Lite Blog

Hi. Howaya? I started writing the piece below on December 30th. I got busy. Plus I wasn’t really all that taken with it, so I shelved it. I also felt it was analysis with little in the way of “fun” spin, so I thought it wasn’t in the spirit of the blog. I wanted to get in my general disappointments with the administration and the lack of movement nationally toward an assault weapon ban as a sort of “end of year wrap-up”. It just seemed slight in light of the actual year.

Today, January 11, 2019, our federal government is in the midst of a record-setting-long government shutdown that is the work of one man (one immoral and vomitous man. Guess who.), in a desperate attempt to create political momentum to brace himself…to save himself from the incoming storm that will sweep over him when the Mueller Probe drops their report. If federal workers and those that rely on them, their income or services suffer, so be it. Most sickening is the support this behavior gets from the Republicans in the Senate.

I just want to make a short point here based on the news of the day, before I get to the news of yesterday.

Trump’s wall and the philosophy behind it must be fought to the death.

There is a need for a lot of funding on the border (even funding for new walls, barriers and fences, as well as maintenance and upgrades on the existing 500+ miles of existing barriers…that is what we call “infrastructure maintenance”). No one with any reason is calling for “open borders”, or removal of exiting barriers. Okay?

I just don’t trust the racist, xenophobic assholes of this administration to apply that funding. If they are really concerned about the influx of refugees fleeing Central America seeking asylum in the US, then I need to hear something in the plan about how all that is going to be addressed at the source. That really should be the main thing to talk about. I also need to hear about the investment in humanitarian solutions to help these refugees until the source problem is addressed (such as investment in better refugee handling facilities or procedures).

Instead, we just get the same old tired fear tactics about crime, drugs and terrorism as justification to push through the manifestation of that tired old 2000-mile-long-wall trope. Everything else, the source problem and the humanitarian crisis it creates, gets swept under the rug. Why? Because construction projects are easy. Finding solutions to actual problems that work…that fix the source of the problem…that’s hard. That takes real commitment, empathy, investment, sacrifice. I don’t think these asshole Republicans understand any of these things.

I’m not going to support funding some racist band-aid solution…A solution that’s only being discussed (at this level of national attention) because some asshole wants to say he kept his promise to his asshole supporters…so they’ll “be there for him” in the inevitable, upcoming impeachment fight.

Today, I see so many “band-aid” solutions to very serious issues. The southern border security issue (as framed by Trumpists) isn’t even on my radar as a crisis. We have robust, well funded border security and immigration enforcement. But this band-aid solution of a wall will do nothing to address the problems it is purported to “fix”. We will still have an opioid crisis. We will still have crime where there is poverty. We will still have shifting demographics and the insecurity and fear they can generate.

It’s really tough for me to witness this farce…to know how many people it’s hurting. All in some sick attempt to give solace to isolationist, racist and xenophobic Trumpists and White Nationalist. And the Republican Senate is totally behind it. They could get us out of this shutdown with a supermajority vote…They could, but they wont. I wonder why?

So now on to the other bit…

The “crummy” End-of-Year piece

So, this year. This fucking year. I’ve been so challenged this year. Remember when people said that 2017 was rotten?  That was so cute. Well, here comes 2019.

And I know 2019 is either going to be Trump’s impeachment or the fight for Trump’s impeachment. It has to be. His behavior as president has been too disgraceful for the new House to ignore. I mean what is a “President” anymore? The construct is so degraded at this point.

Trump’s doctrine of “I alone”-ism is an affront to and assault on the constitution he swore to obey and protect. His impeachment in the House (regardless of the Senate’s support) is going to happen in 2018. Bet on it.

Trump was (shortsightedly) protected by the Republican majority in the House until now. With the Democrats taking over, things are going to get really tough, really fast. And it needs to be that way. Trump is a threat to our country through, just to start, his immorality and incompetence. You need to face a threat like that head-on. There is no other way (We don’t a “Chamberlain” right now. We don’t need to appease him. We can’t afford it). We don’t need to live under this Trumpism bullshit; this never-ending bullhorn blasting hatred and lies.

If the Democratic house does not pull out every stop to make Trump completely transparent to the American people they will have failed.

