Thursday, June 30, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 6/30/16


Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Good Times at Pottersville, 6/28/16

Monday, June 27, 2016

20 Bucks, Same as in Town: Self Serve edition

     Yeah, you have to click on the links. I'm busy. Sue me.

     All this poster needs is Eric Casebolt somersaulting and putting his knee on the back of a black girl.
     Incidentally, a corporation owns Merriam-Webster. Right after they bought it, the definition of "fascism" had been dramatically altered to expunge any mention of corporations and corporatism. And the same applies to all online dictionaries when defining the word.
     Uh huh. Funny how the body count keeps rising with the Clintons, eh? Maybe Michael Moore is onto something.
     Ah, guns. Always irresistibly offering very permanent solutions to very temporary problems.
     Here's a vision for the future. A palm, on a human face, forever...

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Why I Am a Liberal


or
A Ghost From the Past

            Who was she?
            I remember she was radiant like the Madonna yet as terrible as Joan of Arc girded for war. She comes to me like a timid ghost or a benevolent face at the top of dark stairs, asking me… where were you when I needed you in my greatest hour of need?

San Vito, Italy, 1971
            Innocence is stubborn, like old blood stains on white linen. Sometimes what we construe as the necessary innocence of childhood is nothing more than callousness, the equally intractable superficiality of living in the moment. And this tale begins innocently enough.
            My family and I lived in a tenement building on the very edge of San Vito in southern Italy. Our landlord Mr. Berelli rented almost exclusively to off base military families such as ours but he had one stipulation: There must be at least one Italian tenant in the building.
            In our case, the native family was a young couple who had just had a daughter. The husband was a lawyer, we learned, and he was young and handsome, his wife equally young and beautiful. As was fitting, the daughter was also perfect. The only memory I have of this lawyer was one day they were standing on their little balcony showing off the baby, the husband resplendent in his business suit, she in her dress. Those of us on the ground level looked up in adoration like medieval peasants admiring our betters and unquestioningly accepting that immutable fact of nature: That they were better than us, the wealthy were. Beauty and success just naturally gravitated to them like animals to St. Francis of Assisi.
            Then one day soon thereafter the black-bordered notices were plastered all over the building. Those of us who knew Italian realized the lawyer husband had suddenly passed away. I never found out if it was a heart attack, a car accident or whatever reason for his shocking abduction from the land of the living. And of course none of us dared speculate it was suicide. After all, he had everything going for him. It was a terrible shock, yes, because such things were not supposed to happen to those favored by fortune.
            But this Italian answer to Richard Cory was dead and there nothing that could be done about that. After a respectful time, the black-bordered notices eventually came down and we resumed our lives without ever realizing we were privileged to do so. Life went on in its old dog trot pace.
            One day we were kicking a ball around on the dirt road on front of our building. I was with perhaps two other boys my age and one of us kicked the ball high, so high we watched it endlessly arc until it landed on the widow’s little balcony. Hearing it rattle around, she came out, picked it up and gazed down at us.
            We looked up as we had that wonderful day when they brought their flawless baby girl home only not with wonderment but expectation, as if we were still those peasants but seeking alms. In other words, we understandably wanted our ball back and assumed she would throw it down and that would be the end of that.
            But that’s not what she did.
            Instead, she motioned for us to come up as gently as a Madonna to her supplicants. We no doubt looked at each other with a bit of frustration and irritation at having our game first interrupted then delayed. But out of basic politeness, we did as we were asked.
            We trudged upstairs and knocked on her door. She immediately answered and invited us in. Her floor plan was the same as ours only reversed as she lived on the front side of the building while we lived on the rear. Her living room, I remember, was neat and well-appointed and she had just enough seating accommodations for all of us. She sat before me and to my right and after smiling at us for a bit, she eventually picked up a small candy tray from the table and offered us a piece. We complied again, not wanting to be rude. Being typical kids, of course we wanted the candy but we wanted our ball back even more and I kept looking at it as it lay beside her chair.
            I can’t speak for the other boys but I recall being dimly aware that there was someone else who was supposed to be in this house that wasn’t. But it was a dim recollection, although I’m sure no more than mere months had passed since her husband’s untimely death. But my main consideration was getting back that ball, one that was shared, I’m sure, by the other boys present.
            We sat there looking at each other awkwardly, none of us Americans speaking a word of Italian between us and her not knowing a word of English. I don’t remember one word being exchanged and we just continued sucking on our candy and wondering when we’d finally get back our ball. The balloon of silence eventually expanded until it nuzzled against the walls.
            I can’t recall what she even looked like. The only impression remaining to me four and a half decades later is that of a young woman who was sweetly sad like a ghost haunting a familiar dwelling yet was not, for unknowable reasons, allowed to move on. The baby girl was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps she was down for a nap or with a relative.
            Eventually, after several minutes of this awkward parlor dumb show, she gave us our ball and, with some relief, we went back outside to continue playing.

