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Hyperationalist Posts

All Lives Cannot Matter If Black Lives Don’t

Listen.

I know that it seems incredibly obvious to you that “all lives matter” is an uncontroversial, indisputable statement of truth that should obviously antecede a narrower statement like Black Lives Matter.

It is and it should.

Unfortunately we do not live in the world as it should be.

We live in a world where some lives are manifestly undervalued in relation to others lives.

We live in a world where black lives have been historically, perpetually, systematically, unfathomably, irredeemably disadvantaged in relation to white lives.

We live in a world where even those African Americans who have made great strides against all odds have no expectation whatsoever that they will be treated any differently from the most dangerous criminals of any color.

The realities of shifting demographics, advancing technology and political pandemonium have precipitated a long overdue Come to Jesus moment regarding our failure to rehabilitate the race of people we methodologically destroyed in service of building the wealthiest society on the face of the earth.

I know you don’t see any of this, that you think whatever disparity exists is the result of life choices and character traits—and I understand why you think that.

You and I were raised to think it by people who were raised to think it by people who were raised to be indifferent to it by people who were raised to feel antipathy about its rectification by people who were raised to be virulently opposed to its rectification by people who were raised to firmly believe that black people were property to be bought and sold.

Just as African Americans were raised to live in fear as second-class citizens by people who were raised to live in fear as second-class citizens by people who were raised without the right to vote or drink from the same water fountains by people who were raised in redlined American ghettos as barely-free men and women by people who were raised to live in fear of lynching by people who were raised as the property that could be bought and sold.

However poor your daddy, your grandmammy, or your great granddaddy were, however hard they worked to pull themselves up by their bootstraps, however legitimately you think you’ve earned whatever you have or don’t have in your life…add up the all of that energy, determination, and resourcefulness and multiply it by several orders of magnitude and you might begin to get an inkling of a hint of the faintest sense of the immensity of the forces that were working against the mammies, granddaddies, and great grandmammies of your African American contemporaries.

The wind has always been at our forebears’ backs; a tsunami has always been crashing toward and against and on top of the people we brought here in chains and their descendants.

And the DNA of every facet of American life remains structurally contaminated by that history.

Yes, all lives should matter, but merely saying those words as a defense against the accusation that we don’t live by them is no defense at all.

It’s like saying “helium balloons of all colors fly” when, in fact, you know damn well that someone has tied the black balloons to bricks, popped them, and then burned and stomped on the remaining shreds.

Insisting upon the preeminence of the incontrovertible truth of the statement “all lives matter,” may feel good and righteous, but it makes you look very fucking stubborn and tone-deaf and ahistorical.

It makes you part of the problem.

Black Lives Matter is a thing because for too long our collective words and silences and actions and inactions have created the distinct impression that they do not.

Black Lives Matter is the oxidization on the can of communal existence that our parents and grandparents and great grandparents kicked down the road to us by failing to make amends for the actions of their parents and grandparents and great grandparents.

Black Lives Matter is the penance we must pay if we want a world for our children and grandchildren and great grandchildren that is not engulfed in internecine warfare.

Black Lives Matter is not an assertion that black lives matter more than other lives; it is a mantra that we must internalize until we know it and live it—until we can say with a straight face and a clear conscience that all lives matter.

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The Guy Who Shot His 14-Year Old Is Undeserving Of Our Empathy

One should grant enormous leeway to anyone whose child has just died. Like, all the leewayThere’s just very little room for judgment of the words and actions of a person in that terrible, terrible situation.

And yet, even by that standard, the words and actions of Clayton and Elizabeth Brumby after Clayton accidentally shot his 14-year old son Steven in the neck—killing him—were mind-bogglingly, incomprehensibly galling, bordering on sociopathic in tone and content.

First, some context: Steven Brumby was the fourth of seven children. His mom, Elizabeth, is around 50; his dad, Clayton, is 64. They’re super religious. As you can probably guess, the kids were all homeschooled.

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On Sunday, July 3, Clayton took his 12-year old daughter and his 14 and 24-year old sons to the shooting range at High Noon Guns—the kind of place that names itself after an idiom denoting the time of day when enemies meet to shoot each other.

Also, the kind of place that posts memes like this one that encourages fun with guns for kids of all ages!

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Anyway, back to the Brumbys…

So Clayton, who is “a church sign salesman and religious book author,” takes his kids to the gun range for some family fun with firearms. He steps up to take his turn feeling like a man and some bullshit happens with a hot shell casing and the next thing you know, 14-year old Steven has taken a bullet to the jugular.

Now, the first thing you need to know is that there is a discrepancy between Clayton’s story and the one given by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s office after reviewing surveillance video. Specifically, Clayton says the bullet ricocheted off the ceiling and hit Steven, while the Sheriff says Clayton “inadvertently pointed the firearm directly behind him and accidentally fired.”

The discrepancy isn’t one that will make a difference in terms of charges being filed or not filed (they likely won’t be)—and that’s what makes it kind of weird. Why within a day of his son’s death was he was exerting any energy to minimize the magnitude of the error that killed him? As if it’s somehow less his fault that his son is dead if the gun was pointed up rather than “directly behind him?”

That weirdness might have been easy to brush off if not for the downright terrifying fucking coldness with which he spoke of the incident to CNN. For starters, he immediately felt the need to defend the gun, saying:

The gun didn’t kill my boy. I did. Every round in the gun is your responsibility. When it fires you need to stand to account for it it. That’s what I’ve spent the last two days doing, accounting for my operating error.
Oh, really? You’ve been accounting for an operating error, have you, Mr. Brumby? Have you perhaps accounted for the error of taking a child into a gun range in the first place? Have you considered that maybe kids and guns don’t mix? Has it crossed your mind that operating errors are far less likely to result in child mortality when they involve board games, hiking, reading, juggling, playing musical instruments, or playing with NERF guns instead of real guns? You know, the things kids do that don’t require the use of deadly weapons? (Florida, by the way, like many states, doesn’t allow minors into bars even with adult supervision. Gun ranges, however, are no problem.)

But mostly, “the gun didn’t kill my boy?” Well, okay, but yes it did. Fine, it doesn’t have a mind of its own and a will, but it is an instrument designed for one purpose—namely, to fire metal projectiles that are designed to tear apart flesh and bone. But whatever, all I’m saying is just, maybe now is not the time to stand up for the innocence of the gun as though you’re worried it’ll get its feelings hurt. Maybe now is the time to just be inconsolable about the actual human being who is dead rather than worried about the poor little semi-automatic Ruger.

His desire to stand up for the gun stems from his simple-minded misconception that people like me blame gun. We don’t. We blame humans for thinking guns are toys, for fetishizing guns, for using them to compensate for other shortcomings, for getting so many innocent children killed by them. We think guns are dangerous machines that stupid civilians shouldn’t be fucking around with.

It gets worse:

That’s why yesterday was so stupid and freaky on me because the gun is supposed to be pointed down range at all times. My first thought was ‘That was pretty stupid of me. I should’ve put the gun down.’

Pretty stupid? You sound like you’re talking about accidentally leaving the gate open so that the dog got out and you had to spend an hour looking for it. You sound like a man who, at worst, got caught cheating on his wife with a gay prostitute because he butt dialed her while taking his pants off. You do not sound like a man who took his children to a gun range and shot one of them in the neck, killing him.

“I can’t fix this,” Brumby told CNN. “It’s just a great loss but thankfully we’ll see him someday. I have a feeling he’s on a great lake out there.”

Holy fucking shit, man. Is this what comes from being such a narcissist that you feel the need to spurt out seven children? Am I just oversensitive because I only have one kid? Is that why you sound like such a cavalier fucking monster to me?

But perhaps the most offensive thing I saw all day was the GoFundMe page set up by Steven’s mother, Elizabeth, asking for “generous gifts and donations [to] help with the expenses the family is now faced with.” The original goal was $50,000.

She’s all like: Hey y’all…my husband just shot my 14-year old son in the neck with our 12-year old daughter’s .22 semi-automatic Ruger SR22 (for some reason he wasn’t using his own 9mm Glock). So do you think we could get about fifty thousand dollars to, like, lift him up to Jesus and stuff? Thanks, interwebs!🙏🇺🇸😇 #blessed

The goal has since been lowered to $10,000. And guess what? People are actually fucking donating (the total currently stands at $15,250) probably because she had the good sense to let them know that Steven was one of them.

He was passionate about his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and dedicated his life to sharing his hope with everyone he met. The families’ only comfort is knowing that He is communing with the heroes of his faith and rejoicing in paradise.

Right. We don’t want our tax dollars going to those darkies killing each other in the hood but we’ll happily fork over more than these lily-white homeschoolers even asked for when they accidentally shoot their own kids.

I’ll bet dollars to donuts these people preach personal responsibility and self-reliance all day long when it comes to other people. Now they’d like your help with the “expenses the family is now faced with.” How about we help by taking away either some of your kids or all of your guns? That’s the kind of help I’d be happy to give.

