The Rise of the Immoral Majority

You know what? Screw it… Maybe Donald Trump is the president America deserves.

I was asleep. I was sound asleep tonight. I actually went to bed at a reasonable time. I thought to myself, “The world is a goddamn mess — I should probably write something tonight,” but instead I watched a couple episodes of Big Mouth on Netflix, and I faded off to sleep. I had a dream of being chased… I was in a “bad part of town” (that means a BLACK part of town… because I’m a white person, and as hard as I may try, I will NEVER escape the racism and fear at the heart of me) and these dudes were chasing me through dark alleys, and I was saved by making it to a well-lit soccer game with a whole bunch of white people watching. Now all of a sudden, I am wide awake… And lying here thinking “WHY CAN’T PEOPLE SEE THAT TRUMP IS A LYING, SELF-SERVING, NARCISSISTIC, RACIST, MISOGYNISTIC TOXIC DUMPSTER FIRE??” And my lack of an answer to that question results in my heart being somewhere between a persistent state of deep sadness and a persistent state of deep outrage. It’s taking a toll on me. So here we are…

I  keep wanting to believe people are better than this. I keep wanting to believe that if  the majority of people had accurate information, that they would make good choices and vote for better people. I’m not so sure. We might just be outnumbered. In 1979 Jerry Falwell and others started a movement called “The Moral Majority,” where they paired the “Christian Right” with the Republican Party. It turned into an unholy union which forever damaged both brands. Now the Christian Right and the Republican Party have completely abandoned principles like Honesty and Integrity and even Morality in favor of a corrupt and immoral leader who promises them POWER. And there might be more of them than there are of us… a new win-at-any-cost IMMORAL MAJORITY.

Donald Trump,Jerry Falwell Jr.

The new feces… sorry, FACES of the Immoral Majority.

And people will CERTAINLY build false equivalencies between parties, and say that “BOTH parties are win-at-any-cost” and “BOTH parties are total garbage.” And it’s true that the democratic party has a lot of flaws and things about it which need to be changed… But  we are in a situation right now where one of two sides is going to win, and one side is objectively worse. And for some reason, SO MANY people people in this country are unable to see that. That is a problem. And it needs to change.

I’m trying to pragmatic about this… I’m trying to figure out WHAT WORKS, and then do THAT. And I understand no one likes being called an asshole. We are in a time where “You are wrong about this” is interpreted as “You are a bad person.” We live in a time of deep fragility, where people are clinging to their privilege with everything they have, and any step toward equality feels like an attack. I realize that white fragility is a very real thing, and that sometimes when you push back at people, they dig their heels in even harder… I’m NOT saying “You are a bad person without any hope of redemption.” But maybe what people need is a dose of the TRUTH. And here is the truth: If you can’t tell that Trump and this whole GOP administration is corrupt and dishonest and immoral, there is something very, very wrong with you. Even if we are friends, I need you to know that I believe this.

We have a president whose NAME IS SHOUTED AT MINORITIES TO INTIMIDATE AND HARASS THEM… and it’s almost always shouted by white people. This is where we are as a nation. And even with that level of clear depravity in front of us, we still have a “tight race” between a good man like Beto O’Rourke and spineless liar like Ted Fucking Cruz — a man whose wife was called a dog and whose father was called “in on JFK’s assassination” by the man who won the presidency, but who still manages to so thoroughly kiss the man’s ass that his breath smells like Trump’s Diet Coke farts. And Texas seems to have more people in the state who are willing to vote for a cowardly dishonest idiot than an impressive and articulate persona like Beto O’Rourke. It is mind boggling…

Sure, there are some white nationalists who are all in on white supremacy, proud of their Hitler tattoos, and are working toward some dream of some white ethno-state. And then there are the “everything is a conspiracy” people who are so easy to manipulate. And there are the ones who are VERY UPSET about “PC Culture” (boo fucking hoo)… People who are mad about being told they shouldn’t say “retarded” anymore… People  who are angry enough to vote for a villain just because they don’t want to apologize for calling that Asian kid “Fatty Fatty Chink Face” when they were in 6th grade. But there are always fringe groups and crazies… It’s also the uneducated masses, unable to distinguish a credible source from outright propaganda. It’s ignorance and anti-intellectualism. It’s “My ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” It’s higher education seen as indoctrination. And it’s everywhere. But even all that is not enough to get us to where we are. 

A big part of the problem is the Political Left eating its own… The people who view themselves as so “principled” that voting for anyone but the VERY BEST candidate is seen as some sort of abandoning of their integrity. And so they would rather self-righteously vote for a third party candidate who has no shot of winning, even if their third party votes are what ends up giving the power to the ones trying to disenfranchise People of Color. And believe me, I know these folks are exhausting. They are the sort of people — when Taylor Swift steps up and finally makes a political statement, putting her support behind Phil Bredesen and calling Marsha Blackburn out as the horrible person she is — who decide to focus their attention on how she should have stepped up earlier. But “haters gonna hate hate hate hate hate,” right Taylor? Someone taking a step in the right direction doesn’t deserve to get dragged because they didn’t do it sooner.

Anyone with eyes or ears can see that Marsha Blackburn is a less principled, female version of Trump. And what that information SHOULD spur inside of you is this: REVULSION & SHAME. Instead, I seem to be surrounded by people who are spurred to put “Blackburn For Senate” campaign signs in their yards and on their cars. Marsha Blackburn has had millions of dollars spent on advertising and making attractive commercials, and yet she is so full of shit that she literally can’t get it together long enough to sound believable for the FIVE SECONDS at the end of the commercial where she says, “I’m Marsha Blackburn, and I approve this message.” And still Tennesseans line up to vote for her…

Representative Marsha Blackburn speaks during the final day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland

All the money in the world could not make this woman look like she knows what she talking about or gives a crap about anyone but her corporate donors…

I see people waving their shitty privilege around like a shiny flag and “boldly” declaring that Trump is the closest thing to burning it all down, so that’s how they’re voting this year: They’re voting Burn It All Down. But these people are voting to keep people in power who are STILL tearing immigrant families apart… And now their “solution” is to put those parentless kids up for adoption rather than reunite them with their families. What kind of person does something like this?

And maybe the worst of all are the group of Americans who don’t care enough to get their lazy asses off their fucking sofas once a year to vote for people who aren’t committed to hypocrisy, deception, and burning the fucking planet down in our children’s lifetime. The people SO APATHETIC and INDIFFERENT that standing in a line in November is too much of an inconvenience… Even if that inconvenience means moving our nation in the direction of more gender and racial equality. Or civil rights for LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters. UGH.

There is one party — the republican party — whose leadership is trying very hard to destroy confidence in the American system of government. Do you know WHY? Because the government is the only thing standing between an actual oligarchy (where the RICH rule instead of the people). And so they fill the courts with judges who are sympathetic to the “rights” of rich people and corporations to pour unlimited money into dishonest political campaigns… all while calling that dishonesty “Free Speech,” regardless of the harm those lies and unlimited monies do to the nation. And they push through an evasive and dishonest man into a Supreme Court seat… Not because there wasn’t anyone else who was qualified, but because they knew that in their attack on The Rule of Law, deteriorating the public’s trust of the impartiality of the Judicial Branch would make a powerful ally. 

I understand seeing all this disfunction and just wanting to give up. Or burn it all down. It’s this devastating combination of Hopelessness and Apathy that grows with every new victory the Immoral Majority wins. We are surrounded by stories of objective unfairness. All over the country, republicans are trying to make it harder to vote… ESPECIALLY for minorities. In Nebraska, the Supreme Court just made it much harder for Native Americans to vote, and probably affecting the Senate race there. In Georgia, the republican man who is running for Governor (in a tight race with Stacey Abrams, a black woman) just put the voter registrations of 53,000 people in jeopardy — 70% of which are black voters.

And all of this is backdropped by a U.N. study made by the world’s top climate scientists showing concrete evidence man-made climate change and global warming is growing at such an unprecedented rate that we are headed for a world-wide disaster in OUR LIFETIME… But you dip shits don’t want to believe it, because you have GOOGLE ON YOUR FUCKING iPHONES!!! And so you vote for the man who is doing everything in his power to roll back the steps and preventative regulations our country has taken toward being more environmentally conscious and averting this crisis. And this is the reason I can’t just say, “Screw it.” If we keep heading in the same direction, millions of people are going to die. 50 years from now no one is going to care about liberal vs. conservative. We cannot afford to continue to elect people from a party that denies that climate change is happening and the science showing humans are responsible. If the immorality of the Trump administration isn’t enough to inspire you to vote them out, perhaps a looming cataclysmic climate event is enough. God damn it… What will it take??

 

I am low on hope right now… I hope that’s okay. I want to be honest. Thank you to those of you who support me. If you want to be a Patron, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. If you want to leave a tip on PayPal, YOU CAN DO THAT HERE. Maybe leave a comment with some reasons to be hopeful…

 

 

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When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them.

Ever since multiple women came forward detailing stories of sexual assault committed by Supreme Court appointee Brett Kavanaugh, there have been many people coming forward and testifying of personal understanding of his character. Like the stories from his college roommate who said Brett lied during his testimony… That he was very drunk very often… And that when he was drunk he became belligerent and aggressive. There have been multiple colleagues and personal acquaintances and drinking buddies who have some forward to say, “I Know Brett Kavanaugh, But I Wouldn’t Confirm Him.” But there have also been people who have come forward who have spoken about how they believe that the sexual assault described by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford in her sworn testimony would be wholly inconsistent with the Brett Kavanaugh they have come to know. But here’s my important question: WAS THE HATEFUL, SNEERING, EVASIVE, CONDESCENDING, OVERTLY PARTISAN MAN WHO APPEARED DURING HIS SENATE TESTIMONY CONSISTENT WITH THE BRETT KAVANAUGH YOU HAVE COME TO KNOW? Because if he is, that is some scary shit…

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Is this face consistent with the Brett Kavanaugh you know?

So many people think this vote is about whether or not there is “proof” that Brett committed the attempted rape in high school or the the sexual assaults in college. There isn’t proof. There was never going to be hard evidence — Both the other people in the room were drunk and say it didn’t happen. But as many have pointed out before, the thing which disqualifies Kavanaugh from being elevated is NOT whether or not he drunkenly assaulted Christine Blasey Ford in high school… The thing which disqualifies him is the way he acted while giving his testimony. It was his evasiveness and his dishonesty during questioning. It was his objective lack of judicial temperament. 

Now he comes out and says, “I might have been too emotional.” The bile that he spewed all over that Senate Judiciary Committee was part of his PREPARED STATEMENT. When he blamed this on “The Clintons” and George Soros (without naming him), that was shit he WROTE DOWN. The face of the young man who assaulted a girl is not back in some 80’s yearbook… That slippery, sneering snake up there attacking “the Left,” that WAS the face of the dude who put his hand over a 15 year old girl’s mouth and forcibly felt her up. The person who demanded to get what he wanted thirty-some years ago is still around today…  And he’s fixin’ to be on the Supreme Court.

Listen… There are plenty of other highly qualified judges who are just as giddy about overturning Roe v. Wade who could be nominated to serve on the SCOTUS. You didn’t see people freaking out like this during Gorsuch’s nomination. Do you know WHY? Because Neil Gorsuch doesn’t have a bunch of women in his life who he drunkenly assaulted. This nomination is not about Kavanaugh’s qualifications… It is about the erosion of social norms. It is about giving a big middle finger to commonly-held notions of morality and goodness. It’s about displaying both the power and willingness of the republican party to sell their souls, and it’s about showcasing the ignorance and blind partisanship of the republican electorate.

By the end of today, the Senate will almost surely have voted to confirm Brett Kavanaugh into the Supreme Court. And now people are talking about voting out the people who voted to confirm. A website set up to support whoever is running against Maine’s Susan Collins had so many people trying to give that it crashed yesterday. They will have probably collected over $3 million by the time this is posted. But really we lost this fight when we lost Citizen’s United. We now have two more Supreme Court Justices who believe that the rich should be able to give almost unlimited money to effect political races. We live in a country where the richest 1% of the population controls more wealth than the bottom 90%… So even if a whole lot of us give $20.20 to Susan Collins opponent, it is going to require a whole lot more than just political donations. It is going to require not giving in to cynicism. It is going to require educating ourselves and the people around us. It is going to require Hope in the face of apparent hopelessness. It is going to require people who understand how to organize. It is going to require unity. And I hate to tell you this, but it is going to require compromise. 

We — the people who are rightly disgusted with the turn this country has taken over the past few years — need to line up behind whoever has the best chance of taking seats away from these Trump-supporting hypocrites. For example… In Tennessee, where I live, there is a truly horrible person named Marsha Blackburn who is running for Bob Corker’s Senate seat. She is one of the grossest people you will ever find (I don’t have time to go into all the reasons right now, but it’s the truth. She is a damn monster). She is running against democrat and former Tennessee Governor Phil Bredesen. Yesterday, Phil released a statement saying that he believes Dr. Ford’s testimony, but he supports the Supreme Court nominee. Now, many progressives are all “Maybe we WON’T be supporting Phil Bredesen.”

I don’t know why Phil said this. I don’t know if he believes it. I don’t know if he was taking a calculated risk in a very red state. I don’t know. But here is what I DO know: If Marsha Blackburn gets elected to the U.S. Senate, it will be an unmitigated disaster. She is just another rubber stamp for Trump’s (& Putin’s) plan to redefine morality and declare war on social norms. When Barack Obama was elected, he was NOT openly supportive of same-sex marriage… But even though he was wrong on this, he was way CLOSER to right that the alternative. If we abandon the BETTER choice for the one we each believe is “best,” then I guarantee you, the WORST is going to win. For decades.

Anyway, today sucks. This time in history sucks. There is darkness all around us, and as encouraging as it is to see women taking the lead, women are not going to save us. They can’t do it on their own. People of Color are strong, but they can’t do it on their own. The LGBTQ+ vote is not going to save this nation from the moral and spiritual decay that we face. It is going to take a BROAD COALITION, and that coalition is going to have to include people from EVERY group and intersectionality… Even straight, white guys like me. But we have to come together. As the poet Jim Morrison said, They’ve got the guns, but we’ve got the numbers.” DON’T. GIVE. UP.

 

This week some wildly generous person I have never met before left me a $50 dollar tip on PayPal. Also this week, a Patron wrote me a message saying he really believes in what I’m doing here, but his financial situation changed, and had to stop supporting me. This kind of thing happens all the time and is totally understandable. I am so grateful that there are people in the world who care enough about this blog to help support it. If that’s you, and you are in a position right now where you are able to give, you CAN… You can BECOME A PATRON… You can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL… Or you can just follow me on Facebook or on Twitter, and maybe even share this post. Thanks so much for reading.

 

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This Video Proves The President Is Pure Garbage

First things first… I need you to watch this video. It’s only 19 seconds long, but it might take you a couple tries to get through it, because the words that come out of this man’s smarmy mouth are so very, very disgusting. Please watch it.

Now I want you to think of a woman you know…

And then I want you to think of her as your little girl.

I want you to think of her walking into her first day of school, smiling and nervous, wearing a backpack that is too big for her.

I want you to think of watching her play soccer as a kid, and encouraging her to be aggressive… Cheering for her, and yelling across the field, “THAT IS YOUR BALL! GET IT! HUSTLE!!!”

I want you to think of her telling you, in tears, about how the boys never pass her the ball when they play at recess.

I want you to think of her entering middle school, as her body starts to change, and the awkward feeling as boys’ eyes start focusing on different parts of her.

I want you to think of her gravitating toward justice… And getting the facts right… And The Truth.

I want you to think of her entering high school, and being startled by her seriousness and beauty, but mostly startled by the adult standing in front of you.

I want you to think of her opening the one acceptance letter she cared about, and her hugging your neck, feet dangling in the air.

I want you to think of her sitting in a library by herself… At night… Working hard… Goals on her mind, and dreams in her heart.

I want you to imagine the phone call, from a busier and far away place, where she tells you she got the job.

I want you to imagine her standing on a lawn at the White House, confident and strong and intelligent as hell…

Screen Shot 2018-10-01 at 3.16.34 PM

And now I want you to imagine the smirking president of the United States — A man who somehow possesses the most powerful office in the world, yet also possesses an insecurity so debilitating that he feels the need to demean everyone around him — calling on a woman and having the exchange that you just saw in that video.

Imagine him being flanked with a bunch of other powerful white men… Men who laugh at his horrible comment, like advisors complimenting a naked king’s clothing.

Imagine seeing other women standing there… Somehow managing a blank-eyed smile, like the women holding down other women to be raped in The Handmaid’s Tale.

Now imagine seeing all this — Seeing the objective grossness of the man who conned his way into power… Seeing the stomach-turning misogyny of the men at his side… Seeing the embarrassing complicity of the token women near the podium — AND THEN IMAGINE BEING SUCH A GARBAGE PERSON YOURSELF THAT YOU NOT ONLY DEFEND HIS GARBAGE ACTIONS, BUT YOU PLAN ON VOTING FOR HIM AGAIN. What kind of a person do you have to be to defend this man? Seriously.

