False Flag Impeachment?

This talk of impeachment is scattered—it mattered
To very few people—near no one at all!
No major political figure so big you’re
Expected to answer the phone if they call!
No media darling whose speech meant impeachment
Was favored by some in the party of No
A sign that the don’t-tread-on-me-ers, the TEA-ers
Insist that it’s time for Obama to go!

Oh, no, it’s the Democrats, really, who feel he’s
A useful distraction and fundraising tool
Your typical voter won’t notice the POTUS
Is pulling their strings—cos a voter’s a fool!
Impeachment’s about raising money—it’s funny,
A truth they won’t tell on the idiot box.
Republicans don’t want distractions, but actions!
Just trust us—remember, you heard it on Fox!

It’s getting harder to tell the satires from the real opinion pieces. I thought I had stumbled upon one of the former, with the first paragraph here:

In a matter of days, Democrats looking to head off Republican gains in November have turned scattered talk of President Obama’s impeachment into a sustained rallying cry — even managing to fundraise off the perceived threat.

Scattered talk… from the former Vice Presidential candidate, from members of Congress, and with the support of 57% of Republican voters, according to a CNN/ORC poll. I’ve seen little handfuls of people gathered on street corners and highway overpasses with “Impeach Obama” signs, letters to the editor of our local paper, websites selling impeachment T-shirts… scattered indeed. Clearly a false flag operation.

The frenzied warnings have Republicans scratching their heads – after all, few if any in the party brass are openly pushing impeachment — and accusing the other side of ginning up the controversy for political gain.

“You know, this might be the first White House in history that’s trying to start the narrative of impeaching their own president,” House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, R-La., told “Fox News Sunday.”

Now, technically, “few if any in the party brass” is true. Palin is, as is her habit, no longer in an official position of power, and the party brass have very little connection to the rabid tea faction that actually drives their lurch to the extreme right. But by including the word “brass”, they can gloss this over and pretend that it must be the Dems who are behind this.

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin kicked off the impeachment headlines earlier this month when she penned a column calling for it. But to date, most senior Republicans have shied away from that call.

House Speaker John Boehner stood by his decision to proceed with a lawsuit against the president over alleged abuse of executive power, but would not sign on to the impeachment idea. Even Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., one of the most conservative members of the House GOP caucus, would not get on board with impeachment (though she did back impeaching “certain officials in the Executive Branch.”)

Again, note the qualifiers in “most senior Republicans”–and let’s pretend that the silly Boehner lawsuit was anything but an attempt to appease the impeachment-hounds.

It seems that the only real way to tell the satires from the opinion pieces is that the former tend to be better written:

You don’t have to be a licensed distractionologist to see that the White House is trying to get the president impeached in order to draw attention away from how bad he is at his job.

Don’t believe me? Perhaps a little “history of Obama distractions” is in order.

When he was running for president, Obama tried to distract American voters from the fact that he is black by running for president. That should have been our first sign that this guy was an expert at diversions.

Once in office, Obama immediately ruined our economy by being president, so he distracted us from our financial woes by using death panels to reform the country’s health care system. To draw attention away from those death panels, the administration created the Solyndra solar panel company scandal, and the Fast and Furious federal gun-walking scandal.

Then, to distract from Obamacare, Solyndra and Fast and Furious, Obama selfishly released his long-form birth certificate, causing Donald Trump’s head to explode and sending the right-wing blogosphere into a monthslong apoplectic fit.

Nice to see Fox is there to keep us focused on the shiny thing.

Bishops’ Stance On Motives And Behaviors

“Hate the sin, but love the sinner”,
So I do not hate the gays—
Their desires aren’t a problem
What’s a problem is their ways

It’s their actions, not their motives,
Which define a life of sin
What’s important is their conduct
Not what drives it from within.

If you act on your attraction
That’s what matters most, you see,
Not your motives but your actions
Are forbidden by decree

Thus, I treat them like pariahs
While I love them, every one—
I don’t hate their evil thinking,
Just the evil they have done

You might want to call it bigotry—
It isn’t, really, quite—
See, I’m practicing religion
So it has to be all right

Since my faith’s my motivation
There’s a fact you’ll have to face:
It’s my motive, not my actions
That’s important in this case

According to the Catholic News Agency, representatives of US bishops have made clear their position: When it comes to same-sex relationships, it is perfectly fine for someone to experience attraction, but acting on that attraction is beyond the pale. The problem is that “the bill does not differentiate between same-sex attraction and same-sex conduct, posing a problem to faith groups such as Catholics that affirm the dignity of homosexual persons but oppose homosexual actions.” That is, it’s ok to be gay, so long as no one knows it from what you do, like, say, getting married or actually engaging in a human relationship. It’s what you do that they have a problem with, not your reasons for doing it.

