2/09/2016

Wrestling with Race and Police Power in a Minor Case

The Rude Pundit has been wrestling with something in his brain since he first heard about it yesterday. Mocking Republicans and getting all worked up about Bernie and Hillary can wait until the New Hampshire results. We still have nine more months of that shit until we birth a new president. Instead, let's turn our attention to what seems, at first glance, like another incident of white police officers mistreating a black driver, in this case, a Princeton University professor, Imani Perry. The Rude Pundit wanted to call "bullshit" on Perry, but then his thinking brain started fucking with his animal brain.

Perry wrote about what was a genuinely scary moment: she was pulled over by the police in Princeton, New Jersey, for speeding and then arrested for what she initially said was "for a single parking ticket three years ago." She was handcuffed and put in the back of a squad car, not allowed to contact anyone until she got to the station, and handcuffed to a table while she was being processed in the station. She was also frisked by one of the arresting white male officers. She attributed her "mistreatment" to being black, adding in a Facebook post, "I cannot ever say definitively that this specific mistreatment was a result of race. But I can say that what I experienced was far more likely because my skin is a deep brown, my nose is round, and my hair is coily."

This here blog has been writing about the mistreatment of African Americans by the police when most of the Black Lives Matter protesters were still in elementary school. This here writer has been incredibly harsh on the police and their abuse of power. That doesn't mean that, as a white person, the Rude Pundit can't be called out as "racist" or anything else (he is called that on a regular basis). But when it comes to the way in which cops enact their authority on the bodies of black people, he has squarely allied himself with those African American victims. If you're so inclined, stick with him while he works a couple of things out here. If not, fuck it. Go read something else. Or call him "racist."

'Cause, see, the real reason Perry was arrested wasn't because of a parking ticket. It was because her driver's license was suspended. The law in New Jersey is pretty fucked up this way: if you don't pay even a single parking ticket, your license gets suspended. How do you know this is going to happen? You receive warnings if you don't pay your ticket, like this one:


You get two of those and then you get a letter telling you that your license was suspended. It's easy to overlook these in the stream of daily junk mail, but that's on you.

How does the Rude Pundit know about all this?

Because about 12 years ago, he was pulled over in a small, wealthy town in central New Jersey and arrested for having a suspended driver's license for an unpaid parking ticket. He was frisked on the side of the road, handcuffed and put into the back of a squad car, and handcuffed to a table while he was processed at the station. He couldn't contact anyone until he got to the station. Perry's right: it is fuckin' frightening. He was released when someone arrived to get him, never put in a cell (and neither was Perry), and got a court date. He went before a judge a month or so later, and the judge even looked at the Rude Pundit, baffled, and said, "This is for parking tickets?" To which the Rude Pundit gave a rueful nod. He paid his fine, got his license restored, and has made sure to pay his tickets. Lesson learned.

Perry is very clear that she is not comparing herself to Sandra Bland or other African American women who have died as a result of their treatment in police custody. But, she says, "I hope that this circle of attention will be part of a deeper reckoning with how and why police officers behave the way they do, especially towards those of us whose flesh is dark."

She believes that her "disproportionate policing and punishment" was due to her race. The Princeton police chief disagrees, saying that her treatment was appropriate and that, yes, she was arrested for a suspended license for two unpaid parking tickets. She received the same exact treatment that the Rude Pundit did for the exact same violation of the law. It's a stupid law, yes, and it needs to change, but there it is.

However...

As the Rude Pundit said, he is a white male. He can't even begin to imagine the fear of a black man or woman being arrested by white cops in this age of cases like Freddie Gray and Tanisha Anderson. How could Perry not wonder what might happen to her in the back of that squad car? Why wouldn't she feel panic? Why wouldn't she be outraged?

Yes, strictly by the law, Perry was in the wrong. But she lives, we all live, in this very wrong racial culture where an extra layer of extralegal repression exists. The department chief himself acknowledged this: "We are part of the larger law enforcement community in our current times in law enforcement. Therefore I understand how in this climate we can be perceived to be a microcosm of that." Mistrust is rampant.

In other words, it sucks for everyone in these situations. If we're not gonna do anything about that, then Perry has every reason in the world to be shaken up by what she went through, even if her arrest was legally justified, even if the police did absolutely everything right, even if you want to wave this off on the basis of "Princeton professor."

Perry is being attacked on right-wing websites and in the usual way on social media. But, then again, all of those writers and trolls think the cops did nothing wrong to Eric Garner. So fuck them where they type.

In this world, even when black and white people are treated equally, it is simply not equal.

2/08/2016

Jeb Bush and the Gentleman Politician Death Spiral (in a Single Photo)


The Rude Pundit loves that photo from this weekend in New Hampshire.  Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush is holding South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham as if it is a pieta for the death of an era as represented in the image of two late-middle-aged/elderly white men in an awkward embrace. This sublime moment comes as the nation is perhaps about to burn the Bush family's political hopes in the ground and salt the earth after. Then we can forget about Jeb and go back to pretending the Bush, Sr. was a decent president (he wasn't) and denying that George W. wrecked the nation's ass with his crazed gorilla fucking.

The picture up there shows an ending, one not coming fast enough, to the old power structure of a certain class of people who run for office, as if Graham and Bush are comforting each other as the glass explodes around them, the ballroom floods, and the motherfuckin' Titanic sinks one more time. "Oh, where are the gentleman of old?" that image wonders. "Whither have gone the grace notes in our foul symphony of politics?"

What you're really seeing in the screaming death yawp of the Jeb Bush campaign is the wrecking of a myth, that these men like G. Bush and Dole and McCain and even, yes, in 2000, W. Bush (the compassionate conservative, remember?) were paragons of moderation and judgment when, let's be honest, they were the same scumfuckers as the carnival barkers and mad dogs who are now tearing at J. Bush like alligators in the Everglades who snatch children who walk too close to the water.

The election for Bush was over the second that he let Donald Trump mount him and take him, like a lion on the grasslands. This was emphasized at the GOP debate this past weekend when Trump put a finger to his lips to shush Bush, and the son and brother of former terrible presidents shushed to let Trump speak. The audience booed, but the alpha dog had made his point.

Otherwise, the New Hampshire primary has become the latest sinkhole for the inevitable cratering of Bush. Sure, Graham was witty and charming campaigning for him. But by the time Bush was whining, "Please clap" to an audience after a lively-for-him rant about being decent and quiet and respectful as commander-in-chief, it was pretty much "Take Ol' Yeller out back" time for him.

Bush never got his "moment," that brief time in the sun when it looks as if the campaign is gonna go your way. Marco Rubio had it coming out of Iowa and then Chris Christie unhinged his jaw and devoured Rubio whole at the debate, which led to Christie's moment. Cruz, Fiorina, even Ben Carson had moments. Not Jeb. And he's angry about the whole fucking process, telling Politico about the eventual nominee, "I think of the surviving candidates, as you get closer to the point where it starts to matter a lot, I think there’s going to be a need to focus back to the point of rhetoric and how you say things. I think there’s going to be — there needs to be some discipline." Or, you know, sound more like him so he doesn't sound so dull.

By the way, this is the guy who kept a brain-dead woman alive for two years for his political gain. Let's never forget that from the supposedly sane candidate.

Meanwhile, Trump is gleefully pantsing Bush every chance he gets. It's almost ridiculous at this point, like the endgame of some long-held grudge. The Sun-Sentinel newspaper in Broward and Palm Beach counties, Florida, which is where the infamous stopped recount happened in 2000, pretty much wrote Bush's political epitaph last week: "Bush is soft-spoken. He takes time to warm up when he speaks. And he is a gentleman."

The thing about gentlemen is that we know that, for many, it's a bullshit disguise that hides something ugly or perverse, like "Oh, he holds the door for the ladies but likes to beat his children and masturbate on his cat." Now, even though it's just as much a show as the "gentleman" persona, Republicans wants someone "real." As in "reality." Or, you know, "reality TV." The closest they've got is the actual reality TV star and the wannabe TV preacher. They will chew up and spit out the gentlemen all the time.

And, to be honest, because of the Terri Schiavo debacle and because of his support for all your basic, terrible conservative policies (even if he isn't a total cockknob about immigration), fuck Jeb and all the white, male gentlemen in their political graves.

2/05/2016

Believe It or Not: You Can Support Bernie and Not Despise Hillary (and Vice-Versa)

Let's be honest here about the presidency of either Bernie Sanders or Hillary Clinton. It doesn't matter which one is "pragmatic" or "progressive" or "progressive progressive" or "pragmatically progressive." It matters about as much as a flea fart in a tornado. Because, see, neither of them is getting shit past a Congress that has at least one house controlled by Republicans. Hillary Clinton ain't gonna wiggle her nose and cause the obstructionist fucknuts to all of a sudden "want to get things done." Bernie Sanders ain't gonna wave a magic staff and cause "revolution" to overtake the hearts of the very assholes who have done everything in their power to halt the moderate-left agenda of President Obama. The Republicans ain't gonna compromise with any Democrat in the White House. It ain't in their nature.

And let's be honest: Any argument over who is progressiver is just fucking dumb, no matter who started it. Obviously, compared to the hellbeasts running on the Republican side, both Sanders and Clinton are progressive. To fight over by what degree is a waste of time and energy. It's fucking dumb that Sanders brought it up. It's fucking dumb that Clinton didn't just say, "That's fucking dumb" and ignored it. (Conversely, any argument on the other side over who is conservativer is just as fucking dumb. Don't worry, fellas and lady, you're all just terrible human beings.)

The Rude Pundit is leaning towards Sanders in the primary because Sanders' views on shit more readily align with his. That's it. It's the simplest comparison in the world: "Who is most like me? Okay, they've got my vote." By saying that, the Rude Pundit will be accused of supporting a gun-loving freak who lives in a fantasy world, even if none of those things are remotely true. When he was leaning Clinton, he was accused of supporting a Wall Street shill who was just fuckin' skeevy, which, again, there is not a whole lot of proof for any of that. And if Clinton wins the Democratic nomination, he will support her and vote for her because the Rude Pundit is not a fucking idiot. He has no problem voting for Clinton because the alternative is not to vote, which gives more support to a Republican, and fuck that noise with a sharpened chainsaw.

In the last week, the Rude Pundit has met at least five people who support various candidates (including, frighteningly enough, someone thinking hard about Trump). All of them said they couldn't vote for Clinton because:
1. "She just bothers me."
2. "There's something about her."
3. "She just seems like she's dirty."
4. "Blarg, garf, Trump." (shits self)
5. "You know she did something wrong."

Every single one of these voters is merely a tool of the Republican anti-Clinton machine which has worked tirelessly for over two decades to make sure that the name "Clinton" is tainted, even if there is no real reason for any of it. You want to know how to stop an asshole anti-Hillary Republican in their tracks? Ask them if they think Republicans would be investigating Benghazi or the email bullshit if Clinton wasn't running for president. The Rude Pundit asked a few, and all of them said, "No" or "Probably not." Well, there you fucking go.

That same feeling permeates the left: Something has to be bad about Hillary or why would we spend all this time talking about how bad she is? That's letting conservatives set the rules of engagement. To his credit, Sanders refuses to go down the road of criticizing her on the email fake scandal. But "Benghazi" is now in the lexicon with "Whitewater" as shorthand for "Scumbag Clintons." You can bet that if Hillary Clinton is elected, those motherfuckers will open impeachment hearings right after the inauguration because that's how vermin roll. You want to be a part of that, alleged progressive?

This is not to say that you can't find fault in things that Clinton or Sanders have done or voted on. Jesus Christ, they've both had long careers. Of course they're gonna do shit that pisses you off. While we're all handjobbing President Obama for the ACA signups and the unemployment rate, you still have to reconcile that with the TPP (or dismiss it and call anyone who mildly criticizes the president "racist" because you're just that special kind of asshole).