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Anyway, congratulations, Clayton and Elizabeth Brumby. You have pulled off the impossible. You have made it more-or-less impossible to empathize with the parents of a recently-dead child. You are lunatics who probably shouldn’t have procreated once, let alone seven times. But at least you have spares, right? So whatever you do, don’t go and do anything desperate like selling any of those precious guns to pay for Steven’s burial costs.

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Omar Mateen Was Not A Terrorist – He Was A Loser With A Big Gun

I need to expand just a bit on something I wrote earlier in the week.

The Orlando LGBTQ massacre was not an act of terrorism—irrespective of how one chooses to define the word, by which I mean this: conservatives tend to define violent attacks by brown people from the middle east as terrorism, while liberals are rightly concerned with expanding that definition to include any instance in which, as Wikipedia puts it, violence is used “in order to achieve a political, religious, or ideological aim.”

Omar Mateen had no political, religious, or ideological aim. This was a murder-suicide. This was an act of self-destruction masquerading as an act of martyrdom.

Omar Mateen was gay, this much has become clear. Unfortunately, in addition to whatever psychological disorders were present, his religion fostered, as many religions do, a deep resistance to and hatred of his own inherent homosexuality—and thus the existential anguish of deep self-loathing. This led to a life of lashing out and hurting others until he could bear it no more and began to look for the exit strategy that would make him feel important for the first and only time in his life.

This makes religion a proximate cause, but not a proximate motive.

That he chose to pledge allegiance to ISIS at the end is no more significant than if he had declared a mandate from the Supreme Intergalactic Ambassador for Zarabathia Quadrant Four, Zone Forty Seven. He was a nobody, with no connection or commitment to any stable political, religious, or ideological organization or philosophy, playing war games in his head as an escape from the misery of his reality.

And this is extremely important because it is manifestly distinct from the type of intellectual radicalization that leads to real terrorismBy calling Omar Mateen’s horrific act “terrorism,” we are elevating (degrading?) the act to a status that makes the future commission of similar acts all the more attractive to delusional loners looking for glory. We are granting the dubious prestige he claimed for himself even though he lacked the credentials—and inviting others to do the same.

Of course, we’re only really inviting brown people from the Middle East to do the same, aren’t we?

Remember James Wesley Howell? He was the guy arrested near the Los Angeles Pride festival last Sunday with a trunk full of guns and explosive material, just as the nation was reeling from the news of the Pulse nightclub shooting.

It remains unclear exactly what Howell intended to do in Los Angeles, but here are two things we do know: he was on the run from charges that he molested a 12-year old girl and he has had homosexual relationships but “He didn’t like anybody to know about it,” according to an ex-boyfriend who also claims that Howell had been violent with him. In other words, he was a similarly troubled loner savagely smashing his way through a life he couldn’t make sense of.

There are other white guys who fit this bill and who achieved their aims to greater and lesser extents, but the parallels and timing here are uncanny. James Wesley Howell could have been Omar Mateen and vice versa; that one “succeeded” and the other “failed” does not preclude us from comparing the two—and the salient point of comparison appears to be shame over their shared sexual orientation.

Omar Mateen’s shame may well have originated in harsh disapproval of homosexuality within his religion of birth (Islam), but it might just as well have been informed by the pockets of virulent anti-gay sentiment that persist in his nation of birth (the U.S.)—and so it is especially hypocritical for certain conservatives to point to Islam’s view of homosexuality as evidence of Mateen’s radicalization while ignoring the role that domestic homophobia may have played in either case.

There was no radicalization. Neither had anything resembling a coherent goal tied to any kind of political, religious or ideological set of beliefs. And so the problem is not, as some would argue, that we fail to refer to guys like James Wesley Howell as terrorists; the problem is that we insist on referring to guys like Omar Mateen as terrorists. This sets them apart as a separate and transcendent threat, one that is not inextricably connected to the issue of guns.

But it is entirely about guns.

One can sympathize or not with the set of psychosocial factors that drove these guys to their respective fates, but one cannot make the case that either of them should have had access to guns, let alone big guns, given what was already known about them before last weekend. It was not masterful planning or international support that made Omar Mateen’s pathetic denouement so deadly—it was just a very big gun in the hands of an unhinged loner.

James Wesley Howell also had some very big guns and was able to keep them while on probation for pointing a gun at a neighbor. And there are others like him out there—ticking time bombs with arsenals in their basements and garages and trunks. And they all have different fears and frustrations driving them inexorably toward acts of violence against gays, co-workers, minorities, children, you, me, our families.

Now, please come ‘Like’ Hyperationalist—the page that brought you the satirical petition to allow guns at the GOP convention—on Facebook for more anti-gun, pro-reason content. 

