A Solid Christian.

Roy Moore speaks at Voters Value Summit 2017. (Photo: Jared Holt for Right Wing Watch).

Oh, so many evangelicals of the religious reich are propping up Roy Moore with absolute zeal, and a gigantic raft of lies. I’m not going to address all of them; I have a busy day ahead, but some of this, ugh, toxic morality is so damn disgusting. I will make the point that it’s hardly uncommon for men in their late 20s/early 30s to pursue people in their early teens; it happened to me often enough, and yes, that was in the 1970s. That sort of age gap wasn’t as frowned upon then, a man of 32 with a solid career was considered to be a good match for someone 17 to 19 years old, a steady hand, so to speak. Yeah, I know. I am thankful attitudes have changed in that regard. All that said, it does not make that behaviour any less skeevy or questionable. There’s a massive power imbalance there, and that was particularly true in Moore’s case, as he was a district attorney, and most teenagers aren’t completely clear on just how much power is or isn’t contained within that position. Moore was in a position to make an effective threat.

The fact that Moore was so very careful to not engage in intercourse tells me he knew damn well what he was doing was wrong, and he didn’t want to be caught. He certainly didn’t want to be punished in any respect, so he was very cautious. Does the fact he’s been married the last 32 years make it okay? No. I’ve been married for 38 years, together with my partner for 40 years. What does that tell you about the state of my marriage? Nothing. What does that tell you about my character and actions for the last 40 years? Nothing.

I expect many of the evangelicals supporting Moore wouldn’t be upset if a 32 year old wanted to date their teenage daughter, and that really does not make anything better. It makes it much worse.

The American Family Association stood by its endorsement of Moore, writing in a statement, “AFA Action believes Justice Roy Moore to be a truthful man and a solid Christian.” Bryan Fischer, a radio host for AFA’s American Family Radio, wrote that establishment Republicans were turning against Moore because they “despise ordinary Americans like us who believe in the Ten Commandments, natural marriage, normative sexuality, right and wrong, the Constitution as written by the Founders, the rule of law, and the Judeo-Christian tradition of truth claims and moral values.”

I’m an ‘ordinary’ American. I’m mixed race, childfree, bisexual, and identify as female. I’m an atheist who is committed to inclusion and acceptance. I live rural, with one partner and too many animals. I do not believe in the ten commandments, natural marriage, or missionary position only and don’t fuckin’ enjoy it. I don’t believe in the constitution; I think it’s high time for a rewrite. I believe in marriage equality. I do have a strong sense of right and wrong. I somewhat respect law. A lot of it is damn stupid, and needs serious reworking too, and the police system needs to be torn down and redone completely. WTF is the “Judeo-Christian tradition of truth claims and moral values”? Truth claims? Jesus Christ. How about the truth? I’m not allergic to that. I am allergic to the twisted, abusive bullshit you asses present as ‘moral values’. Your ‘moral values’ say Moore is a stand up guy, not a skeevy man who used his position to impose on teenagers. Why in the hell should I pay attention to such a version of “right and wrong” ? No. Just no.

AFA president Tim Wildmon told Religion News Service, “I don’t think this kind of story will change support for him among Christians since he has categorically denied it. Most will see it as dirty politics.”

There are none so blind as those who refuse to see. That little sentiment should be familiar to you all.

Jerry Falwell Jr., one of President Trump’s strongest allies in the Religious Right, told RNS, “It comes down to a question who is more credible in the eyes of the voters — the candidate or the accuser.” He later clarified that he believed the candidate.

Ah, the christian version of bitches be lying. How lovely.

Anti-choice activist Janet Porter wrote in WorldNetDaily that she trusts Moore in part because he doesn’t think her “heartbeat bill,” which would ban abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy, goes far enough. Porter laid out her theory that Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos encouraged the paper to manufacture accusations against Moore in order to bring him profits. “Not sure who to vote for?” she wrote. “Just look at who the enemy is firing at the hardest. He’s the guy you want.”

Don’t be dragging Lucifer into this mess. Your imaginary archvillain hasn’t done anything. If Moore was such an amazingly upstanding christian, why didn’t he fight off the temptation to impose himself all over one teenager after another? Why, when the urge came over him to accost a teenager or go hunting them at the local mall, was this solid christian not on his knees in prayer? The only enemy here are Moore’s own actions. “Hey, it was a long time ago” does not excuse it. Look at Moore’s attitude towards bodily autonomy rights. Is this a man who views women as full human beings? No.

Ugh, ugh, ugh, so damn disgusting. RWW watch has the full rundown, replete with links.

Further reading from Mano Singham.

Editing Louis C.K.

A few days ago, PZ had a post about Louis C.K.’s apology. Like a lot of people, I wasn’t impressed at all. I commented to the effect that there’s a simple test when it comes to the quality of an apology: who is it about? In Louis C.K.’s case, his apology is all about him. That was bad enough, but as it was going to be all about him, he missed some pertinent bits, like all the denials over the years, and the cover-ups. Basically, it amounted to a “poor, pitiful me” in my eyes.

It is actually possible to sincerely apologize and do it well, and Leah Fessler, Annalisa Merelli, and Sari Zeidler show Louis C.K. just how that’s done.

…However, Louis C.K.’s “apology” devolves into an attempt to paint himself as suffering and worthy of sympathy. He says that until the Times report, he did not realize the full extent of the harm he caused women by taking out his penis and masturbating in front of them. He also tries to reduce his culpability by noting that, at the time of his actions, he thought simply asking if it was OK to masturbate in front of women was enough to guarantee consent.

What’s more, Louis C.K. does not mention his attempts to cover up his actions, nor his stubborn refusal to acknowledge the accusations that have been made several times before.

He does, however, make sure to note how “admired” he was, and is, both by the women he harassed, and the comedy industry at large. In fact, he repeats it four times in his statement.

We took it upon ourselves to edit Louis C.K.’s “apology” in order to make it a real apology. This is how we believe it should read:

The edited version is a fine apology, it’s a pity it didn’t come from Louis C.K. You can read the whole thing here.

AppSame: Fakery.

Sarah Wasko / Media Matters.

Something else I had never heard of at all, and I don’t spend much time on Twitter, certainly not enough to be aware of AppSame, which has an influential twitter account (1.1 million followers). Of course, this leads to the same old question: why is Twitter ignoring this? They certainly have a way of turning their heads to obviously fake bullshit and abuse when it’s convenient for them.

Despite what its wildly misleading name might suggest, AppSame is not an application. Based on the biographical details its social media accounts provide, AppSame is “a conservative political marketing firm helping America back to its greatness.” While publicly available information does not clarify what exactly, if anything, this firm does to help MAGA, its impressive Twitter presence (1.1 million followers as of this writing) invites some questions — about its tactics, its actual impact, its role in the spread of fake news purveyor-generated misinformation into influential right-wing Twitter networks, and whether its influence could become a case study in the way Twitter enables unknown entities to have a disproportionate impact in politics.

Both its massive following and its clout among right-wing Twitter hubs like #TCOT (an acronym that stands for “top conservatives on Twitter”) earned AppSame the top spot in Brandwatch’s 10 most influential Republicans on Twitter rankings in 2016. AppSame’s Twitter behavior is practically indistinguishable from that of hard-core supporters of President Donald Trump: The account frequently retweets the president and his family (once earning a magnanimous mention from Trump) as well as memes featuring right-wing narratives, churning out more than a hundred tweets or retweets per day. But despite its impressive following, AppSame’s original tweets barely register any viral attention, which might be evidence of a heavy fake account presence among its followers. A Twitter audit report confirmed as much in 2015, finding that 45 percent of @AppSame’s followers are suspected fake accounts.

@AppSame’s social media habits also include disseminating fake news and conspiracy theories into right-wing Twitter networks. On Twitter, @AppSame has shared links to fake news purveyors like TruthFeed and True Pundit, and its tweets have on occasion been featured in items written by fake news purveyors. Inmultipletweets, AppSame either suggested or explicitly claimed that Hillary Clinton was responsible for the murder of Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich.

