First Amendment Issues are NOT (necessarily) Free Speech Issues

All freaky, kinky, queer women are human beings.

Not all human beings are freaky, kinky, queer women (more’s the pity).

So how is that related to the first amendment? The First Amendment (FA) protects more than just speech. It protects a total of 5 separate rights. Let’s take a look at the full text and then break it down:

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Republicans Really Don’t Know Their Own Brand

The Tampa Bay Times does periodic surveys of people whom they consider to be important political insiders in the Sunshine State. The responses are published without names attached but with political affiliations. The responses from Republicans to the question, “how [has] President Trump … influenced the Republican Party in Florida” included some particularly interesting bits:

Anonymous Republican: For the absolute worst. As a Republican, I can say we used to be a Party of true principles. Lower taxes, less government, more personal responsibility. It was a unifying and motivating force. Trump has, nationally and sadly increasingly on the state level, made the GOP a cult of personality. There is no guiding philosophy beyond are you for or against Trump, and that is overwhelmingly sad and disgusting.

Anonymous Republican: People don’t care about facts anymore;

Anonymous Republican: He has created a mindless mass of lemmings who are willing to support anyone he deems worthy of leading the cult.

Anonymous Republican: For the worse. Much more crass and angry. Only concern is staying in power.;

Anonymous Republican: The Republican Party is now a populist, protectionist party more motivated by emotionalism, anger and fake news than logic, reason and common sense.;

and, last but most interestingly these two:

Anonymous Republican: It is not just in Florida, it is nationwide of course. His reign of terror over the GOP will be short lived hopefully as a one term President, if it is longer, the GOP as a party may never recover. Never has our party and nation been in more desperate need of bold leaders who stand for the good of the people, right now we have the opposite of that in Trump, a truly sad chapter in the history of our country.;

Anonymous Republican: It is unrecognizable from the GOP of 4 years ago. There is a coarseness and meanness that has taken over with the grassroots/base. There is a willingness to disregard policy, truth, science, experience, and nuance when it comes to policy. Current “leaders” act anything but preferring to embrace the form of a spineless coward. The current party is driving away young voters at a record pace and long term it is on a unsustainable path. BUT we always have the Democrats propensity to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. (However, relying on the other side to screw up is poor strategy);

Is there anything more pathetic than political party insiders hiding behind anonymity while insisting that their party is in “desperate need of bold leaders”?

But this is not the only area in which Florida’s political elites demonstrate their utter lack of self-awareness. This is the party who has taken money to fight Surgeon General’s warnings on cigarettes and want the public to believe it’s more likely that the founders wanted a Howitzer in every back yard than that human caused atmospheric carbon dioxide increases affect the radiative energy balance of the planet. This party is suddenly “more motivated by emotionalism, anger and fake news than logic, reason and common sense”.

Sorry, Republicans, you made the choice to embrace emotionalism, anger & fake news and forsake logic, reason & common sense ages ago. Trump didn’t change your values. Trump simply doesn’t have the skill or desire to convincingly deny that tribalism, lies and anger are, in fact, the most salient Republican values of at least the last 25 years.

Gah, NO! Peter Fonda What Is Wrong With You?

ALL THE TRIGGER WARNINGS, for Freud’s sake.

Peter Fonda is outraged at the injustice done by Trump’s policy and of the horrible suffering inflicted upon children being used as a political weapon to influence the policy choices of others. So, naturally, he suggests that Donald and Melania Trump’s child Barron should be caged and raped to encourage Trump to reformulate DOJ & DHS policies:

“We should rip Barron Trump from his mother’s arms and put him in a cage with pedophiles and see if mother will will (sic) stand up against the giant asshole she is married to,” Fonda wrote, in all caps.

This story was broken by right-wing websites who don’t deserve the links, but Holy Freuding Freud, Batman, Peter Fonda must face condemnation for this.

How moronic do you have to be to fail to realize that kidnapping and rape threats are not a path to justice?

 

Jeffress in Jerusalem: Hyperbole is Insufficient

So, let me start by saying that I am conflicted and don’t know where I want this post to go: I’m just going to write a bit and explore what comes up.

Robert Jeffress, a man of truly horrible behavior, is a right-wing pastor that does not believe in freedom of religion. Today he gave a christian prayer as the celebrated invocation at the opening of the new US embassy to Israel in Jerusalem. He has also repeatedly insisted that all faithful Jews are going to hell. Now while he’s also condemned just about everyone else to hell, I want to focus on his antipathy towards Judaism for a moment.

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Guys, Don’t Do That: Trump Snowflakes Edition. Also Golden Showers, Because It Makes Sense In Context. Trust Me.

So. Much has been made over the last couple weeks on certain blogs about the pity-the-Trump-voter-who-can’t-get-a-blowjob articles that have been cropping up. I even intended, though never succeed) to write a post about the wonderful humanitarian work done by OK Cupid when they publicly posted a bit about users tendencies in 2017.

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Mama Monday: It’s the Mother’s Fault

So, Politico has just the story we need in the contemporary USA: a how-to for blaming everything Trump on a woman.

Nearly a year into his presidency, Trump’s behavior—as much as, or more than, any policy he’s advanced—stands as a subject of consternation, fascination and speculation. Psychology experts read and watch the news, and they have the same basic curiosity lots of people have: What makes somebody act the way he acts? None of them has evaluated Trump in an official, clinical capacity—Trump is pretty consistently anti-shrink—but they nonetheless have been assessing from afar, tracking back through his 71 years, searching for explanations for his belligerence and his impulsivity, his bottomless need for applause and his clockwork rage when he doesn’t get it, his failed marriages and his ill-tempered treatment of women who challenge him. And they always end up at the beginning. With his parents. Both of them. Trump might focus on his father, but the experts say the comparative scarcity of his discussion of his mother is itself telling.

Crafty ‘Cubi of Candy Corn! This is going to be terrible, isn’t it?

Oh, yes. Oh yes indeed.

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Breaking News: Trump Is Kind of an Asshole

I won’t provide you with a tedium of links because if you’re following along at home with US politics and you’re doing so at least partly through mass media, you’ll have already encountered this multiple times, but I do wish to comment on Jake Tapper, Don Lemon, Kat Timpf, Nicole Wallace, and so many others in the media who are acting surprised at Trump’s behavior.

Trump is a horrible excuse for a human being. He didn’t pander to the White Supremacists in the election or this past weekend, he fucking is a White Supremacist (capital letters intended). To see the media simply oozing concern that Trump would issue a classic bothsiderism talking point instead of saying something simple, like “it’s kinda bad when racists kill anti-racists where and when they openly gathered to speak out against racism” (so that there could be no doubt he was killing anti-racists in the act of countering racism).

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White House Communication Is Doubly Unfortunate

So, no. I don’t necessarily edit what I scribble on the bathroom wall they call the internet. However, I do try to write with some polish, some attention to crafting language that is both informative, readable, and, on the odd occasion, entertaining. I know how much effort goes into this top-of-the-tongue, tip-of-the-brain blather, and I know how much more goes into the work I actually publish.

It’s this appreciation for the craft and work of writing that makes me amused at things like this scene from The West Wing:

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Worst Treated Politician in the Ever?

It has been noted many places, not least of which being this prestigious blog, that Donald Trump and cohort have labeled his opponents a “lynch mob” and declared the effort to investigate Russian electoral-interference schemes to be a “witch hunt”. Donald Trump himself said that he could assert “with surety” that he was the victim of the worst treatment and most unfair treatment of any politician in the history of the world in which Donald Trump invented the phrase “priming the pump”.

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I have no words.

Trump wants to rehire the man he was forced to fire because that man broke the law, was being paid by a foreign power while working for the Trump campaign, and had ties still intact when taking up the position in charge of US national security.

Great galloping gorgosauruses! Is there no idea too stupid for Trump to think it brilliant when he himself thinks it?

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