“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.

Actually, I do want to take your guns away

Not all of them, just most of them. And I’d like to have every gun registered, and sold in a regulated way, no more of this “gun show” shit. And I’d like to have serious restrictions on who can own guns — like, if you’ve been convicted of domestic violence, you don’t get to fondle guns anymore. Let’s ban all those assault rifles and any weapon that can be fired fast enough that you can murder 50 people in short order. We should also criminalize the NRA, because they’re already destructive enough to society.

I’m looking at this list of NRA contributions in the last election, and it’s kind of eye-opening. The only Democrat who received any donations from the NRA was Hillary Clinton, and it was more of a pathetic token tip.

Over $11 million to elect Trump, almost $20 million to oppose Clinton? Yeah, that $265 she got from the NRA is more of an insult than a donation. Then there’s this list of all the NRA blood money recipients who also sent fucking thoughts & prayers to the Las Vegas massacre victims.

By the way, that murderous asshole hauled 23 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition to his hotel room. Shouldn’t owning that many weapons be indicative of a pathology that makes the person a danger to their community? This was a sick man — not sick in the sense of mentally ill, but sick in the sense of possessing a vicious, deadly criminality.

Oh, one more thing I want: repeal the second amendment. It’s been twisted far beyond its original intent, for those who have a religious devotion to the intent of the Founding Fathers, and its original intent was selfish, elitist, and racist, for those who don’t.

I suspect I won’t get any of my wishes met in my lifetime, though, because this country is run by plutocrats with millions of yahoos in their pockets.

Just another American with guns

A terrible mass murder in Las Vegas: at least 20 people are dead when a man opened fire on a country western concert. The murderer was a local man named Stephen Paddock, who has since been killed by the police. Reports indicate that he was using some kind of automatic rifle, which you’d guess from the fact he killed a score and wounded at least a hundred, and that a search of his hotel room found even more weapons that he’d left behind. Also, the media is naturally calling him a “lone wolf”, since he’s white and so can’t possibly be a terrorist fed conspiracy theories.

So will this be the final straw that convinces the US to implement some kind of rational gun control?

No.


The New York Times is reporting that the death toll has reached 50.