Cristina López & Natalie Martinez at Media Matters have the full investigative story.

You Can’t Free My Slaves!

Steve Prattor, Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, addresses reporters (Screen cap).

Apparently, Sheriff Steve Prattor is not the least abashed in hollering out his displeasure over non-violent convicts being released early.

Steve Prattor, the Sheriff of Caddo Parish in Louisiana, is not a fan of his state’s new criminal justice reforms that will free many prisoners convicted of nonviolent offenses earlier than they had been scheduled to be released.

In a press conference held this week, Prattor said that keeping some of the “good” prisoners in jail was necessary for the prisons to keep functioning because they could provide needed labor that you couldn’t get out of more violent and dangerous prisoners.

“The [prisoners] that you can work, the ones that can pick up trash, the work release programs — but guess what? Those are the ones that they’re releasing!” Prattor fumed in his attack against criminal justice reforms. “In addition to the bad ones… they’re releasing some good ones that we use every day to wash cars, to change the oil in our cars, to cook in the kitchen… well, they’re going to let them out!”

My, my, you’re going to lose your slaves, what a pity. Perhaps you should learn to wash your own cars, how to change the oil in them, and strap an apron on, Sheriff, and get your arse to work.

Via Raw Story.

Repeating: 6 Banal Defenses of Columbus Day, And How You Should Respond to the Moron.

Photo courtesy starpulse.com

Photo courtesy starpulse.com

We’re going to go back in time a bit, to an article Simon Moya-Smith wrote in January this year. He’ll help you out with Columbus apologists. Happy Indigenous Peoples Day!

Glaring contradictions. Stupid fucking lies, and good ol’ American bullshit.

Yes, folks today we are talking U.S. history, and there’s nothing more politically correct than American History. It’s RIFE with soft language to spare the feelings of fuckers who desperately want to believe their homesteading great-grand-pappy wasn’t a murdering, raping, thief.

OK. So today let’s hit on the numbskullery surrounding Columbus Day. “Why in January?” you ask. Well because Colorado State House Representative Joseph Salazar, a democrat, is currently working to repeal the foul thing from the state’s list of recognized holidays. And lately he has received an onslaught of hate mail from dipshits who don’t seem to understand the seemingly elusive concept of logic and facts.

Recently, Rep. Salazar has been forwarding me these messages, and they range from fucking hilarious to seriously fucking delusional. They’re more on the seriously fucking delusional side, though.

So, I thought I’d share with you some responses you can use against the common, hackneyed pro-Columbus Day arguments you will surely continue to encounter for as long as you engage the willfully blind. Feel free to share the following with your friends or family, or maybe just that fucker who sits at the end of the bar incessantly defending the bullshit American narrative as written. (Remember: The American narrative HATES to be fact-checked. So fact-check that goddamn thing any time you can.)

Okey dokey, here’s what you can say to those dullards spewing trite claims and arguments about Columbus and Columbus Day, and let us start with the most common and least accurate:

[Read more…]

Repeating: The Lie That Is Columbus Day.

ict_editoon_100716-2

© Marty Two Bulls

Other posts from last year:

The why of the “holiday”.

A Rapist, A Murderer, Deserves No Holiday.

Columbus Didn’t Kill Us All: Taino Daca.

For Indigenous Peoples Day, Write to Columbus.

Moron Bingo!

All Lives Splatter.

A Chelan County emergency services worker posted a disturbing joke to the county’s Facebook account, kidding about protesters being rammed three weeks after a Virginia protester was killed by a driver who did so.

The worker managing the county’s emergency services Facebook account posted a crude cartoon with an illustration captioned, “All lives splatter … nobody cares about your protest / Keep your ass out of the Road”

The as-yet unidentified poster included the note: “I don’t wish harm on anyone … but protesters don’t belong in the road!”

Mmm, you don’t wish harm on anyone, but you show a depiction of people being harmed because, “hey, it’s funny, and those libtards deserve it, lol!” I imagine if such was directed at you, emergency services worker, you wouldn’t find it so gosh darn amusing. I sure as fuck don’t. Handing J. Q. Public license to murder is not funny. It’s not funny that open murder is being written into law, because of course, dissent is evil, so you better do all your dissenting someplace legal, like your closet, where you can’t help to effect any change at all.

