9/22/2014

Climate March: If All the Trees Fell in the Forest...

So 310,000 or so people marched in New York City yesterday, calling for action of some kind to address climate change. It was an officially sanctioned, widely-advertised, well-funded protest. To all who participated, awesome. If you've never been to a giant march before, it's bracing in a way that few things are. You are surrounded by people who believe the same as you, you learn that you are not alone, and you discover a few new things, like how to argue your views and that, however radical you thought you were, drum circles are fucking idiotic and put the fuckin' things away already. Tolerance only goes so far, and someone's gonna end up with a giant puppet up his ass.

Of course, the people who were there felt amazing about it. How could you not? And, of course, it was barely covered by the news networks. Maybe if a dozen fucknuts wearing colonial drag and open-carrying machine guns while riding on their Rascal scooters had been part of it, it would have been 24/7, motherfuckers, 24/7, with a goddamned countdown clock leading up to it. The most extensive coverage was from Al-Jazeera America, The Guardian, and Democracy Now, and two of those aren't even from this country originally.

The Rude Pundit will admit feeling more than a little cynical about the march. If it's the start of some sustained action, groovy. Certainly, today's "Flood Wall Street" protest and semi-occupation are a good deal more radical but those are still getting all the attention of a flea fart in a hurricane.

And that's because why bother, huh? Especially when the march is endorsed by, for example, the Climate Group, which counts as its members Duke Energy, known for coal ash and pollution, and, for everyone flooding Wall Street right now, Goldman Sachs. Yes, it does do some good for the environment, but it does so with the tacit approval of those it should be dismantling. It's like if Batman asked the Joker if it's ok if he takes down Mr. Freeze.

The other problem is that, for the most part, Americans fall into two camps: Don't give a fat monkey fuck about climate change or don't understand it, don't believe it, and won't lift a fucking finger to help. Change a chunk of minds there and we've got a chance. The Rude Pundit couldn't help but think that if everyone who spent money on signs and plane and bus tickets and more had pooled that for ads in congressional campaigns across the country, the effect might have been even greater.

You wanna do something about climate change other than take a nice walk on a pretty nice, if a bit humid, day? You better make sure that the House turns Democratic and then you better make sure that the Senate doesn't have more than 40 dumbfucks on global warming. If you don't vote climate denialists out, then fuck it, we're done here.

To go further, frankly, Chris Hedges is right when he said, as he did in August, "Play by the rules and we lose." Or as he said this past Saturday, "We will have to speak in the language of ... revolution. We will have to carry out acts of civil disobedience that seek to cripple the mechanisms of corporate power. The corporate elites, blinded by their lust for profit and foolish enough to believe they can protect themselves from climate change, will not veer from our path towards ecocide unless they are forced from power. And this means the beginning of a titanic clash between our corporate masters and ourselves."

But even that is dreaming. Right now, the corporate/government state is so entrenched in silencing real dissent, real revolutionary voices, that anyone who tried genuine radical action would immediately be punished. And everyone else will get so distracted when the iPhone 7, 8, 9, infinity comes out that they won't notice that they are wading through water or walking in deserts that used to be our cities to get to the Apple store first.

Frankly, the bigger news might be that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund plans to divest itself of anything fossil fuel-related, to the tune of $50 billion. That's real money, even by oil company standards, and it might be a sign that the way to attack the climate change problem is, as ever, to follow the (heaps of) money.

9/20/2014

Back Monday

The juicy rudeness will be back on Monday. 

In case you're wondering, the colleague who had a stroke is at the beginning of a very long road with an unsure destination. But he will have all manner of scarecrows, tin men, and lions to accompany him. 

9/18/2014

No Post Today (Perhaps. Who the Fuck Knows)

Two things happened:
1. The Rude Pundit realized that more people are upset that Apple put a free U2 album in their iTunes than were ever upset about the NSA spying on our phone calls and email. In fact, probably more people are pissed about the U2 album than are upset about the abusive monsters in the NFL. So, yeah, fuck all of us on that.

2. A respected colleague just had a stroke in front of the Rude Pundit. He's a little freaked. So, yeah, go suck a dick for a day, ISIS, GOP, religious nutzoids. There's other shit to think about.

9/17/2014

Your State Sucks: What the Hell Is Wrong With You, Pennsylvania?

Where to start, where to start with just a couple of days worth of notable awful violence in the...what? Cheesesteak State? Is that right? Anyways, we've had a spurt of stupid committed by assholes acting in exactly the way you'd expect assholes to act. Let's go chronologically:

1. On Thursday, September 11 (never forget, motherfuckers), a large group of drunken shit stains beat up a gay couple in Center City, Philadelphia, which is, as you might imagine, downtown. The aforementioned sentient skid marks, all in their 20s, called the male couple, "You dirty faggots," and, like brave young people before and after them, piled on, punching and kicking the men. "One of the men had to undergo surgery and have his jaw wired shut; the other suffered bone fractures and cuts to his face." It was two against seven or eight, and then one of the puke chunks took the wallet of one of the attacked men.

It's not entirely relevant, but it should be noted that these drunken fucks all went to Archbishop Wood Catholic High School. Because anyone who went there should be proud.

This one has a semi-happy ending. Seems that a video surveillance camera got images of the merry crew of wasted sperm trotting along after the assault. Seems like someone got a photo of them at the restaurant they had been to that night. Seems like someone recognized the restaurant. Seems like someone found out who had checked in at that restaurant on Facebook. Seems like they also found out who had homophobic shit all over their profile. Seems like fucking idiots don't understand privacy settings on Facebook. Seems like a bunch of shit stains are about to go to jail while the two men they beat nearly to death attempt to heal.

2. Eric Michael Frein's father wants us to know that his son is such a good marksmen with a rifle that he "doesn't miss." That's why he was able to come from his home in Canadensis, PA, nestled in the taint of the Poconos, on Friday and shoot and kill one state trooper and injure another outside their station in Blooming Grove. In 90 seconds, he had gunned them both down, one getting off his shift and another coming on. A hunt is on for Frein, who is described as a "survivalist" in that he ain't gonna die easily in the woods.

Of course, another word for Frein, if we're honest here, is "terrorist." He's white, yeah, but still a terrorist. Frein "made statements about wanting to kill law enforcement officers and also to commit mass acts of murder," according to the state police commissioner. He was "fascinated with firearms" and, according to the commissioner, "has very strong feelings about law enforcement and seems to be very angry with a lot of things that are going on in our society." He was also once part of a group of World War II reenactors. He was on the German side, but, we're assured, no neo-Nazi shit was allowed.

Does the FBI attempt to infiltrate survivalist groups or forums online? Does it try to tempt the easily influenced out into the open and then arrest them when they seem they might act? Or is that just reserved for the fake brown terrorists they mostly end up setting up for prosecution?

"Frein has held anti-law enforcement views for many years and has expressed them both online and to people who knew him," said a state police lieutenant. To anyone who knew Frein, he said, this act was not a surprise.

3. On Monday, in northeast Philadelphia, a man came home to his apartment and saw a 20 year-old man hiding next to the bed of his 20 year-old daughter. Charles Jordan did what any father would do in that situation. He shot the 20 year-old in head and killed him because fuck you, shoot first and ask questions later. Dad said he thought it was an intruder who didn't listen to his command to stay down. A neighbor said the daughter, Brenda, yelled, "No, daddy, no!" Because, see, it turns out that victim Marc Carrion was Brenda's friend, possibly even boyfriend, who lived nearby and had given her a ride home from her job.

But this is America, goddamnit, and everyone is a suspect.

9/16/2014

Toothless Hicks Agree: We Love Obamacare, Wish a White Man Had Signed It

So the New York Times interviewed people in Kentucky who have taken advantage of one part or another of the Affordable Care Act, especially the expansion of Medicaid. Robin Evans, a 49 year-old with high blood pressure and Graves' disease, is just "tickled to death" to have insurance coverage, which she had gone without for years. Of course, she's gonna vote Mitch McConnell out of office since he has made it his mission to repeal the ACA. Said Evans, "Born and raised Republican...I ain’t planning on changing now."

Sorry, what now?

That's right. The backwards ass country fucks who have benefited the most, the hillbillies who are such stereotypes that Pappy Yokum would feel ashamed, don't give a pile of horse shit that it was Democrats and Barack Obama who made it possible for them to live, purely and simply. They don't like the President. And if you don't think his race has nothing to do with it, then you have never been to Kentucky.

It's a shame, too, because the state is one of the biggest successes, thanks to the Democratic governor's embrace of Obamacare. "The uninsured rate here has fallen to 11.9 percent from 20.4 percent," says one Gallup survey. And despite the fact that Democrats alone are responsible for expanding Medicaid to cover people like Teri Eisenmenger's adult daughter, they are still going to vote Republicans because they hate Obama. So they won't vote for Senate candidate Alison Grimes because they can't stand that a white woman supports a black man.

And that's the greatest motherfucking cosmic joke here: "there is little evidence that the expansion of health coverage will help Kentucky Democrats in this fall’s midterm elections" because obviously Kentuckians are ungrateful fucks who you just want to let loose on and say, "Go fuck yourself. We're taking the diabetes treatment and the lung disease medicine and heading somewhere more hospitable."

But the Rude Pundit can't help but think that Democrats have no one to blame but themselves here. For months, they bought into the Republican lies that the ACA was going to be a huge failure and didn't defend it when it needed defending the most. So even though Gov. Steven Beshear was a huge advocate, many Democrats allowed the narrative to be set by Fox "news" and by the goddamned cowards in our own party.

So here we are, at what should be a triumphant moment, and, instead, we get to watch the very people Democrats wanted to help spit on them and then go complain about Benghazi or the IRS or whatever other spoon-fed bullshit distracts them from reality.

9/15/2014

Graham with the Wind

Flouncing debutante Lindsey Graham, always sounding like he's pining for Ashley Wilkes, went on Fox "news" Sunday yesterday with substitute host John "Not the Supreme Court Justice" Roberts. Graham lost his pretty little mind when it came to the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, whatever, fuck 'em). Talking about President Obama's response to the terrorist group's violence, Graham said, "This is a turning point in the war in terror. We're fighting a terrorist army, not an organization. It's going to take an army to beat an army. And this idea we'll never have any boots on the ground to defeat them in Syria is fantasy. And all this has come home to roost over the last three years of incompetent decisions, so to destroy ISIL, what I was told or what I heard in your interview won't even come close to destroy ISIL. It's delusional in the way they approach this."

You really have to watch or listen to it to get the full feeling, like he just needs to make a dress out of those curtains to look pretty for his man. It's also fun to see Democratic Senator Jack Reed try to rationally state a case for the United States to act in the way Obama laid out.

Graham would have none of it. "This is a radical Islamic army, that's pushing the theory of a master religion, not a master race like the Nazis. This is not about bringing a few people to justice who behead the innocent in a brutal fashion. It's about protecting millions of people throughout the world from a radical Islamic army," the good Senator from South Car'lina said. And, goddamnit, the brutes are gonna burn Atlanta: "they will open the gates of hell to spill out on the world." Prissy would slapped his face and told him to calm the fuck down.

What does Graham want? He wants soldiers, American soldiers, on the ground, not just in the air: "I will not let this president suggest to the American people we can outsource our security and this is not about our safety. There is no way in hell you can form an army on the ground to go into Syria, to destroy ISIL without a substantial American component...This is a war we're fighting, it is not a counterterrorism operation."

Not once did Roberts suggest that because Graham was such a huge supporter of the previous war, which is what brought us ISIL in the first place, that he should shut his fucking mouth. In fact, Graham wants you to know that he's always correct: "Apparently nobody has been listening to what Senator McCain and I have been saying for the last three years. We said train the Free Syrian Army so they can take this fight on." Well, maybe we can put a self-destruct timer on the weapons we give them so that they're not used on us in few years, like the Mujahideen and Saddam Hussein did.

More dead and injured Americans, that's what Graham is calling for. It's not enough that nearly an entire generation of soldiers will have had their brains fucked by their war experiences. Now he wants more. It's like he has a fetish for visiting wounded soldiers, like he needs to go to Walter Reed and touch the boys on their stumps, hear their labored breathing, smell the gels used on their burns, exult in their nightmares, like he just wants to go home after and gently, oh, so gently touch himself, just enough to get a hard-on, not enough to orgasm, just a finger or two stroking his dick as he gets lost in the sensory overload, like Scarlett fantasizing about getting roughly balled by Rhett Butler.

Fiddle-dee-fuckin'-dee.

9/12/2014

Why the Rude Pundit Won't Be Mocking the Brawlin' Palins

So the Rude Pundit was doing research to write up a snarky little piece and join in the dogpile on internet video star Sarah Palin and her family getting into some kind of stupid, drunken fight with stupid, drunken people at a stupid, drunken party over something stupid and, you know, drunken and probably involving snowmobile jousting or some such stupid, drunken bullshit that you do when you live in Alaska, you're drunk and stupid, and the thrill has gone out of shooting things.

Yeah, he was gonna go to town like everyone else in Left Blogsylvania, take the easy, merry route out on a Friday afternoon. He doesn't blame anyone for doing so. And then while checking out an article on the fisticuffs in the Alaska Dispatch News, he saw another article. It pretty much ended any hope of going comically into that gentle weekend light.

Here's the story: "[I]n 2007, Sgt. Melissa Jones was a 27-year-old specialist in her third year in the Alaska guard and hoping to go to flight school to learn to pilot helicopters. Late one weekend night, she and a group of about 15 -- fellow guardsmen and their boyfriends and girlfriends -- went to Chilkoot Charlie’s. After a couple of drinks, she said, she felt funny and decided to go home.

"Very little was clear after that, and she thinks her drink was drugged. She believes she took a taxi back to her apartment in East Anchorage. Someone else got in -- either with her, or through an unlocked door. She said she was raped multiple times but didn’t want to give details of what happened. She doesn’t know if the assaults were committed by soldiers, guardsmen or civilians."

Horrible enough, yes, but then there's what happened after. After explaining to her supervising sergeant why she was late the next day, she was advised to go talk to the chaplain. The chaplain then told her commander, who told Jones he'd have to tell her first sergeant what had happened. The reason you know Jones's name is because, as she learned after coming back from a week off to recover, the information about her rape had been leaked and pretty much everyone on base knew about it. Jones said that the sexual assault response coordinator’s office wouldn’t take her complaint “because my story had been made public." She received no treatment services and, two months later, was deployed to Iraq with three dozen other members of the Alaska guard, most of whom knew what had happened to her, perhaps even having been there or done it.

A federal investigation into the Alaska National Guard, requested by Gov. Sean Parnell (who is actually finishing his first term) and released last week, found fraud, ethical misconduct, and other problems. It also found egregious failures when it came to the treatment of victims of rape: "Since 2006, the Alaska National Guard has received 37 reports of sexual assault, some of which were investigated by the Guard but most of which were referred to local law enforcement. The report found that from 2007 to 2011, the Alaska National Guard did not manage sexual assault cases well. Records were not properly maintained or tracked, victims and leaders often were not given case updates, victims were not offered treatment services, and victim information was not kept as confidential as it should have been." Because of this, many victims did not come forward because they feared their rape being made public, as well as believing that nothing would happen. "A culture of mistrust" exists in the Alaska Guard, the report says.

The commander of the Alaska National Guard resigned last week because someone had to take the fall. It's a start.

But, yeah, sure, it's hysterical that the appalling Sarah Palin and her appalling family have finally fallen back into the habits of dishonorable thugs. It's more important that that attitude also fucks with the lives of women who made the mistake of thinking they could serve their country and be treated with respect.