            About a quarter of a century later when I was in my mid-late 30’s, I began to think about that young widow. Although she hadn’t made a significant impact on my callow, callous life at the time, I still retained the memory of that encounter, however much the edges of that memory had been encroached upon and obscured by the haze of time. And it suddenly occurred to me why she’d invited us up.
            Any normal adult reading this would have long ago divined her motive for calling us up. Anyone but a sociopath, knowing the context of her situation, would know that. It was the reason that had eluded us kids as successfully as a startled rabbit from an inept hunter.
            She was simply lonely. Her days were filled with the emptiness and the oceans of space that opened up within that small two bedroom apartment in her husband’s wake. After all the mourners had expressed their condolences and the leftover food from the funeral reception had been packed up, she was left alone. And even our poor company was better than the oppressive misery that marked every waking hour of her every day.
            And I don’t recall her having many if any visitors or any of the American families having her over for dinner. We were properly shocked at the news of her husband’s death then simply went on with our lives. And that’s what one does, get on with their lives but it never occurred to a single one of us to open a bit of those lives of ours to occasionally let her in despite the language barrier.
            And as I began to delve into the significance of that encounter that I’m sure has been forgotten by the two other boys with me, I began to hate myself. I began to feel guilty because it had never dawned on me why we were up there in the first place, that perhaps I should’ve turned
back to her at the door and given her a silent hug to convey that I was not insensible to her loss. That someone remembered and understood. And cared.
            Yet I did not do that. I had other priorities. And as young and pretty as she was, sitting there in that parlor was an unnerving experience and for the first time in 25 years I at last understood why.
            I finally got it and placed that long-neglected but hardly forgotten rock in that bag of guilt I sling over my back, that grisly parody of Santa’s sack that gets heavier and heavier with the weight of all the things I did that I shouldn’t have and, as in this case, all the things I didn’t do that I should have. It gets heavier with each passing year and no number of random acts of kindness can alleviate its burden.
            I am not a good man. I am an average man who today tries to do good deeds. Never mistake a good man for one who is merely in a permanent state of atonement. And no matter how much good I may achieve in this world before moving on to the next, it will never relieve me by so much as an ounce of the guilt for not showing that poor young widow some baseline of compassion, even just a pinprick of light into that backdrop of absolute devastation that transcends all languages, cultures, nationalities, religions and creeds.
            I did nothing to help mitigate her crushing and baffling sense of how life could be so kind yet so cruel from one minute to the next, as human nature often is. Growing up, I always thought I was special in some way but this experience taught me I was not special at all. I was just a typical, self-absorbed kid as all 12 year-olds are expected to be. In at least one respect, children and sociopaths are indistinguishable and the one trait uniting them is that one outgrows the other.
            But kids can surprise and even shame us with their humanity. And I did nothing with the gifts given to me.
            And, to this day, I cannot even tell you who she was. I never even invested a single moment of time or iota of effort to learn her name.


Friday, June 24, 2016

It's the End of the World as We Know it...