Chelan County Sheriff Brian Burnett apologized for the post on Monday, saying the non-commissioned employee intended to share it only on a personal account.

“Staff at Chelan County Emergency Management feel terrible that this inappropriate and hurtful post made it onto the Facebook page,” Burnett wrote in the news release. “Changes have already been made in procedure to assure nothing like this will ever occur in the future.”

Oh, and that makes it okay, does it, to change things so this sort of evil shit can’t make it to the official page? Naturally, having employees posting this vile poison on their personal accounts, that’s just dandy! Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think I’d want Chelan County emergency services anywhere near me. Your asshole employees would be just as prone to killing me as helping me, right, Sheriff Burnett?

In recent months, law enforcement workers around the country have been called out for posting the meme and similar statements.

A Slate examination of the trend in August – “Run Them Down”: Driving into crowds of protesters was a right-wing fantasy long before the violence in Charlottesville – highlighted three police officers and one firefighter who were caught urging vehicle attacks on protesters. One Oregon cop was fired for suggesting that drivers “push the right” pedal when facing Black Lives Matter protesters.

Pigs will be pigs, won’t they? This is what happens when cops shops refuse to hire intelligent people. This is what happens when cops shops happily hire white supremacists and assorted dumbshit bigots. Then gives them a license to be homicidal prickshits.

Via Seattle PI.

A New White Excuse: “I Was At Standing Rock!”

Courtesy Wind Over Fire Healing Arts Center/Facebook
A New Age “ghost dance” held in southwestern Minnesota has many indigenous people wondering just when the cultural appropriation will end.

White “aggrieved entitlement” people. They never seem to run out of excuses for their bloated sense of entitlement, of helping themselves to the least little thing; of exploiting marginalized peoples. It’s damn near a way of life for many white people. When it comes to “new age” rites, seems to me there’s a wealth of pagan history to mine, gosh, you might even find some you’re related to in some way.

Towards the later days at the No DAPL camp, I wasn’t quiet about all the entitlement-minded white people there, who had no use for the rules laid down by the people running things. Because of course, rules, they are never for white people are they? I wasn’t quiet about all the white protest/event tourists, either. People who were there to honestly provide support and help, no problem. As usual though, they weren’t the ones making a fuss or making it all about them, because they knew it wasn’t about them. They knew that in the end, they would go home, and not have to deal with it all.

In Minnesota, there’s a group who recently held their 2nd annual “Ghost Dance”. When called on this, they denied it was a ghost dance. They said it was a “Ten Moons” dance. Then they decided to go with “Ghost Dance isn’t exclusive to Indigenous people! Lots of cultures had ancestor dances! China! Africa! So it isn’t indigenous in nature.” Oddly enough, their not indigenous at all dance is decidedly indigenous in appearance, and specifically so. The history of the Ghost Dance is a dark one, once the colonials got terrified and started up more wholesale slaughter, and brutally oppressed indigenous peoples all the more out of fear. It’s not a toy for white people to play pagan. It’s not yours. It’s not your culture, it’s not your history. If non-indigenous people ever wonder why various rites and dances have been closed to outsiders, look no further.

“It would be great if everyone just joined together,” said Laven, discontented by the scrutiny of their ceremony and the charges of cultural appropriation. “We have enough crap. I was at Standing Rock, and I hear the Native Americans, and I had heard them.”

Oh my. What a fine example of white entitlement. There’s really nothing else like it. Golly, white people have had enough crap! It’s just like everything indigenous people have gone through! And now, Standing Rock is the latest excuse. Fuck you, Ms. Laven. A universe of fuck yous. You have not heard one godsdamn thing. You don’t give one little shit about indigenous people or their struggles. All you care about is exploiting them to make money. I hope you are bad-mouthed from here to the end of the galaxy, because that’s the very least of what you deserve.

Full story at ICTMN.

Need Another Reason to Denounce Nazis?

Here you go:

SCOOP: “Weev”, the system administrator for The Daily Stormer is planning on sending Nazis to #HeatherHeyer funeral. #Charlottesville.

“Yo, I need some research done,” Weev wrote. “What’s the location of this fat skank’s funeral.”

“Get on it, e-sleuths,” he added. “I want to get people on the ground there.”

This is appalling and shocking behaviour. Have we all become so damned weary and jaded that this too, is normalised? We cannot let this be. We cannot dare to enter the silence of complicity. We must keep standing up, we must fight, we must yell back. This cannot become acceptable. This cannot become tolerable, in any way.

Via Raw Story.

“It’s just like God…”

Jehovah’s Golden Boy.

All the religious reich has gotten together and are defending Kushner, why he could not possible have colluded in anything, no sir! Some of the um, reasoning is seriously ridiculous.

I can’t help but admire Jared and Ivanka. The two of them have put their lives entirely on hold in order to pursue the good of their nation, and I have found them to be particularly interested in our concerns as evangelical Christians. It’s just like God to use a young Jewish couple to help Christians in the United States defend their rights, and secure their religious freedom for now, and for subsequent generations. – David Jeremiah.

Oh, so that’s just like Jehovah, is it? Yet another idiot who doesn’t seemed to have read the bible much. There’s more dangerous idiocy to behold over at Right Wing Watch, and if you feel like being scared silly by what’s happening in wingnut land, aka America, take a look at their front page.

Terrorism Tourism.

A group of tourists take part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy ” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc south of Jerusalem in the occupied West Bank. It is part of a counter-terrorism “boot camp” organised by Caliber 3, a company set up by a colonel in the Israeli army reserves.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist takes part in a two hour “boot camp” experience, at “Caliber 3 Israeli Counter Terror and Security Academy” in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc. Entrance to the gated compound in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc – built on land the Palestinians want for their own state – costs $115 for adults and $85 for children.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

A tourist carries a poster as he takes part in a two hour “boot camp”. The aim of the mock scenario is to teach foreign visitors how to deal with an attack on a market.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

An Israeli instructor speaks to children from overseas holding wooden cut-out rifles. Yasser Sobih, mayor of the nearby Palestinian town of al-Khader, condemned the Israeli venture. “The participation of tourists in training in these camps built on occupied Palestinian land means that they support the occupation and we ask them to stop it,” he told Reuters.
REUTERS/Nir Elias.

Here’s one stupid fucking idea. Unsurprisingly, the majority of tourists having themselves all kinds of fun at terrorist boot camp are Americans. Reuters has an extensive slideshow, and article about this particular bit of idiocy, catering to morons with superhero fantasies run amok in their heads.

Story.

The Tiny Tyrant’s Campaign Scam.

The Trump International Hotel at 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue NW, is seen in Washington on Dec. 21, 2016. CREDIT: AP Photo/Alex Brandon.

It should be more than obvious by now that Trump never wanted to actually be president. He sucks at the job, to say the very least. He’s a fucking idiot who doesn’t have the slightest idea of what he’s doing, he’s incapable of learning, and doesn’t have the sense to surround himself with sane, responsible, knowledgeable people. He did get one thing right: campaigning. He could go out, be himself, an empty void of narcissism and hate, and discovered people in fear of losing their white privilege would cheer. He also discovered that campaigning was a great scam. So, he’s doing what he’s capable of doing, going back to the scamming. Ignoring that whole pesky president business, he’ll be hosting a re-election fundraiser tonight. If there’s a better argument for stripping obscenely people of their wealth, I don’t what it is. This might all be fun and power games for them, but it’s a different story for all of us out here on the ground.

If there’s anything President Donald Trump loves more than his business empire, it’s being a candidate on the campaign trial. Wednesday night, he’ll combine both roles as he hosts his first reelection fundraiser, the earliest of any sitting president.

The fundraiser, which people have paid anywhere from $35,000 to upwards of $110,000 to attend, will be held at Trump’s second residence along Pennsylvania Avenue — the Trump International Hotel.