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These People Have Guns

I am very, very good at not reading the comments. At some early stage in my internet life, I caught a glimpse of that subterranean realm and knew that it was no place for for me. It’s not the negativity; that I can handle. It’s the  special kind of sadness involved in shouting at complete strangers over online posts that you clearly went looking for just so you could shout at complete strangers because…well, I don’t know…because you drink too much or you can’t get it up or whatever.

Having said that, I had never been the host of any forum that had enough of an audience to attract the nutcases, so it was never my responsibility to read the comments. Suffice to say, my audience has grown in recent months and it is now arguably incumbent upon me to at least see what’s going on down there.

I recently wrote a post about the 50 United States Senators who voted against expanded background checks in the wake of the San Bernadino massacre—a vote that has direct bearing on the Orlando massacre. I was surprised and naturally pleased by the attention it received: to date, it has nearly 200,000 pageviews and over 61,000 ‘likes.’

But—and I’m quite sure this is the case any time a piece of internet content reaches anything resembling critical mass—it also brought out the whackjobs. I felt morally obliged to skim their musings.

I’d like to share a brief highlight reel with you and ask you to bear in mind one simple though as you peruse: these people have guns.

GUY #1: Fuck your anti-gun bullshit you communist traitors. You people are fucking pathetic, lying, brainwashed retards. GUNS AREN’T THE FUCKING PROBLEM PEOPLE LIKE YOU AND CRIMINALS ARE THE PROBLEM! THE DAMN NRA DIDN’T MURDER 50 PEOPLE A GAY MUSLIM FUCKING DEMOCRAT MURDERED THEM. A SICK PSYCHOTIC MAN WHO BEAT HIS WIFE AND IS CONNECTED THROUGH HIS FATHER TO OBAMA, HILLARY AND COUNTLESS SENATORS AND CONGRESSMAN. THIS MAN WAS ONE OF YOU. HE OBTAINED HIS WEAPONS LEGALLY EVEN THOUGH HE WAS QUESTIONED BY THE FBI 3 TIMES. WHY? BECAUSE HE WAS ALLOWED TO BUY THEM BY THE CORRUPT DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE AND THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION. JUST LIKE THEY ARE ALLOWING TERRORISTS TO INFILTRATE THIS COUNTRY WITH “REFUGEES” THEY ARE ALLOWING TERRORISTS TO BUY WEAPONS SO THEN THEY CAN TURN AROUND AND BLAME THE WEAPONS AND GET FUCKTARDS LIKE YOU PEOPLE TO GIVE UP YOUR RIGHTS AND SUPPORT THEIR TYRANNICAL AGENDA. YOU PEOPLE ARE WORTHLESS FUCKING TRAITOROUS RATS.

GUY #2: Jeez, need a tissue for those tears?, I think you need to get off the computer for a bit

GUY #1: Shut the fuck up you little commie cunt.

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GUY #3: I hope you get hit by a car, traitor!

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GUY #4: And use a drilldo to go fuck yourselves

GUY #3: Not the drilldo Jesse Kellett! Oh thats bad. Its apparent though that these liberals are already using it. As you know the more they use it, the more the muscles get relaxed… These liberals have crap coming out of both ends…

Look, I say some pretty outrageous things here at Hyperationalist; I am not arguing for elevation of the discourse, whatever the merits of that particular argument may be. All I’m saying is that those people up there? They have guns.

And it’s not as though I went on their walls and started a fight. They found my post, clicked on it and proceeded to unload this bile because they’re very, very angry about the whole thing. Very angry. Like, maybe a little bit unstable—and I have no doubt that these are relatively tame representations of the genre.

These people have guns and they want more guns and they have things to say about that and they’re ready to fight:

WOMAN #2: 318 million people in the US owning an estimated 270 million legal firearms…. Those are just the firearms that are registered! I don’t know about you, but I like our odds waaaaaaay better than I like yours (I’m a gun owner) in the gun control fight. Who will be dumb enough to help with confiscation? 85-90% of our military and their families are legal gun owners…. Over half of them will defend us against the government (and it will be legal for them to do so) …. The UN can’t because no foreign military can step foot here legally to do anything other than train, and even if they did they are still vastly outnumbered by those who will fight back to retain our rights. You’re talking about an open civil war right here in America… Are you really ready for that?

These people have guns. They’re worried about terrorists. I’m worried about them.

Now, please come ‘Like’ Hyperationalist—the page that brought you the satirical petition to allow guns at the GOP convention—on Facebook for more anti-gun, pro-reason content. 

