Turns out there is a price paid for spraying venom onto the internet

Horrifying. Read about the day Lane Davis murdered his father. Davis was deeply involved with the far, far right, working as an unpaid intern for Milo Yiannopoulos, writing for the demented Ralph Retort web site, and he finally snapped.

Lane had spent that Friday morning as he did most mornings, on the internet. This day, like the others, Lane read and retweeted posts celebrating the Second Amendment, bemoaning diversity, and spreading conspiracy theories that alleged Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta was involved in a child sex ring and DNC staffer Seth Rich had been murdered. It was the end of a busy week during which he contributed to the Donald Trump subreddit, and over on The Ralph Retort, a fringe blog where he worked as a political editor, (unpaid, according to the site’s owner), he had celebrated the idea of a Kid Rock Senate run, claimed America was under threat of Sharia law, and wondered whether CNN was “literally ISIS.”

Lane’s parents, Catherine and Charles Davis—Charles was known as Chuck to his friends— were used to their 33-year-old son’s outbursts. They had become so frequent that Charles had started recording the tirades on his phone. But that afternoon, they were tired of Lane’s screaming, wanted him to leave, and told him as much. Instead, Lane chased his parents around their home, spitting in his father’s face while screaming that he wasn’t threatening to kill them, but “pedophiles who were taking over the country.”

Whoa. Your 33 year old son is still living in your house and spends his time literally screaming at the internet? I think maybe it’s time to hold an intervention. Unfortunately, it’s people like that who get the most attention on the internet.

This 911 call goes on with ever escalating behavior.

“We’re trying to but he’s chasing us around the house,” she replied. “He’s mad about something on the internet about leftist pedophiles and he thinks we’re leftist and he’s calling us pedophiles. And I don’t know what all.”

Catherine laughed. “He just lives on the internet and he gets really worked up about everything that’s going on. He needs an intervention of some kind here.”

Police were on their way, the dispatcher told Catherine, and she hung up. But Charles’s phone kept recording.

His mother laughed. She’d become so inured to her son’s rabidity that she had lost all sense of perspective. That’s tragic, because the recording includes her son taking a kitchen knife and stabs his 73 year old father to death.

Not all right-wingers are incipient father-stabbers, but jesus…you have to recognize that somebody who’s ranting about PizzaGate, thinks Hillary Clinton leads a pedophile ring, and listens to professional internet assholes like Alex Jones or the Ralph Retort, has got serious problems. These aren’t the cause of the problem, but are symptoms that ought to be seen as potentially diagnostic.

It’s a metaphor for America. Like Catherine Davis and her dangerously lunatic son, we’ve gotten used to the Republican party and Donald Trump.

This is an ad for CNN?

I guess it’s supposed to be a sneaky critique of the “alternative facts” crowd, those Trump surrogates who appear on TV to twist the facts and lie — people like Kellyanne Conway and Jack Kingston and Jeffrey Lord and Kayleigh McEnany and Omarosa Manigault and Sarah Huckabee.

But now I’m confused. Who gave those folks plenty of airtime? CNN. Who loves to throw one of those clowns into a panel to watch the sparks fly? CNN. Who has their own collection of in-house apologists for the status quo, like Wolf Blitzer and John King? CNN. Who has a point of view that is barely distinguishable from that of Fox News? CNN.

Who promotes banana propagandists in their own programming? CNN.

I am not impressed. I’m not persuaded by someone announcing, “we state only the facts,” but would be more favorable towards someone who actually states the facts and criticizes the lies.

He’s better off out of the Cub Scouts

A young man got to participate in some civic engagement with his scout troop, and was given an opportunity to ask a question of Colorado state senator Vicki Marble. He asked, “An issue that I’m concerned about is common sense gun control. I was shocked that you co-sponsored a bill to allow domestic violence offender to continue to own a gun. … Why on Earth would you want somebody who beats their wife to have access to a gun?

Man, that kid did his research ahead of time, looked into the legislation Marble sponsored, and actually asked a cogent question. Do they give badges for that?

I guess not. The scout leader kicked him out of his cub scout den.

“the obligations of international leadership”

So many people are praising this speech by John McCain.

To fear the world we have organized and led for three-quarters of a century, to abandon the ideals we have advanced around the globe, to refuse the obligations of international leadership and our duty to remain ‘the last best hope of earth’ for the sake of some half-baked, spurious nationalism cooked up by people who would rather find scapegoats than solve problems is as unpatriotic as an attachment to any other tired dogma of the past that Americans consigned to the ash heap of history.

I’m not so impressed.

Let me remind you that McCain has been a loyal Republican apparatchik for decades. He was elected during Reagan’s term, and was an ardent supporter of Reaganomics and military adventurism — his only ‘virtue’ is that he was willing to negotiate with countries after we’d bombed them. This is the man who joked, Do you know why Chelsea Clinton is so ugly? – Because Janet Reno is her father. This is the man who ran for president with Sarah Fucking Palin as his running mate. He likes to pretend that he is a “maverick”, when really he is consistently conservative and dedicated to propping up the status quo.

That speech reeks of hypocrisy. He’s arguing against nationalism because it’s not patriotic? Nuts. He’s promoting the tired old claim that America has been idealistic for the last three quarters of a century, that we are the ‘the last best hope of earth’? Tell that to the people of Vietnam and Cambodia that we napalmed, to the countries of Latin America where we have supported dictators, to Cuba that we embargoed when they didn’t support American imperialism, to the people of Iran where we maintained a tyrant to protect our oil interests until a theocratic revolution cast him down, to the nations of Africa that suffered under our exploitive neglect, to South Africa where we aligned ourselves with the perpetrators of apartheid, and on and on and on. This is the America that still treats Henry Kissinger as a distinguished elder statesman. This is a nation that lashed out with violence and war in response to a terrorist attack, and demolished a country that had not been involved. America is a country that enables war criminals and then reveres them as heroes.

His speech is just more American exceptionalism, and it will be well-received by the yahoos and the journalists who will praise it as statesmanlike. Notice, though, how he assumes that we possess “international leadership” — that of course we run the world, so we must continue to bear the paternalistic burden of solving everyone else’s problems. The problem is just that one bozo currently in office…but never forget, that bozo is the epitome of Republican policy. And that McCain is a loyal Republican who has contributed so ably to our descent into madness and corruption.

What our country needs is a different virtue: a little humility. A recognition that we are one among many. That we don’t get to claim our idealism when we haven’t lived up to it. That we have to earn respect rather than demand it at the point of a massive military machine. We have to notice that our country is on the road to being a failed state, and has lost all authority to tell the rest of the world that they must follow our lead.

The Apocalypse is nigh: Rush Limbaugh is correct about something

Now I’m getting worried. Limbaugh characterized lefties, and he got it right.

You know what the magic word, the only thing that matters in American sexual mores today is? One thing. You can do anything, the left will promote and understand and tolerate anything, as long as there is one element. Do you know what it is? Consent. If there is consent on both or all three or all four, however many are involved in the sex act, it’s perfectly fine. Whatever it is. But if the left ever senses and smells that there’s no consent in part of the equation then here come the rape police. But consent is the magic key to the left.

Holy crap. I had to peek outside to see if it is raining blood or a trumpet was sounding or chariots were descending out of the sky, because that actually is the magic key. If two willing, unimpaired adults consent to a behavior that does no harm to others, I’m not going to complain, much less try to stop them. It doesn’t have to be sexual, either. If my wife and I agree to have lutefisk for dinner tonight, here in the privacy of my home, we may do so. If she says “NO!”, I don’t get to compel her.

That’s how it works. That’s what we’ve always been saying is how it works.

Does the right think that a lack of consent in a sex act is OK? Because that’s not a slur I would have considered fair, but Limbaugh is implying that yes, in the right wing universe, consent is not a reasonable requirement for sex.

It is moved that we replace the Electoral College with a Rap Battle

It’s on. Eminem trounced Trump with his words (which also had some casual racism and sexism, unfortunately), so I’m afraid this means he is the new King of America until someone else comes along and schools him.

Anger. It’s a good thing. There’s something wrong with you if you aren’t angry right now.

That time of year again

Today is another holiday celebrating a truly evil, awful man. I don’t feel like writing about him — at best, I might have the energy to piss on a monument to him, if I ran across one — but I just saw this image that summarizes my feelings nicely, so I’ll just post that.

While we’re tearing down monuments lately, can we also get this horror off of our calendar? Replace it with Oscar Wilde Day, or Jonas Salk Day, anything but this.

Pressure rising…rising…rising

Good god, our president is in Puerto Rico and he opened his mouth, and this came out:

The bit at the beginning in which he jokes about having to spend money on their island, You have thrown our budget a little out of whack, because we’ve spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico and that’s fine, is bad enough. But listen to the whole thing, and what came next is even more nauseating.

…if you look at a real catastrophe like Katrina, and you look at the tremendous…hundreds and hundreds of people that died, and if you look at what happened here with a storm that was totally overpowering, nobody has ever seen…what is your death count here? 17, 16, 16 people certified, 16 people versus in the thousands, you can be very proud of all of your people…

He’s comparing it to a real catastrophe like Katrina, and justifying his belittling attitude with a fucking body count. Hey, Puerto Rico, what are you complaining about? We spent money on you, and you’ve only got 16 dead (so far), compared to something really bad.

This president is going to kill me. Only question is whether it’s going to be explosive exanguination when my blood pressure blows the top of my head off, or nuclear apoplexy.