe in God?” before repeatedly hitting her in the arm and body.

Quick question: who here knows the real history of Christmas? It’s not Jesus’ birthday (that would actually have been midsummer, according to the bible), but rather a holiday adopted by the church to distract people from the pagan holiday Saturnalia (or rebrand it as their own, depending on your source), with 12/25 being the final day of a weeklong festival devoted to such festive activities as rape, getting shithoused, and glorious, glorious man-love. Before that, it was and still is a pagan/wiccan holiday celebrating the winter solstice; evidence can be seen all around you: the gifts are symbolic of Saint Nicholas’ tendency to chuck bags of gold into homes of peasant whores in the dead of night to allow them to leave that life; the tree is a symbol of the norse god Thor; Mistletoe was thought to contain semen of the Gods, and kissing under it was thought to bring fertility. What we think of as Christmas today is nothing but a Frankensteinien creation of the church to force us to spend time with relatives we otherwise wouldn’t go near, and to celebrate their patron deity.

While what do today is nowhere near the old traditions, the feelings of kinship and appreciation are universal regardless of religion. I’m Buddhist; we don’t have a holiday like christmas, and many of us don’t even celebrate Christmas itself (it’s kind of hard to detach yourself from the material world while someone’s giving you an ipod), but I do because it’s important to The Missus.

I guess my point here is that, regardless of your chosen faith and holiday, and regardless of what someone says to you, if you understand the words behind a message but not it’s intent, it’s time to step back and ask if there’s something wrong with you, rather than the rest of the world.

-Don’t Panic

4Chan Users Show The Ugliest Side Of Humanity, Cheer Live Suicide Attempt,

This message brought to you by Americans Against the Tea Party

 TRIGGER WARNING  

This entry will deal with a suicide attempt, some personal pain, and some of the worst behavior you can imagine. 

You have been warned

Because this is such a heavy topic, I will be posting cute pictures throughout this piece to cleanse the palate and make something as serious as this a bit easier to swallow).

It’s been mentioned before that I’m a survivor of, among other things, child abuse. One of the things that come along with the universe routinely shitting on you is an unrelenting depression. It’s not something I’m proud of, but in my darkest times, I’ve attempted suicide, 4 times. When you are in that moment, you’re classified as insane; the psychosis created by such horrific depression makes you feel like you’re the only person in existence at best, and at worst like the only people who care about you are your abusers (if you have any).

In the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, Douglas Adams brought forth the Total Perspective Vortex, a machine capable of showing you your specific place in the vast inconceivable mass that is the universe. When I was ready to end it all, what I felt was exactly that, that as vast as the universe was, someone like me not only didn’t have anyone who cared for them, but was so insignificant to not even merit one. This is why 70% of suicides, including my own, do not include notes, because we don’t feel like there’s any reason to write something we think no one is likely to read.

At the time, nothing was more apparent than the misery and suffering I was going through, and even if someone tried to help, there probably wouldn’t be a different outcome. However, I survived, I got help, and while the desire to try again is ever-present, thankfully I haven’t tried again since starting therapy years ago.

(Oh look, a dog who thinks it’s people.)

Now, the reason I bared my soul to you guys about this is that, over this last weekend, Stephen, a student at University of Guelph, attempted suicide after first announcing what he planned to do on the internet message board 4Chan, sometimes referred to as the outhouse of the internet.

“This is it,” declared Stephen, “Tonight I will be ending my own life. I’ve spent the last hour making the preparations and I’m ready to go through with it. As an oldfag who’s been on 4chan since 2004, I thought I would finally give back to the community in the best way possible. I am willing to an hero on cam for you all. All I request is for you guys to link me to a site where I can stream it for you guys, then I will gladly fulfill my promise.” 

This is something that has started happening with a worrying frequency. People will sometimes prove wrong everything they say about strangers on the internet (like this time where Blizzard Tech Support saved someone’s life, or this time mediocre rapper T.I. talked a jumper off the ledge), times like this prove that sometimes what they say is very, very true.

When 4Chan users saw his post, they not only mocked what is essentially a televised suicide note, but actively encouraged him to go for it, setting up a chatroom where he could stream his suicide in real time.

( What’s this? A windup dog?)

During the stream, as people clambered to be one of the sacred 200 to watch him end his life, Stephen downed copious amounts of an unspecified pill, chased it with vodka, and started a fire in his room with an electric toaster. As smoke filled the room and he tweeted of his impending doom, these walking tumors showed an unheard of level of caring. Unless you want to be filled with disgust for the rest of the day, I wouldn’t click that link.

Toaster Stephen, as he’s now known, is alive and in recovery, thankfully. However, to think that people could not only watch someone kill themselves and do nothing is sickening in it’s own right, but to actually root for them to do it, there is so much wrong there that I don’t think all the languages of man combined have a word for that level of sickening depravity. The Roman emperor Caligula is infamous for being so shithouse crazy that he once declared war on Poseidon, ordering his men to attack the sea itself with swords and spears, and even he would agree there’s something wrong with this picture.

(If you clicked the link above, click this one to make things a little better).

What does it say about us as a species, and America as a society, that we have shot clear past glorifying violence and have begun to turn losing a battle against psychotic depression into a spectator sport? What have we become as a people? More importantly, what will we inevitably turn into if we continue going down this path?

It’s taken me 3 days to write this, because this is something that is always hard to talk about. If you’ve never dealt with suicidal thoughts, personally or with someone close to you, I’m truly happy for you. Nothing compares to the kind of pain that is involved there, and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone living or dead.

When you talk about something with the gravity of suicide, you want to make sure that you get it right; Hopefully I’ve done that with this piece.

-Don’t Panic

72 YO Alzheimer’s Sufferer Put Out Of His Misery By “Man” Standing His Ground

Americans Against the Tea Party reported earlier on the 30th  that a 72 year old man was gunned down in suburban Georgia this Thanksgivings.

Say it with me folks.

What. The. Fuck?!

First off, some context; the man was suffering from Alzheimer’s, a terrifying disease that causes you to slowly lose yourself one memory at a time. He had become confused as to where he lives (an all too common occurrence with demented patients), and had gone to his old home thinking his family was there; in actuality a new (possibly terrifyingly stupid) family had moved in. By the time Ronald Westbrook met his end, he had, sadly, been wandering around the freezing neighborhood in nothing heavier than a light jacket and straw hat. His only company was his dog. His family hadn’t even realized he was missing until roughly the same time as his assailant had shot him.

Joe Hendrix, emulating our favorite RWNJ George Zimmerman, confronted Mr. westbrook on his porch with a .40 caliber handgun while his fiance was calling police about a possible prowler.

I’m going to stop this account right here to ask what the fuck he was thinking?  joe Hendrix is 34, and from what I can gather, likely at least about as fit and strong as I am; Ronald Westbrook, on the other hand, was a 72 year old grandfather. I have several family members who have served in the military, including a grandfather and father-in-law who served in the vietnam war as navy and army respectfully. I wouldn’t be scared if confronted by either one unless they were armed and dangerous, which Ronald clearly was not. He was probably suffering from stage 1 hypothermia for fuck’s sake!

Yes, the man wasn’t obeying verbal commands to stop or back away, but what do you expect from a man so confused he thinks that your house is his own? In what way does this, this coward putting 4 slugs into an old man’s chest, seem like a justified act? Because apparently, right now, that’s what it is. Thanks to yet another Stand Your Ground law, the cops claim that, while he should have stayed in his house (kinda like how Zimmerman should’ve stayed in his car), what he did wasn’t illegal.

Say it again folks,

What.

The.

Fuck!!

I saw this story and wanted to cry. As I’m writing this, tears are welling up in my eyes over the thought of this family losing their patriarch the day before a holiday meant to celebrate everything good in your life. This shit needs to stop; we cannot continue letting these asinine gun laws continue allowing people who treat movies like Die Hard and Roadhouse as if they were porn. I’m honestly thoroughly convinced some of the people who keep cropping up in the news see movies like this less as cheesy male fantasy and more as instructional manuals.

Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against defending your home; the missus keeps a (registered) pistol from her father for emergencies, and I have a hefty steel bastard sword for the same reason; thing is, the missus and I both believe that, until they actually cross the threshold, it is an officer’s duty to take care of them.

I live downtown with roughly 8 bars (if you count the dive bars, nightclubs, and gastropubs) within a half mile of my soon-to-be-vacant apartment. Every weekend, and some weeknights, there will be drunk bastards walking home (at least they’re responsible enough not to drive), hooting and hollering like a pack of howler monkeys. I’ve had two try to come inside my home while blackout drunk, one through the front door, one an unsecured window, only to run when they noticed that A.) the chain was on the door, and B.) our dog, Angel, started barking. If I shot/stabbed/bludgeoned/etc. everyone the Castle Doctrine claimed I was allowed to, There’d likely be a permanent blood splatter on my stoop. I, however, have the crazy notion that people should get a chance to either explain themselves or retreat, thankfully.

When will we pay the debt of blood required for common sense gun reform? How many more have to die to offer the NRA its blood money? When will this nightmarish existence our (well, your) children have to grow up in finally end?

-Don’t Panic

Mother Theresa: Atheist Of The Century

I can already see the reactions some of you are having. I’ll admit this might piss off some people, and I’ll also admit that if it does, it will make me giggle.
Today’s Cracked.com article, “5 Lost Documents That Shatter your Idea of Famous People,”shows that Mother Theresa, patron saint of the poor, sick, and enfeebled, and world’s greatest catholic was, in fact, an atheist for the better part of her life.

Now I’m sure some of you won’t click through to the links I’m posting, and will probably be quick to exclaim that, of course she was an atheist, it was only after finding God that she became the venerable saint that she was. However, according to Time and (surprisingly) the usually biased abc news, you’d be dead wrong.

Much like everyone who falls on hard times, and many who do what they feel is the lord’s work, Theresa had a crisis of faith when confronted with the horrors she faced in her daily life. Again, like most, she didn’t exactly recover from it. I’ve mentioned before, my own crisis of faith came while I was suffering through an abusive childhood that I’m still recovering from (physically and emotionally), and it eventually led me to shop around religions (including paganism, islam, taoism, shintoism, catholicism, judaism, and, for a brief time, satanism) before finally settling for Agnostic Buddhism. Dealing with the poverty, suffering, and rampant human cruelty she came into contact with on a daily basis would be enough to cause anyone to question the existence, or at least the nature, of a God.

Ironically enough, we only know this about her because the Catholic Church, the same people who beatified her and is in the process of making her a saint, is absolutely terrible at following orders. In her last will and testament, she bequeathed to the church a series of letters that she had written, with the instructions they be burned without reading. They decided to say “To hell with your wishes, we’re reading this shit!” They found out that the letters specifically state that, between the last 2-5 decades of her life, she was convinced that there was no god, or at least no compassion.

Rather than diminishing her work, this actually makes it all the more impressive. In her life, The Blessed Teresa of Calcutta saved countless lives through her work, and her congregation, Missionaries of Charity now numbers in the thousands and is active in 133 countries. Through the congregation, they run hospices, soup kitchens, counseling programs (that are actually non-denominational, unlike most catholic run programs), orphanages, and schools, vowing to give wholehearted and free service to the poorest of the poor. To think that someone could do this, day in and day out, while dealing with such a crisis, not just of faith but of self, that she never recovered from it is literally amazing.

While I have no love of religion, I do recognize the good works done in their name. While it may be claimed as completely altruistic, no work done in the name of God can truly be seen as such, since you’re hoping to buy your way into Heaven through good deeds (I’m actually sorry if this offends, I just can’t figure out a better way to say it). Theresa, however, knew that what she did in life likely didn’t do diddly for her immortal soul, if there was such a thing, and kept going anyway.

Knowing this, her acts seem to truly be altruistic, and the fact that she could do this in spite of a complete lack of faith shows me that humanity has the capacity for greatness, and that we’re all inherently good, as a species. Finding out things like this make me truly believe we may have a chance of evolving into something greater.

-Don’t Panic

Have An Orwellian Holiday!

It recently came to my attention that monopolizing store chain Walmart may have helped fund the recent GOP shutdown. Thinking that it seemed like SOP for the giant retailer, I didn’t think anything of it at the time. However, my future mother-in-law mentioned to me that, due to dwindling profits caused by the shutdown (Be honest, who here could have thought, as Walmart surely did, that people who were furloughed or losing benefits would go shopping?), they’ve ramped up their shoplifting protocols to ridiculous levels (though admittedly, that incident showed more than just the retailer at fault). Again, I put this out of mind, because I don’t steal from walmart or any other store (though, full disclosure, I do sometimes forget to pay for things at the bottom of the cart if I don’t see them again, but who doesn’t?), but tonight brought an already stressful day to a beautiful head.

After spending the first half of my day staring down a term paper, I decided to take a break and ride with the Missus’ mom to have lunch with her at her work, and as we were finishing up, I went into a nearby grocery – I won’t name names, for obvious reasons, like not starting shit – to grab some soda. It’s a good couple hundred feet between the shops, and anyone who’s spent time in Oregon knows that the concept of autumn doesn’t exist (you get one warm day after summer, then it’s ball freezing cold), so I bundled up for the walk over there.

Now, I’m aware that my cold weather gear looks a bit suspicious – scuffed boots, fleece lined hoodie with the hood up, and an open top balaclava – so I always make sure to pull down the hood and facemask soon as I enter any store. Apparently that wasn’t enough, because I soon realized I was being followed through the store. I grab an energy drink to calm my nerves, and try to get my shopping done quickly as possible. I get to the counter and suddenly realize I left my debit card in the Missus wallet, so I pay for my sodas and tell them I’ll be right back to pay for the drink I already drank, because in most places, you can’t buy one with EBT. I’m stopped at the door and harassed by the head of security about the whole ordeal, and, well, I didn’t handle it as well as I normally do, especially when he threatened to call mall security on me. For a fucking NOS! I convince him to let me go with a warning when he lets me know they were following me on camera as well as on foot. He promised that if he ever caught me in the store again, I’d be arrested for trespassing.

The term Orwellian was coined after George Orwell’s book 1984 described a police state where Big Brother acts in a way that is destructive to the liberty and social well-being of the state. It seems that, where retail is concerned at least, this has come to pass this holiday season, as they always seem to be watching and waiting for you to fuck up in any way, shape, or form, even if they have to manipulate the system to do so.

Maybe it’s just me, but I think that a store that has become so paranoid as to threaten and coerce it’s clients (I’m looking at you, too, Barney’s) when they suspect foul play where there is none, they don’t deserve our money this year.

-Don’t Panic

Michael Pearl: Douchebag of the Year

TRIGGER WARNING

Firstly, I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I’m a student, and we’re coming up on finals time, so between studying and anxiety attacks, there hasn’t been much time to relax with a nice steaming cup of rant rage.

Before we get into my rant for today, I want to confess something … I am a survivor of child abuse. For most of my childhood, I experienced either physical, mental, or sexual abuse daily, sometimes all three. For longer than I’d like to admit, I was denied things most take for granted, like a working toilet and access to sunlight and fresh air. It took me years of therapy before I’d even acknowledge the worst of it. Even now, I don’t sleep for days on end, and I haven’t had a depression free day since the start of the millenium. I’ve attempted Suicide four times in 7 years. I’ve experienced everything I’m about to talk about firsthand.

With that said, let’s move on to the part that makes you go “What the fuck?!

Let me elaborate; another child has been killed by her adoptive parents, under the guise of religious parenting. Admittedly, I haven’t read my bible in several years, but I’m pretty sure that nowhere in it does it say “Yae, thou shalt refuse yon child nourishment, and shalt leave her nude in the freezing night to cow her.” Pretty sure if it had said that, it would never have made it passed the publishers, and yet, here we are.

Michael Pearl, earning the dubious honor of being the first person of 2013 that I would want to do things to that violate The Hague Convention, has penned one of the worst literary abortions since Mein Kampf (only, Hitler never claimed his principles came from the work of God, think about that). To Train Up A Child is written by Mr. Pearl and his wife, both leaders of No Greater Joy Ministries, and claims to be written from biblical inspirations and values, despite the fact that several Christian groups are speaking out against him and his methods as being completely against the ideals of the bible and Cristo himself.

Without going into too much detail, mainly because thinking about it too long makes it feel like my head is full of angry yellowjackets, he advocates beating children who are disobedient (otherwise known as every child on the fucking planet!), and denying them basic things like food, clothing, and shelter, otherwise known as the majority of your responsibilities of being a parent!

Okay, breathe, man…

Pearl is the worst kind of human filth, because he not only brings the darkness inside his soul – a darkness so vile it would even give Old Scratch pause – and gives it to other people looking for advice on their child, but he even advocates prophylactic beatings. Yes, his book suggests beating children as young as six months, and when confronted by his detractors, he says children of parents who follow his guide ”…become the models of self-control and discipline… that pay the taxes your children will receive in entitlements.” (wonder what party he subscribes to…)

Apparently, I’m not alone in thinking. that Michael Pearl needs to be stopped before he can spread his evil further, while getting paid handsomely for doing so. I have no hate for the parents, because I don’t know what they were going through when they made the decision to follow his teachings, but I have nothing but sorrow for these children who will never be able to grow old. I can only hope the ones who have survived thus far will find help soon, before it’s too late for them like it almost was for me.

-Don’t Panic

Repeating History

As I prepared  myself for Sabbath today, it was brought to my attention that tomorrow may stand in infamy. Now, pardon me if I’m wrong, but wasn’t Guy Fawkes day on the 5th? The Tea party seems to be a little late to the party…

Anyway, on a more serious note, it seems that the Teabaggers decided to show their real colors by playing on the deeply held racist hypocritical insane beliefs that POTUS cannot legally be the Commander in Chief under any circumstance (Who would’ve guessed bigots weren’t down with the swirl?) and therefore must be excised like the cancerous tumor on America he is. Problem is, everything they’re planning to do is completely illegal, and dangerous. If Larry Klayman actually nuts up and does what he’s threatening to do, people will die.

Surprise surprise, this seems to be inspired by the NRA passing out pamphlets calling for violent insurrection, statingELECTIONS ARE NOT THE SOLUTION TO OUR PROBLEM; ELECTIONS ARE THE PROBLEM! Now, I want you to raise your hand if you think that, if this actually goes down, the NRA will be held responsible in any way for promoting this, or it will spur gun control measures. I want you to do this, because I want to know who to tell that they’re wrong. The Left will be silenced by the “liberal” media, crying martyr, the GOP will finally give the moist, horse-shaped, crater of Benghazi a rest as they latch onto their newest scandal like the parasitic lamprey they are, and the NRA will trot out their “Good Guy With a Gun” speech again. The country will be transfixed on this for three days, then move on; business as usual.

Wow, for a post on a day that’s supposed to be devoted to rest, enlightenment, and strengthening your inner peace, this is getting depressing quick…

To close, I will offer a short history lesson. In 1605, Guy Fawkes entered the basement of Parliament with the intent to assassinate King James I of England, with the intent to detonate a bomb, end the monarchy, and replace it with a fascist catholic theocracy. Though the conspiracy, later known as The Jesuit Treason or Gunpowder Plot, was inevitably a failure, and Fawkes hanged for treason, it is still remembered every November 5. The rhyme for it goes

“Remember, Remember, the fifth of November,
The Gunpowder Treason Plot.
I see no reason, this gunpowder treason,
should ever be forgot”

Now, the meaning there is to remember that the threat of terrorism can be domestic as well as foreign, but most seem to think it translates to “Don’t like your government? Blow the fucker up.” The dark half of me wants this event to go through, because it might finally show the country why these people need to be stopped, and maybe raise the median IQ of the country by about 20 points. (Turning off Fox News would have the same effect – ed)

To close this somewhat long rant, I will leave you with the oft-referenced quote by George Santayana, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

-Don’t Panic.

The Disease That is Conservativism

No-Fox_4c998Ever have a day (or in my case, night) where as soon you look at your social network of choice, you just want to scream “Fuck!!” at the top of your lungs? Lately, that seems to be the case whenever I get an update from a friend in my home state (who we’ll call Twiggy to protect his identity). We met in school before I was expelled, and he was one of the most open-minded,  if naive, people I knew, but since moving back to his hometown, he has become, essentially, a closed-minded imbecile.

In high school, Twiggy was a gay artist who was completely against the policies of Dubya, saying they were a plague on the country that was going to lead us to world war 3. Flash forward 5 or 6 years, and now he hates the current administration, thinks that everything POTUS has done in the last term and a half is destroying our country from the inside out, and has shown his utter disdain for civility by ending the post that sparked this rant with “Call me crazy but I’m beginning to get the idea that Romney would’ve made a better president than Saddam…um, I mean Obama. “ This kind of bullshit is something that sounds natural coming from an RWNJ, but not from a (presumably still) intelligent gay male who’s greatest achievements are in arts.

Make no mistake, I’m not deifying our president; I know he’s made mistakes (the NDAA being one of the biggest ones), but I also point out where he’s gone right (Do I need to list examples?). My problem here isn’t that he doesn’t support the president – that’s his prerogative, and his right as a citizen – my problem is that he seems to be proving the theory that the GOP’s brand of conservatism is a disease more virulent than the common cold. Unfortunately, it seems like it’s only going to get worse.

Scum Of The SCOTUS

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Everyone has their daily ritual they have to complete, and for me, that means checking Cracked’s daily articles. Today’s article on how the political machine is rigged  brought up some concerns. notably what or who they answer to.

The Supreme Court of The United States is considered the highest power in all the land; every lower court in the country has to answer to at least one higher power, with SCOTUS being the top of this particular pyramid of power. However, the supreme court doesn’t seem to have anyone they have to answer to, not even the president. In theory, this should mean that they have one more safeguard to prevent a corrupt administration from making them a puppet to their policies; in practice, however, we see the same issues we see in any self-regulating organization. The human with the greatest legal mind in the country is still human after all, and humans are so prone to corruption, roughly half of our classic literature deals with this reality (The Tempest, The Ring of Gyges, The Lord of the Rings, and Who mourns for Adonis, to name a few) and yet, we somehow think of our elected officials as being incorruptible.

SCOTUS, and judges in general, are supposed to recuse themselves from any suit that presents a conflict of interest to them for whatever reason. While there are checks and balances abound for lower court judges, it’s essentially up to each justice to decide whether a case provides a conflict of interest, which works about as well as you’d expect. Examples of this self-regulating system failing are: Clarence Thomas  presiding over the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act while his wife actively campaigns for its repeal, the king of bloated trolls Antonin Scalia going duck hunting with Dick Cheney before presiding over a case involving his energy task force, and just general clownfuckery.

With the possibility of corruption so high, and the instances of such possible corruption coming to light, this brings some troubling issues to light. While everyone has their eye in a microscope trained on the president, and quite a few of us want to view our senators only through a rifle scope, no one really seems to keep an eye on the supreme court these days. As my opener asks, when there’s no higher power to answer to, who watches the watchmen?