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Literally Everything Donald Trump Says About Orlando Is Fucking Wrong

First, there was the tweet that was reviled around the world:

Trump is insinuating that his call for a ban on Muslims entering the United States was prescient and could have prevented the attack. Given that the shooter was born in the United States 29 years ago, it is difficult to see how a 2016 ban on Muslims entering the United States could have prevented an attack that occurred two days ago. Unless Trump has a time machine, this is fucking wrong.

But also, he’s fucking wrong about the genesis of the shooter’s hate. It is becoming increasingly clear that Mateen was a closeted homosexual who hated himself so much that he needed to kill dozens of happy, un-closeted homosexuals on his way out of a life he couldn’t bear. Yes, he turned to the extreme voices in his religion for justification, as many Christians and Muslims have done before him. Unless Trump can show that anti-gay sentiment wasn’t the prime motivator here, it doesn’t matter what religion the guy subscribed to and Trump is fucking wrong.

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Donald Trump with NRA Executive Director Chris Cox and Executive Vice President Wayne Lapierre.

“If you had some guns in that club the night that this took place,” Trump said, “if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn’t have had the tragedy that you had.”

The problem with this is that Pulse is a nightclub where alcoholic beverages are served and consumed into the wee hours of the morning. In Florida, as in most states, it is illegal to have guns in such establishments. Unless Trump is advocating a change in the laws concerning guns and booze, this is fucking wrong. 

Finally, Trump insinuated that President Barack Obama might be a Trojan Horse who was in on the massacre, stringing together the following sentiments in a Fox “News” interview this morning:

[Obama] doesn’t get it—or he gets it better than anyone understands. It’s one or the other and either one is unacceptable…

This is a mentality, this is a state, and you have thousands of shooters like this with the same mentality out there in this country and we’re bringing thousands and thousands of them back into the country..This could be the all-time great Trojan Horse…

We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or he’s got something else in mind—and the something else in mind.

Yes, Donald, Barack Obama came here as a brainwashed child from Kenya for the sole purpose of ascending to the presidency so that, in his last year of office, he could somehow conspire to kill scores of homosexuals with one closet-case loser who was able to purchase an AR-15 last week despite having been investigated twice by the FBI for “possible links to terrorism.” Unless Trump has evidence that Barack Obama is a secret Muslim terrorist and/or that the shooter’s access to guns isn’t a more likely explanation, this is fucking wrong. 

Also, the Big Orange Man has failed to mention James Wesley Howell, the white man who was found near the Los Angeles Pride Festival, “sitting in a car registered in Indiana and a search turned up three assault rifles, high-capacity magazines, ammunition and a 5-gallon bucket with chemicals that could be used to create an explosive device,” according to CNN.

Sure, Howell didn’t end up killing anyone, but it sure looks like he wanted to—and given the temporal proximity of his arrest to the massacre in Orlando, one would think that maybe it would be important to discussing the parallels between homegrown hate and what Trump perceives as foreign hate (even though he’s fucking wrong about that). He’d rather paint Barack Obama as foreign than face the reality of domestic terror.

James Wesley Howell doesn’t fit into the Narrative of the Other that Trump is pushing. We don’t yet know Howell’s motive, but from the color of his skin we can guess that it was not related to Islam and so Trump doesn’t feel the need to address another incident in which homosexuals appear to have been targeted. But what will he say if a white person shoots up another bunch of gays, or another abortion clinic, or a mosque full of praying Muslims? Trump’s failure to talk about James Wesley Howell is fucking wrong. 

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50 Senators, 50 Victims

[NOTE: Several people have written to say that they can’t read the names in the photo because they’re too small. Here is a link to the roll call vote of the measure this post is referencing—I recommend scrolling down to “Grouped By Vote Position—NAYs.” Alternately, you can save the photo to your photo library and that should enable you to zoom into a full-resolution version. I hope this helps!]

Above are the 50 United States Senators whose votes allowed Omar Mateen to purchase his weapons legally within the last week.

Above are the 50 United States Senators who, in the wake of the San Bernadino shooting, didn’t think that expanded background checks were needed.

Above are the 50 United States Senators who stand between all of us and commonsense gun control legislation that would make guns more difficult to access, especially for people like Omar Mateen who, according to the Los Angeles Times, had “been interviewed by the FBI twice and  had once been on a terrorist watch list.”

Above are the 50 United States Senators that the NRA has given $27,205,245 to during the course of their respective political careers.

Above are the 50 United Senators who may as well have each individually pulled a trigger on one of the 50 victims of the Orlando massacre.

Here’s how to contact them: http://www.senate.gov/senators/contact/

Now, please come ‘Like’ Hyperationalistthe page that brought you the satirical petition to allow guns at the GOP convention—on Facebook for more anti-gun, pro-reason content. 

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#gUnfriend

Enough already.

At least 50 are dead at a gay nightclub in Orlando after one man—one man—walked in with an assault rifle and a handgun and shredded over 100 people with bullets. At least 50 of these people are dead in what is now our nation’s largest mass shooting ever.

I saw this tweet today from Esquire writer Luke O’Neil

At first it struck me as nothing more than a justifiably angry and cathartic reaction. But you know what? Fuck gun people. Fuck them all. Get these people out of your lives.

I’m not talking about your father-in-law who hunts and has a a couple rifles locked in the basement. I’m talking about people who think guns are sexy, people who carry guns to the grocery store, people who persist in the belief that guns make them and their families safer despite all available evidence to the contrary, people who fantasize about being a hero with their gun.

I doubt I have that many in my life to begin with due to the fact that I try to surround myself with intelligent and rational people…but I don’t really know how many peripheral friends and acquaintances are into guns and I want them gone.

If you are a person who is either enthusiastic about guns or hostile to the idea of much stricter gun control, I want you the fuck out of my life. Now. Your idiotic fetish and/or dogmatic attachment to an idiotic interpretation of the Second Amendment is a danger to me and my loved ones.

I fear you more than I fear terrorists or criminals because you are the people who keep us awash in the guns that end up in the hands of terrorists and criminals.

You are the problem

Please self-select and #gUnfriend me immediately.

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What I Love About Donald Trump

I know the exact moment I started to find Donald Trump more charming than revolting—sort of like a honey badger: adorable as fuck but not to be trusted. It was during the interview with Chris Matthews in which he aid that women who have abortions should be punished. It was a despicable sentiment to be sure, but bear with me a second and take a closer look at what happened.

I recommend watching the entire clip (which I linked to above), but if you don’t have 1:40 to spare all you need to know before watching the short one below is that Chris Matthews has been pressing Trump on the issue. Trump tries to dodge for like about a second, but then this happens:

Trump On Abortion

Trump on whether women should be punished for having an abortion.

That is my favorite thing about Donald Trump. That moment or two when he just does the math and spits out the answer with perfect self-assurance. It’s a thing of beauty. He is so convinced of his own brilliance that he can’t see what could go wrong with simply running the logical calculation in his head and spitting out the answer. And he runs the equation like a perfect machine:

Abortion is bad ———> abortion should be illegal ———> women who have abortions would then be criminals ———> criminals must be punished ———> women should be punished for abortion

He is 100% straightforward about what he thinks he is supposed to believe as a Republican candidate for President of the United States. I’m not saying he believes them—I’m saying he casually adopted the basic talking points and then, when pressed, started following them to their logical end points without realizing or caring that those end points are fucking insane.

Donald Trump represents everything that is bad in humankind and he should never be President of the United States or president of anything. Obviously. I know that. But if I’m being honest, I have to admit that I can’t bring myself to loathe him with the sort of visceral anger that I felt toward, say, Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz or Carly Fiorina.

Don’t get me wrong…I stand against everything he stands for and I will do everything I can to aid the cause of defeating him in November, but I just don’t feel the hate deep down in my cockles—and it’s a relief to have figured out why that is.

Much has been said about his psychological and emotional development that I won’t rehash here, except to say that his child-like nature is part of what prevents me from truly hating the shit out of him. He really is like a big orange baby man. He just happens to be a big orange baby man who has too much power by virtue of his wealth and is dangerously close to getting even more power by virtue of the inexhaustible supply of ignorance among the American electorate.

It happened again on Sunday when John Dickerson asked whether Trump’s complaints about the Mexican heritage of Judge Alfonso Curiel could be reasonably applied to people of other backgrounds:

Trump on Muslim Judges

Trump on the objectivity of Muslim judges

I mean, look…you have to respect this more than the kind of artful hackery employed by the vast majority of Republican politicians and pundits. If pathetic phony Paul Ryan, for example, had employed this sort of simple, straightforward logic in deciding whether or not to endorse Trump, he might not have had to call Trump a bad boy the very next day and a textbook racist shortly thereafter.

Donald Trump is giving us an opportunity to hold a more honest election than we’ve had in decades, wherein the rotting, maggot-infested insides of the Republican Party are finally splayed out in all their glory for everyone to see and consider and vote accordingly. This is infinitely better than the normal charade, where some allegedly respectable old white guy pretends not to be the greedy, racist, chauvinistic asshole his policy positions suggest that he is. This year we’ve got a the real deal—a greedy, racist, chauvinistic, old white asshole who is loud and proud about who he is.

