Armed response

Ben Carson is in the news again, in the wake of the mass murder in Oregon, for claiming that the Holocaust could have been prevented if German Jews had been armed.

“I think the likelihood of Hitler being able to accomplish his goals would have been greatly diminished if the people had been armed,” Carson said. “I’m telling you there is a reason these dictatorial people take guns first.”

In other words, the way to prevent genocide, or attempted genocide, is to take up arms and fight back against the police, according to Carson. You know who took that advice? The Palestinians. How did that work out for them?


Some of you may have heard that the Pope made a special visit to Kim Davis during his recent trip to the US—which apparently you weren’t supposed to do, or at least the Vatican is somewhat chagrined that you did. By way of damage control, they’ve released a special statement announcing that the Pope’s visit to Davis should not be seen as indicating that he supports her. They also announced this morning that they’re kicking out a senior priest because he publicly admits being gay.

So just to clarify the Vatican’s press release, the Pope absolutely does support Davis. They just don’t want people to see it.

As you sow…

I have to confess feeling a certain amount of schadenfreude right now. For years I’ve been watching conservatives pushing themselves into an escalating cycle of dickishness, promoting tribalism, bravado, self-serving hypocrisy, self-righteous bigotry, and disregard (if not outright contempt) for the objective facts. This downwards political spiral was one of the things that led me to stop being so conservative myself: I felt shamed and betrayed by the political philosophy I was raised in, and I left it.

So I’m taking a certain amount of satisfaction right now in seeing Donald Trump running for president as a conservative. As others have pointed out, he has not been a particularly conservative person as far as his past attitudes and behaviors are concerned. But in many ways, he’s the epitome of everything the Republicans have worked so hard to make themselves into. He may not be the hero the GOP wants, but he’s the hero they deserve.

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The true shame of the Confederacy

I happened to flip on the local Christian talk radio briefly during my commute home last night, and heard an interesting conversation. They were talking about South Carolina taking down the Confederate flag from the state capitol, and how goose-bumpy they felt to see history in the making. And then one of the 2 co-hosts made a statement that really caught my attention. It was rush hour, so I didn’t have the opportunity to write it down, but as best I can recall, she said something like this.

“And of course the real shame of the Confederacy was that they used the Bible to justify slavery. God is not mocked.”

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Which definition?

Republicans are making a lot of noise right now, accusing the Supreme Court of “changing the definition of marriage.” (They’ve done focus groups and market research and found out that this meme is the one that has the most positive response from potential donors.) But in fact, the Supreme Court has not changed the definition of marriage at all, and here’s how you can prove it.

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Congratulations to everyone whose years of struggle and suffering finally led to yesterday’s Supreme Court decision upholding marriage equality. Your hard work and dedication have made America a better place for everyone here. Thanks.

And by the way, I just checked with my wife, and it seems our marriage is still alive and well, despite being “redefined” by the Court. Maybe that’s because our definition of marriage wasn’t based on oppressing others, but only on mutual love, commitment, and support. To anyone who finds that their marriage has been changed by yesterday’s ruling, may I suggest that perhaps you’ve been working under a defective definition all along.

MAKE ’em fly it

A lot of people are calling for South Carolina and other southern states to quit flying the Confederate flag outside of government buildings. I’m not. I say make ’em fly it.

Make ’em fly it until they redraw their voting districts so that black votes have as much weight as white votes.

Make ’em fly it until black applicants are as likely to be hired as white, for jobs that white applicants want.

Make ’em fly it until the police are no more likely to stop and frisk a person of color than to do the same to a white person.

Make ’em fly it until schools with mostly black students are as well-funded as schools with mostly white students.

Make ’em fly it until they end the practice of railroading young black men into prisons under the pretext of a so-called “war on drugs,” release everyone unjustly imprisoned by this sham, and expunge their records so they can vote and hold decent jobs and live normal lives.

Make ’em fly it until they quit pretending not to be racists, and actually produce substantial, substantive improvements in civil rights and racial equality.

It’s a shameful, ugly, disgusting symbol for a host of shameful, ugly injustices. Fix the injustices, and then we can talk about removing the shameful symbols.

Caitlyn Jenner vs Tim Tebow

The “soldiers are brave” meme, as an attack on Caitlyn Jenner, pretty much flopped, so conservative evangelicals have come up with a new meme to spread the word about what a poor, persecuted majority they are.

The people applauding Bruce [sic] Jenner for “being himself” [sic] are the same people who condemned Tim Tebow and told him to “keep his beliefs to himself”. That’s what is wrong with America.

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I was going to write a post about Sarah Palin calling a 7-year-old girl a “pedophile,” but then I realized I had more important things to do. Like, for example, it’s been a long, tiring day, and I feel like yawning. Yeah, that’s how I’ll spend my time. I need a good yawn.