If you can’t look at this video and know without a doubt that the president is pure garbage, then there is NOTHING — not any argument, not the most gifted orator, not William Shakespeare himself — that could convince you of his moral bankruptcy and unparalleled depravity. Donald Trump is an festering pimple on America’s anus, and he needs to be popped. And if you can’t see that, it is only because you are almost as gross as him. Shame on you…

 

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Brett, Georgetown Prep, and The Preservation of White Male Privilege

In two short years as president, Donald Trump has chosen two Supreme Court nominees and a new Fed Chairman… ALL THREE MEN ATTENDED THE SAME HIGH SCHOOL. I mean, that’s insane… Right? Jerome Powell, Neil Gorsuch, and Brett Kavanaugh — One high school, three of the most powerful appointed positions in the nation? That high school is Georgetown Preparatory Academy, commonly known as “Georgetown Prep.” It is a private, all-boys Jesuit boarding school, it is one of the most exclusive, expensive schools in the nation ($60,280 per year), and it has recently come under fire as stories of sexual assault and even gang rape (though President Trump is prohibiting the FBI from looking into these claims) have surfaced with the nomination of Judge Brett Kavanaugh to the Supreme Court. And so, as we watch this cartoon happening in real time…

… I have been thinking about Georgetown Prep, and the lengths white men will go to to protect their power and privilege. During his testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Brett Kavanaugh actually said the following nonsense:

“I got into Yale Law School. I had no connections there. I got in there by working my butt off.”

This sort of “I did it all by myself/Born-on-third-base-thought-he-hit-a-triple” BS narrative is classic White Privilege Delusion. BOTH his parents were attorneys — His mother a Circuit Court Judge in Maryland — And yet he somehow believes that he “pulled himself up by his own bootstraps” all the way into Yale Law. I’m sure his acceptance letter had nothing to do with the fact that his parents were able to afford to send him to a school that costs more for nine months of schooling than most Americans make in a year… A school that pops out Senators and CEOs and Supreme Court Justices like it’s just the “natural result” of the 8:1 student to teacher ratio, and had nothing to do with the considerable means of the families who can afford to send their kids there. And to top it all off, he is actually a YALE LEGACY, as his grandfather attended Yale for his undergraduate studies.

And so a lot of attention has been paid recently to what went down at Georgetown Prep in the early 80’s. And listen, EVERYONE knows this was a different time (HERE is a great article about the Rape Culture of the 80s). Getting girls drunk to take advantage of them sexually was like an 80’s movies trope. In Sixteen Candles, Jake basically hands over his passed out ex-girlfriend to The Geek to have sex with. By today’s standards, that is RAPE. In the 80’s, this was treated like a PUNCHLINE. But even for that time, the stuff that Brett Kavanaugh and his friends wrote down on their senior pages in the Georgetown Prep yearbook was pure craziness. Here is part of Brett Kavanaugh’s page:

lead_art_yearbook

I’m sure “Those Prep Guys Are The Biggest” had nothing to do with anything sexual… I sure that the word “Douches” was just accidentally cut off.

What kind of prep school allows high school boys to write whatever they want, and then prints it in their Yearbook?? There are even references to the KKK in other boys’ entries, but Brett Kavanaugh seemed more preoccupied with alcohol and sex. I was in middle school during the 1980’s, and I recognized a lot of what he wrote about. He testified before congress that the word “Boof” had to do with flatulence. It doesn’t. It is slang for anal sex. Butt F*ck — the “BF” sound that led to “Boof — All the same thing… And there are hundreds of thousands of suburban white guys who grew up in the 80’s who could tell you the same thing. It’s been on the Urban Dictionary for years. They know it, I know it, and Brett Kavanaugh knows it — AKA the guy who was the principle author of the Starr Report, which justified the impeachment of Bill Clinton based on the fact that he LIED UNDER OATH ABOUT SEX STUFF FROM HIS PAST (THIS ARTICLE is long, but it proves beyond any doubt that Kavanaugh knowingly lied). He also lied about “The Devil’s Triangle,” which is a sexual slang term for “two guys with one girl.” After two men (he and his good friend and classmate Mark Judge) were named as taking part in a sexual assault against one girl, it makes a little more sense why he would lie about the definition of THAT one (He said it was a drinking game… A dishonest definition which got changed IN REAL TIME on the Wikipedia entry for that term).

It SHOULD be obvious to everyone who watched him respond to these allegations that he does not possess the right temperament to sit as a Supreme Court Justice… But that is not what I’m writing about here. If you don’t already see that, chances are pretty good you are not still reading this post. My question is this: WHAT KIND OF SCHOOL LETS 16 YEAR OLD BOYS WRITE THAT SORT OF CRAP ON THEIR YEARBOOK PAGE?!? The answer is: A school that is acutely aware that the student body’s parents are all very powerful people. “Keg City Club?” “100 Kegs or Bust?” “Beach Week Ralph Club?” These are all CLEAR references to a 16 year old drinking to excess (Brett said he was 16 during his false “Boof” explanation, but then he LIED and acted like he was old enough to drink as a senior, when the legal drinking age changed from 18 to 21). Not to mention the lies about hurtful “Renate Alumni” the boys made up about a girl from another school…

His history of misogyny and heavy drinking continued into college with his participation in the DKE fraternity — a group of young men who were notorious for assaulting women on campus, and a fraternity that eventually got kicked out of Yale after their members chanted “NO MEANS YES! YES MEANS ANAL!” outside of the Yale Women’s Center. Brett even proudly carried a flag made of women’s panties. They were privileged white men from wealthy white families vowing to look out for each other, and promising to put themselves in positions where they can keep tilting the scales in their favor… To preserve their Power and their Privilege. Or, as this perfect tweet pointed out…

In a statement, Georgetown Prep condemned the treatment the school has gotten in the wake of these allegations, saying, “The image that has been presented on social media and in various news outlets depicts recklessness, illegal conduct, and lack of respect for persons. Worse, many blame these faults on institutional indifference.” “INSTITUTIONAL INDIFFERENCE.” THANK you!That’s exactly the phrase I was looking for… There existed (and still exists) a systemic, institutional indifference to the evils that were perpetrated by young, white men under a heading of “Boys Will Be Boys.” We have failed our boys…

And before you spend any time Not-All-White-Men-ing me, or explaining to me how the problems of abuse and general assholery are not limited to White Men, let me assure you: I’m aware. There are abusive, broken people everywhere… But the REAL problem is the combination of abusive people with Wealth and Power and Privilege. THAT’s when things get dangerous. And when the one’s with the the Wealth & Power & Privilege start stacking the deck in their favor (or in their kids’ favor) and funneling their kids into positions of power after a lifetime of never being told NO… Well, THAT’s when injustice thrives.

There is a powerful group of people in the world who feel like teaching our sons that they can’t “take what they want” is some sort of feminization of boys which will end up destroying the country. They look at empathy and compassion as weaknesses. They look at cruelty toward women as some displaced sign of strength. They scoff at accusations of “Toxic Masculinity.” And that same group of people looks at the Equality women are seeking as a THREAT to their power and privilege. They are starting to feel cornered… And when animals feel threatened and cornered, they make faces like this:

brett-kavanaugh-john-brennan-supreme-court

He’s either feeling cornered, or he is got a huge loogy going… If you haven’t seen the comparisons of Brett’s faces to the faces of angry opossums, you definitely should. They are on my FB page.

I went to a small, private high school in the early 90’s, and I can’t even begin to list all of the things I said and did while I was in high school for which I now feel ashamed. I am a completely different person NOW than I was in high school. I’m sure there were COUNTLESS times and ways that I said things which dehumanized people who were LGBTQ+. I’m sure the words “Faggot” and “Retarded” passed my lips on a daily basis. I know I made jokes about minorities. I can’t imagine all the ways that I demeaned and objectified young women. There were certainly times in high school and college that I put sexual pressure on girls to do things they weren’t ready to do. PEOPLE CHANGE. In so many ways, I was an unbelievable ass hole in high school. I don’t believe that every man who was an ass hole in high school deserves to sentenced to a life of only being allowed to work at a gas station…

But if someone I grew up with came to me and told me that my immaturity in high school… my 80’s consciousness… my gross Toxic Masculinity… my brokenness… If someone told me that these things HARMED them while we were in school together, I sure the hell wouldn’t be making the face of a cornered animal. I would be weeping. I would be asking for forgiveness. I would be making the face of a man who was focused on the righting of wrongs.

I didn’t drink in high school — I saw what it did to my father’s life — so I remember most of the things that happened (probably because I wasn’t treasurer of the “Keg City Club”). Brett Kavanaugh might be telling the truth about not having any memory of his assault on Christine Blasey Ford… But I guarantee you he remembers drinking to excess on multiple, multiple occasions. And his lies about this fact disqualify him from sitting on our nation’s highest court. There was INSTITUTIONAL INDIFFERENCE to him and those other young boys — by the high school, by the college, and by their parents. They let those kids brag about their drinking in a CATHOLIC SCHOOL YEARBOOK, for crying out loud… And there was and is Systemic, Societal Indifference to the TOXICITY of the definition of manhood we taught and teach our boys — especially white boys. And that is something we ALL will have to atone for… 

 

HEY! THIS PAGE IS FREE… Can you believe it? What a deal, right? If you’re feeling like you want to support my work and my writing, you can BECOME A PATRON. If you are particularly fond of this one and want to boost in on Facebook, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Otherwise, follow me on FACEBOOK and on TWITTER. And for the love of all things good and holy, VOTE THESE JACK ASSES OUT OF OFFICE!

I other news, I messed up and initially spelled Kavanaugh with a “C.” One of the drawbacks of WordPress is that if you change the title, it doesn’t change it on the preview that people share. I apologize to those of you who got three notifications of a new blog post in your inbox… (so to speak). I’ll try not to let it happen again…

Posted in 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

Here Is What People On Fox”News” Had To Say During Dr. Ford’s Testimony

I have spent the morning in tears. This testimony has been devastating. Heartbreaking. Hearing her recall “the laughter” of Brett Kavanaugh and Mark Judge as she was being sexually assaulted… Watching her being forced to relive this life-altering trauma… Witnessing the cowardly way that the all-male republican senators hand over their time to a female prosecutor, like a doctor handing the needle to a nurse… Seeing her bravely do something that obviously terrifies her… It’s almost too much for me. But I feel like I owe it to her to listen…

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One thing that made viewing her testimony slightly more bearable was seeing comments pop up with words of encouragement… Things like We believe you” and “Thank you for your bravery” and “You are strong. You can do this!” But then I though about the fact that I was watching the live video on a news outlet which is more on the “liberal” end of the spectrum, so it would stand to reason that the people viewing would be more likely to make comments voicing their support. Which led me to ponder, “I wonder what people are saying below the Fox”News” live video feed.” SO I took some screen captures (of which I’m not going to edit out people’s names, because they made their shameful comments on a public forum). Here you go — Please read…

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If hell were real, yes… That’s where you would go.

Many people had things to say about her appearance….

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You’re an awful person, Bob.

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Glass houses, Nina…

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There are few things more vile than a person who wears glasses to read… Or has HAIR!

There were people who were convinced of a vast conspiracy…

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Right wing playbook: When all else fails, blame everything on Soros.

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Lorraine knows, because she has spoken in front of many Senate Judiciary Hearings.

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Because, as we all know, if she reads a prepared statement, she can’t possibly be telling the truth…

There were people who were critical of her skills as a psychologist…

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Maybe she had a headache, Jodi.

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“TO” is a preposition signifying direction. “TOO” is an adverb we use when the word can be replaced with “ALSO,” or when we’re talking about a great amount of something. For example, “This comment is TOO dumb to post.” Get it?

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If only psychologists could solve being an asshole…

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Physiology is something different. But something tells me you’re not a person who is too concerned with getting the facts straight…

There was a plethora of really gross victim blaming…

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Maybe she was 15, ashamed, and didn’t want to get in trouble. You horrible person.

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Apparently, if you go on to any future success, you can’t be a victim of sexual assault.

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“She was drunk, the rape was her fault. He was drunk, the rape wasn’t his fault.”

There were a whole lot of people saying, “Meh… Get over it!”

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The inability to imagine how someone else could have a problem with something you didn’t find difficult is a hallmark of conservatism. 

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“Roughhousing.” This is a woman who roots for the wrong side when watching The Handmaid’s Tale.”

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Maybe they survive by figuring out they have the power to stand up and say, “This happened to me, and it wasn’t okay.”

There was the occasional “Who HASN’T sexually assaulted a few people?” 

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As always, there was no lack of concern for our SONS being accused of sexual assault…

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It IS terrifying to think your son might grow up to be a rapist. Also, I think she meant “Ford.” 

And there were a disgusting amount of people bringing God into it…

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It comforts me to know that the god you people believe in doesn’t exist.

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Dear eight pound, six ounce baby Jesus… Where do all these people come from?

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HEDGE OF PROTECTION!!!

And if someone displayed the occasional show of support, that person was quickly attacked…

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Stay strong, Deanna, and know that you are not alone.

 

There were over 30,000 comments at the time I published this, posted by people ranging from confused to afraid to ignorant to deceived to downright cruel… Usually a combination of all of these. But one thing all these people have in common: They are all going to VOTE this November. If you are disgusted by this sham hearing, if you are disgusted by the treatment of Dr. Ford, or if you are disgusted by these comment, there IS something you can do: YOU CAN VOTE. Vote them out. Look at how many of these comments were made by women… Women defending sexism and misogyny. Women of character and compassion, we need you now more than ever. To quote Madeleine L’Engle’s Mrs. Whatsit: “Stay angry, little Meg… You will need all your anger now.”

 

My eyes are red and my beard is damp. Today has been a shit show. Give someone a hug or an act of kindness today… They probably need to get it, and you probably need to give it. Here’s how to BECOME A PATRON. Here’s how to LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. Here’s me of FACEBOOK. Here’s me on TWITTER. I love you people.

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If You Don’t Believe Online Conversations Change Anyone’s Mind, Then WHY ARE YOU COMMENTING?!?

My Facebook page is home to some controversial and sometimes contentious subjects of conversation. In addition to my own comment-inducing posts, I have also surrounded my online persona with many people who feel very strongly about things (political, theological, and otherwise), so it’s not at all uncommon for me to comment on other people’s controversial/contentious posts. Inevitably on these posts, there will appear a strange creature: “The Person Who Believes No One Ever Changes Anyone Else’s Mind On The Internet.” This creature feels compelled to inform you (and the other people involved in an online conversation) of the futility of trying to change someone’s mind on the internet… And yet they seem blissfully ignorant to the fact that they’re trying to change your mind about this topic …[wait for it]… ON THE DAMN INTERNET!

This makes about as much sense as being really passionate about believing that “Nobody Can Read Something Written In Invisible Ink!” while trying to convince people of your belief by writing your argument down IN INVISIBLE INK.

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I know online interactions can be frustrating, but please stop before you get to this point…

“The Person Who Believes No One Ever Changes Anyone Else’s Mind On The Internet” usually shows up in one of two forms: 1) The Fly By — A random person not involved in the conversation who feels like they need to let people know how fruitless time spent debating online is, and 2) The Secret Agent — A person who has spent significant time trying to change someone else’s mind in an online conversation, who then (usually after their argument has been found lacking) suddenly REVEALS himself to be a true believer PWBNOECAEMOTI. And again, just as a reminder, both of these forms are peddling their beliefs and trying to convince you of something …[wait for it again]… ON THE DAMN INTERNET!

In a lot of ways, discussing things in written form is BETTER than talking about it in person. Of course, there are drawbacks. You can’t interpret TONE as well when you are responding to text… Especially with people who are not very good at writing. Sometimes — especially when things get more emotional and heated — things which were meant to be benign can come across as mean or sarcastic. And it’s easier to forget that you are talking to an actual human being when you aren’t discussing things face-to-face. But there are advantages too. You can read things over before you post them. MANY times I have asked my wife to read a comment I was considering posting, and she talked me out of it… That’s something you can’t do in a face-to-face heated discussion. And when discussing things in person, sometimes people have differing recollections of what was said… In online conversations, you can just go back and READ what was said (unless people start deleting their comments, which is SUPER annoying).

Face-to-face conversations are more temporary and less shareable. I’ll find myself trying to remember something amazing someone said earlier, but the words are gone. But text is different. Sometimes there are tweets or a Facebook statuses that are distilled down to such pure Truth that hundreds of thousands of people recognize it as such, and they SHARE it… Something so true that gives off a sort of self-evidence… Something so true that it ENDS ARGUMENTS. Not every argument has this sort of answer available to it. But SOME do. And this is one of the amazing things about the internet: It has algorithms which allow the cream to rise to the top, and by so doing, it allows more people to witness those bits of distilled truth which other people have spent time working out.