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Paul Ryan Has Always Been A Pathetic Phony

The moment I knew that Paul Ryan was a sad fucking loser was back in 2012, when he had just been thrust into the national spotlight as Mitt Romney’s pick for Vice-President and we were treated to endless fawning accolades portraying him as the anti-Sarah Palin.

He’s serious! He’s studious! He’s wonky!

We were told that Paul Ryan was something of a philosopher. He used to give out copies of Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged to his staff for Christmas. He once said this in a speech to the Atlas Society:

[T]he reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand. And the fight we are in here, make no mistake about it, is a fight of individualism versus collectivism.

And then there’s this:

Paul Ryan on Ayn Rand

2009 Paul Ryan campaign video

This, ladies and gentlemen, is what a dilettante looks like. Let me tell you the origin story of this silly little limp penis lookalike: Paul Ryan was your typical Young Republican douchebag when some typical older Republican douchebag told him to read Ayn Rand’s very long and very shitty novel because it would philosophically justify everything Republicans of all ages were fighting for. Paul Ryan read that novel and had an almost religious experience because he was stupid enough to think it actually said something meaningful, which it does not.

He didn’t think critically about this so-called philosophy called Objectivism or about whether Rand’s novels actually made a compelling case for that “philosophy.” He just picked up some key smart-sounding words and phrases that he could apply to just about any political situation and come off looking like the genius in a room full of chowderheads who can barely shit their pants without fucking it up.

But then, of course, he had to distance himself from Rand in 2012 because Ayn Rand was an atheist and that just wouldn’t do as a nominee for the Republican Party. So he threw her under the bus:

I reject her philosophy. It’s an atheist philosophy. It reduces human interactions down to mere contracts and it is antithetical to my worldview. If somebody is going to try to paste a person’s view on epistemology to me, then give me Thomas Aquinas.

But you see, Ayn Rand’s atheism was the only thing that justified her being such a stone-cold fucking cunt from the shit-crusted taint of the seventh circle of hell. It was Ayn Rand’s atheism that allowed her to hold the kind of political views that Ryan so admired. (To be clear, I am an atheist and I do not hold those views—nor do even a tiny fraction of a single percent of the atheists I know. But only a person who believes nothing could prescribe the sorts of policies advocated by Rand and the Republicans who love her.)

Ryan had apparently never been asked to reconcile his professed Christianity with the other big book he held so dear—and when confronted with the contradiction, he just punted. He didn’t soul search or admit error or even let go of any small piece of either belief system. Instead, he just rejected Ayn Rand the person and continued to pursue policies that would make her proud while still professing to be a Christian.

And so it is no surprise that Paul Ryan put his little cock and balls in a jar and handed them to Donald Trump today while expecting us to still think of him as a man. (Don’t worry Paul, we’ll let you use whichever restroom you want.) He was never going to feel compelled to square past statements on Trump with his endorsement because he’s never seen a need to square any of his mind-bogglingly contradictory beliefs with each other. Also, because they can’t be squared.

Paul Ryan is not serious. Paul Ryan is not intelligent. Paul Ryan is not virtuous—he just thinks he’s those things, which is what makes the whole thing extra pitiful.

Paul Ryan is now the political equivalent of Ted Haggard. He’ll continue to pretend (and maybe even believe) that he’s straight smart and drug-free principled, but after getting caught doing crystal meth with a gay prostitute endorsing Donald Trump, no one will ever believe him again.

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Bernie the Christ

I wasted entirely too much time yesterday indulging my need to argue with liberal Clinton haters. These things can quickly become a death spiral for me, so now I need to do this thing where I attempt to wash my hands of it on the totally-false-but-earnestly-made promise that this will be my last word on the matter ever.

First, let me say this: I know that the Bernie-or-Bust movement is probably not something I should be so worked up about. I know that they’re getting more coverage than is warranted because they’re loud and obnoxious and it’s good for ratings. I know that by arguing with them I am only perpetuating a cycle of horsefuckery that doesn’t necessarily help matters.

Having said that, I am incapable of shutting my mouth when people are being stupid fucking douchemonkeys and behaving in a way that has even the remotest potential to lead to very real and very negative consequences for other human beings and I can’t really apologize for that tendency—not in the gun debate, not in the LGBTQ rights debate, not in any other debate. I just can’t. Sorry/notsorry.

In all of these arguments I’ve been having, the favorite thing people like to whip out and slap me with is the assertion that I am—brace yourselves—a Hillary supporter. The super weird implication being that it’s useless to debate the Hillary vs. Bernie issue with someone who stands on one side of that debate. (This was incredibly perplexing until someone explicitly accused me of being paid by her campaign to shill for her, at which point I realized that’s what a lot of these people think—that no one could possibly support Hillary unless they were taking money from, like, Wal-mart or Monsanto or whatever.)