 
     Where goes White Sulphur Springs, W. VA, so goes the rest of the country.
     Folks, I may or may not be the cybernetic equivalent of the street corner preacher holding up a placard saying, "The End is Nigh!" But one thing I am not is a frog in boiling water. When things start to get hot, I tend to notice shit when it goes awry. And this video that was taken and posted on Youtube yesterday is the perfect synecdoche of what's going on in our country and perhaps even the entire planet: We're just one giant house on fire helplessly floating down the river of life.
     We're a nation drowning in debt while floating atop a sea of cash just as ironically as this house in flames floating on millions of gallons of water. And whereas in olden times our ancestors would've clung to that doomsday preacher's robes praying to God for our salvation, the best we can muster is to whip out our smartphones and record the carnage, hoping for some Youtube hits.
     For the first time in American history, we have two presidential candidates from both major parties who are either being sued, under investigation and, in Hillary's case, possible indictment. In fact, as of last February, Trump has been or is being sued in federal court a whopping 169 times. This, of course, is only a drop in the bucket when you consider he's been sued 1300 times over the last 30 years.
     Regarding Hillary Clinton, it took Wikileaks and a hacker named Guccifer 2.0 to expose the rotten corruption and collusion of Hillary Clinton, the DNC, banks, corporations, murderous Third World dictators and her lax attitude regarding cyber security. Oh yeah, and need I belabor the fact she may soon be under federal indictment after an exhaustive FBI investigation? It looks as if I and a handful of lonely journo warriors outside the mainstream have to because God knows Google and the MSM certainly aren't interested in covering this impending story.
     Not that the MSM really owe either candidate any interference. Hillary hasn't held a press conference in over 200 days and Trump's furiously working on his own media blackout, which so far has reached peak scum with pulling the WaPo of its press credentials during Trump Two Minutes Hates.
     So, to sum it up, we have two Class A+ scumbag crooks running for president, they and their flaks are hiding from the press and taking the 5th 125 times during depositions (despite having full immunity), and, in Trump's case, refusing to release tax returns. And both of aforementioned scumbag crooks have people who love them so much they're committing acts of violence in their glorified names.
     49 years ago, it was called the Summer of Love. 2016 may well go down in history as the Summer of Hate. And the most peace-loving people, the millennials and old hippies who back Bernie, are the ones most vilified and lied about by so-called journalists such as Jon Ralston, who at least got his fat, pasty ass fired by NPR for spreading lies about us. So at least Mordor isn't reigning supreme over us... yet.
     Then last night, Brexit passed by popular referendum in the UK, meaning the empire will divorce itself from the European Union. Since I'm not Lindsay Lohan, I won't comment on a complicated thing as Brexit. But, as usual, when something big or small happens overseas, the US stock market reacts like a sleeping ferret woken up by a grenade blast, losing 600+ points of the first day of trading.
     In conclusion, this begs a question, one that I'm surprised hasn't been asked before but, hey, that's what I'm here for, folks:
    

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Democratic Sit In, Day 2

     Just before noontime yesterday, the Democratic Party did something extraordinary, something I've only seen activists do: They staged a sit in on the floor,specifically in the well, of the US House of Representatives. This was led by 15 term Congressman John Lewis, longtime civil rights activist who'd staged sit ins in the 60's, and Massachusetts Rep. Katherine Clark.
     It was about gun control legislation the GOP has been notoriously loath to pass since they're merely glorified temp workers of the NRA. It was intended to force a vote on background checks and all the facets of gun control legislation that the government can't or won't move meaningfully on. Eventually, they were joined by Elizabeth Warren and her Dunkin Donuts and eventually Bernie Sanders himself joined the slumber party.
     Granted, many of the sitting Democrats are pro-Hillary super delegates but since last night even the presidential election took a back seat to this perhaps doomed effort to force a gun control in the wake of the horrific Pulse shooting in Orlando.
     Speaker Paul Ryan didn't take too well to the Democrats' sit in and the nation's most overpaid pot washer went on CNN last night to whine about what the Democrats were doing was a "publicity stunt." In the end, Ryan rammed through a bunch of unrelated bills and finally adjourned the session after 3 AM.
     So I figured, if the Democrats can bring national attention to this neglected issue with their historic sit in, I should show solidarity by supporting them and live tweeting them while sitting on my own pasty ass. Eventually, the sit in took a dark, sinister turn when Ryan instructed the Master at Arms to turn off the C-SPAN cameras.







     Then, a couple of hours into the blackout that was relieved only by social media, voila!




     I was up until well after midnight last night and I'll be there keeping an eye on things like millions of others as the sit in stretches into its second day. This is what being a political junkie entails and I'm starting to love politics again in a way that I haven't in years.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Guccifer 2.0 Has Delivered

     ...has just put up Hillary's dossier on his or her website. Have fun. I'm going to be busy all day wallowing in the Clinton filth. I only hope someone's set up a mirror site because I don't expect this domain to stay up for very long. That's just how Hillary and her kiddie porn-posting thugs roll.

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Monday, June 20, 2016

Top 10 Reasons Why Corey Lewandowski Was Fired

     After a long, soul-searching meeting with family members today, Mr. Donald Trump decided to fire his campaign manager Corey Lewandowski. Mr. Lewandowski's stewardship of the flailing Trump presidential campaign had been fraught with controversy ranging from misogyny, intimidation tactics and even allegedly assaulting a female reporter from Breitbart. The move came suddenly, signaling a major Trump shakeup from top to bottom. The Trump campaign has not released any reasons for Mr. Lewandowski's sudden termination but some have been leaked to the internet. What were they?

  • 10) Lewandowski fell behind on beating up reporters quota.
  • 9) Staffer found in his office a one way, first class plane ticket to Argentina dated November 9th.
  • 8) Circulated memo to entire campaign strenuously urging everyone to wear brown shirts.
  • 7) Trump increasingly discomfited with Lewandowski's stiff arm salute.
  • 6) Leaked on Facebook that if Trump won the presidency, he'd take the oath on a copy of Mein Kampf.
  • 5) Lewandowski had bought domain names such as www.boysfromBrazil.com.
  • 4) Signature line on emails changed last week to, "Why won't he love me?!"
  • 3) Had personally banned so many media outlets from Trump events all that was left was the Veritas Project, Prison Planet and that homeless guy on the corner with the cardboard sign proclaiming, "THE END IS NEAR!!"
  • 2) Trump campaign belatedly discovered Lewandowski's additions to Trump speeches were ver batim quotes from Adolph Hitler and George Lincoln Rockwell.
  • 1) Unable to break irritating habit of goosestepping through office and calling Mr. Trump "Fuhrer."
  • Sunday, June 19, 2016

    Happy Father's Day

         Consider this an open thread since I'll be out most of the day having lunch and seeing the new X-Men movie with my sons, the elder one coming in from Virginia. See you back in the funny pages tomorrow.

    Saturday, June 18, 2016

    Breaking News


    Friday, June 17, 2016

    Good Times at Pottersville, 6/17/16


    Thursday, June 16, 2016

    Giving Fascism a Chance

         Let's face it, Bernie Sanders is a lousy Socialist. Depending on how you define the elusive and squishy concept of Socialism, Bernie falls far short of any rubric or metric of it (save perhaps for Socialism being viewed as an intermediary gateway leading to actual Communism). About the most you can say about the Vermont Senator's socioeconomic philosophy is that he is merely where mainstream Democrats were in the 70's and 80's.
         In his tax form disclosures earlier this year, we found out he'd made about a quarter of a million dollars last year. That's pretty much pauper wages compared to the pelf congressmen make on the side. Still, show me one other so-called Socialist who pulls down about a million bucks or more every four years.
         Sanders is not saying that we should collectivize or even nationalize any industry. He's not saying we should all make the same amount of money. The so-called Socialist is quite happy to work within the rotten framework of our current capitalist system. His Robin Hood tax would fund his dream to make college free for everyone even if it is poorly thought out and would depress capital gains, hence capital gains taxes collected by Uncle Sam.
         He's also called for raising taxes for the rest of us, which always makes assholes on both sides of the Great Ideological Divide pucker up in unison.
         So, yeah, Bernie Sanders really, really sucks as a Socialist. He has a lot of sound ideas, some of them actually rooted in pragmatism. But he's no Eugene Debs. And we're no Socialist country and have never come close to making any meaningful strides to that end. Any doddering steps we had taken to the left were immediately stopped and this trend goes back to the beginning of the labor movement in the late 19th century.
         Yet despite the fact that several Latin American and European countries teach us of the public and private benefits of limited and pragmatic socialism, why has the United States always harbored an undeclared love affair with, or at least a tolerance of, fascism?
         What you see above is George Lincoln Rockwell, the former head of the American Nazi Party. Rockwell was practically a fixture on American television back in the 50's and 60's. While in a very reasonable sounding tone of voice he espoused odious and racist ideologies on national television while courteous commentators gave him house room in comfortable, climate-controlled sound stages with nary a peep from the audience.
         Rockwell's place in American history is so secure that the former naval officer was portrayed by Marlon Brando in Roots II, a role for which he'd won an Emmy. After Rockwell's assassination by one of his own people in August 1967, the government had originally allowed him to be buried with full military honors before his 50 mourners fucked that up by insisting on wearing Nazi regalia. (The government eventually had Rockwell's remains cremated)
         I can perfectly understand why today far right politicians espouse cryptofascist policies that resonate with the radical right wing (notably the Teabaggers) because they're all of a fascist mindset. What Rockwell said half a century ago is much the same thing that far right politicians and Teabagger candidates are saying now. As proof of this, look no further than the Trump campaign. Fascist recidivism is alive and well and still finding listeners. Millions of them, in fact. That doesn't surprise me.
         The truly surprising and distressing thing is that even so-called "liberals" and "progressives", all of them Obama and Hillary backers, claim that Sanders's policy proposals and theories are too far left and unrealistic. Which is exactly the kind of thing you'd expect from Bush backers a decade ago or Republicans from any decade within the last century. Hillary backers are about as liberal and progressive as Sanders is a Socialist.
         The plain fact is, we as a nation have always been more tolerant of fascism and fascist principles than we ever have been, and likely ever will be, of Socialism. If we ever had a Socialist leader (which would practically be an oxymoron), do you think s/he would've been put on national TV as often as George Rockwell was? Obviously, the closest whatever socialist movement we have going on has for a leader is unquestionably Bernie Sanders. And you see how roundly he and his rallies are being ignored on national TV. Instead, it seems the lion's share of TV coverage is dedicated to the ongoing spectacle of the neofascist Trump campaign, paranoid thuggery and all, backed up by official law enforcement and in spite of Trump's ever-widening banning of media outlets from those same rallies.
         America's intolerance of anything even remotely smelling of Socialism extends back to at least the 1880s and the Haymarket Square riots in Chicago in 1886. The labor movement began with unrest very much motivated, and exploited by, socialist principles. Sometimes, public sentiment swung in favor of strikers and rioters, sometimes it'd turn against them. But one would be hard-pressed to find an example of any executive who ever went to prison for hiring strike breakers who'd killed a striking laborer.
         But people such as American Socialist Party founder Eugene V. Debs (Investment- The dreams of many in the hands of one) were considered pariahs outside the labor movement. Debs had orchestrated what would become known as "Debs' Rebellion", the Pullman Strike of 1894 Chicago. The strike threatened the halt of the US mail, which was hauled on Pullman cars, prompting President Grover Cleveland to issue an injunction making the strike illegal and Debs was sent to federal prison for contempt of court in defying the injunction. 30 people were killed at the hands of federal troops sent by Cleveland during the Pullman strike and not a single public official or Pullman executive even had to answer charges of manslaughter let alone saw the inside of the jail cell.
         And the same could almost be said of Rockwell. Despite the toxicity of his fascist polemics, he was allowed to stage an antiwar protest in front of Eisenhower's White House in July of 1958 without once being molested. As far as I've been able to ascertain, Rockwell was arrested once, on July 4th 1960 after a Nazi rally had ignited a riot.
         Earlier this spring, several white supremacist groups gathered for an annual rally at Stone Mountain, Georgia and they were surrounded by police. However, the police weren't summoned to keep an eye on the rowdy radicals but to protect them against Black Lives Matter activists, who were arrested in large numbers simply for staging a counter protest. This is a perfect synecdoche of American history, of our intolerance for the power of the people, even though we are the people, and our meek tolerance, or vicious endorsement, of ultra right wing neofascism.
         One need look no further than a few years ago when Occupy Wall Street was still a viable movement. One shouldn't need a refresher course to recall how swiftly police across the nation moved in to protect Wall Street's and Corporate America's good name from peaceful protesters, beating, pepper-spraying, arresting and charging people while often literally making up laws as they went along.
         Yet, you see a conspicuous absence of law enforcement, or at least law enforcement in riot gear, when the Klan or white supremacist entities gather in significant numbers. Yet when a grand jury is about to hand down a decision regarding a police-related death, often to no effect, the massive police build up is preemptive.
         In the political arena, we see the same trends. It's much easier for a quasi fascist (today we call them Tea Partiers) to get elected to Congress than a Socialist. There are so many Tea Partiers in Congress, in fact, they had their own Caucus (now it's known, ironically, as the Freedom Caucus).
         By the same token, how many Socialists are there in Congress? There are so few, it seems, that an internet search provides no useful or factual answers because it's hardly worth asking or researching.
         Our tolerance of native fascism and intolerance or uneasiness of native Socialism is a disturbing trend that has characterized the United States over at least 130 years. Until someone conducts a study establishing a link between Americanism and an authoritarian mindset that's exploited by A type fascist personalities, it's a mystery that'll forever elude explication.
         It's understandable that right wingers would reflexively recoil at the thought of Socialism. But it's doubly disturbing that at least as many so-called left wingers would have the same repugnant reaction to Bernie Sanders' own bland brand of Socialism.

    Wednesday, June 15, 2016

    Tweets From the Edge: Smart Ass Troll edition

    Tuesday, June 14, 2016

    Happy Donald Trump's Birthday, er, Flag Day.

    Monday, June 13, 2016

    We Haven't Come Very Far

    (By American Zen's Mike Flannigan, on loan from Ari)
    The Pulse night club shooting in Orlando, Florida on Saturday night has been called the worst terrorist attack on US soil since 9/11, the largest mass shooting in US history and the single deadliest one man attack ever in America. And that is all, sadly, true. But there was one other attack on the LGBTQ community, this one committed nearly 43 years ago. And it was known as the Upstairs Lounge Arson Attack.
         Less than four years after Stonewall, when the Gay Rights movement was still awaiting its turn to get some serious traction, New Orleans' gay community had just concluded the final day of Pride Weekend and Mr. Massacci, the owner of the Upstairs:Lounge, a popular gay bar, had given free drinks to over 120 patrons. It was Sunday, June 24th and the patrons and members of the Metropolitan Community Church had gathered to discuss a charitable drive intended to benefit the local Crippled Childrens' Hospital.
         When a buzzer went off, AF veteran Buddy Rasmussen told Luther Boggs to answer the door. Instead of the cab driver he was expecting, Boggs instead was greeted with a wall of flames and the smell of lighter fluid.  With moments, the entire mid 19th century building was fully involved. At the end of the horrific day, 32 men had died from being burned alive, smoke inhalation or (in a hideous reprise of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire) jumping out of windows.
         In its subdued way, the city's reaction was almost as horrific. From the relatives of the victims, the media, the fire and police authorities and political and religious leaders, tried their mightiest to act as if this act of arson never happened. The surviving relatives were so ashamed their kin were found in a gay bar they'd never bothered to claim the bodies, condemning them to be buried in unmarked mass graves. The police did an inadequate investigation and the New Orleans Fire Dept. shrugged its shoulders and declared the fire to be of unknown origin.
         The print media and right wing talk radio had made light of the massacre because of the sexual orientation of the victims. And only one man of the cloth in all New Orleans, Reverend William P. Richardson of St. George's Episcopal Church, was willing to hold a small prayer service for them. Richardson's boss, Iveson Noland, the city's Episcopal Bishop, tore him a new one. The reverend's mailbox was soon filled with hate mail. His fellow minister Bill Larson of the MCC burned to death while clinging to the barred windows that would've offered the only escape route once all the stairwells were fully involved. His charred corpse was still plainly visible to onlookers for hours on end.
         In a heartbreaking postscript, another minister, Rev George Mitchel, escaped the blaze, only to run back in to rescue his boyfriend Louis Broussard. Both died, their burnt remains found in an embrace. It was the last of three such fires that targeted the MCC that year alone. Several years ago, TAPS investigated the Upstairs Lounge four decades after the fire to investigate paranormal experiences, helping to elevate it back to the public mind.

    Aftermath
         As stated, the police and fire authorities (including the state fire marshal's office) conducted, at best, a perfunctory investigation and hastily concluded that they couldn't find the cause of the fire and had no suspect. But they did.
         Rodger Dale Nunez, a local troublemaker and hustler, had been ejected from the bar earlier that night and witnesses claimed he'd confessed no less than four times to setting the fire and even admitted he'd used Ronsonol lighter fluid bought at Walgreen's and squirted it on the bottom steps. Nunez, who'd been seen in the bar for at least 10 minutes before the 16 minute blaze began, said he hadn't known the entire building would go up. Nunez at least had the consideration to commit suicide the year after.
         What happened at the Upstairs Lounge that day and what happened at the Pulse were done by two very different people for two very different reasons. Yet they are of a piece. Both of the mass murderers had specifically targeted gay men on which to visit unimaginable acts of horror.
         What happened at the Pulse two nights ago, however, touches on so many different hot button issues it's difficult to conjure a coherent narrative addressing and unifying them all. It could touch upon the gay rights issue, since Mateen obviously targeted the LGBTQ community. Or one could focus instead on the rise of Islamic terrorism in the west or the ongoing problem of sensible gun ownership versus sovereign rights.
         However, it cannot be said we've been making serious inroads toward solving any of these problems. Giving the gay community gay marriage, obviously, does not stop their being targeted and punished in fits of homophobia. It cannot be said we've taken any meaningful strides toward curbing gun ownership under the wishy-washy Obama administration. And that same administration cannot be credited with making us safer with countless drone strikes in seven foreign countries that target terrorist leaders when they cannot even stop the ones in this very country.
         Yet all we can get from out elected leaders are "thoughts and prayers" that are about as efficacious as our toothless gun control laws. Donald Trump has made the shooting all about him. Hillary Clinton, herself a recipient of NRA largesse, offers her own "thoughts and prayers". Bernie Sanders, considering his own defense of the gun industry, would do well to shut the fuck up.
         For now, all we can do is recommend that all gay bars and clubs beef up their security since their elected officials aren't willing to do anything to prevent senseless, massive tragedies from taking place.
         In the meantime, we'll have to suffer more kneejerk reactions from gun-clutching ammosexuals who hoarsely scream, "Don'cha dare get between me an' mah guns, Obama!". You know who I mean. They happen to the same sovereign citizens who blithely dismiss rights to privacy for gay people to the point of telling them they haven't the right to get married or even have gay sex.

    (Update: Firstly, it appears as if several of the victims of the Pulse massacre were female patrons. I was going by what the MSM was saying but I take full responsibility for that oversight.
         Secondly, new reports are now saying the shooter was not only a regular at the Pulse but that he'd also exchanged several messages with at least one other gay man on a gay dating app. Gawker broke this news and later tonight it will be explored more deeply on Chris Hayes' All In on MSNBC.
         Thirdly, this new development shows there was much more of a parallel to the Upstairs Lounge fire than I'd hitherto thought. It appears as if Mateen, who'd reportedly been a patron of the Pulse for upwards of three years, had perhaps taken revenge on it and its patrons for being ejected one night for being drunk and abusive.
         This is exactly the same reason Rodger Nunez burned the Upstairs Lounge in 1973. He may have called the Orlando PD and announced his support of ISIS or that may be a fabrication. It could also be it was a convenient cover for him to decide to wage jihad on a nightclub filled with innocents: A butt hurt, self-loathing gay man who was thrown out for being drunk.
         His father told media today while he didn't condone his son's actions, gay people should all be killed, any way, only by Allah.
         It seems he got his wish. I'd like to hear his thoughts on the subject of gay genocide now.

    All Time Classics

  • Our Worse Half: The 25 Most Embarrassing States.
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  • The Ten Worst Music Videos of all Time
  • Assclowns of the Week

  • Links to the first 33 Assclowns of the Week.
  • Links to Assclowns of the Week 38-63.
  • #101: Electoral College Dropouts edition
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  • #99: Dr. Strangehate edition
  • #98: Get Bentghazi edition
  • #97: SNAPping Your Fingers at the Poor edition
  • #96: Treat or Treat, Kiss My Ass edition
  • #95: Monumental Stupidity double-sized edition
  • #94: House of 'Tards edition
  • #93: You Da Bomb! edition.
  • #92: Akin to a Fool edition.
  • #91: Aurora Moronealis edition.
  • #90: Keep Your Gubmint Hands Off My High Pre'mums and Deductibles! edition.
  • #89: Occupy the Catbird Seat/Thanksgiving edition.
  • #88: Heil Hitler edition.
  • #87: Let Sleeping Elephants Lie edition.
  • #86: the Maniacs edition.
  • #85: The Top 50 Assclowns of 2010 edition.
  • #(19)84: Midterm Madness edition.
  • #83: Spill, Baby, Spill! edition.
  • #82: Leave Corporations Alone, They’re People! edition.
  • #81: Hatin' on Haiti edition.
  • #80: Don't Get Your Panties in a Twist edition.
  • #79: Top 50 Assclowns of 2009 edition.
  • #78: Nattering Nabobs of Negativism edition.
  • #77: ...And Justice For Once edition.
  • #76: Reading Tea Leaves/Labor Day edition.
  • #75: Diamond Jubilee/Inaugural Edition
  • #74: Dropping the Crystal Ball Edition
  • #73: The Twelve Assclowns of Christmas Edition
  • #72: Trick or Treat Election Day Edition
  • #71: Grand Theft Autocrats Edition
  • #70: Soulless Corporations and the Politicians Who Love Them Edition
  • Paul Ryan's Top Ten Conditions on Running for the Speakership
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Mitt Romney Won't Run for President in 2016
  • Top 10 Results of the NYPD's Work Slowdown
  • Top 10 Secret Service Security Breaches
  • Top 10 LA Radio Shows That Are Rated Higher Than Rush Limbaugh's
  • Top 10 Reasons Operation American Spring Went Flat
  • Top Ten Facts of the MH370 Air Disaster
  • Top 10 Tips for GOP Congressmen Running Against Women
  • Top 10 Signs Walmart's Mistreating its Workers
  • Top 10 Diversions John McCain Found During Syria Hearing
  • Top 10 George Zimmerman Excuses for Speeding.
  • Top 10 Reasons Paula Deen Got Fired by the Food Network
  • Top Ten Ways Pope Francis is Deviating From Convention
  • Top 10 Reasons For the Pope's Resignation
  • Top 10 Emails Hacked From the Bush Family's Email Accounts
  • Top 10 Lies Told by Mitt Romney at the 2nd Debate.
  • Top 10 Examples of How Hard the Campaign Trail is on Ann D. Romney.
  • Top 10 Ways to Tell The Boston Red Sox Are Finished.
  • Top 10 Things Mitt May be Hiding in His Tax Returns.
  • Top 10 Events at the Romney Olympics.
  • Mitt Romney's Top 10 Wild & Crazy Moments.
  • Top Ten Reasons Why Dick Cheney Got a Heart Transplant.
  • Top 10 Facts About Tonight's New England/Denver Game.
  • My Top 10 Resolutions.
  • Top 10 Rejected Slogans of the Romney Campaign.
  • Top 10 Reasons Herman Cain Suspended His Campaign.
  • Top 10 Trending Topics on Twitter During #OWS Eviction.
  • Top 10 Herman Cain Pickup Lines.
  • Top 10 Changes Since Anthony Weiner Decided to Resign.
  • Top 10 Inaccuracies re bin Laden's Death.
  • Top 10 Ways to Prevent a TSA Patdown.
  • Top Ten Things Not to Say When You're Pulled Over.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why Donald Trump Bowed Out of the Presidential Race.
  • Top 10 Ways Evangelicals Will Prepare for the Rapture II.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Today's Parliament Inquiry into News Corp.
  • Top 10 Reasons Why There Was No Vote on the Debt Ceiling Last Night.
  • Top 10 Revelations in Dick Cheney's Upcoming Memoir.
  • Top Ten Ways Americans Will Observe the 10th Anniversary of 9/11.
  • Top Ten Advances in Women's Rights in Saudi Arabia.
  • Top Ten Inaccuracies in Bill O'Reilly's Book About Lincoln.
  • Top Ten Suggestions From the Cat Food Commission.
  • Top Ten Worst Moments in George W. Bush's Presidency.
  • Top Ten Facts in George W. Bush's Memoir.
  • Top Ten Reasons Terry Jones Postponed His Koran Burning
  • Top 10 Causes for Dick Cheney's Congestive Heart Failure
  • Top Ten Ways That Jan Brewer Will Celebrate Cinco de Mayo
  • Top Ten Demands in Sarah Palin's Contract
  • Top Ten Whoppers in Karl Rove's New Book
  • Top 10 Items Left Behind in Rush Limbaugh's Apartment
  • Top Ten Things Barack Obama said to Rush Limbaugh in the Hospital
  • Top Ten Bizarre Promos Offered by the New Jersey Nets
  • Top 10 Bush Executive Orders Labor Wants President Obama to Repeal
  • George W. Bush's Top Ten Lesser Achievements
  • Empire Of The Senseless.
  • Christwire.org: Conservative Values for an Unsaved World.
  • Esquire's Charles Pierce.
  • Brilliant @ Breakfast.
  • The Burning Platform.
  • The Rant.
  • Mock, Paper, Scissors.
  • James Petras.
  • Towle Road.
  • Avedon's Sideshow (the new site).
  • At Largely, Larisa Alexandrovna's place.
  • The Daily Howler.
  • The DCist.
  • Greg Palast.
  • Jon Swift. RIP, Al.
  • God is For Suckers.
  • Hullabaloo, Digby's place.
  • The Rude Pundit.
  • Driftglass.
  • Newshounds.
  • William Grigg, a great find.
  • Brad Blog.
  • Down With Tyranny!, Howie Klein's blog.
  • Wayne's World. Party time! Excellent!
  • Busted Knuckles, aka Ornery Bastard.
  • Mills River Progressive.
  • Right Wing Watch.
  • Earthbond Misfit.
  • Anosognosia.
  • Echidne of the Snakes.
  • They Gave Us a Republic.
  • The Gawker.
  • Outtake Online, Emmy-winner Charlotte Robinson's site.
  • The artist formerly known as Politits. The politics are still liberal.
  • Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo
  • No More Mr. Nice Blog.
  • Head On Radio Network, Bob Kincaid.
  • Spocko's Brain.
  • Pandagon.
  • Slackivist.
  • WTF Is It Now?
  • No Blood For Hubris.
  • Lydia Cornell, a very smart and accomplished lady.
  • Roger Ailes (the good one.)
  • BlondeSense.
  • The Smirking Chimp.
  • Hammer of the Blogs.
  • Vast Left Wing Conspiracy.
  • Argville.
  • Existentialist Cowboy.
  • The Progressive.
  • The Nation.
  • Mother Jones.
  • Vanity Fair.
  • Salon.com.
  • Citizens For Legitimate Government.
  • News Finder.
  • Indy Media Center.
  • Lexis News.
  • Military Religious Freedom.
  • McClatchy Newspapers.
  • The New Yorker.
  • Bloggingheads TV, political vlogging.
  • Find Articles.com, the next-best thing to Nexis.
  • Altweeklies, for the news you won't get just anywhere.
  • The Smirking Chimp
  • Don Emmerich's Peace Blog
  • Wikileaks.
  • The Peoples' Voice.
  • Dictionary.com.
  • CIA World Fact Book.
  • IP address locator.
  • Tom Tomorrow's hilarious strip.
  • Babelfish, an instant, online translator. I love to translate Ann Coulter's site into German.
  • Newsmeat: Find out who's donating to whom.
  • Wikipedia.
  • Uncyclopedia.
  • anysoldier.com
  • Icasualties
  • Free Press
  • YouTube
  • The Bone Bridge.
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