There are two fucking missions for whoever gets the Democratic nomination. First, prevent a Republican from getting into office. And we can argue until the cows come home, take a shit, and go to sleep about which polls prove which candidate can do that. But no matter what, you have to stop the Republicans from fucking this nation harder than Chris Christie on his wife's ass while she wears a Hillary mask on the back of her head.

And then the second mission is to take the Congress back, all of it, and it better be by a filibuster-proof majority. Otherwise, nothing is going to get done beyond executive orders and some foreign policy efforts.

Dispute each other, sweet BernieBots and HillaryBots (or Bernie Bros and Hillary...Harridans? What awful, sexist thing is it? It's all so goddamn stupid), but if you declare you despise the other candidate, you should ask who you're believing, especially when it comes to Clinton. You might be laying down in a bed of slime.

2/04/2016

Taking a Sick Day, Boss

Is it the Zika virus? The flu? A cold and he's just a pussy? Who knows? But the Rude Pundit feels like warmed over shit, and, frankly, he couldn't give a squirt of spider monkey jizz about the presidential candidates. (Other than "Fuck you with a donkey dildo, Marco Rubio, you Jesus-fellating gargoyle.")

Back later? Tomorrow? with more phlegmy rudeness.

2/03/2016

As Obama Speaks, Too Many Americans Are Cowards About Mosques

Today, President Obama went to a mosque in Baltimore to say, in essence, "Yeah, all those assholes who hate on Muslims are just too goddamn dumb to breathe without Breitbart telling them how." It seems appropriate, then, to take a quick look around the country to see what the cowardly morons are doing when it comes to mosques being built in their 'hoods.

For instance, way out in Gillette, Wyoming, a town of 31,000 with less than three dozen Muslims, a mosque opened in December of 2015. The mosque is a converted house where the .1% of Gillette could worship, and, if you're gonna be a Muslim terrorist, you're not gonna exactly disappear into the population of a town in the middle of fucking nowhere, where, statistically, you look different from everyone else. Although, to be sure, the Rockpile Museum, with its new pioneer quilts exhibit, might be a prime ISIS target.

These fears caused one not-brave American, Bret Colvin, to start one of those Facebook groups of the damned, "stop islam in gillette !" with a goal of stopping "the islam invasion sponsored by...barrack obama." It's good to know that someone doesn't write in all caps these days. Or spell the president's name correctly like an ordinary Muslim might. Colvin views himself as a modern-day Crusader, ready to use the mighty sword of Zuckerberg to angrily stab the keyboard for the glory of Christ. Of course, now the group has over 400 members. Of course, people are commenting shit like "These Muslim maggots need to be gut shot." For his part, Colvin said, "The issue with the mosque is we didn’t know who was behind it, who was in it, where it came from."

Except here's the funny part: the mosque was built by the Khan family, which has been in Wyoming since 1906. They own 45 properties, mostly hotels, with 15 in Gillette. Indeed, the Khans are responsible for building hotels and bringing jobs to Gillette, and they have been for years. You can bet that they have far deeper roots in Wyoming than most of the people who joined Colvin's shitty Facebook group. Most of the members of the mosque are members of the Khan family, who now face harassment and threats.

But, wait, it gets even funnier: A "heavyset white man" from Gillette, with the nearly Dickensian name of Erich Schlup, knocked on the door of the mosque during a sermon because that's what the fuck you do when you don't understand something: you take a minute to learn. He listened to the sermon and came away with a different idea about the mosque and the Muslims in Gillette: "The sermon was - it's not entirely unlike what I've experienced when I've gone to church." Schlup's cousin is part of the anti-Muslim Facebook group, but Schlup won't be joining: "Everyone wants to be peaceful and coincide with each other. And how can we do that without understanding each other? So why not come check it out and learn a few things?"