I think many people believe that social media interactions “aren’t real.” For some, there are people who TALK, and people who DO. Which brings us to another creature who sometimes rears its peculiar head: “The Person Who Acts Like Talking About Things Is Worthless.” This related creature is the Very Pious Person who discounts the value of words compared to actions, and feels the need to let you know that THEY are the sort who DOES something about issue instead of just talking about them online. Ugh. As if speaking up isn’t an action… And as if they aren’t talking about it online.

Yes, actions speak louder than words… But this doesn’t mean words make no volume whatsoever, right? I mean, great — You’re going door to door trying to register people to vote, and there’s a good case to be made that this action is more important than talking to people about their need to vote. But just because we need people doing the good work of registering people to vote DOESN’T mean we don’t also need people doing the good work of convincing people it’s worth their time to vote. Or exposing the hypocrisy of one of their voting choices. Or sharing stories showing HOW they should vote if they care about Women’s Rights, or Racism, or Immigrant’s Rights, or Not Having Our Country Be An International Laughing Stock…

This is not to say I believe anyone’s mind can be changed… With some people, it is readily apparent that they are YEARS away from being able to hear the things people are trying to say to them. But even then, there are many times I have dedicated my time to an online conversation — not to change the mind of the lost cause I am directly involved with, but to expose the flaws in their argument to the people who are reading along without commenting. And believe me: There are MANY of them. I can’t tell you how many real life conversations I’ve had with people who talk to me about a discussion or an argument I’ve had online like THEY were right there in the thick of it… But they didn’t comment at all. Not so much as a “Like.” We don’t always stand up to the bully because we think he’s going to change — Sometimes we stand up to the bully because other kids are watching… And we’re trying to show them that bullying is garbage.

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You can’t change everyone’s minds… But if you believe you can’t change ANYONE’S mind, you should probably not be trying to convince other people of that.

I’m not sure why some people are so convinced that online interactions are hollow and ineffectual… But regardless of whether you believe that face-to-face conversations are a better means of communication or not, if you truly believe that social media interactions are worthless, either shut up about it online, or post your cynical comment and publicly acknowledge that you are a hypocrite. Because that is what you are if you are if you are using social media to preach the pointlessness of social media.

This phenomenon is nothing more than Cynicism and Pessimism dressed up as “realism.” What these people are REALLY saying is that no one has ever changed THEIR mind through an internet interaction or an online conversation, and so they can’t imagine the sort of mind who might let another person cause them to reexamine their own firmly-held beliefs. We all get that YOU, PWBNOECAEMOTI, have lost any hope of changing anyone else’s mind… What we DON’T get is why you feel compelled to proselytize your gospel of cynicism to US. Anyone wanting to find a reason to be cynical need only look at the news. We are living in a world where 62 million people actually voted for Donald Trump. We are living in a world where a political contest between a spineless shill like Ted Cruz and an eloquent person of integrity and character like Beto O’Rourke is actually a CLOSE RACE. We are living in a world where this the world’s journalists are forced to act like THIS NATIONAL EMBARRASSMENT isn’t a complete moron. Cynicism sells itself right now. Go sell your hopelessness somewhere else… I’m trying to quit.

 

Part of the reason I wrote this is because I regularly run into people who are trying to change people’s minds by convincing them that no one ever changes anyone’s mind, and I wanted something I could post the next time I encounter them online. Feel free to use it yourself. Also, if you value the stuff I write, and you want to support it, you can BECOME A PATRON. It’s fun and easy. Or you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. That’s easy and sort of fun? Otherwise, just keep in touch on Facebook or on Twitter. Please stay brave, stay strong, and stay hopeful… Meanwhile, here is another GOOD THING TO READ.

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12 Kavanaugh Tweets That Prove Republicans Are Morally Bankrupt

I am so grossed out with the time we are living in. Every day it’s something new and horrible to observe… Something which — just a few years ago — would have seemed unthinkable, but is now tragically predictable. This GOP administration is one hot bowl of festering awfulness after another… And this whole Kavanaugh hearing is just amplifying the smell of the moral decay at the heart of the republican party. This past week has been brutal… And this week doesn’t look too good.

The way they speak about women… The way they circle the wagons, regardless of the clear hypocrisy and objective disgustingness of it all… The relentless sexism and misogyny of it all… It just makes me sick. And it’s not because I have daughters, or because I love my wife, or because I have a mother and a sister… And it’s not because I voted for Obama, or because I describe myself as “progressive,” or because I think “Social Justice Warrior” sounds pretty effing awesome… IT’S BECAUSE I AM A HUMAN BEING. I am grossed out because I am human. It’s my basic sense of human decency that makes me wretch at the things I am reading.

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Your face is ALL of our faces, lady…

Dr. Christine Blasey Ford has received medical attention for the trauma she endured at being sexually assaulted by Brett Kavanaugh. She is not “making up this story to keep a republican nominee out of the SCOTUS,” as so many have accused her of doing. She has been working through healing from this attack with her therapist for YEARS, and she felt compelled to send a letter to Senator Feinstein when faced with the choice between staying silent or watching her attacker get nominated for a lifetime appointment to the Supreme Court. You can read the letter she wrote her MONTHS ago RIGHT HERE. Dr. Ford has repeatedly asked for an FBI investigation into the matter… A request which every republican has denied. The act of requesting an FBI investigation is not something which is normally done by someone who lying… Just as the act of DENYING a requested FBI investigation is not something which is normally done by people who actually believe the investigation will clear their person’s name.

And now more women have come forward (as is almost always the case), but they are forced to submit their painful stories to the sort of men who use terms like “Rape Culture” as a punchline… Men who think of “Making America Great Again” as a return to a nostalgic time when women weren’t so offended by getting spanked on the ass every once in a while… A time when they weren’t feeling so EMPOWERED to throw a fit over some “good-natured” sexual assault.

There are now THREE different women accusing Brett Kavanaugh of sexual assault or sexual harassment (possibly FOUR)… And he seems to think that a claim of virginity until after college absolves him from being guilty of sexual assault.

Is this the sort of legal mind we want deciding our most important cases?? The man accused of being in the room with Kavanaugh (who is still his good friend) while he attacked Christine Blasey Ford has written longingly about the “ambiguous middle ground, where the woman seems interested and indicates, whether verbally or not, that the man needs to prove himself to her. And if that man is any kind of man, he’ll allow himself to feel the awesome power, the wonderful beauty, of uncontrollable male passion.”

And for those dismissing his actions at his prestigious prep school because he was only 17 (an age young men regularly get tried as adult), there are allegations of assault while he was in college. For goodness sake, there are pictures of Kavanaugh holding a flag made of stolen women’s bras and panties from his time in the DKE fraternity… A frat known for its rapes and assaults, and a frat which eventually got kicked out of Yale for chanting “NO MEANS YES. YES MEANS ANAL” in front of the university’s Women’s Center. Yes, you read that right… He belonged to a secret society known as “Tit & Clit.” And now President Pussy Grabber wants him making Supreme Court decisions about Women’s Rights…

It’s not just Kavanaugh’s actions that are so disheartening… It feels like it’s coming from every angle. Franklin Graham says that Kavanaugh “respected” Ford by not going through with the rape. A man (a white man, obviously — A black man would be in jail for a very long time) who kidnapped a native woman, choked her, and masturbated onto her unconscious body WON’T be given any prison time, because he says he feels bad about what he did. Lindsey Graham says that Ford’s testimony won’t change his vote — Essentially saying that he doesn’t care if it DID happen — and his main concern is with ruining the reputation of the man being accused, rather than justice for the woman he assaulted. MANY people seem very concerned about our sons being “falsely accused.”

FYI, “Suburban Mothers” is code for WHITE mothers. And as good and true as the response to this asinine tweet was, I am way more worried about my daughters being sexually assaulted than I am worried about my son being falsely accused of sexual assault. I don’t know why I’m surprised… These are people who heard audio of a man bragging about sexual assault — a man accused MULTIPLE TIMES of rape and sexual assault — and STILL voted for him. I doubt it would matter one bit if every allegation against Kavanaugh was proven true.

The only thing which gives me hope right now is the amazing strength I see coming from the strong, powerful women who are brave enough to tell their truth — even though they know the world is still so fucked up right now that speaking up will probably ruin their lives. It is inspiring to see, and it gives me hope.

If you are having trouble seeing reason to be hopeful in this dark, dark time — If it’s hard to see through the daily tears — focus your attention on the bravery and strength and eloquence of the women coming forward to stand up for justice and equality. When all you can see is how far we have to go, focus on how far we’ve come. Focus on the beautiful solidarity of the women in this video:

And focus on joining all these amazing women in VOTING this November. 

