Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Yesterday, I donated my ninety-second pint of blood at Bloodworks Northwest (a name that is much cooler, and more quasi-gruesome than the previous “Puget Sound Blood Bank”).

Yep. 92 pints. That’s 11 ½ gallons.

That’s a lot of blood.

But I digress. (more…)

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Let’s have a discussion about Free Speech.

To begin, let’s go over the basics. The First Amendment does not give you or me the right to say whatever we want; our freedom of speech does have limits. Incitement to violence, threats of violence, and defamation are three of the very few exceptions to this freedom. Hate speech, though, actually is a protected form of speech, as Justice Brennan pointed out in a Texas v. Johnson, concerning flag burning:

If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.

Given this as a foundation, it is clear that the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and others of that racist ilk who descended upon Charlottesville last weekend had every right, under our Constitution, to assemble and spew their hate.

However…

They do not have a right to be heard.

They do not have a right to be accepted.

They do not have a right to an audience.

And they most certainly do not have a right to beat, assault, maim, or murder.

As a result…

They should expect to be shouted down at every turn of every street corner of every town.

They should expect to be shunned, ostracized, and condemned by every reasonable person who lives outside their twisted clans.

They should expect to be turned away, denied access, canceled on without notice, and prohibited any privately managed venue.

And they should expect to engender our disgust, and our retributive fury, for the crimes they commit.

Some people have tried to equate the two sides that faced off in Charlottesville, saying that there were violent acts from both factions. While we will never know who threw the first punch, we do know which side came with shields, torches, clubs, and guns. We do know which side surrounded a church and chanted Nazi slogans while the congregants were praying inside. And, of course, we do know which side drove a car, at speed, into a crowd.

I do not condone violence, but if I have to choose between the Nazis and the Maquis, between the Gestapo and the Jewish resistance, between the slavers and the slaves, I know which side I choose.

There is no moral equivalence between these two sides. None. And anyone who cannot see that deserves to be called out for it, shamed, castigated, and voted out of office.

k

Read Full Post »

Dragons AheadIn 1889, my great-grandfather and his brothers left their home in Lucca, Italy and traveled to the port of Le Havre, France, where they boarded a ship bound for New York. They left their homeland to escape the economic misery and political chaos that typified the Kingdom of Italy in the late 1800s. They came to build a new life in a new land.

For them, the immigration process was not long. They were asked a few questions, were inspected for disease, and were allowed to enter.

Upon entry, they were met by a populace that despised and denigrated them for their peasant background, their Catholic religion, and their cultural differences.

Yay, America.

Today, the immigration process is a good bit longer. Without American relatives or sponsors, an immigrant can wait up to six years for a visa, only then to begin the months-long process of background checks and vetting. Refugees fleeing the chaos and upheaval of war-torn regions such as the Levant may actually have a shorter wait-time, but their vetting process will take up to two years and includes interviews, background checks, screenings, security checks, cultural orientation, and registration with an American resettlement agency. Even getting a tourist visa — a requirement for most people outside of Europe and the Far East — is a relatively long process.

And when these immigrants finally enter the U.S. — if they are allowed to enter — they’ll now be met by a government that despises and denigrates them for their background, their religion, and their culture.

Yay, America.

Typewriter

Read Full Post »

Dragons AheadLong post ahead, but I was asked, so I’m answering…

To those struggling with what Trump’s America looks like, I’m not shouting “Get over it!” — How long did it take some folks to “get over” Obama’s election? About nine years, it seems. — but I am getting tired of all the memes and posts from the left about changing the electoral college, or about how “easy” it would be to keep Trump out of office if only Congress got together and did this one little thing — I mean, when’s the last time Congress got together to do … anything? — so at best I’m ambivalent about Jill Stein and the Green Party’s efforts to fund recounts of the general election.

That’s at best, and it’s a long road to that ambivalence from where I am now.

Where I am now is: Something doesn’t smell right about it.

Here’s my thinking on the whole schmilblick. (<– Go ahead. Look it up. Have fun.)

(more…)

Read Full Post »

Pup Dog SpeaksI’ve lost friends because of this election. Ironically, none were from the “red” contingent; losses came from my own “blue” cohort. Some partings were my choice. Others were silent retreats taken by the other party, discovered well after the fact. Either way, the losses were not a surprise, given the level of internecine warfare exhibited during the long, arduous run-up.

In the aftermath, though, as a middle-class white male, various outlets inform me that my feelings, my general shock over the outcome, and my actions of support are (depending on the source of the commentary) either embarrassing, ridiculous, ignorant, evidence of white privilege, just plain whiny, mansplaining, or other terms from a long string of unflattering, shameful attributes.

And all this comes from the left. The right, well, when they’re not enjoying the spectacle of progressives tearing at each others’ throats, they’re just gloating. And who wouldn’t, given the massive upset victory they achieved? (more…)

Read Full Post »

Vote, dammit!!!

Read Full Post »

Dragons AheadLocker room talk. Harmless braggadocio. Boys will be boys.

If you’re a hetero male like me, you might feel that we’re getting a bad rap, that we’re being slandered and libeled, being painted with a big stinking brush. We don’t talk that way. We don’t even think that way. OK, sure, we like looking at women and yes, we are guilty of crudely expressing our opinions about female anatomy, but that’s different. Isn’t it?

Is it? (more…)

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

%d bloggers like this: