Saturday, June 20, 2015

State's Wrongs

The Slaveholder Rebellion flag is in the news again. In South Carolina, where the flag still flies over the state house, a young man shot and killed 9 black people at an historic black church.

That flag (also known as "the confederate battle flag" or "stars and bars") has long been controversial. Something like 150 years after the end of the otherwise termed "Civil War", people are still arguing about why it was fought. Many insist it has NOTHING to do with slavery. They get very angry about that. They insist instead that it was state's rights that 620,000 people died over because that makes so much more sense....

State's rights to own human beings would seem to be a pretty apt assessment then. You can look up the articles of secession written at the time. They were pretty pissed about the notion that the nation might tell them they can't have slaves. I've long felt though that no southerner wants to believe that their white ancestors died for black folks. So, they instead believe that those ancestors died for state's rights to, uh, well, uh...

Mostly they just stop at "state's rights" because it sounds political. And it is. Now it is. State's rights are the equivalent of having your cake and eating it too. Many states want to live in America and get all that Federal money, as well as the military protection we offer, but they want to make their own rules about everything else. Back then it was mostly about slavery. Today it's about wage slavery, abortion, guns, voting, women and minorities- everything. Keep that federal money coming in but don't tell us what to do!

It sounds like Europe but with Federal money keeping all the countries afloat. However, it's also a Europe without universal healthcare. That's something I could see our southern states going to war over. Well, they'd call it a state's right to protect it's citizens from affordable healthcare of northern aggression, or something along those lines. The right to put a spin on everything is practically a human right. No matter how wrong people may be, they can pretend that they are right about anything and if others agree, there you go. Caitlyn Jenner isn't really a woman and Rachael Dolezal isn't actually black but, who cares? They can believe what they want no matter how goofy it is as long as they don't force others to believe it at gunpoint. The state's though, don't have that right. We the people won't allow it.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

The Line On The Color Bar

Rachael Dolezal, it turns out, has been passing herself off as black. It usually doesn't work this way. She's the 37 year old head of the NAACP chapter of Spokane, Washington. Evidently her very white parents went on TV and outed her as being of the Caucasian persuasion. She doesn't look the least bit African-American to my trained eye but, that's not all that unusual.

Back in the day I had a dear friend who found out in a very odd way that she was African-American. Sandy was- is- extremely beautiful. Dark-haired and lightly olive-skinned, every man at the private oilman's club in New Orleans we worked at crushed on her. When she entered the bar area, admiring eyes were drawn to her. Whispers followed her too. "She's a high yella, Ferrerman" Mr. Brooks would whisper to me as quietly as a loud man like him could whisper. It took me a bit but my young, Yankee self had a pretty good idea what he meant by that. Hearing a less discrete club member ponder aloud (after she departed) that there must have been "a nigger in the woodpile" confirmed that she was some degree of black. I really couldn't see it but, that seemed to be the consensus.

I crushed on her too. We became friends. She was quite seriously involved with a guy named Russell though, so friendship was what it would be, I recall feeling her out about her blackness. She had two extremely beautiful young daughters with her ex who was Italian, though he had a decidedly English surname. If she didn't care to discuss her heritage with me, I was fine with that. It wasn't important to me to push it though I was quite curious. When I left New Orleans, we stayed in contact via letters and phone calls. It was the 20th century.

A few years went by and she called me up- very excited- that she had discovered what she and others had always suspected. She was black. A sister in law had phoned a local news station for some reason and a reporter greeted her as "cousin" when he heard her husband's name. I'm going from memory here. The SIL was certainly shocked and awed at this sudden development but I don't think she was too caught off guard. The newsman filled in some details and she discussed it with her husband. A Pandora's Box of secrets began to come out. There was a whole other black side of Sandy's family in the area, one that knew of Sandy and her siblings but they did not know of them. Until then.

Sandy, the oldest, was ecstatic. The whispers and taunts she had grown up hearing were now accounted for as true. For her it was cathartic. Not for dad.

Her father angrily refused to acknowledge his past. He had passed for white his whole life, married a white woman, and raised a passel of white children. No one, least of all his first born, was going to tell him he was not white. Lot's of friction ensued. The story got to Oprah Winfrey's ears and she wanted to have the family on her show. I think most of the family was on board but dad wasn't, and without him, there was to be no show. It was an awesome story. He served on a warship in WWII as a white man. What other black man could say that in a time of a segregated military, and deep in the Jim Crow south? He broke the rules. He married a white woman decades before Loving v. Virginia said that was legal. That was 1967 if you're scoring at home. There was a clause in the Virginia law prior to that that allowed for a degree of Indian blood in whites when they realized that since begat-ting is as begat-ting does, many prominent Virginians has mingled with Indians in the past and, this would have to be accepted.

Don't get me to lying on the "one drop rule" the one/sixteenth rule that I believe they had in Louisiana back in the day, and how all this was determined before DNA simplified everything. It was a huge deal then. Not sure of the year but I recall a 60 Minutes segment years ago where a very whit looking woman was contesting the state of Louisiana's assertion that she was black, because of that rule. She looked like my grandmother.

In fact, Sandy's entire family looked like everyone I grew up with, including my siblings. I knew the story by the time I met and romanced Donna, one of her younger sisters a few years later. Donna had no children but I think all the other kids did by then and their family get togethers looked like any other family I knew. Sandy's beautiful daughters, like her, were olive-skinned like momma, thanks also to their bloodline via daddy. Sandy was darker than her sibs, I guess because she was first born? I'm no geneticist. That's all I can figure. The other kids took their new blackness in stride by then. The latter part of the 20th century helped that along. New Orleans is an enigma wrapped inside a riddle at times but, Louisiana itself can certainly be a hot mess of racial gumbo when you get out into the various parishes. I'm convinced that Bobby Jindal got elected governor because voters figured he was Cajun, a local boy. Bobby Jindeaux? But when I last visited, a young biracial Mariah Carey was topping the charts. It just wasn't that big of a deal for folks to enter into mixed marriages. Well, to knowingly do so. With the advent of DNA, a lot of people might be finding out what was in the woodpile of their own ancestry. Unless you're running for Grand Wizard of the Klan, who really cares anymore? . Now, as you well know, we have a biracial president. Not everyone is cool about that but more than enough people were for him to be elected. Twice.

So, back to Rachael Dolezal. She's not black. I bet DNA will bear that out and there are no family secrets. If she wants to believe she's black, that's her business. I don't think she's the right choice to lead the NAACP chapter and that is their business. I believe that will be taken care of soon. Her heart seems to be in the right place but her head is not. We don't have any control over how we got here. We only can hope to know where we are going, and to go there as ourselves...trying to do it together, if others will let us.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Comedians in cars, getting taken too seriously

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Kind words and blurred lines

What would the NRA- the Marketing Department of the gun manufacturing industry- do if a Ted Cruz or Scott Walker somehow became president?

Their whole spiel is dependent upon the fallacy that a democrat president WILL confiscate YOUR guns. You put some dipshit like Ted or Scott in the White House and all of a sudden you better get Don Draper selling your product  or at least McMann and Tate because it ain't easy anymore. You can't just wind up a Ted Nugent or a Palin and let 'em spew about the tyrannical bully in the White House if he's one of yours.

But, ya know, the White House may never happen for the GOP (in an election sort of way) and I'm not so sure they care. You win enough governorships and state legislatures and maybe the presidency doesn't really matter much. Thus the push for "state's rights" and the notion of "second amendment remedies..." It might take a reichstag fire.

And I'm wondering after watching the latest street video of police abusing Americans, if maybe the NRA and the Open Carry Texas nuts aren't right and that we should all be armed, all the time. You just never know when cops are going to attack. Here's an example of cops getting a stern lecture from a guy who refuses to be a victim:

See? The whole black-kids-at-the-pool drama could have been avoided if the blacks had been white and armed. Evidently, if you're white and armed you can talk to cops like they are- black kids at a pool party.

Here's an example of an unarmed citizen and how he's treated by the Salinas, California police. I don't know that an armed society is a polite society like the gun nuts claim, but it looks like mobs of cops can't beat armed people as easily.

Really, folks, you really can get more with stern words and guns than you can with just stern words.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

When you're a nail, everything needs to look like a hammer

The Duggar and Jenner scandals pretty much happened right on top of each other (which is just wrong in itself) and once again divided the nation. People were either Team Duggar or Team Jenner. Red versus blue. Everything is.

Team Duggar manned the ramparts against yet another attack on Christianity in America, though it seemed to be also a defense of child molestation of the incestuous kind. Stop and think about what you are defending, folks. When you make yourself a nail, everything must be a hammer.

The Team Duggar crowd also went on the offensive against the newly minted citizen, Caitlyn Jenner- the Jenner Formerly Known As "Bruce".

That's just like those libs! Buncha sex changing freaks! Is he-she gonna marry himself now? Is this a lib trick to vote twice????!!!

Here's the thing about that: Bruce Jenner- and Caitlyn Jenner- is REPUBLICAN! So are The Duggars.

How filled with hate can people be when they prefer child molesters to cross-dressers for political points? Nobody said anybody had to pick one or the other! I know not too many Christicans actually came out in favor of child abuse but they really didn't condemn it much when they passed the incidents off as "playing doctor" and "not as bad as the Jenner thing".

And if a male republican reality show star chooses to self identify as a woman how is that a democrat thing? Just because democrats are more inclined to say: "You go, girl" instead of: "String him/her/it up!"?

It's so weird that republicans can at once be more inclusive than democrats as well as exclusive.

The whole purpose of the tea party is to include absolutely every group of nuts in America into the republican party. Sometimes it's overflowing. It's amazing who they let out as well as in.

I'll bet Jenner doesn't leave the party though. Jenner's rich and needs republican politicians to protect his money from selfish Americans who think America needs roads and schools instead perpetual war. That might seem like oversimplification (and it is) but that must be why he stays. It can't be because of their open-mindedness about gender equality. He's one of them and they can't do a damn thing about it.

Goodness, we're just six months away from The War On Christmas Season. How time flies when not a goddamn thing changes.

Well, nothing but Bruce Jenner's outfit, that is.


Oh- and Beau Biden died. The day after Beau succumbed to brain cancer, Ted Cruz was guffawing to a crowd about the dumb things Joe Biden has been known to say. No shame in the Cruz game. He did eventually find time to apologize. Like I said, they'll take anybody. Somebody's got to....

Friday, June 5, 2015

To Thine Own Self....

I don't know how brave Bruce Jenner is. He waited until long after childbirth and menopause to become a woman. Kinda telling. Not that gutsy, really.

I just don't see him as a "woman" just because he has the trappings of womanliness via make up and modern photo shop techniques. There's more to it than that. Modern surgery can evidently fashion a vagina and, of course, breasts and cheekbones and other facial features can be altered to appear more feminine, but- actual women are also female chromosomes, a uterus and ovaries. Also something to do with some degree of sugar and spice.

Evidently Bruce has no intention of getting the penis removed. That proves he's a man- just won't make the commitment.

It is a commitment, one that is not reversible. I read today that Johns Hopkins no longer performs gender reassignment surgery because they consider it a psychiatric issue. It doesn't mean Jenner or anyone who is not probably doing this for ratings is crazy. It means that it's all in their head and should be dealt with there before you go making irreversible alterations.

It really is all in your head, as flippant as that sounds. It doesn't mean you are crazy or need to be cured or prayed for. It means you have to deal with it. Jenner might be on the level. But, he should level with us and himself by admitting it if he simply likes to dress up in women's clothing. This makes him a transvestite. He as Caitlyn is still attracted to women. Evidently most cross-dressers are heterosexual men. If Jenner really considered himself a woman, he'd be attracted to men, as most women are. This isn't some Mike Huckabee jerkoff fantasy of dressing as a women so as to get into the girl's locker room. It may be a ratings scam (they'll be a new show...) but, Jenner is not trying to scam a B-movie locker room scene. He may be greedy, but he's not a fat, Arkansas hypocrite.

I also don't think he adds much positive to any national discussion about transgendered persons since he's not actually one. He is a 65 year old celebrity who likes to play dress-up and call himself "Caitlyn". OK. That has nothing to do with little boys and girls who feel trapped in the wrong body and actually live the nightmare of the confusion about who they are. Let's not let them fall by the wayside. Whether you buy Jenner's perception of himself or not, how he portrays himself should be more his business than ours. Same for the real people in the shadows of society's gender light. Don't dismiss them because of Jenner.

But, the great sexual organ we all share is the brain. It makes short, bald men believe they are studs and obese women think they are supermodels. Because you think, therefore you are? 

In your own mind is your own business. That's where you can have lady parts or be sure you can become president of the United States. It's your own virtual reality. We the people don't have to accept it. We do have to deal with it though, even if that means ignoring it.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Hipocritic Oath

Occasionally I like to point out that republicans, particularly of the tea party persuasion, are very hateful people. It seems like the more Christian they identify as, the more filled with hate they are. The internet is chock-full of examples of republican hatred. In fact, I think it, rather than pornography or cat videos, drives the internet. It seems like it's either reichwing sites promoting hate or left-wing sites reporting on the hate-filled rants on reichwing sites. As a guy who gets most of his FOX news from Jon Stewart, I tend to get my internet hate from liberal sites that keep track of reichwing hate sites. It does prompt me to go to the source at times....

Over the weekend Beau Biden died after a battle with brain cancer. He was 46. He is the son of our Vice President, Joe Biden. Aside from that, Beau was an Iraq war veteran. As a Captain in Delaware's National Guard, he served a year in Iraq.

You would like to think that republicans on the internet would take the time to thank him for his service. A couple few did, I suppose.

An obscene number, however, wished that his father had died in his place. The *liberal* site, Addicting Info, posted screenshots of similar and worse sentiments. To ferrer, I must note that some republicans did call out their peers for the brutality of their sentiments. But, ya know, dammit, they can't help but react that way because Beau was the son of the man who works with the man who has dedicated his life to destroying America- the country they love to death. So, there's that....

Forget  six degrees of separation to Kevin Bacon. These people can connect Barack Obama to absofuckinglutely anything in one to two moves. Well, that's politics.

But, they can also totally disregard their religious convictions with no shame, in a heartbeat. Fuck that "loving thine enemy" and any compassion for the deceased or his family. Everything you ever swore to as a follower of Christ goes out the goddamned window where politics are concerned! You betcha!

It was similar with the Duggars. Christianity was being attacked by Godless liberals when it was revealed that a teenaged Josh Duggar had molested his own sisters as well as other young girls. People who- probably minutes before were screaming for child molesters to be sodomized in prison by other prisoners- were now saying "he was playing doctor like all kids do" and "he said he was SORRY!" Jesus forgave him- why can't you?

It's like they took a hypocritic oath when they became Christian republicans- "First, do no mercy."

The come off their game quite easy. Most are never really on it so, it's not a steep fall from grace. Frankly, it isn't just politicians who find it prudent to jump on the religious bandwagon, regular people do it as well.  It's like a secret handshake. If you identify as a Christian, people are more inclined to trust you or at least think you might be trustworthy. If you aren't, God will get you....

There are certainly Christians in the democrat party. Well, they claim to be Christian that is. Obama, for example, is a secret Muslim who claims to be Christian. Them's the worst kind. Hillary probably is too. Or, she'll be one soon enough.

It makes you wonder who the real Christians are. I'm going to go out on a limb here and say that the "real" ones are not the one's who blindly defend TV child molesters, or who wish death on political rivals. Jesus, people- would Jesus do that?