As I see it, all presidents need to be totally financially and ethically transparent to the population they serve; we need to know every connection point, every sphere of influence. That must be the price paid to become President. If you want to serve as the President you have to come clean. No lies. You lie (specifically to hide a crime), you’ve perjured yourself to your oath of office and you need to go.

Trump’s obsession with southern border security and his popularity with the white nationalist movement are also worth feeling sick over. The child separation policy is a perfect window into the mind of this fuck and the people who support him.

So yeah, in 2019 were going to need to put all of Trump’s shit out in public and try to get the Republicans to “manage their yard”…ya know? “Pull the weeds”. We do this not because we want to, but because we have to. We have to protect this country from this treat.

2019 is going to be intense. You throw a recession on top of that and we’re talking fun city. It’ll make 2018 look like a fucking daydream.

Guns

Anyway, I really came here to write about guns. Which is something I think about at this time every year. I’m always seeing a “Year’s Biggest Stories” news special around this time of year and there is always a section about the mass shootings that happened in the last year.

I’ve always been sensitive to this. If you aren’t you are a sick fuck (IMHO). But I became more sensitive in 2012. I became very rigid on this subject when the Newtown massacre happened, when twenty 6 and 7-year-olds where slaughtered, literally blown to pieces, in minutes (seconds) with an AR15. I recall watching the news that day, ELEVEN DAYS BEFORE CHRISTMAS, holding my newborn son in my arms. I saw the truth with such clarity that day, I never will be moved off of it. The voice of GOD! This truth I saw? All assault rifle style firearms need to taken out of public circulation NOW!

I hate all guns. I prefer no guns at all. That said, I appreciate and respect that people want to have the right to feel protected. They want to have access to a lethal weapon that can afford them that protection. I say we can meet that need without the assault weapons.

I’ll give you the common arguments I see (arguments I have had to answer) and my responses.

Argument 1) “What you call assault weapons are really semi-automatic firearms; a category that includes handguns and hunting rifles. You, as someone who doesn’t own a firearm, don’t know what you are talking about. There are no differences between semi-automatic firearms. You outlaw one and it’s a slippery slope. Your ignorance is going to impede my right to protect myself and my right to bear arms”

So, this one is easy. AR15 style weapons have a long barrel, high muzzle velocity and ammunition that explodes inside the body. It is not a hand gun. It is not a hunting riffle. It is the semi-automatic version of a military assault weapon designed with one purpose, to kill large amounts of humans efficiently.

In that way it is its own category of weapon and ammunition. See? People with reason or brains understand the concept of categories. Like “because this item has these specific pre-determined attributes, it belongs in such-and-such category”…Go to an online firearm retailer, they seem be able to determine categories. See? https://www.cabelas.com/catalog/browse/semiautomatic-centerfire-rifles/_/N-1114861/Ns-CATEGORY_SEQ_105524280

Militaries choose this weapon and ammunition type over handguns and hunting rifles (and their related ammunition) for a reason. They want to inflict maximum casualties, to bring maximum lethality. They choose a long barrel gun with a high muzzle velocity that causes the bullet to explode and shred the organs inside the target…to insure not just “incapacity” but death.

When the bullet hits your body whether it comes from a fully automatic version of this weapon type vs semi- automatic hardly matters. Your organs explode…You die.

To go one further semi vs full auto doesn’t really slow the shooter either. Per some self-confessed firearms expert on Quota (https://www.quora.com/Do-you-prefer-3-round-burst-or-full-auto-in-a-military-rifle):

“Suppressive fire is the classic reason one uses a weapon in full automatic configuration, but continuous fire from a skilled operator firing a semi-automatic weapon can create the same desired effect.”

This 60 minutes story lays the facts out pretty well (if you care to know them):

https://www.cbsnews.com/news/ar-15-used-mass-shootings-weapon-of-choice-60-minutes/

So, no. AR15 type weapons are not the same as other semi automatic firearms, they are a type or category of firearm and ammunition and, as such, can be singled out and banned based on pre-determined attributes that would not affect access to other categories of semi automatic firearms.

Argument 2) “Assault weapons only account for a small fraction (2%) of firearm related deaths. Singling them out is foolish, unfair and unreasonable.”

I’m not sure about the accuracy of firearm death statistics because the CDC isn’t funded to get all the info. I want to see their full report, when it is funded. I think it will be very illuminating.

When we get these reports and records, I want to see these deaths put into very specific categories. For example, if we make a category for “unhinged shooters” I think we will see that the percentage of murders committed using assault rifles goes up.

Bottom line, I don’t care if it’s 2% or 0.2%.

The day we have a mass shooting with an assault rifle that was illegally acquired because it was against the law to own such a weapon will be a sad, tragic day. But it will be a day I’ll be comforted to know that we, as a country, did what we could to stop it from happening with our system, legally.

I’ll be comforted to know that we will able to prosecute every link in the illegal/black-market supply chain that delivered that gun to that killer.

Argument 3) “Regulations don’t stop the criminals from getting banned firearms.”

Okay…That is the dumbest argument of all. Following that logic to its natural conclusion means we shouldn’t have any laws at all, because all laws can, and will, be broken.

People who have an understanding about reality, understand that laws do not keep immoral, antisocials from committing crimes. Instead these laws give law enforcement and the judicial system the ability to create programs to fight the black-market, collect and destroy contraband and punish people who break the laws related to owning, trading or committing crimes with banned firearms.

Laws don’t stop crime; they define what a crime is.

In conclusion

I’m a dreamer. I want assault rifles gone. I want Trump and Trumpism gone. Is 2019 gonna get me any of this?…Well, probably not the assault rifles, anyway.

Some of my best friends are hospitality industry housekeepers

I’ve had this title on the brain for a couple of weeks…while I was neglecting my “platform”. So yeah, I enjoyed a short resort vacation in that interim (entitled much?) and had some interactions with the hotel staff. You get back to your room in the middle of a cleaning, that kind of thing. We see these people but we don’t think on them too much. We might leave them a tip…if we feel bad.

But they live a truth. You get to this country and (if you’re lucky) you might just end up making beds and cleaning toilets in a nice hotel. It’s a job. You work hard, long hours doing redundant, menial labor for shit pay. There is no glamour, no prestige, certainly no “opportunity for advancement”. None of your co-workers envy your position. You probably have to take all kinds of shit from your supervisors and the guests. But you survive. You get your kids into the American public school system. You model your work ethic for those kids. If those kids apply that ethic in school and lose the accent, they might just find themselves working the front desk of that hotel one day. They might find themselves doing anything their little hearts desire.

This is America to me. That this can, and does, happen here. That it happens every day.

Even the most cold-blooded economist will tell you that American economic growth is driven, and has always been driven, by the hard work of immigrant labor (at least since we closed the slave auctions, that is). Let’s not forget immigrant innovation, too. Without this labor and innovation, America would not be the power house nation you see today.

Remember, dirty jobs done cheap (by immigrant labor) are always churning away just under the veneer of your pure, white heaven. You pull that piece out of the puzzle and you’ll find yourself neck deep in raw sewage before you can say, “MAGA!”

But yeah, that article title “joke” (Some of my best friends are…). I don’t know these immigrants (not really) and I never will. I’ll never be besties with them. And that goes for everyone else in my position, and YOU, TOO! Am I wrong?

Now that I think of it…Who is going to be my friend? So lonely…Shake it off, Powers!

So we need them, they are part-and-parcel of the fabric of which our country is borne, but “class” and “culture” keep them at arms length. I can’t fix that. But I know these class and culture bias “walls” (Like that?…“walls”…get it?) delay and impede the desired “cultural assimilation” we require from our immigrants. And so we get ghettos, and the poverty, alienation, desperation and crime that comes along with excluded populations in ghettos.

And we’ve had that going on for a long time. That energy and precedent feeds on itself, grows, becomes the culture, a paradigm, a talking point for racist pundits and politicians looking to further exclude these groups. American capitalism and culture creates ghettos. Period. Deal with it. Suck it. We choose to live with it. I think we can do better. But this is what it is for now…

But now we got this fucking guy…

#PresidentShithead. He sucks such ass. He makes everything worse, unless you look at the world through asshole tinted glasses.

And it’s tough. I’ve come to the point I can’t even parse it anymore. This asshole is soul spooning the 35% of the population that will always be stupid and hateful…all-day-long…every time. Call them a “basket of deplorables”, to coin a phrase (I feel like I’ve heard that somewhere before…nevermind). Turns out their hatred goes racist real easy. Who would have known? And this fucking guy, turns out HE’S RACIST, TOO. A marriage made in hell. The more he scapegoats brown immigration at his hate rallies and in his hate tweets, the more they love it. It’s a majestic symbiosis of vomit.

Hate. Hate. Hate. Hate gets people to the polls. Hate got him elected. Hate is his brand. Hate is fuel for the fire. Hate needs a target. Hate is power. Hate is dominance. Hate is control. Hate is “strong”. Hate. Hate. Hate. Until we rid ourselves of this arbiter of hate we are doomed to live in a hater nation. Oh, we are soooo fucked.

But even more fucked are these poor immigrant motherfuckers. Some nice lady who, if she’s lucky, might be so privileged as to be given the opportunity to scrape your poo remnants off the inside of your hotel room toilet and fish your discarded Band-Aids out of the shower drain. Some nice lady who might have a kid she doesn’t want targeted, murdered and/or raped by some cartel funded gang. So here’s a policy, if she gets to our border with this kid, let’s terrorize her again (and the kid, too). Don’t let her scrape poo! Separate them and LOCK HER UP! LOCK HER UP! (Once again, I’m detecting notes of familiarity).

But where does it end?

I see these asshole Republicans digging in behind this racist President (Urp. Can this fuck actually be the President? I’m not convinced). They are trenching deep. Digging miles of tunnels (Supreme Court tunnels). They know those Russian chickens are coming home soon. They could wake up and walk away, but what they really, really want to do is go full alt-fact death cult. And it is a cult. The Kool-Aid has been served and it has been drunk deep. They’re guzzling that Kool-Aid down by the gallon and asking for seconds. So they can finally get what they want.

So what do they want?

Well they have a list. The original list was as follows:

  • Punish homosexuals
  • Criminalize abortion
  • Mandatory Christian prayer in public schools
  • Racial discrimination & segregation
  • Women in “traditional gender roles”

And now we can add these, too…

  • Make acquiring a gun as easy as possible
  • Reduce/Abolish taxes for the wealthy
  • Abolish social welfare
  • Privatize/Commoditize social services and education
  • Privatize/Commoditize transportation, public roads and bridges
  • Break all labor organizations (unless it’s police)
  • Build a wall across Mexico
  • Dismantle the NATO alliance
  • Defend, fetishize and ultimately implement authoritarianism
  • Demonize people who don’t agree with you
  • Call the independent free press the “enemy of the people”
  • Allow the unrestricted destruction of the natural environment and discredit scientists who warn against it
  • Make sure that all important decisions are made by, and in the best interest of, old, white, rich men.

So let’s say they get everything they want. I mean every checkbox is filled. I mean no taxes. Zero. All the glaciers are melted down. Done! #PresidentShithead’s tweets come over your media devices via the Emergency Broadcast System. Jesus’ face is placed smack in the middle of the American flag and the stars are swapped out for crosses. Women who’ve had abortions are put in stocks in the public square. Sounds nice, right?

What do you give to the racist who has everything?

So they get everything they want. And yet they still feel angry and empty inside. I mean sure, yeah, they needed all those things. But something’s still off. It’s that pesky white nationalist itch. If it isn’t scratched, they’ll never feel reich … I mean “right”. It isn’t you, it’s them. You did your best. You were submissive and compliant, just like they said they wanted. Shit! They got everything they asked for, but it turns out it just wasn’t enough.

So long as the people who reflect slightly less light into their retinas than other people exist, or even have the potential to exist, within their fields-of-view, lets be honest, they’ll never be happy (unless that person is way off to the side holding a toilet brush …obviously). Because lets face it, reflectivity is the ultimate measure of a person’s worth.

I mean, isn’t this what really brought that 35% together in the first place. Sure they made that silly little list of stuff they wanted. It was fun. A bonding experience. But let’s get real. There was one thing they didn’t want to put on the list. They were embarrassed. Probably should have been number one. They just wanted you to get it for them without them having to ask. I mean, if you really knew them, you would have gotten it for them already…if you really knew them…

“Genocide! For me? Oh, you shouldn’t have.

I see you

Sorry for the long strange trip. I’ve just had my fill of racism and xenophobia. I see these immigrants. They come to America to do our dirty shit jobs for us so that maybe, just maybe, their children will have a chance at a better life. I see them. I respect them. I know their story is the story of my family tree, not so far back. When I see these people abused, maligned and scapegoated, by a bunch of entitled, selfish, unappeasable, WILLFULLY STUPID white fucks WHO SEEMINGLY HAVE NO GRASP OF HISTORY (EVEN THE LAST HUNDRED YEARS), it boils my blood.

It makes me crazy when I see the President of the United States embolden these fucking losers, to bluntly and repeatedly reinforce their stupidity and hatred. It makes me crazy when I see the President of the United States IS ONE OF these fucking losers.

It has to be stopped! This FUCK has to be impeached! He should have been sent up for impeachment the day he said the press was the “enemy of the people”…just for that alone. I don’t know how to stop it, but the stopping of it has to start, “big league”.

#OccupyWashington? Where are you? Is that a thing? Can it be a thing? I think it better become a thing…soon. We have to get a couple of million peeps on the streets in DC, stat. Bring your water boxes, bring your canned food and just fucking camp out. Have hand drum, will travel. Discuss amongst yourselves.

’Til next time.

P.S. (note to self) Remember to tip the housekeeper, you cheap fuck.

Who’s the Snake?

Since #PresidentShithead decided to dust off one of his Greatest Shits, “The Snake”, at CPAC, I thought it only appropriate to ask, “Who is the Snake, again?”

I immediately thought, “This sound bite needs to be set to animation with Trump as the Snake and Lady Liberty as the…ya know, Lady.” I checked the internet and saw political cartoonist Bill Day beat me to the punch. And in getting ahead of me, he created a beautiful style guide. And look, the cartoon is great, but I think the #NEVERAGAIN kids need to see this baby fully animated to really get the point across.

I would do it myself, but, as I’ve previously stated, drawing is hard. So I nominate others to do the hard work I refuse to do myself, like any dedicated Liberal should.

Shit! Let’s make this a competition!

I want to call out the following people to each create individual cartoons based on the idea I had (that Bill Day just happened to have before me… so it is not, technically, stealing):

  • @psychicpebbles
  • @colbertlateshow
  • @geraldscarfe
  • @MikeJudge
  • @SouthPark
  • @JohnKricfalusi
  • @schoolhouserock

We’ll do a Twitter poll to determine the winner. We want to be fair and let the Russian Twitter Bots have a say, too.

Deadline for submissions is before the world ends.

Government Can Stay Shutdown Until They Solve Racism

As far as I’m concerned, the government can remain “shutdown” until we drive all the racists out of Washington..so it’s gonna be a while.

On the week leading up the MLK Day, The President, in an immigration policy meeting with an opposition party member, called other countries with populations of a different skin tone than his “shithole”s. And so the opposition member dared to let us know. THANK GOD!

In the aftermath, we have witnessed LYING from the president, senators and cabinet members present to cover it up. When the cover up didn’t work, these racists referred to the language as “strong” and “tough”. I remember a time when such words were referred to as “vile”, “foul”, “bad”, “disgusting”, “offensive” (usually by Christian conservative types)…but, when Trump opens his idiotic trap and curses, the words are considered “strong”…Right…Strong? Because everything with Trump is strength? I don’t think so. It isn’t strength. It is HATE. Technically, “hate speech” (look it up).

Hate in our government has to be called out. Bright lights have to be shined on it. It has to be kicked out of the seats of power and, if it can’t be forcibly removed, it has to be voted out ASAP. I do not believe that racists can be rehabilitated (like child molesters, if you will). I want them OUT! OUT! OUT!

On the Chris Hayes show, I saw Republican Florida representative Matt Gaetz say of Haiti, “I mean, everywhere you look in Haiti, it’s sheet metal and garbage when I was there.” What an ignorant, judgmental, elitists, intolerant, racist piece of human-garbage this guy is. How emboldened he is today to speak his hate in total confidence on national television. I’m sure our colonists felt much the same way about Native American villages just before the slaughter. GET HIM OUT! OUT! OUT!

I was ecstatic to hear that Conan O’Brien is getting straight over to Haiti to counter OUR (BARF!) president’s (and the RACIST republican “immigration hawks” he surrounds himself with) crude attempts to dehumanize and disenfranchise Haitians. I can’t wait to see this show.

SO like I said, let the government stay shut down. OR get a “clean” DACA deal done NOW (with extra Haitians and Africans as far as I’m concerned). The Democrats have to stand firm against this hate and bigotry and show once and for all what true strength is.

LOVE is strength and truth. HATE is weakness and ignorance. Get it straight.