Meanwhile, now that the mayor and others in the town have said that the mosque is here to stay (and, really, are you gonna piss off one of the biggest employers in the town?), Colvin has set his sights on keeping out the alleged 2000 Syrian refugees that are supposed to be resettled in Gillette.

Which would be surprising since Wyoming hasn't accepted a single refugee since 2012.

Fear and ignorance won't be undone by inconvenient facts.

2/02/2016

Iowa: Who the Fuck Cares?

Now that the Iowa caucuses are over and the people of the state can go back to...what?...fucking their asses with corncobs?...it's time for us to parse the exhaustingly meaningless exercise in fake democracy. You have to wonder why there aren't mass suicides among the reporters who have been forced to live in the desolate winter hellscape of Iowa for weeks. You have not known despair until you have been surrounded by plowed corn or wheat fields, filled with dried dirt and patches of snow. It isn't quaint. It isn't charming. It's fucking depressing when gray dirt meets gray sky. So, sure, you can either caucus or go on a killing spree.

What did we learn? Well, other than that rabid religious twat mites will vote for whatever crazed fucker jacks off to Jesus hardest, we learned that delegates can be awarded by the toss of a goddamn coin. It would have been more fair to put up photos of Sanders and Clinton and let a monkey toss shit at one and declare the other the winner.

Otherwise, the Rude Pundit isn't going to justify this overwrought spectacle by searching for any meaning in the results. Yeah, it was fun to see Donald Trump act like he had just been punched repeatedly in the balls. Yeah, it's great that young people turned out to caucus for Bernie Sanders. Yeah, Chris Christie oughta feel like shit. But, really, all this pretense to believing that Iowa tells us anything other than which asshole is gonna feel awfully fuckin' smug for a week or so is a gigantic waste of time and effort.

If you wanna learn anything, look at what the candidates said in victory and pseudo-victory.

For instance, dickfaced shitsmear Ted Cruz, a man whose voice sounds like he molests rodents, went on a mad ramble of a speech, pretty much proclaiming his win of not even a third of the voters in Iowa was tantamount to the second coming of Christ plus the greatest blow job ever times a smoking gun Benghazi email. Enjoy some uncut batshit: "While Americans will continue to suffer under a president who has set an agenda who is causing millions to hurt across this country I want to remind you of the promise of scripture. Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning. Iowa has proclaimed to the world, morning is coming. Morning is coming. From day one this campaign has been a movement. For millions of Americans to organize, to rally, to come together." The word "joy" is not what comes to mind when the Rude Pundit thinks of Ted Cruz. "Ferret rape" and "child beating" seem more appropriate.

Cruz had opened his over half-hour long speech with "Let me first of all say, to God be the glory." That went along with third place finisher Marco Rubio saying, "I thank my lord and savior Jesus Christ, I thank God for allowing me the opportunity to come this far with each of you." Seriously, if Jesus came back and said, "You know what I really want? Some filthy scat play," Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio would volunteer their faces for him to shit on.

Rubio's speech was even more pathetic than Donald Trump's brief "Well, shit" admission of loss. The demi-senator from Florida acted like he had been asked to prom by the hot captain of the football team. He said, "For months, for months they told us we had no chance. For months they told us because we offer too much optimism in a time of anger, we had no chance. For months they told us because we didn't have the right endorsements or the right political connections, we had no chance. They told me that we have no chance because my hair wasn't gray enough and my boots were too high. They told me I needed to wait my turn, that I needed to wait in line. But tonight, tonight here in Iowa, the people of this great state have sent a very clear message."

Dude, you came in third. Apparently, pride is one of those sins that you can just forget about whenever it's convenient.

Well, it's on to New Hampshire and more fuckery. You can bet, though, that you will have never seen political savagery like Trump going after Rubio and Cruz for the next week. He will be dining on their viscera by Saturday's debate, which, you can also bet, he won't be skipping.

