Sunday, May 1, 2016

Today's Today

So it's Beltane.  I'm not really at all concerned about anybody's religious holidays.  One superstition is as silly as the next.  But these old Pagan rituals at least seem like a lot more fun.

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Today's Eternal Sadness

I got away from posting things like this for a while, but I keep having to come back to it.

News from Milwaukee:
A mother driving down a Milwaukee highway was shot and killed by her toddler son in the backseat when he got his hands on a gun, police said.
Patrice Price, 26, was driving a car belonging to her security guard boyfriend when the two-year-old accidentally fired a weapon that had been left in the vehicle, her father Andre Price told WISN.
She was pronounced dead on scene Tuesday on Highway 175, the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Office said in a statement.

We gotta figure out how to stop being stoopid about this.

The Bathroom Bill That Ain't

Bathroom bills aren't about bathrooms. And they're not just about amping up the rubes to GOTV.

1st, they know these stoopid laws will be struck down, even tho' it'll take a good bit of time before somebody puts up a solid challenge. (remember, the money's on the side of Authoritarian Jesus)
So they'll get to use it as a wedge for another cycle or two.

But 2nd, assuming the thing does get slammed eventually, there will be pieces left over. There're bits in the NC version that forbid county and municipal bodies putting up Anti-Discrimination Laws that run counter to what the state puts in place, and that torpedo people's right's to petition the courts.

To wit:
§ 95-25.1. Short title and legislative purpose. purpose; local governments preempted.
(c) The General Assembly declares that the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment is properly an issue of general, statewide concern, such that this Article and other applicable provisions of the General Statutes supersede and preempt any ordinance, regulation, resolution, or policy adopted or imposed by a unit of local government or other political subdivision of the State that regulates or imposes any requirement upon an employer pertaining to the regulation of discriminatory practices in employment, except such regulations applicable to personnel employed by that body that are not otherwise in conflict with State law."

§ 143-422.13. Investigations; conciliations.
"This Article does not create, and shall not be construed to create or support, a statutory or common law private right of action, and no person may bring any civil action based upon the public policy expressed herein."

§ 143-422.2. Legislative declaration.
"(a) It is the public policy of this State to protect and safeguard the right and opportunity of all persons to seek, obtain and hold employment without discrimination or abridgement on account of race, religion, color, national origin, age, biological sex or handicap by employers which regularly employ 15 or more employees."

(notice anything missing from that last bit about discrimination?)

PART IV. SEVERABILITY"SECTION 4. If any provision of this act or its application is held invalid, the invalidity does not affect other provisions or applications of this act that can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application, and to this end the provisions of this act are severable. If any provision of this act is temporarily or permanently restrained or enjoined by judicial order, this act shall be enforced as though such restrained or enjoined provisions had not been adopted, provided that whenever such temporary or permanent restraining order or injunction is stayed, dissolved, or otherwise ceases to have effect, such provisions shall have full force and effect.

So businesses and governments in NC have the legal right to discriminate against LGBTQ, and nobody has the right to go outside the state's Human Relations Commission for remedy. Isn't that just too fucking convenient?

Stop thinking this is about GOP foolishness and shenanigans-as-usual.

Start understanding how fucked up it is by recognizing it as another piece in a widening and increasingly effective assault on the Redress Clause of the 1st Amendment (at least that) - and prob'ly a whole lot more than that, because what kind of government do we get if citizens don't have access to the courts? - when we don't have the right to petition that government for redress?

We are so fucked.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

The Obvious Question

Montgomery County officials are investigating after a deadly shooting during a church service in North Wales.
During a press conference, Montgomery County District Attorney Kevin Steele identified the victim as 27-year-old Robert Braxton III of Montgomeryville.
The two guys got into a tussle in church. In a Christian church. And I guess it's fairly safe to say neither of these jagoffs was doing a lot of cheek-turning.  

And now one of 'em's dead - because he went to church today.

So the very obvious question - where the fuck was this all-knowing all-powerful god when this shit went down in god's house on god's day?  

Anybody wanna talk "free will" for just a second?  The asshole with the gun exercised his free will; god knew all along that's what was gonna happen; god did nothing to prevent the shooting - nothing to keep the victim from being killed; that guy's dead because god made a conscious decision to stand aside and let it happen. God wanted that guy dead - he's dead because god willed it so? 

Well then, fuck that god. And fuck the church that sells that bullshit to people.

And I'll keep saying this - you're pretty fucked up in the head, America. Buncha fucking psycho fucks.

Today's Today

The Armenian Genocide "started" on this date in 1915.  And of course it didn't - it started way before then because history isn't just some randomly jumbled string of unrelated events.

Writing in the late 1890s after a visit to the Ottoman Empire, the British ethnographer William Ramsay described the conditions of Armenian life as follows:
We must, however, go back to an older time, if we want to appreciate what uncontrolled Turkish rule meant, alike to Armenians and to Greeks. It did not mean religious persecution; it meant unutterable contempt ... They were dogs and pigs; and their nature was to be Christians, to be spat upon, if their shadow darkened a Turk, to be outraged, to be the mats on which he wiped the mud from his feet. Conceive the inevitable result of centuries of slavery, of subjection to insult and scorn, centuries in which nothing that belonged to the Armenian, neither his property, his house, his life, his person, nor his family, was sacred or safe from violence – capricious, unprovoked violence – to resist which by violence meant death![34]
But we can kinda fix the date by noting that something happened 24APR1915 that pretty much signaled a change in the Turkish Government policy regarding "the Armenian problem".  

So, 1st there was this:
Armenian intellectuals who were arrested and later executed en masse by Young Turk government authorities on the night of 24 April 1915.

And before long, there was this:

Of this photo, the United States ambassador wrote, "Scenes like this were common all over the Armenian provinces, in the spring and summer months of 1915. Death in its several forms—massacre, starvation, exhaustion—destroyed the larger part of the refugees. The Turkish policy was that of extermination under the guise of deportation"

And this:

Decapitated heads of Armenians placed on stakes.
And this:

Armenian Christian women crucified
Maybe we can thank The Cosmic Muffin it never fucking works in the end, but there's always somebody - usually followed closely by a big buncha of rubes - willing to blame every difficulty (real or imagineered) on a hapless minority, and to mask their own lust for blood, power and treasure by tapping into a base human brutality in order to try just one more time to kill his way to glory.

So why do we keep saying, "never again" when history is just chock full of this kinda shit?