Supporting Hillary is not something I should feel compelled to defend myself against, but here’s the thing—and I’ve said this before but I really can’t stress it enough—I’m not really a  Hillary supporter, at least not in the only way their willfully feeble minds can conceptualize it—i.e. not in the way they are BERNIE SUPPORTERS. (Let me be clear that from here on out I am talking about Bernie-or-Bust people only.)

I’m not sure I know how to articulate this, but I’m going to try…

I am congenitally (maybe pathologically?) averse to joining clubs, by which I mean that I basically have zero allegiance to any entity other than my family, friends and ideals. I don’t have any clothing or paraphernalia bearing the logo of either of the colleges I’ve attended; there’s not a sports team on earth that I give a solitary shit about; I’ve lived in five different metropolitan areas and I don’t feel anything resembling a real hometown-style affinity toward any of them, including my hometown; I am not religious.

And so it makes sense that I don’t get particularly lathered up about particular politicians either. There are no saviors in politics; there’s nothing magical about any one politician. Sure, I was pretty excited about Barack Obama in 2008 (and he has made me proud for eight years), but I would just as easily have gotten behind Joe Biden or Hillary Clinton or Dennis Kucinich. There was never a moment at which it was Barack-or-Bust for me.

As I’ve written before, I was on the Bernie train for about six months. (As of today, it is still true that I have given more money to Bernie Sanders than to Hillary Clinton in this primary.) I got off that train because I did not like the  darkening tone of the campaign and the inclination of Sanders’ most ardent supporters to cripple the likely nominee by piggybacking off the attacks of the right wing nutjob machine.

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This was my Twitter and Facebook banner for months.

Still, if Bernie Sanders’ had won the Democratic nomination, I would not have been even remotely disappointed. I know there are people who would have been, people who would have lost some sleep, people who would have maybe been nasty about it even, but they would have been wrong and I would not have been one of those people. I would have instantly and enthusiastically thrown my support behind him.

I have absolutely no allegiance to Hillary Clinton the person. None. Zero.

My allegiance is to a basic set of ideals about the direction we should be headed in—and I’ve never been anything less than annoyingly full-throated about what those ideals are. For what it’s worth, here’s where I fall on the Political Compass:

IMG_3657I’ve been ranting and raving about wealth inequality, universal healthcare, LGBTQ rights, civil rights, separation of church and state, abortion rights, and gun control for about 20 years now—and still I don’t have the nerve to think that my opinion or my vote is worth a penny more than someone who just got involved a few months ago when they first went to a Bernie Sanders rally, saw a bird land on a podium, and thought they’d been baptized.

I do, however, think it’s pretty fucking audacious to wade into a debate with me only to dismiss me as a sellout or lackey or political fanboy—or to merely label me a Hillary supporter and drop the mic (and then pick it back up and yell some more incoherent, unsubstantiated shit about fraud and treason).

I am way more than that just a Hillary supporter. But you, BERNIE SUPPORTER, you are merely a fanatic. You can’t imagine what it’s like to think strategically and pragmatically about an election because you are essentially at a tent revival, under the sway of a single charismatic figure who says he can heal you and everyone who comes to him. And those who don’t come to him? Well, they can go straight to the fiery pits of hell, those stupid corporate motherfuckers; they deserve whatever’s coming to them and we can all laugh in their faces when they get it because we are the righteous, we are the anointed ones, we have the ultimate source of knowledge and we will take all that shit and go home and leave them to burn in their devotion to the false ones even if it means we must burn with them bwahahahahahahaha!! Burn, bitch, buuuuuurrrrrnnnnn!!! Beeeeerrrrrrrrn!!!!!

UnknownCool, bro. Meanwhile the rest of us will be over here doing the real work of getting shit done one step at a time, one election at a time, with or without you—because fanatics come and go and can’t be counted on for more than brief paroxysms of excitement and effort after which they retreat to whatever useless shit they were doing before they found a shiny object that made them feel powerful for a hot second.

We are not devoted to a particular person at a particular time. We are devoted to the advancement of ideas about what it means to be a civilized society. We know that this is a long-term proposition that requires perseverance and persistence. We know that we can’t have it all today. Or tomorrow. We know that if we give up after any perceived or real loss or setback we will only be damaging the very things we claim to be fighting for.

If Trump wins this election, I know you’ll probably take a full minute and a half break from your video games to masturbate in the self-satisfied glory of the delusional belief that you were right, but I want you to know that I will never, not for one second, regret having told you and your walking messiah complex of a candidate to fuck right off to Fucktown.

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