They also made clear their objections to the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, which focuses on what you do, ignoring your reasons for doing it, which the bishops think is entirely unfair.

“Churches, businesses, and individuals should not be punished in any way for living by their religious and moral convictions concerning sexual activity,” the bishops wrote in a July 17 blog post for the U.S. bishops’ conference.

They have religious reasons for discriminating, which means they can’t possibly be actually discriminating; it’s their reasons for doing stuff that is important, not the actual discrimination they are engaged in.

It’s all so simple, really.

On The Deeply Held Religious Beliefs Of Corporations

A local corporation is a member of my church
Though it never puts a dollar in the plate
I haven’t seen it in the pews, no matter how I search
Though it claims it’s more devout than me, of late
It reads its bible daily, and of course it watches Fox,
It’s offended by the liberal elite
It loves Scalia’s reasoning (“He thinks outside the box!”)
Saying personhood is not confined to meat

If the church’s wisdom dictates, say, that women be controlled
There’s a trick our local corporation learned:
Your insurance isn’t yours at all, despite what you’ve been told
Compensation isn’t something that you’ve earned
You must subjugate your wishes to the corporation’s will—
Your insurance is dependent on their whim
So it’s really up to Jesus which prescriptions you may fill,
Cos the corporation puts its faith in Him.

If it holds beliefs devoutly, while abstractly it exists
It’s protected by the constitution, too
And (all thanks to Hobby Lobby) the Supreme Court now insists
Its protections mean it’s even safe from you!
In a battle of religious rights, it’s kinda, sorta, funny—
Corporations have beliefs, by all reports!
They are just like you or me—except, of course, they have more money…
But, of course, that doesn’t matter to the courts.

An Atheist Town Council Prayer

The town of Greece, NY, as a result of their recent court decision, is going to have a town council opening prayer delivered by an atheist. This has left a segment of the Christian population utterly befuddled; when the bible is the only book you need, you are not likely to have a dictionary handy. As both articles and comments show an astonishing lack of imagination or understanding on the part of these concerned Christian citizens, I offered the following comment at the link above (for whatever reason, though, my comments never show up, so I have reproduced it, with additional comments in verse, here):

To pray, by definition, can mean to entreat, to beseech, to implore–to make a request of a person or persons. The verb is not restricted to communion with a god, but may include communion with our fellow citizens. If I were offering the opening prayer, I would beseech the council to remember that they serve *all* the citizens of their community, not just those who share their religious views. I would implore them to look to the constitution and laws for their guidance, instead of to a holy book that many in their community do not follow. I would entreat them to put themselves in the place of these others in their community, as their own bible tells them (Matthew 25:40). I would pray that they use their critical thinking, not merely their faith, in fulfilling the obligations of their elected office.

I beseech the worthy council
To remember, as we pause,
That they serve the constitution,
And the people, and the laws;
They are here as public servants
It is us they represent
By, and of, and for the people
Thus, they serve by our consent

I entreat them to remember
During arguments or fights
That minority positions
Do not lead to loss of rights;
That our freedom of expression
Will protect us as we rant—
We can favor our religion;
It’s the government that can’t.

I implore my fellow citizens
Here gathered by my side
To remember that we use
The constitution as our guide
The majority can’t bully—
We’re protected from attack,
If we heed the constitution
Then the founders have our back

And I pray to every one of you
The bold, the brash, the meek
If you hear or read my words,
Then it’s to you that I would speak
Let us gather here together
Cos there’s work that must be done
So let’s work with one another,
We the people… every one.

“He Meets And Exceeds My Criteria For Such”

When the townsfolk demand I resign
For a statement I’ve owned up as mine
For my honest opinions
Of Hussein and his minions
That I uttered out loud
(I’m not sorry—I’m proud!
See, the man makes me sick
So I turn him off quick
Cos he’s all that I see
when I turn on TV)
I respectfully, strongly, decline

I’m not racist—he met my criteria!
For Benghazi, for health care, for Syria!
The list is much bigger,
So, yes, he’s a n****r
It’s not that he’s black
So call off your attack!
I’ve said all I will say—
Take those cameras away
Why, you media leech—
It’s my right to free speech
It’s what separates US from Siberia!

All this fuss, when it’s only a word!
“F*****g n****r”, she claims that she heard
Yes, some people abuse it,
But no, how I use it
It isn’t his skin
But the content within
And each time I use it
I carefully choose it
And the trivial fact
All my targets are black?
Me? Racist? The thought is absurd!

A few days ago, NPR’s Code Switch blog made the argument that racism is “part of the mix” when it comes to hatred of Obama. As predictable as mayflies, commenters swarmed both to support and to deny the assertion (protip: never read the comments!).

Now, news out of New Hampshire (video at link, well worth watching)–a Wolfeboro police commissioner, Robert Copeland, accused of calling Obama a “f*****g n****r”, admits it (in writing), saying “For this, I do not apologize — he meets and exceeds my criteria for such.” (Sarah Palermo’s article at the Concord Monitor has the most thorough version of the backstory I have seen so far.)

Remember how politicians fled from Cliven Bundy when he talked about “the Negro”? Yeah, not so much in Wolfeboro, so far. Though a hundred or so citizens showed up to protest, fellow commissioners defended Copeland. From the Concord Monitor:

Copeland and another commissioner, Ron Goodgame, did not return calls seeking comment last night. But commission Chairman Joseph Balboni said he has no plans to ask Copeland to resign.

“I think it’s crazy. Bob is a very nice person, and he’s been very generous to the town of Wolfeboro,” Balboni said.

“He’s worked with a lot of blacks in his life. . . . He said some harsh words about Mr. Obama, and here we are. This woman, she’s blowing it all out of proportion.”

(note–even his defenders know this is a racial slur; “meets and exceeds my criteria for such” is a thin attempt to pretend it is not.)

And don’t get me started on the comments (protip: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!!!), expecially at the WMUR story and at the Union MisLeader (the Monitor comments, unbelievably, are about how well-written Palermo’s story is). “Free Speech!” “Mark Twain used the word!” “‘N****r’ isn’t racist any more, because reasons”, “Bush got called things too!”, “thought police!”… but also, “I call that N-word an N-word all the time”, birther tropes, and more.

Copeland unapologetically admitted his words, and for some reason seems to think that the fact that he is not covering up somehow makes it all right. We ought to be filled with admiration for someone who stands up for what he believes like Copeland does.

No, not “admiration”, so much as “disgust”.

***Update***
The story has now hit CNN. So, while there is no additional information in the story, we now have a much larger population of commenters. You can guess the result, and you’d be right. (once again, protip: NEVER READ THE COMMENTS!!!)

“So Help Me…”

As I waited in line at the local Town Hall
(They do cars; they do dogs; I had both)
The woman ahead of me, newly elected,
Was given her swearing-in oath

“Do you swear or affirm to this long list of stuff?”
It began, though it seemed a bit odd:
With “affirm” in the text, as a secular nod,
It still ended with “so help me God

The woman assented; she signed all the forms,
And got herself ready to go
Then paused for a moment, and said to the clerk
“I’m an atheist, though, you should know.”

The state makes assumptions about our beliefs
Which are wrong, as this incident proved
That phrase has been haunting us quite long enough
And it’s high time we had it removed.

Just a quick little nothing–This actually happened at CuttleTown Town Hall today; I was so happy that A)there are atheists running for various town positions, and B)they aren’t shy about saying so. It has long bothered me that all of our local swearings-in contain “so help me God” in the official language; when I had jury duty a while back, there were at least 3 atheists on our jury (one, like me, simply did not say “so help me God”, while the other didn’t realize he had the option of staying silent). The judges spoke with us after each case, asking if there was anything about the process that could be improved… at the time, I just wanted to go home, and since we had an obnoxious minister on the jury as well, I did not want to start something that could take quite a bit of time. Yeah, I probably should have said something.

Point is, I am very glad that my new representative *did* say something. And I did tell her so, and thanked her. Sadly, after the Greece ruling, I don’t think “so help me God” will be going anywhere any time soon.

“Under God” Suits In MA, NJ

Public schools are, it seems, now alleging that pledging
Allegiance to flags, and to gods, is the rule;
“Under God” makes the word “indivisible” risible—
Laughable, really, for kids in their school—
Of course there are children abstaining, explaining
Their worldview prevents them from going along;
They’d say “under god”, but it’s blather; they’d rather
Say nothing at all, than to say something wrong

These kids will all face brutal mocking—it’s shocking,
That good Christian children would treat them this way
But kids know, the way to defeat them, is beat them
Till, bleeding and bruised, they have learned to obey
The truth is, the pledge that they’re saying is praying—
It separates children, by form of belief…
Just read Seuss’s tale of the Sneetches, which teaches
That such segregation leads surely to grief.

The latest lawsuit is in New Jersey.

I’ve already seen comments on some sites asking if, should the atheists win, they will accept the settlement money that all says “in god we trust” on it. Ceremonial deism, my ass; the judges ought to read the comments sections sometime (protip: never read the comments section!), to see just how often that phrase on our money is used to “other” us. The purpose of the phrase is not to recognize a god; it’s to recognize a class of others to call second-class citizens.

The pledge and the motto are trivial things to a judge, but are markers of cultural privilege to the poor put-upon martyred 80% majority in this country and don’t you ever forget it, majority rules we are a christian nation commenters on the internet.

On Realizing That Corporations Are People Too… And That You’ve Fallen In Love With One.

My darling corporate entity
I’ve loved you from the start
One hundred ten percentity,
With more than just my heart
I told you what I meantity
In poetry and prose
You showed your discontentity
And that’s the way it goes.

My sweetheart business enterprise
I tried to win you back
I told you my intenterprise—
You told me what I lack
My capital I’d spenterprise
But you would not invest
My future’s in descenterprise—
My value is depressed.

My love, my all, my syndicate—
Forever and beyond!
I note, to my chagrindicate,
My word’s my only bond
I’d fight through thick and thindicate
To have you as my bride
I know I cannot windicate;
You know, at least, I tried

My darling corporate entity
I’ve loved you from the start
One hundred ten percentity,
With more than just my heart
I told you what I meantity
In poetry and prose
You showed your discontentity
And that’s the way it goes.

Yeah… put “loving you back” as another difference between the kind of people known as “corporations” and the kind of people known as “people”. “Going to jail” is another thing corporations can’t do. We’ll find out pretty soon whether “discrimination” is yet another.

“An Abortion, But Not A Tan”

“A young women if this bill passes can get an abortion, but not a tan, an abortion would be legal but a tan would not, think of it.” Rep. Steve Vaillancourt (R-Manchester)

She’s much too young for cigarettes,
And way too young for booze
Too young by far for voting;
There’s no telling who she’d choose!
She’s still too young for driving—
She could wipe out in a skid
But she’s old enough, or so they say,
To bear and raise a kid.

Too young for getting married
And too young to get tattoos
Too young to buy a handgun
Or to gamble (win or lose)
Too young to do a lot of things,
No ifs, no buts, no maybes…
But magically, she’s old enough
To be put in charge of babies!

I thought about it, Steve. There are, as you can see, quite a few things the state has decided are in its best interest, and the best interest of its citizens, to regulate. We don’t allow 14-yr-olds to vote, with or without their parents’ permission–that is the state’s choice. We don’t allow the parents to decide that their 12-year-old is responsible enough to drive. Mind you, parents can be idiots sometimes, so it is quite often the case that they will be the source of the kid’s cigarettes or beer well before it is legal; in such cases, we hold the parents liable for contributing to the delinquency of a minor!

Yup, kids make stupid decisions at times. They do things before they are mature enough to make good decisions (and of course, many adults simply make bad decisions, but the state has decided they can be responsible for themselves at a certain point). Forcing a teenaged girl to go through with a pregnancy is actually a fairly horrible thing to do; she is not mature enough, physically or emotionally, for childbirth, let alone for parenthood. One could make a strong case that it is in the state’s (and certainly the girls’) best interest to mandate abortion in cases of young teen pregnancy… but of course, such a law would never pass. Allowing choice, though, is not at all an extreme position–rather, it is a middle ground between mandating birth and mandating termination. And it is the only one that recognizes the bodily autonomy of the girl herself.

So, yeah, Steve, if the Tanning Safety bill had passed, a girl could have an abortion legally before she could go to a tanning bed legally (given the presence of the sun, the bill would not prohibit her from actually getting a tan); and this position is perfectly consistent with being concerned for the best interest of the girl. Your pro-skin-cancer, pro-forced-birth position is also consistent, if being cruel to girls is your aim.

(Of course, “A Good Cartoon” had this covered a while back.)

On Bodily Autonomy

There are accidents and incidents
And surgeries and wars—
There’s a constant need for blood, and so,
We’d like to borrow yours.

You can spare a pint or so a month—
We’ll take it from your arm—
And to make the process easier,
I’m setting up a farm:

We’ll keep you while you serve your term,
Three-quarters of a year,
And harvest blood and marrow—
For the greater good, it’s clear

You’ll be saving lives by dozens
So you’ll gladly do your part
Sure, we’re forcing your donation
Still, it’s coming from your heart

You’re in servitude to others
It’s a slavery of sorts
But you’re saving lives, and so we know
You’re good and willing sports

You can put your wishes second
You can put your life on hold
You can meet your obligations
You can do what you are told

You claim rights we cannot trample
Or shout “Freedom!” till you’re hoarse
You have life inside your bloodstream…
If we have to, we’ll use force

To complain’s unpatriotic—
But extremists raise their voice
And they’ll blather “it’s my body”
And the foolish “it’s my choice”

If the state controls your body
Then that argument’s a dud;
For the sake of someone else, then,
We’ll be harvesting your blood.

***

I doubt I need to put this in context.