 

Thank you for reading, and thank you for sharing this post. If you value this blog, please consider supporting it. You can do this by BECOMING A PATRON. Or by LEAVING A TIP. Or just by following me on Facebook and on Twitter. These are sad times. Like Mr. Rogers said, “LOOK FOR THE HELPERS.” I love you people…

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Hurricane Florence and The Will Of God

As Hurricane Florence bears down on the Carolinas, once again I am seeing posts all over social media about prayers — Prayers for safety, prayers for “calming the storm,” prayers that God would somehow miraculously change the course of the hurricane. At a church I used to attend, there were people known as “Prayer Warriors.” These were people who were “full of faith” who prayed boldly and fervently, convinced that God was not only listening to their prayers, but was POWERFUL enough to respond to those prayers with action. The foundation belief behind this is that 1) God is in control of everything, and 2) Our prayers can change God’s plans.

So if God sends a hurricane our way, if enough people petition The Almighty — people full faith — God is able to “move the mountain” that is heading toward us.

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This photo is obviously faked, because — as we all know — the world is flat, and satellites which take pictures from space are #FakeNews.

If you are a long time reader here, you probably already know how I feel about this issue. I have written about this general topic before (Prayer and God’s Will). A couple years ago, I wrote a post titled “God Had Nothing To Do With This.” If you haven’t read it before, you should. And after my wife was diagnosed with cancer, I wrote a post titled “Fun With Cancer” about “the God who CAN but WON’T.” It is also worth a read (if I do say so myself). You might be wondering why I keep coming back to this. You might be thinking, “What difference does it make? Why do you care? So what if people believe that their prayer circles are making people safer? Let people believe that their prayers have and actual EFFECT on the outcome of this storm. Let them believe in “The God Who Is In Control Of Everything.”

Here’s why it matters: Because “The God Who Is In Control Of Everything” is a MONSTER. And the more powerful God is, the more monstrous God becomes.

Imagine that I threw a football at a little kid… Imagine that I threw it pretty hard. The more control I have over that situation, the more awful I become. If I’m just throwing balls in random directions, and one just happens to hit a kid, that’s one thing… But If I’m able to throw with pinpoint accuracy, and the football smashes the kid’s face, that’s on ME. Now imagine I am ABLE (fast enough and powerful enough) to run while the ball is in the air and stop it from hitting the kid’s face… Imagine I hear people — both friends and parents of the child — PLEADING with me to change the ball’s course (something I could easily do) but I just decide to NOT intervene. What does that make me? I’ll tell you what it makes me… It makes me an asshole. And what the people pleading with me SHOULD be thinking about is this: Why in the world are they expecting a last-minute intervention from the one who threw the ball at the kid in the first place?

And that is why it matters. That is why I want to rain on people’s churchy parades every time I see them post stuff about “Prayers for safety” for people in the hurricane’s path. Because the god you’re praying to is the same god who threw the damn storm at those people! And when you mix this Bad Theology of A Monstrous God with the unwavering belief that God is GOOD, you can see how easily we can end up with confused people who believe that Monstrous is “Good.” Cancer? God’s will. Terrorist attack? God’s will. Trump? God’s will. Deadly hurricane? God’s will. People so desperately need God to be in control of everything that they are willing to turn God into a monster to have it. And when people believe that Monstrous is “Good,” it has real world consequences.

People want to believe in control. Chaos is scary. And if THEY’RE not in complete control, at least they can believe that God is in complete control. But this illusion of control is a cop out. If everything that happens was “supposed to happen,” then we have less responsibility to PREVENT things from happening. If school shootings are “God needing another angel,” we have less responsibility to pass laws which regulate killing tools. And if a hurricane is some sort of judgment because of gay marriage or abortion, we have less responsibility to change the human behavior which warms the environment and makes these storms more and more common.

This issue is one known as “Theodicy.” Theodicy is often thought of as the question of why God permits evil… But even the word “permit” presupposes that God is in control of everything (evil, cancer, hurricanes, etc…). Theodicy is the attempt to vindicate divine Goodness with the existence of evil and the notion of divine providence. Prayer is inexorably tied to theodicy… Especially prayer in the face of destruction and natural disasters. And how we attempt to reconcile these things determines what kind of God we believe is at the heart of things. Is the unifying force in the universe a benevolent Goodness and Love? Or is the unifying force in the universe an All-Powerful Indifference  who CAN, but WON’T? Because either God is Good and less strong than most people think… Or God is Omnipotent and Monstrous. And at times like these — with a giant hurricane heading toward our eastern shoreline — I choose to believe the FIRST one is true. I find it both more comforting, more consistent, AND more beneficial to society as a whole.

 

Hi there! If you value this blog, and you’re feeling generous and cool, you can help support it. You can either BECOME A PATRON and give a little bit every month, OR you can LEAVE A TIP on PayPal. I work at a restaurant, and people give money all the time for bringing them some food or a bottle of wine… I guarantee I worked harder on this than any server worked bringing for food. Either way, thank you so much for reading this. You should follow me ON FACEBOOK and ON TWITTER. And if you want to shake the cage a little, share this post as a comment when people are inadvertently crediting God with the destruction that is about to hit the Carolinas. Take care of each other… and for the love of God, VOTE!

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If You’re Looking For What’s Wrong With The World, Chances Are Good It Has A Penis

When my kids were little, I used to help out in the nursery at church. The church we attended had a policy that men were not allowed to change diapers. Don’t get me wrong… I am in no hurry to change some kid’s poopy diaper. But at the time, this seemed to me like I was the victim of a GREAT INJUSTICE. My fragile feelings were hurt… “Here I am, volunteering in the nursery, and I’m being treated like a second class citizen and kept away from the kids’ diapers, JUST BECAUSE men are statistically WAY more likely to molest children,” I told myself. “This is like I’m being racially profiled, just because I’m a man!” Yup… That’s what I told myself. Then I thought about if I wanted some DUDE in church anywhere near my daughter’s diaper area… Nope. No thanks. Okay, I get it. Men are way more likely to be creepy, abusive criminals than women. I don’t fault anyone for knowing how to read a graph.

When it was discovered that Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was a Mexican immigrant, the republicans grossly, racistly, and fear-mongeringly used that fact to push for their border wall (though if the killer were Canadian, I doubt whether they would have called for a wall on our Northern border). But when she went missing and they were looking for a suspect, do you think they were looking for a male or a female killer? Who did YOU think did it? A woman??? Not likely…

After white nationalists used Mollie’s murder to fan the flames of xenophobia, a member of her family (cousin Sandi Tibbetts Murphy) posted a scathing status on her Facebook page (along with an aunt who wrote “Remember evil comes in every color”). She has since made the post (and her profile) private — And I wouldn’t doubt for a minute that it had something to do with the responses of toxic men online — But you can read her powerful response in the screen captures below.

She doesn’t places the blame on immigrants or Spanish-speaking people with brown skin, but instead squarely on the shoulders of Male Entitlement & Toxic Masculinity. The thing is, if it was actually TRUE that More Immigrants meant More Crime, we could have a conversation about that… But as you can see in THESE TWO CHARTS, the opposite is actually true. Immigrants — both legal AND undocumented — are far LESS likely to commit crimes. And the more immigrants an area has, statistically the less violent crime it experiences. But do you know what data we DO have?

  • 89.5% of homicides in America — MEN
  • 96% of homicides Worldwide — MEN
  • 90% of murder/suicides — MEN
  • 12 times as likely as women to perpetrate abuse against children — MEN
  • 98.9% of rapes — MEN
  • 98% of the mass shooters since 1982 — MEN
  • 94.4% of serial killers — MEN
  • 80% of the murders of kids under 5 years old not killed by their parent — MEN
  • 80.4% of all violent crime arrests — MEN

When Mollie Tibbetts’ accused killer was identified as a Mexican immigrant, Latino people all over the country felt it. If a bomb goes off somewhere, or if someone shoots up a mall, or if someone drives a truck into a crowd of people, Muslims all over America are praying, “PLEASE let this person not be a Muslim.” But the common denominator of violent actions is NOT religion or ethnicity… It is SEX. And yet, when news of YET ANOTHER school shooting comes in, I — as a person with a penis — am not sitting around worrying about the gender of the shooter because I’m going to be experiencing fresh fear hatred and discrimination if the shooter turns out to be male. Do you know WHY? BECAUSE THE GENDER OF THE SHOOTER WAS NEVER IN DOUBT! It was ALWAYS going to be a guy who did it. When a man murdered 59 people from a hotel room in Las Vegas, if the shooter had been black, it’d been a race war… If the shooter had been hispanic, we’ve got to Build That Wall… If the shooter had been a Muslim, it’d be terrorism… But since he was a white guy, it was obviously mental illness. But make no mistake: It was ALWAYS going to be a man.