2/01/2016

Ted Cruz Revises the Bible, In Case You Were Too Dumb to Get a Metaphor

The Rude Pundit receives all kinds of campaign email he never signed up for because, for whatever reason, he has been put on Hell's political spam list. Most of it is just Hillary Clinton saying, "I want you" or Rand Paul pathetically whining that he can still win if anyone would pay attention to him (Spoiler: he can't and they won't). So it's rare when something breaks through the white noise of begging and masturbation. But he got one today that made him take notice.

It's from the Ted Cruz campaign (motto: "To know Ted is to hate Ted"), and it's titled, "A Time for Prayer." See, the Rude Pundit totally forgot that he signed up to be part of Senator Ted Cruz's Super-Duper Prayer Team, and we've been receiving missives in the email telling us how to pray for Cruz to become president and smite his enemies with one jerk of the mighty cock of Christ.

Cruz's campaign takes verses from the Bible and edits them to make them Cruz-centric. It's sort of like how you go to your girlfriend's house and paste your face over the face of ex-boyfriends, her father, her brother, and her dog in her photos so that you are her everything. It's creepy and fucked-up and says more about you than you might want people to know. And the version of the Bible that Cruz uses is The Message, in which the language is dumbed down so that even your double-inbred cousin can drool over the pages and understand it.

This week's Super-Duper Prayer Team prayerlingus comes from Psalm 35, which is Old Testament David praying for some help from the Big Guy. Just to give you a flavor of the language we're talking here, this is Verse 1 in King James: "Plead my cause, O Lord, with them that strive with me: fight against them that fight against me." And here it is in The Message: "Harass these hecklers, God,/punch these bullies in the nose. The former is poetry. The latter is dogshit. Perfect for Cruzite reading.

So here's Cruz's version of verses 9-10: "But let [Ted and staff] run loose and free, celebrating God’s great work, every bone in [their] bod[ies] laughing, singing, 'God, there’s no one like you. You put the down-and-out on their feet and protect the unprotected from bullies!'" We're supposed to pray that God prevents Cruz from getting a well-deserved wedgie? A shit swirlie from the forces of Lucifer? Someone saying his outfit is "totally gay" on Instagram?

But it gets better (worse). Verse 4: "When those [out to trap Ted] try to knife [him] in the back, make [him] look foolish. Frustrate all those who are plotting [his] downfall." Swear to god, those bracketed parts are from the Cruz campaign, and they're replacing "me" (or David, who wanted help dealing with persecution by Saul and...you know, who the fuck cares) with Cruz. That's right. Cruz is now David before he became king. And the translation really is like it's written by psychopaths for psychopaths.

And then, using verse 19, we pray, "[We the Prayer Team, Ted and Heidi, and the entire campaign staff] will give you full credit when everyone gathers for worship; when the people turn out in force [we] will say [our] Hallelujahs." So the logic here is that voting for Ted Cruz is like worshipping God. That's not megalomaniacal in a truly frightening way at all. What's great is that Cruz's campaign thought its voters were too fucking stupid to get that these quotes could be metaphors for Cruz. Instead, they chose to literalize it.

The amount of nutzoid religiosity that has become part of the Cruz campaign approaches the absurd. Someone's gonna have to tell the Rude Pundit what Cruz even meant when he said, as part of his closing argument in Iowa, it's time to "awaken the body of Christ that we may pull back from the abyss." Where the fuck is the body of Christ? Didn't he ascend to heaven? Is it in heaven? Has Jesus been asleep all this time? And then he went on, "If we awaken and energize the body of Christ — if Christians and people of faith come out and vote our values — we will win and we will turn the country around," which clarifies things perhaps: So the "body" here is a group of people and not the actual body of Christ. That's pretty fucking confusing. Anything else? "I want to tell everyone to get ready, strap on the full armor of God, get ready for the attacks that are coming," Cruz said. Honestly, the Rude Pundit stopped at "strap on" and couldn't read any further for fear that the rest was a graphic description of Cruz getting anally violated for votes, which is how we got the Iowa caucuses.

By the way, the email is topped with a photo of Cruz and his family, including the daughter who hates his fucking guts. We all feel you, girlfriend, we all feel you.