Trump International has become one Trump’s most glaring conflicts of interest, visible from the White House lawn. When he signed a 60-year lease with the General Services Administration in 2013, he signed a contract that contains a clause that reads:

No member or delegate to Congress, or elected official of the Government of the United States or the Government of the District of Columbia, shall be admitted to any share or part of this Lease or to any benefit that may arise therefrom.

In March the GSA released a letter saying the Trump Organization is in “full compliance” with the lease, largely because he moved his business interests from the hotel into a trust. However as ProPublica reported in April, the trust is handled by Trump’s children and he is the sole beneficiary, able to remove funds from the trust without disclosing it to the public.

Being in a continuous campaign mode is profitable. In 2000, Trump speculated that he could “be the first presidential candidate to run and make money on it,” and there is evidence to support the claim that he has profited off of both the campaign and the presidency. When Trump initially set up his campaign headquarters at Trump Tower, he prided himself on being self-funded with a low-cost operation. He later quadrupled the rent to $169,758 after he began receiving funds from donors even though he employed less staff than in the months prior.

The pattern of profiteering off his initial run is continuing into his reelection campaign. According to FEC filings, the Trump campaign has sent $274,000 in rent to his offices in Trump Tower, even though his reelection campaign only employs 20 people. That works out to about $91,000 a month, which is more than half of what he paid at the height of his campaign when 168 employees were on payroll.

So donors who are paying upwards of $110,000 to attend Wednesday night’s even for Trump’s reelection campaign, are also funneling funds back to Trump twice. First, through the Trump hotel for the space, food and drinks. Second, the money that’s left over will go to Trump’s campaign expenses, which includes rent at Trump Tower. Because he still retains ownership, any event hosted at a Trump Organization Property by Trump the president, also benefits Trump the businessman.

Trump has also found ways to leverage the presidency to advance his business interests outside of his campaign.

Think Progress has the full run down on the scam.

No More Reading On Planes?

Hrag Vartanian.

Oh, the TSA has come up with yet another of their unbelievably stupid ideas, and naturally, are quite enthused about it. All books and all paper of any kind will be pulled for extra scrutiny. Given the collective brain power of the TSA, this most likely means that a very high number of potential passengers will not be making their flight, but be locked up in a back room somewhere, while the crafty TSA agents attempt to figure out the reading material.

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is testing new requirements that would oblige travelers to remove books and other paper goods from their carry-on baggage when going through airport security. The new proposal hasn’t gone into effect, though the TSA, which is an agency of the US Department of Homeland Security, has tested it at airports, including in early May, when screeners at a Kansas City airport “forced passengers to remove all paper from bags, down to notepads,” according to Wall Street Journal; The Sacramento Bee reported that the TSA also tested this policy in Sacramento.

[…]

TSA agents already have the authority to search what they want, and anyone who has been subject to extra screenings will know that notebooks and other books are often flipped through by agents, who sometimes even read their pages. That was the experience of artist Kameelah Janan Rashid, who was removed from a plane on her way to Istanbul in 2015. Yet this new policy, as outlined by Stanley, “would lead to more routine and systematic exposure and, inevitably, greater scrutiny of passengers’ reading materials in the course of the screening process.”

Henry Reichman, professor emeritus of history at California State University at East Bay and chair of the American Association of University Professors’ Committee A on Academic Freedom and Tenure, told Inside Higher Ed that the screening change was troubling:

Academics are unsurprisingly big readers, and since we don’t simply read for pleasure, we often read materials with which we disagree or which may be seen by others as offensive. […] For instance, a scholar studying terrorism and its roots may well be reading — and potentially carrying on a plane — books that others might see as endorsing terrorism. In addition, because scholarship is international, I suspect academics are more likely than others to be reading and carrying material in foreign languages, which might arouse some suspicion. … Finally, academics (as well as editors and journalists) may well be carrying pre-publication materials — drafts for peer review or comment, etc. — and these could raise special concerns.

Department of Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly said in an interview with Fox News Sunday last month that the department “might and likely will” expand the new carry-on policy.

The Full Story is at Hyperallergic.