And for some reason, we don’t feel like all of us men should be held accountable for this steady stream of male violence. Because that would be “unfair.” That would be “discrimination.” These people want to use the fact that Mollie Tibbetts’ murderer was an immigrant to discriminate against ALL immigrants, but they recoil at the “unfairness” of talking about the fact that over 19 out of 20 of ALL MURDERS are committed by men. Just like me, as a young father in that church nursery, feeling the sting of “unfairness” at being told that men weren’t allowed to change any dirty diapers. Well… Get over it, snowflake. Maybe Feminists aren’t “Man-Haters.” Maybe they are just people who know how to read a graph.

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I love Louis CK’s comedy… But this man has not made amends. Until he does, he needs to go away.

Yesterday, Louis CK showed up unannounced at the Comedy Cellar. It was the first time he has performed since admitting to sexual misconduct (which is a nice way of saying admitting to masturbating in front of female comics whose careers he had the power to destroy, while using that same power to black list women who came forward to talk about what he did). He received a standing ovation. It had been all of 10 months since he said he was going to “take some time to listen.” Weirdly enough, it is VERY difficult to find someone defending him who is NOT a white male. How strange…

In Oklahoma last week, a 14 year-old girl was repeatedly stabbed by a 14 year-old boy. He moved behind her during a “Welcome Back” assembly, he stood up without saying anything, he pulled out a four inch folding knife, and he stabbed her about 10 times in the upper back, arm, wrist and head. He said he did this because she rejected his advances for a closer relationship… She just wanted to be friends.

This past week it was revealed that Catholic priests sexually abused, molested, and raped over 1000 kids in Pennsylvania, and that most of the abusive priests were moved around rather than being reported to the authorities, their acts covered up by the highest levels of the Catholic Church. This is just yet another chapter to the story of the worldwide epidemic of child sexual abuse by Catholic priests. It would be foolish to attempt to simplify the deep, deep problems within the Catholic Church down to one issue… But the fact that their leadership is ENTIRELY MALE is not unrelated to the Catholic Church’s systemic sexual abuse. You know what? Maybe the Bible wasn’t using the word “man” as a gender inclusive pronoun… I’m starting to think the writers MEANT IT when they wrote stuff like “God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.”

When I write something that pisses people off, and I imagine some crazy person killing me for writing it, it’s not a woman I’m worried about. Want to know who the absolute WORST people online are? Men. Yes, there are a few exceptions to the rule (I’m looking at you, Ann Coulter. Where do you think YOU’RE going, Tomi Lahren?), but by and large, if you run into an truly awful person on Twitter — A person who STUNS you with their grossness and depravity — that person is going to be male. The worst people in the world are men. That’s just a fact. If you compiled a list of the 100 worst people in the world — the most dangerous, the most capable and willing to do vast amounts of harm, the most greedy, narcissistic, abusive people on the planet — how many out of 100 do you think would be men? It would HAVE to be in the high 80’s at least, right? Low 90’s? MID 90’s??

You’re probably thinking, “ALRIGHT! We GET it… Men are shit. What do we DO about it?” Two things: 1) I’m not saying all men are shit. I’m a man, and I don’t think I’m shit… At least not complete shit. It’s just harder for me to UNLEARN the many shitty things the world has taught me about what it means to be a man. And 2) The problem is not masculinity. It is TOXIC masculinity. Toxic masculinity doesn’t mean all masculinity is toxic, just as strawberry yogurt doesn’t mean all yogurt is strawberry. Toxic masculinity is a narrow view and practice of what it means to be a man, and it focuses around aggression, violence, dominance, sex, status, subordination of women, etc… It devalues and dismisses empathy and emotion. Here is a great tweet about it:

Here is another amazing tweet. Please read it a few times, and think about how true these words are: “Once you have been taught to dismiss your own emotions, it is a simple step to dismiss those of others.”

It is “Boys don’t cry.” It is “Be a man.” It is “Throws like a girl.” It is toxic, it is harmful, and it is EVERYWHERE. Our sons are marinated in it. It’s what draws people toward the misogyny of Jordan Peterson. It is rationalized supremacy. It is the evil necessitating the #MeToo movement. It is the beating heart of abuse in the world. It is the engine of war. It is the enemy of equality and peace. And it has got to go.

So HOW? Four things: 1) We have to acknowledge it exists. 2) We have to call it what it is: Immorality. Just because you think something has “always been this way” does NOT mean that it is natural or good. 3) We (especially men) have to speak up when we see it (see the video at the end). And 4) We have to do a better job raising our sons. I have two daughters and a pre-teen son, and let me tell you something: It is my experience that Male Entitlement is a very real thing. And left unchecked, it can become toxic. I don’t know if it’s something we messed up on as parents, if it’s societal, or if it’s biological. I’m not sure if it’s nature or nurture, but IT IS THERE… Regardless, it’s something my wife and I, as parents, have to WORK to educate him about EVERY. DAY. Whether you are raising boys or girls, whether you work with kids or you’re a teacher, or whether you are barely ever around kids at all, we MUST teach people that Toxic Masculinity exists, that it is wrong, and that we need to ALL call it out when we see it. And maybe the next generation will someday teach THEIR sons those same lessons…

If you are interested in learning more about Toxic Masculinity (and the role of the male bystander), this video is a really good place to start:

 

 

If you care about what I do, if you enjoy my writing, and if you value this blog and my voice in your life, I’d like for you to consider supporting it. BECOME A PATRON. A kick ass woman named Melissa just did, and I am so grateful. Or, you can LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL. And if you want me to use that tip to boost a certain post, just let me know. You can also follow me ON TWITTER or ON FACEBOOK, or you can just share this post with the people in your life. Stay hopeful… The future is female.

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

The Enticing White Supremacy Of Jordan Peterson

You know who LOVES Jordan Peterson? NAZIS, that’s who. Hmm… Why do you think that is? I’ll get back to that shortly.

Now, undoubtedly some of you are thinking to yourself right now: “Who the hell is Jordan Peterson?” And for those of you thinking that, also undoubtedly — just like when you buy a new car and then suddenly seeing that same make/model all over the place — you will start seeing his name pop up. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Toronto. He’s written a couple of books. And he is SUPER popular with white people right now… Especially white people who feel really uncomfortable with terms like “White People.” Or terms like “White Privilege” or “White Guilt” or “White Fragility” (This “uncomfortableness,” by the way, is a great example OF “White Fragility”).

3dd

In his book, Jordan Peterson holds up lobsters as “evidence” that patriarchy and capitalism and the sexual binary are perfectly natural. Watch as an actual Marine Biologist kicks him in the crustaceans…

And for many of us white folks who are uncomfortable with terms like “White Privilege” (like I used to be), I think our discomfort usually comes from a very genuine, well-meaning place. We’ve been taught that it’s not right to put people into groups based on the color of their skin. And initially, that’s what this feels like. I remember feeling all “Wait… Are you saying that ALL white people are a certain way? That’s ‘judging a book by its cover!’ We’re supposed to by judging people, ‘not by the color of their skin, but by the CONTENT OF THEIR CHARACTER!!’ MARTIN. LUTHER. KING. JUNIOR! That sounds like REVERSE racism!!!” Etcetera, etcetera…

It’s hard having conversations about these things when people have different definitions of what is meant by Racism… And these conversations are made even harder by white folks wanting to tell people of color what is and isn’t Racism. But please keep in mind that the dictionary definition of “Racism” is woefully simplistic. Dictionaries were written by white men (as were almost all of the “important” writings of Western Culture), and concepts like this cannot be summed up in a sentence. Racism is MORE than just “not liking someone because of their skin color.” It is more than being prejudiced. It’s more than “They’re all the same.” Racism is systemic. It is a dangerous dance of  Power and Privilege and Prejudice and White Supremacy… Even when that supremacy is subconscious. It can be as subtle and pernicious as “I’m not racist. I like PLENTY of black people… I just don’t like THOSE kinds of black people.” And in this country, Racism and White Supremacy are woven indelibly into the fabric of our nation.

There are more things built into our national identity: The belief in Hard Work… That our success is determined by our effort and our ability. The belief that We Are Good… That we are moral and on the RIGHT side of things. And the belief in American Exceptionalism… That there are other good nations out there, but WE are the best. And in many ways, these foundational beliefs seem tailor-made to stand in the way of combating Racism and White Supremacy.

Take as an example White Privilege. When people refer to “White Privilege,” they’re not talking about “All white people are the same,” even though that is what some people hear. White Privilege is simply acknowledging that there are advantages white people enjoy which we didn’t have to work for. And the other side of that coin is that there exist DISadvantages and barriers to success for People Of Color (due to Systemic Racism). Both of these things conflict with The belief in Hard Work. We want to believe that we EARNED everything we have with hard work… and we want to believe that ANYONE, with the same hard work, can be just as successful. But acknowledging White Privilege is not saying you didn’t have to work hard for what you’ve got… It’s saying that the color of your skin was not something which made you have to work even HARDER.

It is very difficult to give up this Myth of Meritocracy. We are rugged individualists. It’s hard — as white people — to deal with both the fact that we have access to things we didn’t have to work for, as well as the fact that the playing field is NOT LEVEL for people of color. As we become more educated about the abuses that happened and still happen, we may experience something known as “White Guilt,” where we feel guilty about the very real harm that has been done and continues to be done… Though many times White Guilt is more interested in being forgiven than we are in making amends or working to change the injustices we see. At the same time, so many of us have grown very accustomed to the Privilege we enjoy… And seeing OTHER groups take steps toward equality feels like steps toward our own oppression. This is where White Fragility come into the picture.

It is the fragility that comes with the perception that our privilege is eroding… And it is mixed with the deep belief that we are a good people. Think about it… Most people walking around today were rasied on a steady diet of “Racism Is Bad.” So coming to terms with out inherent racism is in direct conflict with The belief that We Are Good. We desperately want to hold on to the belief in our Goodness… But when someone points out that we are complicit in Systemic Racism (and as we all know, Racism = Bad), sometimes all we can hear is “You are bad.” But that’s not necessarily what is being said. Sometimes what is being said is, “You are confused.” Or “You are deceived.” Or “You are better than this.” Or “You are ASLEEP.” Or “Wake TF UP!”

Also, hearing that America is racist is in direct conflict with the belief in American Exceptionalism. “If racism is bad, and America is hella racist, HOW CAN WE BE THE BEST?” (#BeBest) At every turn in the process of recognizing Systemic Racism, it seems America’s foundational beliefs are ready to push back against healing and atonement. Not to mention how easily — since America has been mostly white — one can slide from “American Exceptionalism” into White Exceptionalism… a.k.a. White Supremacy. It’s a big mess.

So what does Jordan Peterson have to do with this big mess? For many, many white people, dealing with this whole “White Privilege” thing has come along very fast. Social Media has increased the visibility of Systemic Racism. Many white folks have been dealing with a lot of White Guilt for a very long time… And when Obama was elected, they thought, “Finally, THAT’S over!” And then Black Lives Matter comes along, and messes with our belief that We Are Good. And where white folks wanted forgiveness and absolution and assurance that it’s all behind us now, what they got was more White Guilt, more Fragility, and more talk about Privilege. And the Guilt is turned to frustration. And frustration can turn to anger. Some are so angry that they pick up their Tiki torches and start marching. But the vast majority of white folks are still playing by the “Racism = Bad” rules… And along comes Jordan Peterson, telling white people they have nothing to feel guilty about. Hallelujah, right?

Jordan Peterson believes in the supremacy of WESTERN Culture. And sure, Western Culture has always had White Males on the top of the totem pole… But Peterson stops short of preaching the supremacy of WHITE, MALE Culture (because Racism = Bad). He just leaves us to figure it out on our own (In a “The cream rises to the top… White people are on the top… You figure it out” sort of way). He rejects the idea that White Privilege is real (or at least that it’s any more significant than any other bit of privilege) because he believes it turns people into “victims” (And in the psychology of human improvement, there is admittedly not much usefulness in thinking of one’s self as a victim). And with this, they can once again believe in The Myth Of Meritocracy. And their success is earned by refusing to see themselves as victims… While the failure of others is solely due to their inability to rise above their circumstances. And when the playing field becomes level again, then Hard Work wins out… And we are Good again… And America is Great Again.

But it’s not just weary, well-meaning white people — tired of being told they “don’t get it,” and frustrated by the constant reminders of inequality — who love the philosophy of Jordan Peterson. White Supremacists and Nazis LOOOOVE Jordan Peterson. And even though he has publicly distanced himself from the White Supremacists and Nazis who love him, Jordan Peterson’s denial of the reality of White Privilege and Systemic Racism necessarily leads DIRECTLY to a belief in White Supremacy. Let me explain how…

Racial disparities exist… Disparities in wealth and housing and healthcare and education and criminal justice. In America, whites are 77% of the population, but they control 90% of the wealth. On the other hand, blacks are 13% of the population, but only control 2.6% of the wealth. And as only 13% of the population, blacks make up 40% of the prison population. Blacks with college degrees are TWICE as likely to be unemployed than all other groups. Black home ownership is at an ALL-TIME LOW (42% for blacks, compared to 72% for whites). There are SO. MANY. EXAMPLES. of these disparities between races.

But here’s the thing: Either these disparities are due to the existence of White Privilege and Systemic Racism, or they are due to one group just being naturally “better” (otherwise known as “White Supremacy”). You can’t argue that White Privilege isn’t a reality while claiming to “not be a white supremacist.” If the playing field is level and our team keeps winning, it’s because “our team” is just BETTER. When you can clearly see that disparities exist between blacks and whites, but you keep arguing that it’s not because of Systemic Racism and White Privilege, you might relieve your sense of White Guilt… But in essence you are making the case that it’s the fault of black folks that they have so much less. And that’s why nazis love Jordan Peterson so much: It is the Social Darwinism of the Nazi Party. They believe racial disparities aren’t the result of Oppression… They’re the result of some sort of moral or intellectual deficiency on their part or some natural supremacy on our part. “They didn’t try hard enough.” “They are seeing themselves as victims.” “They’re weaker.” (Incidentally, this is ALSO why misogynists and anti-feminists love Jordan Peterson so much… He allows them to believe men are in power because men are just BETTER).

And this is why Jordan Peterson is so enticing to white folks… and so dangerous. He lends a sense of academic credibility to White Supremacy. He relieves their guilt. He tells them they earned it all. He tells them that oppression is all in the minds of people who have believed the lie that they are victims, and he allows them to believe they are good people… Not people taking part in some “imaginary” Systemic Racism. He tells them the ones pointing out their White Fragility are the REAL racists. And that feels GOOD to white folks. REAL good…

But this is what you are doing when you INSIST that you earned everything you have… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that black folks could have everything they wanted if they’d just work harder… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that you “don’t see color,” and dismiss race as an imaginary construct… This is what you are doing when you INSIST that White Privilege isn’t real… You are OUTING YOURSELF as a White Supremacist. And there is really no “seeing both sides” of this issue. When people claim they can “see both sides,” what they are really saying is that the disparities are there partly because of Systemic Racism, and partly because white people are a bit better. But either there ARE systems in place that advantage white people over People of Color (White Privilege), or the disparities exist because one side is just “Better” than the other side (White Supremacy).

Which do you think it is?

Here are some really amazing resources for folks who are struggling to understand White Privilege…
“White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack” by Peggy McIntosh
“Explaining White Privilege To A Broke White Person” by Gina Crosley-Corcoran
“Patriotism is for Black People: Colin Kaepernick, Donald Trump and the Selectivity of White Rage” by Tim Wise
“What I Said When My White Friend Asked For My Black Opinion On White Privilege.” by Lori Lakin Hutcherson
“The Case For Reparations” by Ta-Nahisi Coates

As well as a few other things I have written that are not nearly as impressive…
“Dear White People: Stop Whitesplaining Martin Luther King, Jr.”
“I Don’t Know A Damn Thing About Black Lives”
“13 Things White People Do When You Point Out Racism”
And “When You’re Accustomed To Privilege, Equality Feels Like Oppression”

If you would like to help support this blog (and with it, help support me and my family while I do the good work of writing) you can do that by BECOMING A PATRON. Or you can simply LEAVE A TIP ON PAYPAL to help boost a post. Follow my stuff on Facebook and on Twitter. Otherwise, please share this with the people in your lives. And here’s the really hard one (I’m looking at YOU, White People): DO THE WORK. Read the articles I posted. Seek out other ones. Examine the foundations of your beliefs. And then, after you get it, if you see other white folks struggling to understand this, HELP THEM UNDERSTAND. Things will get messy. Their White Fragility will flare up and defensively attack. People will unfriend you… So be it. But it is not the job of People of Color to explain how they are being harmed to the very people who are harming them. It’s OUR job. DO THE WORK.

Posted in 1) Jesus, 2) Politics, 5) Not Quite Sure | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments