"Fools who don't learn" and More Haiku Review of 2015

From Gin Martini in New Jersey:

Doomed to Repeat

Our boots on the ground
Will Stop ISIS in its tracks
Say fools who don’t learn.

From RW in Sams Valley:

Stopped by cop today.
Got ticket, now home with wife.
By the way, I'm white.

From Pipervin in New Jersey:

A Fucknut’s New Year Resolution

Let’s make sure the gays
blacks and muslim heathen trash
are gone from our land

From Shitfaced in Seattle:

Piss their pants and lose
Their shit over everything.

From Radical Russ Bellville of The Russ Belville Show:

There were as many
GOP candidates as
Syllables in this

From BB in Los Angeles:

Reverse Trump Logic

If we got rid of
All white male Fox News junkies,
Muslims might feel safe.

From Daphne C. in Springfield, IL:

Donald Trump never
Wanted to BE President
It's just too much work.

From the Frito Pundito in Berkeley:

"There is no climate
change," he said, applying sun
screen on Christmas Day.

From Erv in Medina:

I will miss Yogi
my favorite ball player
plays for angels now

From Fio in Colorado Springs:

Cheney got his bust
Should have put his new heart there
It'd be happy.

Tomorrow we'll put a bow on 2015 just after we wrap it tonight. No need to send more haiku unless yer hankerin' to express yerself.

Bye, 2015.
You were a mostly shit year.
Here's to sad, false hope.


"It's Never Ourselves": More Haiku Review of 2015, Including Reader Poems

A couple more from the Rude Pundit:

Drawing Trumps

In bridge, players can
Force trumps to exit early.
Too bad that's a game.

Barry Goldwater Is Not Amused

Remember when talk
Of nuking nations got you
Destroyed at the polls?

And now a whole bunch from rude readers around the weather-screwed nation:

From long, long-time reader Rabbitearz from L.A.:

Marco Rubio
looks like the type who would rip
big farts on a date.

From Ms. L.B. of NYC and LetterBalm:

Best Cock Fighter Yet

Benghazi grilling?
A triumph for Hillary.
Huge balls on the Hill.

From Hallbowski:

Pro-Life Hypocrites

Protect the unborn!
After birth, we'll give no fucks!
Starve. Get shot. Who cares?

From Dan in Bellingham:

Kim Davis - What pride
A vessel for God's message
Do unto others

From Gi in Jersey:

Kentucky's Saint Kim
Won't let the 'mos get married
'Cause Jesus says so.

From Jack in Central Illinois:

Cosby, Trump, Davis
A dick, a prick, and a hick
But each, an asshole

From Stacy, the Paxton Pundit, from New Mexico:

Bland Justice

Justice Texas style
From "I'll light you up" to dead
See, she hanged herself

From Daniel Erickson, big, gay leatherman in Albuquerque, NM:

burning tears of hate
men in blue just killed my son
who do we call now?

From A Daughter's Mother in Phoenix, AZ:

Blame Game

It was the Muslims,
Mexicans, women or gays.
It's never ourselves.

From Nancy G. in Olympia, WA:

Drought. No rain in sight.
Leaves like paper on the ground.
Branches like matchsticks.

From Foamboy:

Our beautiful globe
We drove it like we stole it
Sell all your beachfront.

From Carmine Mangione:

Dick Cheney’s requiem...

Dancing on Kittens
Tiny mews forlornly spew
Break they tiny legs

More haiku coming tomorrow. Over a hundred submissions so far, but you can still send yours to rudepundit_at_yahoo_dot_com. Make sure you say what you wanna be called and where you're from, just in case the Rude Pundit is drunk enough to think, "That tickles and/or moves me" and posts it on this grubby pages.


The Rude Pundit's Haiku Review of 2015 (Part 2)

Good Guys Without Guns

If I didn't think
Every person was packing
I'd feel much safer.

Marriage, Please

The Supreme Court told
Homophobes, "Keep your God's hands
Off our civil rights."

Fear in Context (USA)

If you're more frightened
Of ISIS than climate change,
You deserve the floods.

Fear in Context (Paris)

They hit a rock show
And satirists, not churches,
Bastions of the left.

Fear in Context (Refugees)

"Let the orphans drown,"
We're told by assholes who think
Fear trumps compassion

(So far the Rude Pundit has received somewhere in the neighborhood of a shit-ton of haiku so far from the good people of the rudiverse. Keep 'em coming. You can send your end-o'-the-year three-liner to: rudepundit_at_yahoo_dot_com, and he'll start posting his favorites tomorrow. Remember to include the name you want to be called and a general idea of where you're from, like "Douche Canoe from Chicago" or some such shit, so you can get credit.)


The Rude Pundit's Haiku Review of 2015

Yes, yes, yes, good people of the earth, it's that time. As another godforsaken year in our seemingly endless fall into the pit created by the motherfuckers and the incest babies of the right comes to its hilarious conclusion, the Rude Pundit won't write up a bunch of faux meaningful bullshit that looks back and attempts to find "wisdom" in our follies.

Oh, no, no, no. He turns to the comfort of the simplest of poetic forms, the good-things-come-in-small-packages haiku. Three lines. Five syllables, then seven syllables, then five. They can be tender and thoughtful or they can be vicious pricks, but that's how the Rude Pundit believes it's best to boil down everything we've been through. For example:

Chicago (and Elsewhere)

"Do black lives matter?"
The white cop wondered. His gun
Was still smoking hot.

Or maybe:

Planned Parenthood Lives

Baby parts are lies.
The blind believe videos,
Not women, those whores.

You get the gist? So the Rude Pundit is going to post some of his own haiku coming up. Shit, there might be one that's just the word "schlonged" 17 times.

And he invites you, the rude readers, to contribute your own three line ditty, with or without title. If he likes it (and that is totally dependent on mood, whim, and amount of alcohol consumed), he'll post it here on the ol' blog-stead. It's just gotta be a real haiku (no fuckin' cheating and squeezing in an extra syllable) and it's gotta be about something from this year.

And you'll totally get credit in whatever way you like. Usually, it's whatever name you want and a place, like "Clit Monkey from Cheyenne, Wyoming" or "Jimmy from Scary Fuckin' Spider, Australia." If you want your website linked, sure, why the hell not.

Email your haiku to "rudepundit_at_yahoo_dot_com" and he'll put the best ones up starting on Wednesday.


Continuing a Christmas Tradition (Now with Iron Baby Jesus)

Like movies about Bedford Falls suicides and tortured ghosts and pole-frozen tongues, some things are a tradition around the rude house. Reruns are good for the soul.

Before Twitter, Instagram, Buzzfeed, Pinterest, and many other places you can get your fix of weird shit, the Rude Pundit posted this Christmas blast back in 2004, updated with a new bit of freakishness:

Xmas - And, lo, a small teddy bear will lead them:
In the days before Christmas, the Rude Pundit roamed his neighborhood, looking at the displays in the charming stores and corner markets. There he saw the agony of so many dichotomous feelings about this holiday. One window had a kneeling, praying Santa next to a baby Jesus in the manger. Santa's hat was off. He was balding. Another display had the jolly old fat man landing his sleigh and reindeer on the roof of the manger. Surprisingly, neither Mary nor Joseph seemed rattled by the noise, although a camel was looking upward, as if asking, "What the fuck?" The Rude Pundit loved that camel.

Ah, sweet camel, what the fuck, indeed. Christ and commerce, Alleluia. The Savior has been born and he thanks you for your presents. Santa showing that he'll even honor the king of the Jews in the land of Islam. There's no telling what it means (and don't get all up in the Rude Pundit's face about St. Nicholas). Except this: we want to embrace both things, good deconstructionists that we are: Santa, who soothes our greed, and Jesus, who promises us peace. Either way, we want them both to tell us we're good people, nice people. And, of course, guilt-ridden Christians want to make sure that Santa toes the party line, you know.

For the holiday, here's a few of the Rude Pundit's favorite nativity sets, none of which are intended to be mocking of the event:

That right there is the Veggie Tales Nativity. In case you don't know, Veggie Tales are cute vegetables who love Christ and salad tossing. The newborn savior up there is a carrot. Get it? A baby carrot? What a delight.

Holy shit, that bear nativity is one of the creepiest fucking things the Rude Pundit's ever seen. Staring straight ahead with their dead eyes, it looks like a satanic cult sacrifice to some horrible bear-demon. Although, the three wise bears have provided snacks for the blood rite: salmon, honey, and berries. All go well with cub entrails.

You know how you sometimes say, "That's metal as fuck"? Well, here's a strange iron nativity with disturbing torture device characters that look like a blacksmith just said, "Eh, screw it. Put those leftover lumps in an order and call it, 'Christmas.'"

You know how gnomes used to be just those creepy little bitches you put out on your lawn and forgot about? Well, now they can apparently give birth to the Gnome God's child, who will, no doubt, be crucified on a cute little cross one day for the sins of all gnomes. Oh, so many sins.

Speaking of entrails, here's the First Halloween Nativity Set, with Three Wise Zombies and Frankenstein's Monster and his Bride as Joseph and Mary. Who's that in the crib? Why, it's Dracula as Baby Jesus, ready to drink your blood rather than have you drink his.

That nightmare fuel is the dachsund nativity. Frankly, who needs to wage a war on Christmas when the supposed believers actually advertise an anthropomorphized birth of their Lord and Savior with "Bring the true meaning of Christmas into your house year round with the Wiener Dog Nativity!"

This is not to mention the Chickentivity, the Moosetivity, the Barntivity, the Native American Nativity, and the various Beartivities, all available unironically for your Christmas consumption.

And, finally, one for which the Rude Pundit has no words:

What the fuck is it? It's like Tim Burton shit out a nativity.
(Note: Previous editions of the nativity post have included the Dogtivity, the Boyd's Bears Nativity, and the Rubber Duck...oh, fuck, you get the idea.)


Things That Brought the Rude Pundit Unmitigated Joy in 2015

This year sucked bags of dicks of every kind of animal for reasons personal and political. But every once in a while, the Rude Pundit found a bit of gold dust in the drying river bed of our long American decay. So before we drag this year out back and put a bullet in it before it gives the whole village rabies, let the Rude Pundit fondly remember those moments of catharsis that are seemingly few and far between:

1. This was the year where we Gen Xers were allowed to reclaim those things we loved when we were much younger. Berkeley Breathed took to Facebook to restart his brilliant comic strip Bloom County,  and it didn't miss a beat in bringing back Opus, Milo Bloom, Binkley, and the rest. The TV series Ash vs. Evil Dead is a great big pile of cartoon gore nonsense, like the original films that it's following up, but the Rude Pundit will take Bruce Campbell with a chainsaw hand over whiners whacking walkers any day of the week. Better than it had any right to be, Star Wars: The Force Awakens was an act of love and restoration, giving us back, in all its sense of wonder, a fictional universe that had been wrecked by its creator like an irrational god. Yeah, waste all the time you want writing about what's wrong with the movie. It won't wipe the smile off our faces.

2. But, more than any film this year, Mad Max: Fury Road was an exhilarating, deliriously thrilling, gut-wrenching, and insane demonstration of how to make a great film, not just a great action film. Director George Miller took us to an earth that has been decimated by climate change, gave us the usual male-dominated violence, and then he transformed it into a parable about the way that men's destruction of the land is matched by their destruction of women. The rest of the film was how women reclaim the earth from those men, assisted but not led by Max, and Charlize Theron's Imperator Furiosa is the hero we needed desperately.

3. Even more than the wildly overrated Trainwreck (great first half, overly-simplistic second half - Taming of the Shrew, anyone?), the most feministic mainstream comedy was Spy, with Melissa McCarthy and Rose Byrne upending traditional gender roles and doing it in a way that was so fucking funny that it was easy to miss how daring it was. And Emily Blunt in Sicario was amazing as an FBI agent who tries to be honorable while fighting the filthy drug war. The movie ends with a scene where you genuinely don't know if she is going to live or die. That's rare in American film these days.

4. While the year had its great hour-long dramas on TV, like The Americans, Mr. Robot, UnReal, the final seasons of Justified and Mad Men, and Better Call Saul (Fargo is on the DVR), there were so many terrific half-hour "comedies" that it's hard to narrow it down, from the subversiveness of Broad City and Review to the incredibly humane Master of None and Bojack Horseman to the just damn funny The Grinder and Silicon Valley. Two that stood out were You're the Worst, with Aya Cash's Gretchen going through a very realistically-portrayed depression while still being hilarious (when you have two rappers named Shitstain and Honey Nutz talking about their love of art house cinema, it's hard to stay too serious).  And, finally, Dan Harmon and Justin Roiland's Rick and Morty, about a mad scientist whose family, willingly and unwillingly, gets dragged into his nihilistic adventures through dimensions, was mind-blowing in its plots, its action, and its willingness to go into the darkest of places. There's too much goddamn good TV.

5. Concerts that stuck with the Rude Pundit include Sleater-Kinney at Terminal 5, where the rockers made their New York City comeback with an ecstatic roar of punk energy; at the Mercury Lounge, Algiers, a new band that combines gospel and punk to create an essential, passionate sound, with Franklin James Fisher channeling James Brown and Bruce Springsteen on stage; and The Decemberists at Radio City Music Hall, where a band that the Rude Pundit kind of liked shocked the hell out of him in a show that was warm, complex, and beautiful. (The albums by Sleater-Kinney and Algiers were two of his favorite of the year. Guilty pleasure: Ryan Adams' 1989, his recording of Taylor Swift's album but with a middle-aged white dude twist.)

6. On stage, the Young Vic production of Arthur Miller's A View from the Bridge starring Mark Strong is as exciting a piece of theatre as he's seen on Broadway in a long time.  A tiny production of a shadow puppet play, ADA/AVA, by the Chicago performance group Manual Cinema, was a gorgeous reminder of the power of simplicity on stage. The most disturbing and stirring moment in theatre this year was in Trash Cuisine by the vital Belarus Free Theatre.  In a show that used cooking and food to talk about torture, war crimes, and capital punishment, the performance hit a visceral high point when an actress is portraying a survivor of Rwandan massacre and describing how her husband and son were killed and cooked. Behind her, on a working stove, another performer is frying a steak, the smell filling the theater at La Mama. That's how you convey horror.

There was plenty more, sure, but let's end here.  Go hug someone for Christmas. Or get jolly on their naughty asses. Whatever is your pleasure.


Hillary Clinton Responds to Donald Trump: A Christmas Fantasia

"Okay, everyone, let's be perfectly clear: a 'schlong' is a dick. If you are being schlonged, you are being dicked. If you are being dicked, you are being fucked, probably in the ass, since then the receiver of a theoretical schlonging is gender nonspecific. Donald Trump did not say I was 'schlonged over,' which is a bit more euphemistic. He said I was 'schlonged.' So if you want a candidate who thinks it's totally fine to say that another candidate was ass-fucked out of an election, Trump is your man. And if Trump is your man, then fuck you, and, let me be perfectly, un-Yiddishly clear about this, you can take your fist and shove it up your own ass, you fucking idiots.

"You got that? I'm not speaking in code or nuance, and I'm being vulgar. I'm not going to play Trump's pussy game of coming back later to say, 'Oh, I didn't mean you got fucked when I totally said you got fucked.' I'm saying that you, Trump voters, are idiots and inbreds and shut-ins and freaks. And that you should take your hand, make a fist, reach your fist around until it is just outside your asshole, and then you should work to shove your own fist into your anus, dislocating your shoulder to do it, should that be necessary. You are all disgraces to democracy.

"Donald Trump also questioned what I was doing in the bathroom during a break where it took me a couple of seconds longer to get back to the podium during Saturday's debate. He said, and I quote, 'I know where she went -- it's disgusting, I don't want to talk about it. No, it's too disgusting. Don't say it, it's disgusting.' You're right, Mr. Trump. I took a huge shit between commercials, just a moaning, nearly orgasmic shit, and I looked in the bowl after and named it 'Donald.' Then I wiped my ass and I named each tissue after one of your wives. This one's Ivana. This one's Marla. This one's Melania.

"Seriously, what does Donald Trump do in the bathroom that makes him think it's so disgusting? I pissed in a clean toilet in a clean bathroom, used a clean piece of toilet paper to wipe, washed my hands with soap and water, and came back to work. Does he have one of those weak penises that sprays urine in two or three different directions? Does he shart his pants every time he tries to push a dribble of piss out? Or maybe his diet of caviar and champagne and the tears of immigrants is such that he has constant diarrhea, blowing out the porcelain over and over again with a fire hose of liquid shits and blood. Yeah, that's disgusting.

"This election is so fucking dumb at this point. And right now there is a good chance that I'm going to have to stand on a stage with Mr. Trump and debate him. It should make us ashamed to be Americans, the idea that a significant portion of the population thinks that a man who never held elected office and who says his best qualifications include hosting a reality show should be president over a woman who worked on huge cases as a lawyer and was a Senator and a Secretary of State.

"Losing to Barack Obama? That wasn't getting schlonged. Being forced to respond to every stupid thing vomited out of Donald Trump's mouth, the really disgusting thing in this whole bullshit uproar? That is not just me getting schlonged, but the entire country. Vote for me and I'll cut off his schlong and toss into the garbage disposal, where it belongs.

"Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

(Note: That last line was the Christmas part.)


The Black Woman and the Blackfaced Man: American History Is Fucked Up

The Rude Pundit was perusing some old files and photos recently. The owner of the stuff was deceased, and it belonged to her father, who was a good union man, a member of the Electrical Device Workers Union during the 1930s and 40s.

The EDWU was a small union, but it was active in the Northeast. It had a newsletter and it held all kinds of events to increase membership and to keep the members engaged. Some of those were not just rabble-rousing meeting or protests. No, some were evening shows where members would sing, dance, and entertain the rest of the local, like their own vaudeville. This is from one of those variety show evenings, perhaps even for Christmas:

If you can't see, down on the bottom row are three white people in blackface. Indeed, one of the union's activities was the minstrel show that was put on for members each year. That's pretty fucked, right? Sadly, it's not totally unexpected for the times. But wait. Because if you look again, in the lower left side, you can see this:

The circles help, no? There sits the one real African American in the whole group. And she is about three feet from someone who is pretending to be a black man, with exaggerated color and features. You can bet that when he performed, he shucked and jived to the delight of everyone there. That woman is smiling because you know that she was just thrilled that she had a decent union job and, well, if the price was pretending that white people acting foolish was a-ok, it's a pretty cheap one back in the first half of the 20th century in the United States.

This isn't to say, "Look how far we've come." And it isn't to say, "Look how far we haven't come." It's a reminder that the glorified past to which so many Republicans hearken wasn't that glorious. It's a reminder that the Greatest Generation might have fought the Nazis, but they existed in a fucked-up nation otherwise. Finally, it's a reminder that the nation is built on the ongoing indignities of the underclasses in this country, whether it's this woman grinning while the black clown sits nearby or the immigrants who have to hear unending attacks on their legitimacy and character from presumptive "leaders."

And if those being attacked do anything but smile, they are subject to the hatred of the allegedly open-minded whites.


For Many Conservatives, Obama Is a Narcissist and Trump Is Not

The Rude Pundit was listening to Donald Trump on one of his many phone interviews, which you know he's doing from his golden shitter while getting vigorous blumpkins from a rotating cast of Asian boys, all of whom he's named "Kato," as in, "Kato here is too tired to keep sucking my awesome dick. Get me another Kato and a Cialis injection." Trump was saying, as he usually does, that he's got incredible poll numbers, that he'll be the best at everything, that "you're gonna love" everything he's gonna do when he's president, that motherfucking Muslims will cower at his amazing strength and Mexicans will sacrifice nude virgins to him at the altar of the wall he made them build. Or some such shit.

"Huh," the Rude Pundit thought, not too hard, deciding as he was between 'shrooms and peyote (or, fuck it, both, which is always and never a wise move) before going to see the new Star Wars. "I wonder what people would say if President Obama talked like Trump." In an interview Friday, broadcast today on NPR, Obama admitted that he hasn't been communicating his ISIS strategy well-enough. And that's been a problem throughout his presidency: He's doing something efficiently and well, yet he doesn't take the time to tell everyone how fucking great it is.

So Obama could have Trump-ed his shit up. He could have talked about how he's killing the fuck out of ISIS members (and lots of families, for that matter) and they are gonna fear the USA because of him. He could have done this for his entire presidency: "I'm telling you, this health care program is the best we've ever had in this country. Your children will be thanking me for making sure their moms and dads are still alive" or "I told you I'd kill Osama bin Laden. Yeah, who's the tough guy now, huh?" or "You remember Bush's approval ratings at this point in his presidency? He'd murder his mother to have my numbers."

But we already know the hategasm that would have been jizzed out of conservative cocks because, even without acting like Trump, it's an article of faith among the right-wing that President Obama is a crazed narcissist whose self-love has helped destroy the country. A very quick Google search reveals that over and over again. Obama is a "wounded, vengeful narcissist" who has allowed his ego to ruin America's relationship with Israel and the world. Between diagnosing him as having a psychological condition to counting the number of times he says "I" or "my" in a speech, Obama is obviously just forcing us to live in his delusional world.

It's curious, then, that so many conservatives who were quick to call Obama an egomaniac or worse have held their tongues when it comes to Donald Trump, a man who brags about how many Twitter followers he has, how many people were at a rally, how they applauded for him, and how much money he has. In fact, some of the very same commentators who slammed Obama are silent about Trump.

For instance, over on the conservative cum towel, Breitbart, Mike Flynn wrote in September 2012, "Obama is going to lose in November. His obsession with himself is a big reason why." After that prescient prediction, Flynn still had a job, and he was allowed to join Breitbart's Brigade of Trump Ball Buffers. In November of this year, he said about Trump's desire to send Americans to war in Syria and against ISIS, "Donald Trump has staked out the strongest positions on both questions. It isn’t surprising then that his fortunes are rising in the nomination contest." No mention was made of Trump egotistical rantings.

At the ironically named website American Thinker, back in March 2010, James Lewis wrote that Obama is "not be able to emotionally tolerate any real limits on his need for self-aggrandizement and power." Yet just last week, Lewis said of Trump, who sues or threatens or demands apologies from anyone who slights or confronts him, "Donald Trump is most intuitive person to run run for president since Harry Truman...His fans intuitively trust Trump more than Obama, because Trump is just like their Uncle George, the big talker who is really a nice guy at heart." And then molests your asshole. The Rude Pundit is not going to attempt a diagnosis because he's not a psychologist, but he knows fucking delusional pricks when he sees 'em, and James Lewis is barking fucking mad.

At another conservative website, the Independent Sentinel, blogger S. Noble (which is probably not the real name, but just an oh-so-cool pseudonym that his teabagging friends love) said in February that Obama "can’t see reality because he is a narcissist who only cares about fundamentally transforming the United States." But Donald Trump? Earlier this month, Noble wrote, "We owe Trump for making illegal immigration and refugees a topic of discussion. It was completely ignored until he spoke up and it obviously is an important topic to Americans." Yes, Trump's the statesman here.

Over and over, we see the rank hypocrisy of conservatives. In this case, it's that a loudmouth white fascist can talk about how great he is and it's just dandy, even endearing, but if the black president who was twice elected merely implies that he's got good policies, that uppity Negro needs to be humbled and told to remember his place.

The pathetic mewlings of the right become more ludicrous by the day.


Muslims Invade Our Schools with Calligraphy and Nobel Peace Prizes

The stupiding of the country continues apace as this week brings us two incidents of pants-shitting over fake creeping Shariah or Islamization or some such shit. They're both from high schools, and they demonstrate that intolerance, fear of outsiders, and overreaction to perceived slights is something that people of all faiths share.

In Augusta County, Virginia, schools are closed today not because of a hoax terrorist attack threat. Oh, no, it's for something real: forced Arabic calligraphy. In an effort to show how goddamn hard it is to write in Arabic with our Western brains, an exercise in a freshman class at Riverheads High School asked students to write a common phrase, the Islamic proclamation of faith. The students weren't asked to pledge eternal fealty to Allah and follow the Prophet Muhammad. They were told to copy some words in another language.

Sure, it's a stupid choice for the calligraphy exercise, but the freakout was impressive. Parents lost their little fucking minds In a Facebook post of the damned, Highlands HS mom Kimberly Herndon, whose precious angel was subjected to faith-poisoning by the existence of alternative ways of believing in God, wrote, "This creed is connected to Jihad in that it is the chant that is shouted while beheading those of Christian faith, or people of the cross as being called by ISIS. Christian girls in this class were called to volunteer to adorn the apparal (sic) of Muslim women. Unknowingly these children did so. Also unknowingly they were instructed to denounce our Lord by copying this creed of Islam." To show just how religion doesn't make anyone crazy, Herndon wrote that God hisself demanded she act: "I will not apologize for my anointment from the Lord. Am I qualified to handle something like this? I do have some qualifications in my skill set however, I never thought I would be in this position. God doesn't call the qualified he qualifies the called." Then it devolves into all caps Lord screeching.

Of course, everyone lost their shit. Of course, the school board decided to close all schools in the district. The logical conclusion is that once a teacher assigns students to write in Arabic that Allah doesn't suck donkey balls, it's just a matter of time before students are being beheaded in the lunchroom.

Up in New Jersey, a former high school history teacher, who is Muslim, is suing her school district for firing her this year for, she claims, various acts of doing things while Muslim. For instance, in 2013, like a white history teacher in her school, Sireen Hashem showed a video of Nobel Peace Prize-winning teenager Malala Yousafzai speaking. Parents complained, and her principal told her to knock off the whole teaching Muslim stuff because she, being Muslim, was obviously less qualified to do so. She also taught an assigned book, The Lemon Tree, which is a true story about a friendship between a Palestinian and an Israeli. A parent was upset about the book and that Hashem was Muslim and teaching it. A student posted on Facebook (of course) that Hashem's brother was a terrorist and that she is anti-Semitic. This was followed by more complaints about Hashem doing the exact same approved exercises as non-Muslim teachers and being criticized for it.

The next year is going to be something of a tipping point in how non-Muslims handle the Muslim population of the United States. We can be total dicks about it and then, one day, look back wistfully and a bit embarrassed about how fucking stupid we were. Or we can just skip that step and act like they're just us.


Free Speech Is Free, Messy, and Uncomfortable (Updated)

Here are a few things from the last week or so:
--At Florida Atlantic University, James Tracy, a tenured professor, was served notice that the university is seeking to fire him. Tracy is committed to exposing what he thinks are hoaxes, and that includes declaring and insisting that the massacre of mostly little kids at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut, didn't happen and was just a drill that was used to promote gun control. He even insists that the dead children never existed.

--At Wheaton College, an evangelical Christian school in Illinois, Professor Larycia Hawkins was suspended through the spring semester. A Christian herself, she started wearing a hijab to express her unity with Muslims. She also declared on Facebook that "I stand in religious solidarity with Muslims because they, like me, a Christian, are people of the book. And as Pope Francis stated last week, we worship the same God." She was suspended not for the hijab-wearing, but for saying that the Muslim god is as big as the Christian one.

--In Bowling Green, Ohio, which is a cute college town, Jan Larson McLaughlin, the editor of the Sentinel-Tribune daily newspaper, was fired after 31 years of working at the paper for "insubordination." She wrote an editorial that supported mild gun control, and she called out the Buckeye Firearms Association for publishing the names and email addresses of Bowling Green State University faculty who wrote to their legislator to convince him to vote against a campus concealed carry bill. (He voted for it.) The publisher of the Sentinel-Tribune killed the editorial and had McLaughlin escorted from the building.

--At the University of Missouri, the Genocide Awareness Project was set-up by the anti-abortion group that sponsors it. The display shows photos of aborted fetuses and compares a legal medical procedure to actual genocides, like the Holocaust. This upset the Jewish Student Organization at Mizzou, which asked people to submit Bias Incident Reports because "the display is triggering to many groups and negatively affects the learning environment for all students."

Chances are that at least one of those things made you feel like justice was or is being done (the easy money is on the Sandy Hook truther douchehole). Chances are that one of them pissed you off totally, and you felt that an injustice is being committed. You could rationally argue that some things are more hurtful than others. You could rationally state that it's wrong to lump these together. But the Rude Pundit thinks they all belong in one pile.

What each of them have in common, of course, is that they all relate in some way to freedom of speech. Now, obviously, no one's First Amendment rights are being taken away. The government is not making a law that abridges speech here (although you could perhaps argue that if Mizzou takes down the display or FAU fires Tracy, that's the government, in the form of public universities, taking action on speech). So we're talking a vaguer, more expansive notion of free speech and its potential limitations.

And that's where it gets rough. Because, yeah, we can all agree that James Tracy is a friggin' nutzoid conspiracy theorist. And he loses any sympathy when he compares himself to "the 1960s women and racial minorities who secured a toehold in the academy [who] used their tenure to address controversial topics that drew fire from conservative administrators and trustees." But if he's doing his job, which he seems to be (and students keep taking him), and he's just writing provocative, quite insane work, even work that crosses a line into corrosive and cruel, well, it's still part of academic freedom. You are allowed to go in whatever batshit direction you want. And, trust the Rude Pundit on this one, campuses are filled with people researching all kinds of odious crap.

Because, see, the moment you say that Tracy should be fired is the moment that you have to be okay with the suspension of Prof. Hawkins and the firing of McLaughlin. All they did was speak or write something that someone found offensive or too confrontational. It just so happens that it might not be something you personally find offensive or overly confrontational.

Sure, sure, you can also counter with a capitalist argument that boils down to "Well, them's the breaks when you piss off the boss," but we're talking about the media and the university, two places where ideas and speech ought to be treated as sacrosanct. If, as an editor, you have to fear for your job because you're not pleasing your masters (and not even given a chance to revise), then what fucking use is the paper you work for? If you're on a college campus and you're not allowed to deal with sometimes truly repellent ideas, then you're just putting your head in the sand.

That's what brings this whole post around to the Mizzou thing. The implication of the JSO letter is that the Holocaust is absolutely off-limits as a metaphor or point of comparison (which, to be fair, is something that Elie Wiesel said). The JSO throws around the word "triggering" like it has some kind of magic attached to it, which, sadly, it probably does, the magical ability to shut down transgression. Look, the Genocide Awareness Project is terrible, juvenile bullshit, and the abortion comparison is blatantly exploitative. So what? Put up a better display. Have a protest. Use speech, not silencing, to fight speech.

The point here is that once you decide that something is unspeakable or unseeable, if you are saying what's best for everyone, then you are allowing that others can make that decision for you, too.

Update: Several readers have pointed out that Tracy is also accused of harassing the families of Sandy Hook victims. If true, fuck that guy. Hard.


Random Observations on Last Night's GOP Hate Fucking of America

1. At the outset of the Republican debate on CNN last night, moderator Wolf "Rejoice in My White Stubble of Journalistic Integrity" Blitzer informed the candidates, "You all have different approaches to keeping the country safe. And that will be the focus of tonight's debate." Yet for a debate on "the security of this nation," the threats discussed were few and, frankly, exceedingly rare. Chances are pretty damn good that you're never going to be attacked by a radical Muslim extremist terrorist supervillain flying Godzilla or whatever the fuck we're supposed to be afraid of.

In fact, most of the things that are actual threats to the vast majority of Americans were either ignored or barely mentioned last night. Here's a short list of Things That Are Way More Likely to Kill You Than Muslim Terrorists or Hispanic Immigrants. These are the real threats to national security:

a. Christian white men with guns. Hell, you could probably just say, "All the fucking guns," and leave it at that. Not once did domestic terrorism from white people get mentioned, and that's probably because we still have a bizarre inability to label shit like Sandy Hook or the Planned Parenthood shooting "terrorism." And gun deaths in general are the security threat that Republicans dare not speak of.

b. Climate change is going to murder the fuck out of millions of people, barring drastic action. And it is going to propel the citizens of poor nations to ever-increasing acts of desperation, which will lead to more terrorism, which we'll probably deal with by bombing the famine-fucked or drowning nations.

c. Infrastructure collapsing around us. The Department of Transportation estimates that 14,000 people are killed annually due to shitty roads and bridges. By the Rude Pundit's mystical mathematical abilities, that adds up to...carry the three...a fuckload more people dying from the failure to invest in infrastructure than from every terrorist attack on the U.S. in the last, hell, let's say 100 years.

To his credit (yes, to his fucking credit), Donald Trump actually said, referring to trillions of dollars wasted on the Iraq war, "I wish it were spent right here in the United States, on our schools, hospitals, roads, airports, and everything else that are all falling apart." And Carly Fiorina immediately hiked up her skirt and took a piss all over the sentiment: "That is exactly what President Obama said. I'm amazed to hear that from a Republican presidential candidate." Yeah, fuck our aging electrical grid and water systems. There are Muslims overseas who need to taste American missile justice.

d. And, to his credit (yes, to his fucking credit), John "Shakey Buckeye" Kasich said, "The first thing we better get going is strengthening our economy, because if we don't have a strong economy, we can't pay for all of this," which was one of the only times anyone acknowledged that economic insecurity is an actual threat. Not a one of the others even indicated that all the shit they wanna do would cost barrels of cash that you're not gonna get from tax cuts.

So, really, you could say that the entire debate was theatre. It was like a bunch of high schoolers telling each other their favorite creepypastas while sharing some cheap wine they stole from their moms. Ooh, who's gonna scare us worse? Even though, at the end of the night, Slender Man is fuckin' fake and drunk driving is real, but guess which one they're afraid of?

2. The creepiest moment last night wasn't Chris Christie's giant, scarred melon head staring directly at the camera. No, it was Ben Carson comparing killing children in war to operating on children with tumors. Asked by lipless, dead-eyed ghoul Hugh Hewitt if he could order air strikes that "would kill innocent children by not the scores, but the hundreds and the thousands," Carson said, as terrifyingly calmly as if he were ordering a sandwich at Subway, "Well, interestingly enough, you should see the eyes of some of those children when I say to them we're going to have to open your head up and take out this tumor. They're not happy about it, believe me. And they don't like me very much at that point. But later on, they love me."

This led to applause from the barbaric crowd. Carson continued, "You know, later on, you know, they really realize what's going on. And by the same token, you have to be able to look at the big picture and understand that it's actually merciful if you go ahead and finish the job, rather than death by 1,000 pricks." In other words, Carson will dispassionately bomb the fuck out of any country with no care about the civilian casualties.

That's almost as scary as Ted Cruz's whole "Fuck everyone, I'm nukin' shit" approach to war. And, between them, they're like 10,000 pricks combined.

3. Poor Jeb Bush stands there looking like a fading porn star who keeps getting cast in flicks even though he can't get a hard-on anymore. Oh, sure, they use Cialis or fluffers to try to suck him into an erection, but, in the end, he can only manage to slap his dick around a pussy for a little while before he's too exhausted to continue. Everyone wonders why the fuck he's still doing this, but he has nowhere else to go.

4. There's a level at which these candidates have gone beyond parody. Christie tried to make Barak Obama and Hillary Clinton into some kind of America-wrecking Decepticon, saying at the beginning, "America has been betrayed. We've been betrayed by the leadership that Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have provided to this country over the last number of years," and never really making another point besides that for the rest of the debate. Someone ought to remind him that Obama was elected twice by a pretty decent margin.

In particular, Christie was a fucking joke, preening and prancing for the voters. In his opening remarks, he said, "The second largest school district in America in Los Angeles closed based on a threat. Think about the effect that, that's going to have on those children when they go back to school tomorrow wondering filled with anxiety to whether they're really going to be safe. Think about the mothers who will take those children tomorrow morning to the bus stop wondering whether their children will arrive back on that bus safe and sound. Think about the fathers of Los Angeles, who tomorrow will head off to work and wonder about the safety of their wives and their children."

First of all, you can bet the people of New Jersey thought, "Could you spend a little fucking time thinking about us?" And, of course, there's the fact that the whole thing was a hoax and that New York City got the same fucking threat and decided it was pretty clearly bullshit, so it wasn't actually a "threat." It was, more accurately, a "prank." And the kids? Dude, those kids weren't traumatized by anyone but the desperate politicians fanning a spark of anxiety into a full-fledged fear freakout inferno.

And then there was Christie's pledge that he'd shoot down Russian planes that crossed into any no-fly zone he established over Syria as president. Rand Paul, once again playing the role of bullshit-detector, pretty much destroyed Christie with a single line, "Well, I think if you're in favor of World War III, you have your candidate."

5. In the end, the debate was not just a pathetic contest to see who could make more Americans shit themselves in terror, but it was a night of craven chest-thumping, trying to prove who would be the superhero to stand firm and prevent the hordes of terrorists and immigrants and Hottentots from overrunning the country.

They repeated the same shit over and over. Trump was the most over the top with the tautology of his rhetoric, saying he wants to make America great again so he can make America great again or something. Who knows what the fuck that crazy motherfucker would really do other than lie to us about how shit's out of control? He looked like he wanted to face fuck Jeb, which was awesome.

Fiorina tried to show she's the cruelest motherfucker of the bunch. Rubio tried to make up for his slightly less-savage view of immigration (which Paul called "amnesty," even though it isn't close) by saying he'd fuckin' kill everyone, he's a madman, you can't stop him. Kasich was present.

Man, ISIS members must have been laughing their asses off.

6. The most telling thing of the night is how none of the candidates, beyond Lindsey Graham at the junior debate, would say that something is genuinely beyond the pale. Oh, sure, they'll dis Trump for his bugfuckery on Muslim immigration. But not one of them would say that anything is too much. None of them would dare say, "You know what? If Donald Trump is the nominee, fuck it. I'll stay home on election day." They don't have to say they'd vote for Hillary or Bernie. But have the fucking balls to say that some things are so appalling that you can't condone them.

For all the bluster last night, courage was sorely lacking.

7. Somewhere, there might be a country of cowards and murderers that the GOP candidates can lead. Unfortunately, they're stuck with the United States, which is nothing like that other country. And last night, the Republicans could only smirk as they hate-fucked the nation to show them who's boss.


Remember: Ted Cruz May Be Quieter Than Donald Trump, But He's at Least as Crazy (and a Debate Listening Party in Your Ears)

Let's be clear here: In the Republican presidential nomination race, the ascent of Senator Ted Cruz (campaign motto: "Imagine what his voice sounds like when he's getting a blow job") to second behind bellicose butt-blister Donald Trump is not in any way, shape, or form an improvement. In fact, except for Trump's whole "let's stop the Muslims" fascist bullshit, you can easily make the argument that Trump may be a madman, but Cruz is crazier than a shit fight at a monkey house.

For instance, check out their tax plans, which the conservative Tax Foundation allows you to do pretty easily. Both Cruz and Trump have tax "reform" ideas that any rational analysis demonstrates would fuck this country like porn star James Deen on meth.

Where Trump wants a progressive tax with lower rates, up to 25% for the highest earning bracket, Cruz wants a 10% flat tax. Trump would have a 15% business tax rate while Cruz would have a 16% "Business Flat Tax." (And, actually, that's just fuzzy math; it's a 19% value-added tax, which is a sales tax the public would pay.) Cruz lowers the capital gains tax to just 10% where Trump would have tiered rates up to 20%. Sure, they're the same in a lot of ways, like the elimination of the estate tax ("death tax" to idiots), but Cruz is the one who promises his tax plan "abolishes the IRS as we know it."

On other areas, Cruz is just out of step with the entire nation. He vigorously opposes same-sex marriage and would use his presidency to do something - constitutional amendment, dirty looks, angry mobs with pitchforks - to end that civil right. He's beloved by the evangelical right because he licks Jesus's feet clean and doesn't ask for a reacharound from every nutzoid pastor buggering him on the altar. Trump, for his part, doesn't really give a happy monkey fuck about the issue.

The upside to all of these is that Bernie or Hillary could curb-stomp either one of these conservative hatemongers. And while Trump is enjoying his time in the sun as a manque' Mussolini, complete with violent followers whose actions he cheers on, the GOP establishment has gotta be on its weary old man knees, hoping and praying for Cruz to get more traction. He may be a wild-eyed rebel who pisses off the Senate old guard, but he's the wild-eyed rebel who isn't a billionaire without fucks left to give.

Tonight, Join the Rude Pundit and Jeff Kreisler for Swearing In, the Live Mockery of the GOP Debate

Yep, yep, yep, the Rude Pundit is once again tuning into the CNN on the TV and mouthing off on the internets with his co-conspirator Jeff Kreisler. We'll be watching the GOP debate starting at 8:30ish (although it's probably 9 - CNN is kind of being a dick about the time) and snarking the living shit out of it on Rabble.tv.

If you wanna join the many commenters while we're doing candidate voices and letting loose with the sodomy jokes, you can sign up for Rabble for free. Otherwise, just join the hundreds, maybe even a thousand or so, people who listen in so they can tolerate the debate. Think of us as the molly to get through the raving madness.

And we've got graphics, like a real show:


The Rude Pundit Is Doing the Debate Live on Rabble

You can read what that says there. It's the Rude Pundit and the irascible, irrepressible, incontinent Jeff Kreisler talking shit during the Republican debate tomorrow night at 8:30 or 9 pm ET or whenever the fuck CNN starts the goddamn thing. The name of our little show is, yes, Swearing In. And you can hashtag that puppy.

Join us by listening in or by signing up for Rabble so you can comment to us while we're commenting. Either way, shit's free. It's like the greatest circle jerk that's not a Fox "news" debate. You can bet we'll make lots of Hitler jokes, and the Rude Pundit will refer to Donald Trump as a "barely sentient flaming bag of shit," among other things.

So tune your TV to the debate and your computer to Rabble. We'll be getting drunk and making the whole sad spectacle a little more tolerable. Think of us as the lube for a prostate exam. No one wants their prostate fingered for non-sexual purposes, so thank Christ for vaseline.

Let's Celebrate Sandy Hook Shooting Day, Kids

Hey, everyone, today is the third anniversary of the horrific massacre of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. The shooter, Adam Lanza, had a nightmarish amount of ammo for his Bushmaster rifle, and he had murdered his mother before going to the school and becoming the star in Hell's hit game show for demons, Who Gets to Rape Adam Lanza's Eyeholes Today? One of the things we do know about the relationship between Nancy Lanza and her son is that they shared an enthusiasm for firearms, and they went a-shootin' together, one of those cherished parent/child activities that we all remember fondly, although most of us recall them with more ice cream and fewer murder machines.

What can we do to celebrate this? What would be appropriate? Well, shit, for that we can turn to the National Rifle Association, which, as you might imagine, isn't directly addressing the mass killing. Although, hell, it could totally throw a party to how this nation has not done jackshit for the mentally-ill or on guns since Sandy Hook. You could have a cake with a chart of how gun sales have exploded in the wake of every massacre and how, mostly, gun laws have gotten weaker around the nation.

But the NRA is nothing if not subtle and on their website NRA Family, the organization posted a special article today just for gun-lovin' mamas like Nancy Lanza. "Gifts for the Outdoor, Gun-Loving, Adventuring Mom" is the title of the piece, and, boy, oh, boy, is it filled with special ideas, perfect to give your beloved mother as a way of saying, "You're Nancy to my Adam, Mom."

Like, for instance, you can get her this holster that nestles right under her titties, hooked onto her bra:

That way, you can share fond memories of suckling at her nipples and laugh about how a little gun powder in the breast milk would make you grow up strong.

Or maybe you can get her the Savage Arms Model 11/111 Lady Hunter, which is not used for hunting ladies, although, in the spirit of the day, it could be:
According to the writer, "Savage Arms consulted with female hunters and manufactured accordingly; this rifle is light for easy carry during long treks, has a raised comb on the buttstock to accommodate women’s longer necks, has a reduced length of pull, has a thick rubber buttpad to lessen perceived recoil…the list goes on." And won't she be proud when you borrow it to go stand your ground against the neighborhood kids?

Of course, "if you’re looking to get mom or that special woman in your life a firearm this one might be what you’re looking for." It's the European American Armory Witness Pavona, which sounds like it's available to kill any witnesses to mom's little baby's crimes:

You want your mom to defend herself from unwanted advances of men who she's just sleeping with so they can replace you in her heart and you know what to do about that, don't you? Don't you?

Boy, thanks, NRA Family for this list of keen items to celebrate Sandy Hook Shooting Day. Your consideration is overwhelming. The graceful thing would have been for you to shut the fuck up for 24 hours, but that would mean the people running the NRA have human feelings. But other than rage and fear, you've got nothing.

(Fun fact: Of course, the list above is meant for Christmas, etc. But guess what the article opens with? "Here’s our list of gift ideas for your mom this holiday season." That's right. It says, "Holiday," not "Christmas." Have godless liberals invaded the NRA?)

(Fun additional thing: Something else the NRA posted today is a completely batshit rant from nutzoid conservative assmunch Dana Loesch, who screeches about "godless liberals" and how we want to skullfuck the Christian out of the nation or something like that. Did you know that Dana Loesch looks like an Afghan - the dog, not the nationality? It's true:

That's not a comment on looks. They're both fine, whatever. But it is a comment on how one of them is an animal that gladly eats its own vomit and the other is a pet dog.)


Stopping an Obamacare Myth in its Tracks

Next Tuesday is the deadline for signing up for insurance under the Affordable Care Act, so the high-dudgeon fuckery is in full-tilt to try to depress the numbers and discredit the law so President Trump can just toss the whole thing in the shitcan in 2017 and deport all the sick people. Thus, as part of this Republican effort, Tennessee Congresswoman Diane Black took to the floor of the House of Representatives to say that the longtime Nashville restaurant Noshville was closing its midtown location, where it originated, because its owner said he couldn't afford the coming requirement to provide health insurance for his employees.

Now, the Rude Pundit has eaten at Noshville more than a few times. It's one of those places where some poor bastard wants to give the yokels a taste of New York City, so it had passable bagels, a decent Reuben, and other stuff that pale in comparison to a hundred different delis and bagel joints up here, but, hey, when you're in Nashville and you needed to get salami and eggs? Well, in the land of the blind, the one-eyed pig is king.

So he started to look into the story because, frankly, the story didn't sound right. Oh, sure, Noshville owner Tom Loventhal released a statement where he said, "[T]he rising cost of insurance premiums and government requirements related to the Affordable Care Act have made it no longer possible to run the business without taking an unacceptable risk. The administrative time and costs of managing mandated health insurance in the restaurant industry create an untenable burden, and that’s before the cost of premiums. We knew this was coming and I’ve been studying it since it was first announced, but I have not been able to find a viable path that makes business sense to continue into 2016 under these new provisions when we know the restaurant will be closing in a matter of months." The other two locations of Noshville will remain open, but that puts the whole business under the number of workers above which a business must offer health insurance. The regulation covers places that employ at least 50-99 full-time workers.

Rep. Black rubbed this story in the faces of her Democratic colleagues, as if dancing with glee and rubbing her ass in Nancy Pelosi's face: "And the next time my colleagues across the aisle want to call Obamacare a 'jobs bill' – as Leader Pelosi infamously said – I would invite them to come to the Noshville Deli, where they can get a good meal, and a healthy dose of reality. But they better do it quickly because, thanks to their votes, time for this beloved Nashville icon is running out." Or they can go to the one in Green Hills.

Now, there's a chance that this story is gonna become a talking point in the neverending war on Obamacare because Republicans are like miniature dobermans getting their teeth into a dry turd. You can try to yank it out of their mouths, but you'll just end up bitten with your hands covered in shit. Better to just tell that dog, "Fine, swallow that turd, asshole," and move on.

'Cause, see, the rest of the story is that Loventhal was already going to close that Noshville location. He was just gonna maybe keep it open a little ways into 2016. Yeah, the property where it sits was bought by a development group that wants to build - what else? - some motherfuckin' condos and a damn hotel. As Loventhal himself said, in a remark not mentioned by angry Rep. Black, "At any rate, I was going to have to close at some point anyway (for the redevelopment)." And he hadn't come to any agreement on reopening the restaurant at a later date.

Loventhal was just being a greedy dick. If he had stayed open past January 1, "I would have to offer (health insurance), and it's kind of like an unknown risk that I as a business person didn't want to take." Thus, Loventhal decided to make a grandiose political point instead of just acknowledging that he didn't want to be in a position to get health insurance for his employees when he wouldn't have to if the cut-off date was a couple of months later.

Right down the road is Fido, a great coffeehouse restaurant run by another local business, Bongo Java. The owner of Bongo Java, Bob Bernstein, decided that he wouldn't be a dick and that getting health insurance for his employees who work over 30 hours was "better for morale" and to make his company stronger. Said Bernstein, "I feel bad writing the federal government a $30,000-40,000 check. It's going to cost me probably double, but at least it's going toward something. I don't think it's going to shut my business."

There are a couple of ways to look at this. One would be for business owners to demand a national health care program that covers everyone. You could also argue that Tennessee should take the Medicaid expansion, which it hasn't. The other is to say that a lot of businesses got away with treating their employees like shit when it comes to benefits, even as the businesses were successful, expanded, and hired more people.

Either way, though, Obamacare didn't close Noshville. Dickishness and greed and gentrification did.


In Brief: Things Donald Trump Supporters Should Worry About Besides Terrorism

Today, the Rude Pundit was listening to the ol' NPR, as one does when driving in the morning, and he heard a piece on how much the supporters of Donald Trump will stand by the GOP presidential candidate and Man Most Likely to Get Us Nuked. Among the slavering, pathetic, uninformed voters was Tina, who said, "We cannot keep going down this path. It seems to be coming more dangerous. I think we're all scared. I'm actually a little jumpy, I find."

Oh, dear, sweet Tina, you are a fucking idiot whose tiny little mind is easily manipulated by a spray-tanned con artist who would use you as a shield if anyone took a shot at him and then fuck your bullet holes just for shits and giggles after.

Besides, Tina and anyone who is existentially afraid of terrorism, do you even have a concept of what is actually scary?

Look at these white people at a Klan rally - sorry, Trump event in August:

That's a group of middle-aged or older mostly obese people. This ain't fat-shaming. The Rude Pundit ain't svelte. It's about health, which is based in medical science and well-researched facts. It's about understanding where the real risks in life are.

Obesity is responsible for nearly 20% of all deaths in the United States.  Even without death, the obese suffer from much higher rates of heart disease, diabetes, and a host of other illnesses and conditions that weaken the body and lead to death from other things. And that's not even getting into strokes.

Statistically, you will never be harmed by a terrorist attack. The odds are completely against it.  It is not going to happen to you, except in the rarest of the rarest cases.

Statistically, you will be harmed by obesity.

The point here is this: If you are a Trump supporter who is obese and you believe that it's more important to ban Muslims and go to war to stop "terrorism" than do anything to lose weight and get in shape, you are a goddamned fool who has no understanding of risk or the consequences of your actions.

And you're gonna die a million times over from your own body than you will die from an ISIS member shooting you or blowing you up.

In other words, a little sense of proportion, really, would go a long, long way.

Late Post Today

Gotta go get my jackboots polished to be ready for the Trump Reich.

Back later with more fascistic rudeness.


Nothing Will Change Until Cops Are Willing to Narc Out Other Cops

(This ain't gonna start with an apology. It ain't gonna begin by begging forgiveness from the vast majority of law-abiding cops. It ain't even gonna start by blowing cops for their hard work. We all know that shit. And if you don't, then you're too fucking dumb or blind to participate in this conversation.)

Every day, every day, every day, it seems, we get new video of police officers gunning down and killing someone who, at most, is armed with a knife. The shooting victim isn't charging, isn't attacking anyone, isn't really doing anything but standing there or walking, sometimes after committing a crime, sometimes for no reason at all. (Compare and contrast how British police handle the knife-wielding guy who just stabbed someone in the "You ain't no Muslim, bruv" video.)

The immediate aftermath has been, generally, a circling of the blue wagons around the cop that shot the suspect. Often, statements by police departments and unions seek to spin the killing as justified or, occasionally, an error in judgment in the heat of a moment when a quick decision had to be made. And then, generally, people who would dare criticize the police are held up in the right-wing press and by some cops as objects of derision and contempt. "They don't know" is the general tenor of the attacks on Black Lives Matter or any groups of people who think the police shouldn't be so quick to shoot perps to death, followed by "They hate cops" or "They're tying our hands with their political correctness."

This isn't even getting into the random brutality, the suppression of evidence, or the planting of evidence in order to get convictions, things that ruin lives. Or the complete ignorance of cops who seem to think we still live in a pre-iPhone world where they aren't constantly being filmed.

We've heard bullshit about the so-called "Ferguson effect," where cops do their jobs in a too-cautious way because people might get upset if they end up shooting someone down or beating them to death. As Ta-Nehisi Coates puts it, "[I]t was the video, the public objection, the protesting, and not the actual brutality, which threatened the legitimacy of law enforcement." Too many (white) people in the country are historically invested in the idea that the police must be supported, blindly and generously. It's as if the notorious blue shield of silence applied to the general public.

The problem is, as it always has been, that it shouldn't apply to anyone. If cops break the law, especially if they do so on the job, they should be held to account, just like the rest of us are. Community-based oversight bodies are great. Justice Department inquiries are a good start. And the too-rare firing of a blatantly bad cop is helpful. But, truth be told, at the end of the day, nothing will change unless and until the rank-and-file cops themselves are willing to call out the violent and corrupt assholes in their ranks. Right now, though, as if to offer a complete counter-example, the police union in Chicago collected donations to help post bond for the officer charged with the first-degree murder of Laquan McDonald.

If you're so inclined, you can talk all you want about the necessity of absolute trust between officers or whatever other bullshit excuse you wanna toss into the garbage heap of avoidance. But the real trust that needs to be emphasized is that between the police and their communities, and if that trust is broken with a segment of the population because some cops framed people or murdered them, then cops better fucking be ready to step up and say, "Yeah, Officer Fucknut has a twitchy trigger finger and is scared of the blacks."

It's so fucking easy. In fact, cops tell us the solution all the time. It should go doubly for them: "If you see something, say something." Implied in that is "And if you don't, you're part of the problem."

(Look up the book or film Serpico to see what it's taken to break that blue shield.)


Trump Is Making Racism and Xenophobia Safe for the GOP

A fun little piss dribble of a column is by David French in the National Review (motto: "Disturbed and racist before it was cool"). He writes about GOP candidate and Man Most Likely to Get a Whole Bunch of Americans Murdered Donald Trump's abjectly appalling and objectively illegal "plan" for "a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States," even Muslim citizens who travel abroad, "until our country's representatives can figure out what is going on," or, you know, forever. French discusses the "Overton Window," which is a piece of shit metaphor about the sliding scale of what is acceptable political discourse.

French writes: "While many of Trump’s actual proposals are misguided, nonsensical, or untenable, by smashing the window, he’s begun the process of freeing the American people from the artificial and destructive constraints of Left-defined discourse. Serious and substantive politicians like Ted Cruz will get a more respectful hearing, and PC shibboleths about allegedly boundless virtues of Islam and immigration will be treated with the skepticism they deserve."

What French is saying is that because Trump is proclaiming something batshit insane, he is like a liberator to conservatives. Now they can talk about this shit freely. And, apparently, Ted Cruz can rise like a Golem to conquer all. Of course, French doesn't say that Trump's proposals are batshit or appalling because, to him and to many on the right, they aren't. Liberals fucked it all up by demanding rights for LGBT people, according to French, so a little open racism and xenophobia just rights the scales.

You know what? Fuck this. A photoshopped picture is worth far more words than the Rude Pundit can manage. This is Trump and his followers and anyone who excuses him, in one fucking shell of a nut (thanks to rude reader DF, who wishes to remain anonymous because Trump voters are fucking assholes):

Today, a Muslim-American student told the Rude Pundit, in his professor disguise, that she was a little concerned. She is going to visit family in Pakistan this year and next year and, well, shit, she goes every year. But at some point, will someone tell her she can't come back? She was born here. She doesn't wear a veil. She just wants to live her life and be left the fuck alone. She laughed when she related her worries. The problem is that too many Americans believe her existence is innately suspicious and her laugh is pure evil.

If you ever wondered what it felt like to watch a country go mad, look around you.

(Note: Feel free to spread that photo far and wide.)


Obama to the Nation, Too Late: Chill the Fuck Out Already

The Rude Pundit isn't afraid of terrorists. He doesn't get afraid of crime unless directly confronted with a threat. He's not an idiot. He knows there is plenty in this world to fear. He just chooses not to be afraid. He works on a college campus, he lives in one of the most-prized terrorist target areas, he goes to public events all the time, and he lives in a neighborhood where a fucking machete murder happened on his corner in broad daylight, and yet he is not afraid, even when he's stumbling home at 3 a.m. past the place where blood puddled from the machete murder.

Being white in the United States, of course, he can afford to fear a great deal less. He may get nervous when he sees cops, but he doesn't get the gut-level anxiety that many African Americans say they feel. And, even though he has been verbally attacked and physically threatened by white assholes because of his identity or his support of one thing or another, he generally doesn't feel that scared of racists and homophobes because, truth be told, he can pass whenever he wants to by just shutting up. That's why he's safely attended everything from a snake-handling church service to a Tea Party rally to a David Duke campaign stop.

But if he had to choose who scares him more, Muslim terrorists or armed white assholes, he'd choose the latter for one simple reason: He lives in the United States and there are a fuck of a lot more of them than there are Muslims here. And he's even taking into consideration that he lives and works among a substantial Muslim population.

Just today, a young woman in a hijab sat in his college office for advice on completing her major. She brought up her kids and shared pictures because that's what people do. It didn't even occur to him to feel any anxiety or suspicion. She's a good student, the kids are kiddishly adorable, and that's that. He has interactions like that on a daily basis.

That that needs to be said demonstrates how pathetic things have gotten just since the Paris attacks by people "loyal to ISIS," with freak-out knob turned up to "Bug the fuck out" since the San Bernardino massacre.

The entire Republican campaign at this point exists to scare the shit out of people into voting for whatever worthless sinker the GOP shits out of its nominating process. And, it seems, while no GOP candidate will beat Hillary Clinton, the coward caucus is gaining traction as we move into a "serious" discussion about whether to send in ground troops to fight ISIS. The quotation marks are there because anyone who actually is serious about a strategy in fighting the terrorist group knows that it desperately wants U.S. ground troops to become part of the equation because it will make a great recruiting tool: "Hey, check out these Americans shooting a woman. Don't you want to kill them?"

The yellow streak is so pronounced at this point that a retired army officer, Lt. Col Ralph Peters, lost his fucking mind on Fox Business channel and said, "Look, Mr. President we're not afraid. We're angry, we're pissed off, we're furious. We want you to react, we want you to do something. You're afraid. I mean this guy is such a total pussy, its stunning." Other than misunderstanding what "afraid" means, Peters is also a raging lunatic who is responsible for such brilliant columns in the New York Post like a 2008 one predicting that Israel would bomb Iran and oil would be $320 a barrel by 2012 and who called members of Congress "cowards" for daring to question President Bush's Iraq surge. Apparently, only Republican commanders-in-chief are immune to criticism. (Note: None of them should be.)

What's interesting about the rest of Peters' mad ranting is that he said what is being propagated in the right-wing media and on the campaign trail by Republicans: "This is a president who has done more harm to American police departments than he has done to Islamic State. This is a president who restrains our military. He uses it not to defeat ISIS, but for political purposes for political cover. This is a president who doesn't want to hurt our enemies. This is a president who cares more about thugs in Guantanamo, or thugs in Ferguson, Missouri, than he does about law-abiding American citizens and their right to live in safety and peace." Motherfuckers are gonna fuck some mothers. It's what they do.

Peters was going apeshit in reaction to Obama's brief Oval Office statement last night on the United States's response to low-level ISIS attacks, as well as attacks by the aforementioned armed white assholes. In his speech, Obama wasn't bloodthirsty enough for conservatives (Democratic or Republican or whatever), but the point of the speech wasn't to announce some new strategy or hold up terrorists' heads and declare himself the Warlord God. No, basically, Obama was saying, "Here's the shit we've been doing, even if you don't realize it. We should look into doing some shit online. Muslims should be calling out a hearty, 'You aint' no Muslim, bruv.' And, by the way, everyone else, chill the fuck out already. Fuck."

He seemed irritated, tired, and sick of this shit, and why shouldn't he be? Everyone loses their minds whenever a Muslim fucknut shoots a bunch of holiday partygoers but then they sit back and jack off into the void if a white asshole is the shooter. The Republican Party refuses to do anything that doesn't involve blowing even more shit up, more or less spitting on people who want some sanity on guns. The media is getting into war mode, like in the run-up to Iraq. Attacks on Muslims in the United States are growing.

We are becoming an insane country. Obama merely asked us to pause, breathe, and get a hold of ourselves. The response to him was "You're a pussy."

(The Rude Pundit started this post earlier in the day. He took a pause to live his life for a little while. In that time, Donald Trump released a statement that no Muslims should be allowed into the United States. So let's no longer doubt that "Make America Great Again" means "Make America White Again.")


If Hitler Had Been American... (Updated)

(Note: Tomorrow is the Rude Pundit's birthday, so his gift to himself is to be a bit more self-indulgent than usual and Godwin the hell out of things.)

If Adolf Hitler had been American, perpetrating his crimes as a leader in the United States, even after he was defeated in war, we would still have memorials in public spaces and parks and buildings to him. We would have statues of his generals, busts of him in capitols, and more.

If Adolf Hitler had been American, we would have schools, federal and state office complexes, college buildings, and streets named after him and other Nazis.

If Adolf Hitler had been American, the Nazi flag would still be displayed proudly and publicly. It might be part of the flag of another state. It might even hang in government buildings because, some would say, we need to honor our heritage.

If Adolf Hitler had been American, many people would drive around with swastikas on their cars or trucks. They would wear t-shirts that say, "The Reich will rise again."

If Adolf Hitler had been American, his face would still be on a coin or bill, and any move to take it off would be met with resistance from politicians in his home state.

If Adolf Hitler had been American and Jews said that they were owed compensation or an apology for the way they were treated and the way they had their property taken from them and how their families were divided, we'd tell those Jews that the Holocaust was a long time ago and they should get over it. We'd say that they're just greedy and that people now aren't to blame for the mistakes of the past.

If Adolf Hitler had been American, some school boards would want to make sure that he was treated "fairly" in history classes. They would want textbooks to reflect a balanced view of Hitler and talk about how the Nazis were about more than just genocide.

If Adolf Hitler had been American and some people said that it's wrong to have Nazi flags displayed and to have large statues of Hitler in front of the state building and to have a Heinrich Himmler Elementary School and to keep Hitler's face on the $20 bill and that those things should be removed or changed, there would be an uproar among many Americans. They would say that their relatives fought bravely for the Nazis and should be honored for their sacrifice. They would imply that you're being bigoted by asking them to take the Nazi flags and memorials down. They would demand that they be respected, and they would deny that any of their behavior or beliefs are connected with Hitler or the Nazis.

If Adolf Hitler had been American, even after he was beaten and democracy triumphed, we would have treated him like we treat any terrible person who had wide support in the United States. We would honor him without irony and without worrying about how his awful actions are whitewashed by the honor.

Denial is our preferred state in America.

(If anyone wants to add to this list, send me your ideas and it'll be updated as needed.)

Update: From Melina M.: "If Hitler Had Been American, Fox News would be running segments about the 'War On Hitler.'"


In Brief: Photos That Make the Rude Pundit Want to Down a Fifth of Gin While on a Propofol Drip

One of those is the living embodiment of savage evil in the form of a pasty, heartless block of inorganic material and the other is a bust of former Vice President Dick Cheney.

Yes, yes, yes, for time eternal, the U.S. Capitol will have Cheney smirking that dickish grin, as if saying, "Holy fuckballs, can you believe all the shit I got away with? Who's got no arms and no convictions on war crimes? This guy!"

The only way that sculpture works is if it's not a smirk. It's a grimace as the bottom half of him is sodomized by giant demons with scabby cocks the size of Scud missiles.  Instead, this being the United States, at least since the Civil War, we honor our villains with celebrations and public memorials.


We Must Politicize Every Shooting

Right now, a bearded man in a red cap and sunglasses is standing outside the Inland Regional Center in San Bernardino, California. He is trying not to break down because his daughter is inside the building and texting him that she is hiding, waiting for police to find her, because at least one person, probably more, shot up her workplace. She texted that "several people" she saw were wounded. The center, which has been in existence for 40 years, employs over 600 people to fulfill its mission: "As an agency among agencies, Inland Regional Center coordinates with generic services to normalize the lives of people with developmental disabilities and their families by working to include them in the everyday routines and life rhythms of the community and by facilitating needed supports for them." It serves tens of thousands of people.

By the way, across the street is a school for the blind. It's currently in lockdown.

This is where we are now. It's not enough to gun down children in their classroom. It's not enough to gun down people at a family planning clinic. It's not going to be enough to gun down people with developmental disabilities and those who assist them. We will continue to do nothing. If you can think of some repulsive line that the NRA and the repellent gun "rights" supporters won't cross, you are wiser than this writer.

The Rude Pundit has said before and he'll say again: It's never just the assailants. It's always the guns. Already, we're seeing the appalling piglets of the right tell anyone who dares to insist that it's the guns to sit down and shut up and not "politicize" this latest float in our unending parade of horrors. As if silence isn't a political act. As if the very people who called for banning Syrian refugees before the bodies were cold in Paris have any goddamned right to tell anyone to not talk politics. As if the NRA, which makes money on the corpses of the victims of mass shootings, deserves anything more than being spit on. They fear politicizing because policy may come from it.

We've all said the same things, endlessly. We've asked, simply, plaintively, "Since what we're doing now doesn't work, why not try something else?" And, if you are capable of feeling shame about this, you cringe when you think about how other nations must look at the United States, an insanely-armed place that is tumbling into some mad mishmash of oligarchy and theocracy.

This country has allowed ludicrous and evil and demonstrably wrong people and ideas to be passed off as legitimate. We give people a forum to say unbelievable bullshit, like that expanded background checks will lead to tyranny and gun confiscation. At some point, we are allowed to assert that some things are not worthy of discussion and that some people and organizations deserve only contempt, derision, and isolation. We can turn people into pariahs. We are allowed to do that. The CNN anchor, reacting to the shooting a few minutes ago, kept saying, over and over, that it was sad and "ridiculous." She's right. Now, how about the next time some Republican politician talks about how we need to do more about the "mentally-ill" (which is something they won't do) and not limit gun purchases, she shuts them down and throws them off the show? What if she says that it's an unacceptable position to not do anything about guns?

We do not have to tolerate the intolerable. We have chosen to tolerate it. We have chosen to pretend as if the extremists who demand no regulation of guns have a valid point of view. We should be politicizing every shooting even more. We should be asking our politicians how they can dare not do something to help a nation afflicted with bullets.

If there will ever be a tipping point on guns, it will only happen when we say that disgusting acts are aided and abetted by disgusting people with disgusting beliefs. It will only happen when we treat the disgusting people with the disgust they deserve.