Review: Frontline’s “The Untouchables”

After hearing a substantial amount of recommendations for Frontline’s “The Untouchables,” my husband and I came away last night with one reaction: Outrageous.

Granted, this is a common sentiment we illicit whenever absorbing details of the cause of the 2008 economic collapse. Now, 4.5 years later, we’re responding to the Justice Department’s complete impotence in their duty to hold wrongdoers accountable.

PBS, though, the bastion of public information delivery, was on it. “The Untouchables” presents an investigation regarding the lack of prosecutions of Wall Street executives in the wake of the economic collapse. Most viewers, I’m certain, come away with the overwhelming sense that the Justice Department has dropped the ball.

A number of interviewees, including former Senator Ted Kaufman, who was a placeholder for Vice President Joe Biden until the 2010 midterm elections, give the impression that it was not only possible to prove criminal intent beyond a reasonable doubt on the part of numerous Wall Street executives, but that these indictments should have gone forward.

The theory is posited that Assistant Attorney General Lanny Breuer, who announced his upcoming departure from the Justice Department soon after the airing of the program, was simply fearful of taking any case to trial and losing, as well as doing damage to the economy.

The documentary also backs up one of my takeaways from Confidence Men, by Ron Suskind (I’ll have a review of the book in an upcoming blog). President Obama, who enjoyed vast support among Wall Street during his first campaign for president, wanted to unite the country and not engage in a legal blow-torching of the banking and investment sector the way most of us wanted. Secondly, the Obama economic team experienced great dissent, but one of the prevailing assumptionswas that the economy was weak and dependent on Wall Street and no policy should be done that would undermine confidence or hurt the banks further.

And so, there appears to have been placed a teflon shield around many of those involved in the rampant fraud and abuse that allowed Wall Street to concentrate much U.S. wealth to the upper economic echelons, decimate the middle class, and bring the global economy to the brink of utter destruction.

Should we all shut up and simply say thank you as the Dow has enjoyed considerable growth and the U.S. has avoided the dreaded “double-dip” recession? Absolutely not.

The wealth of the average U.S. household has declined significantly. The wealth gap has grown, which helps our economy continue on shaky ground. Millions of people worldwide have suffered tremendous harm to their livelihoods and the lives of their family due to the gross negligence of these financiers.

That these people should enjoy their high life and freedom after bringing the financial system to its knees is beyond credulity and illustrates the gross negligence on the part of the Obama administration and Congress. The Dodd-Frank legislation is small consolation considering the deregulation that led to this collapse has never been rectified. The U.S. is ill-protected from another dramatic financial down cycle – the likes of which will, again, wreak havoc on the lives of those lower on the economic totem pole.

The lack of oversight on Wall Street has simply pushed this country closer toward plutocracy and the government has participated almost to the point of criminal collusion. LIke someone hinted in “The Untouchables,” we need regulators for the regulators.

Shame on the whole lot of them.

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Government IS Part of the Solution

If you’re a regular viewer of MSNBC’s The Cycle, and I consider myself a 25-30% viewer, you’ll witness co-host S.E. Cupp repeatedly present the tired, easily-refuted, main argument of the Republican Party. It never fails. Across the wide spectrum of discussion topics addressed during the show, S.E. Cupp can be trusted to assert that, no, government cannot solve the problem.

The latest iteration I can recall of her using this refrain was to refute the effects of gun control. Government can regulate guns, but murders will still occur!

Other than her support for marriage equality, S.E. is quite the mascot of Republican ideology: government has no part to play in solving the problems of this country.

Which is so hilarious, because THAT’S ONE OF THE MAIN FUCKING POINTS OF GOVERNMENT.

Drinking clean water? Why, thank you, government. Not drinking clean water? Well, who should you contact? The government!

Car deaths super high? Hmmm. Government: Let’s regulate car speed and require passengers to wear seat belts. Surprise! Car deaths greatly decrease!

Lots of airliner crashes and deaths. Government: Hey, airlines, get your shit together and here are some regulations to follow. U.S. airliner crashes diminish dramatically.

Obviously, I could go on and on.

Republicans believe in the fundamental free-market society. Keep government out of everyone’s bidness and it’ll all shake out the way God intended. Wall Street should police itself. Yes, yes, an unregulated Wall Street managed to dupe borrowers and investors across the U.S. and other countries, causing the global economy to approach collapse (which government prevented), but hey, DETAILS.

Corporations should self-regulate and we shouldn’t worry about oil-spills or fires at refineries. Civil rights totally woulda happened by now, even in the most rural of localities, if we had left it up to the states. Children’s toys wouldn’t have lead and asbestos wouldn’t be coating our living and working habitats. Restaurants would most certainly enforce health standards, no matter the cost, or go out of business after sickening or even killing how many people? But the restaurant is no longer in business. So, see, the system worked. Who cares about granny whose death could have been prevented? It’s all just part of the laisez-faire cycle our founding fathers intended!!

The problem with this argument is that the politician, donor, or voter who believes it also generally places profit margin as their #1 priority. How else are we supposed to maintain superpower status? They do not concern themselves with the good of the general public if it interferes with money-making. They do not understand that the American economy fails or succeeds according to the status of the middle class, not the wealthy few.

The average American, however, does not have a seat in the boardroom to demand proper procedures are followed. An American living in downtown San Francisco cannot legally require the local legal system in Mississippi to prosecute a white men responsible for the murder of a black man trying to register voters.

Americans have only one concrete method to protect themselves and each other from corporate malfeasance and local abuse of power. The federal government. We have a Constitutionally-protected say in the make-up of our federal government. This is all we have. This is it. It is ours and it is priceless.

Americans have elected lawmakers to the federal government who have, many times, chosen to do the right thing. Is the federal government perfect? Not by a long shot. But perfection cannot be the standard for every government action.

Murders will still happen with gun control, but the death tolls will be smaller.
Deaths in car crashes still happen with seat belts and speed limits. But there are far fewer deaths than before the federal government required these changes.
Planes will still fall from the sky, but at a much lower rate.
More minorities vote because of federal government intervention.
Fewer factories spill their wastes into drinking water sources for neighborhoods.

Government is not always the solution and rarely solves any problem completely. But this is not the point. The government is the tool we use to make the country, the world better. We have done this repeatedly and will continue to do so.

This reality is one of the reasons Republicans continue to lose votes. People see, especially because of new media, that their votes matter. Government CAN and DOES help people. And when you place in charge of government those who do not believe in its appropriately-given power to run a country well, then government is handicapped and cannot help those who are in need. And we are all in need at some point.

It is not an accident Republicans are losing and will continue to lose. As long as they misuse the office they are given, as long as they stifle the entity which allows our country to be great and then blames the nature of the entity itself, more and more see through their erroneous ideology.

Government is not THE solution, but it can be part of it. Republicans, like S.E., are so hellbent on finding arguments that support their ideology, they are never in search of real solutions. To them, a solution cannot be 25% or 65% effective; it must be 100% or it is a failure. And no solution is 100%. They pigeon-hole government and then carnival-bark that government does not work.

This Sassy Liberal is now saying WE ARE OVER IT. WE ARE ALL OVER IT. We have access to information now and DATA and STATISTICS and the “spending problem” myth and “government is bad myth” have been debunked. No real solutions to offer? Then don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. Done.

The Right to Offend

As a Texan, I am, by constitution, friendly and congenial to most anyone. I love to have a good time and I love for everyone else to have a good time. That’s why we Texans love Texas. No matter our political, religious or college football loyalties, we are generally polite and considerate of each other enough to get our party on and leave the inner bitch at the door.

This is quite the handy personality considering I live amongst and am related to heavily-leaning right wingers, Fox News watchers, Rush listeners, Alex Jones readers, Obama deplorers, firearm devotees and Bible beaters. Don’t get me wrong, I llloooovvvvveee Dallas. I really, really do. But everyone knows what our batshit-crazies in the ballot booth hath delivered to us as governor and that our state legislature is erasing decades of reproductive rights for women, trying to get Christian lessons taught in public schools, and also pissed off the Justice Department with voter ID laws aimed at handicapping the minority vote. Hoooray.

How do we, citizens and voters, be the change we want to see and push, pull, and shove our state and country toward the progress we seek to achieve? I’m a liberal atheist. How do I, as busy mom of an infant and toddler, have skin in the game, put my money where my mouth is and work for a better world for my boys?

Raise my voice. Raise all our voices. Be it blogs, be it conversation, be it my Obama/Biden t-shirt in the grocery store. The best way we can be a force for good is to be visible and audible in our goodness. But if others don’t like our version of good, or are even offended by it, are we still doing good?

Yes. Groupthink has been the anchor that has kept Texas and the rest of the South resistant to modernity and the inevitable arc of history. Everyone assumes everyone else is Christian and pro-life and Republican and anything outside those bounds is cold, uncomfortable and to be avoided.

Change is unavoidable, however. The DFW area has one of the largest, if not THE largest, groups of free-thinkers in the country. How did this happen in such a deeply religion-entrenched metropolis? An atheist or agnostic here started a group and then another and then another and then attendance at free-thinker meet-ups exploded. All because a few trailblazers raised their voice.

Breaking free from the groupthink, from the borg of the close-minded, by simply speaking up is the biggest, most effective tool we have to exert change peacefully and effectively. It takes bravery to tell someone you do not agree with them.

Many times, this does include offending people – especially those self-righteous enough to consider their opinion sacred and untouchable as our culture has led many religioners to believe. But when religion has become a weapon of oppression, it is the responsibility of the rest of us to raise our voices and join together to illuminate a path to for those who wish to escape the bondage of their culture, family or groupthink – even if we risk offense to the stalwart ideology of those who live with certitude.

Jon Stewart once said, “I’m not going to censor myself to comfort your ignorance.”

In a free society, freedom of speech bears with it the right to be offended and to offend. It is an immature, intractable mind that cannot tolerate disagreement. If we adhere to those standards and believe politeness to be our first priority, we slow our development and we inhibit the change necessary for a better world.

We cannot be afraid to say what we think or fear what others will think of us. It is not okay to hide behind a religion in an effort to stifle the rights of others or dictate the will of your neighbor. It is not okay. I will not bow to others’ expectations or cultural norms that would hinder a cleaner, freer, more humane society. We must do good by being good and talking good. Even if it’s bad.

I exert my right to offend others and appreciate their right to speak their truths. May we all find celebration in our mere ability to discuss and disagree without hate or violence or fear of imprisonment.

God in Sports

Continuing my sports/religion blog theme this week, I’m going to weigh in on the whole religious display issue during sports games.

It is no secret that the religious displays are fairly annoying to most of us non-believers. That may be motivation for some to actually perpetrate these head bows, skyward pointing. This is sports, not church. If I wanted to go to church, I would. I don’t. I want to drink beer, curse the opposing team, and enjoy a physically demanding competition between enthusiastic participants. God has nothing to do with it.

Let’s say, for shits and giggles, God DID have something to do with it. Let’s pretend, in all his glory and infinite wisdom, God decided who won and lost a professional football game. Or if the college kicker scored the deciding field goal. If the Little League pitcher delivered strikes or runs.

I would want nothing to do with that god.

The Super Bowl is the most highly sex-trafficked event on the earth.

Wow. Good job, God. Does He get prayers of thanks for that?

What about the riots in various cities after various games and championships?

And why would God give a shit about your game when he can’t find time to solve the crises in Syria, Darfur or global warming or poverty. What about the Russian orphan epidemic or the AIDS epidemic or the scourge of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Is God only responsible for the good things in the world, or is the invisible magic man also to blame for the bad?

If a god, an almighty, all-powerful, all-loving god were willing to have a hand in a sporting event whilst abandoning those truly in need of his grace and mercy, I wouldn’t follow that god, let alone give him the glory.

When douchebag athletes display such open religions devotions, it makes me throw up a little in my mouth. It’s immature and selfish and dismissive of those truly in need of a benevolent supreme being.

Scientology – My Take

A few weeks ago, I read the New Yorker’s exposé on Scientology (or most of it. It’s long-as-hell, but worth the read if you’re into cultish, oppressive new religions) by Lawrence Wright. He details in great length the experience of Oscar winner Paul Haggis’ as a member of the organization in a preview of his new book “Going Clear,” about the inner workings of this secretive organization. I was already familiar with most of the allegations, but was really interested to read Haggis’ description of his thoughts before and during his time in Scientology.

I haven’t decided whether or not to read the book. The New Yorker article alone made me want to punch not a few people in the throat and I don’t know if I want all that bad mojo for however many days it takes me to complete the book. And I’m certain I don’t need to it the book to reinforce my current position on the “church” in any case.

Scientology – Run Like Hell

The latest allegations of the abuses committed by Scientology aren’t even necessary to assess the ethical standings of the organization. Nor is it’s theology or teachings. It’s secretive. This is almost always a bad thing. Whether it’s a corporation, a government, a church, an educational institution, the more secretive the operation, the greater the opportunity for abuse and likelihood of its existence.

Scientology has a celebrity center. It’s fucking laughable. Any religion or institution of spiritual instruction that targets celebrities for membership – without any other wrongdoing – is obviously a money-making scheme that is most likely avoided by all but the very naive and emotionally needy.

Take the widespread claims by former members that Scientology instructs members to “disassociate” with family members. The “church” (har, har) denies this, but EVERYONE who comes out insists this is the case and I believe them. Any organization that punishes members for contacting ANYONE should obviously be avoided.

Also, it costs oodles and oodles of cash to move up in the organization by taking specific classes and achieving advancement. The article asserts Scientology filed lawsuits against young adults who had been members as children for back pay for classes they took when they were minors.

One surprise The New Yorker piece offered was Haggis’ revelation that his children and other Scientology children were generally sequestered from mainstream media outlets and sometimes rarely come into contact with non-Scientologists until they were 18. While this probably isn’t true of all but the hardcore Scientology families, even if this happens on a very minuscule occasion, it is the greatest offense. Exposure to information and experiences the world has to offer are fundamental to good decision-making. If this is true, and the claims seem very credible, Scientology leadership are guilty of imprisoning the minds of minor members.

Yes, the allegations of unlawful imprisonment, beatings by leader David Miscavige, as well as the well-known extreme abuse of the legal system give clear indication that Scientology, at the very least, is an organization to be avoided and, at the very most, a criminal outfit. But, if even a fraction of the claims made by ex-Scientologists are true, Scientology should absolutely be stripped of its tax-exempt status and by investigated for illegal activity.

Celebrity Involvement
I agree with the sentiments of David Wright yesterday morning on Morning Joe, Tom Cruise is accountable for the atrocities committed by Scientology as he is their leading salesman. So is every other celebrity who participates in this rotten, festering American ulcer of Scientology. I saw Kirstie Alley and Anne Archer (whose son is spokesman for the, gag, “religion”) go apeshit on a reporter who was once questioning them about Scientology. That level of fierce defensiveness was so transparently indicative of cultish indoctrination, it should by taught in psych classes across the American university system.

Whether you’re Beck or Giovanni Ribisi (tear) or Jennifer Lopez, John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Jenna Elfman, the voice of Bart on The Simpsons, or Isaac Hayes or whomever, if you are a member of this church, you are participating in and helping the organization to oppress minors and abuse members. In most instances, I will avoid the consumption of their products because I do not in any way want to contribute to the practices carried out by this secretive, controlling, and grotesque organization.

As online media helps bring to light the true nature of Scientology, I hope it dissolves as a viable “religious” organization. We cannot legislate stupidity and, if people want to become members and muddy the gene pool, so be it. I think an organization so inherently slimy cannot and will not stand the test of time. Until then, I can only throw my hands in the air and shout, “What the hell is wrong with people?!!”

Glad the Gay-Bashers Lost the Super Bowl

Before last week, I was little enthused about the Super Bowl. San Fran and Baltimore do not belong on the radar of pro teams I semi-follow. I’m a college football gal, anyhow.

If I had to choose a team, my initial pick would have been the 49ers because I love that coach-for-a-day commercial they did and I’ve always been a fan of Crabtree from his days at Texas Tech.

The gay bashing last week by 49er cornerback Chris Culliver, however, was so beyond the bounds of human decency – as well as the follow-up anti-gay sentiments of fellow players Ahmad Brooks and Isaac Sopoaga. Their words were contemptible.

I would have at least respected the organization had they suspended the players – yes, for the Super Bowl. Their comments deserved no lesser punishment. In fact, had those players issued such opinion about any other minority group, they would have been benched. For the 49er management to allow those men to take the field after such outrageous, outward bigotry, leaves little to respect. Shame on the whole lot of them.

If some big, bad football players lack the maturity and professionalism that should accompany the uniform, they shouldn’t be on the field. It’s time for progress to force its way into pro sports. These adults need to grow up and open their minds. And I will be boycotting their games until amends are made.

Sidenote: I didn’t support Baltimore either, really – Ray Lewis being a probable murder-participant was also a huge turnoff. I wish both teams had lost. And that Louisiana invests more in its infrastructure.

Ted Cruz a Texas Embarrassment

Ugh. Pouring cold water on yesterday’s Yay, Republicans! post.

As a Texan living in Texas, I slogged through the Republican presidential primary season with gritted teeth and utter upset stomach that the nation would witness the buffoonery that has served as our governor since George W. Bush was first elected president. Jesus Christ that was painful. The fact that I never voted for the Perry is little to no consolation since I’m surrounded by people who did. He won’t debate his Democrat opponents for governor – and the primary season fully displayed the reasoning behind his decision.

And while I haven’t agreed often with Phil Gramm, Kay Bailey-Hutchison or John Cornyn (who have served as senators since I came of age and truly awoke to our political process), they have comported themselves in a relatively dignified manner.

Following Kay Bailey’s retirement from the Senate, her preferred predecessor was the reasonably stately David Dewhurst. As you can guess, Reason won’t get you far in a Texas Republican primary and Ted Cruz (sigh) won. Democrat Bill White – an extremely knowledgable and adept former Houston mayor lost the race and Texas is much, much the worse for it.

Ted Cruz basically has the bio, aside from being born in Canada, Marco Rubio wishes he had. While Rubio is slowly attempting to navigate the murky waters of Republican politics to succeed in his natural habitat of Jeb Bush-style Right Wingery, Cruz may have the brain power to make good decisions on behalf of the American people, but lacks the judgment to pivot away from the swan-singing Tea Baggers.

Honestly, I hoped that honorable position of U.S. Senator might temper Ted Cruz’s more assclowish tendencies. This has not been the case. And it’s a good thing I don’t gamble much.

Only recently, Ted Cruz referred to war heroes and Vietnam veterans former Senator and our next Secretary of State John Kerry and former Senator and probable Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel as “less than ardent fans of the military.” Ted Cruz, shockingly, never served in the military. He voted against Kerry’s confirmation and has signaled he would vote against Hagel’s. Ahhhh, the repeated meme about men who never served in war being the first ones to trumpet it…

So, now we’re stuck for the next six years with Cruz’s mantra that government is evil, spending is evil, Obama is evil, healthcare for poor people is evil, the NRA is God and corporations are God and the whole, tired, failed schpeel that sent so much of the electorate begging for four more years of Obama.

I’m embarrassed for Texas. I’m embarrassed for me.

It’s time for Texans to get their shit together, start paying attention to local politics. Because most Texans do not agree with the inanity our politicians practice in and trade on (Louie Gohmert). A large percentage of eligible voters don’t cast ballots and the Democrat Party has treated us like grotesque stepchildren when this state is ripe for a color change. Now is the time. We cannot let boobs like Rick Perry and Ted Cruz define our state any longer. They represent our nightmarish past.

Let’s reclaim rights for women, gays and minorities. Demand our education funds and disaster relief. Let’s send these ideologues with their harmful legislation packing. Let’s show Cruz that giving him six years in the Senate was a rookie, Tea Party mistake and atone for it afterwards by sending the best politicians our state has to Austin and to Washington.

Salon has a short, decent write-up on our new senator here.

Republican Future Encouraging

No. I have not been kidnapped by aliens or some clandestine Mexican drug mafia that wants Republicans to stay in power so the arms shipments south of the border can continue uninterrupted. Hear me out.

I’m not saying anything many haven’t said recently. The departure of Sarah Palin from Fox News was one of the many recent flares being shot by the Republican establishment to signal that they are taking their party back, gosh darn it! This little Tea Party experiment was a fun overreaction by old white people to the abysmal presidency of W and the ensuing ascendance of a, eeekk!, black man to The White House.

But, seriously. Actual, unadulterated, measurable lunacy can only survive the national political spotlight the same length of time a trashy reality show can hold the nation’s attention. Not long. At first, a stunned moderate and liberal audience watch the “grassroots” movement unfold with a little trepidation, and then a lot, as the ‘Baggers took the 2010 state and national elections to begin systematically suffocating (which is their intention) the government to inefficacy – which, unlike wealth, trickles down until the citizenry begins to feel the sting.

There are some areas where the illumination of truth and reason cannot penetrate the miasma of “Don’t Believe The Liberal Media” and “Marriage is Between 1 Man and 1 Woman” bumper stickers. In these areas, people’s lives can become as painful as Republicans can possibly make it and the electorate will still blame the “liberal” government.

But, for the rest of the country – Republican policy and practice simply became wholly unsupportable. It became mean – a dry remnant of W’s “compassionate conservative” ideals. It was as if the soul of Dick Cheney had been wrenched from his artificial heart and laid bare across the steaming residue left by the undeniable hypocrisy of the Moral Majority and the profits-at-all-costs economic vision of the right wing sugar daddies. Republicanism had morphed into a grotesque mockery of civics found unpalatable by most.

This Republican implosion has been a longtime coming. Since long before Obama’s first election and the foundation of the recent “Tea Party,” the marriage of the unscientific Conservative Christian to Ayn Rand-flavored economic “solutions” (cough, cough) that became the foundation the Republican Party succeeded with it’s incredibly effective TV and radio messaging.

Hee hee. But now we have the internet, bitches. Information is widely available and no longer in the hands of a few media conglomerates who control the messaging. Opinion, like this one, is free and encouraged and accessible. We can join politically online despite being separated by geography.

And so, we have tools, weapons, an arsenal of intelligence and facts and critical thinking and ambition that have shoved the ineffectual and oppressive Republican ideology to the curb. The 2012 election was like a baptism by drone for the Repubs as the whole nation watched Fox News and right wing media and politicians implode on their own balloon of hot air. I almost kinda felt bad for ’em.

Now, they must change or die. And they will adapt. Perhaps not as fast and far as we’d like. But global warming will once more be spoken of as fact. The growing legions of non-believers will show religion its proper place in the public square. The tax-and-spend debate will push and pull throughout eternity, but the right wing will find ways to wrap their tongue around the word “revenue.”

The states will be slow to come along, but they will. Republicans will eventually find themselves on the outs locally as well, cause we gots the internets everywhere, y’all, and people power will snuff that Tea Party batshit out like it was just a rich man’s fart after a long sittin’ at the dinner table.

We women, gays, minorities, AMERICANS are standing up and dragging the yocals into future. The lives of the RWNJs will improve because of our efforts. But they won’t know it, because Fox News won’t tell ’em.

I’m encouraged. And a little hopeful for those little baby Republicans. Welcome to the world of Reason. We’ve missed you.

Easy Answer on Abortion

People always treat the abortion issue as if it’s this big, complicated, emotional, delicate crystal Molotov cocktail. They approach it as if it even deserves discussion. Boom. Wrong. The idea that you could educate the anti-choice tyrant-wannabees is cute. Laughable, but cute.

In fact, I refuse to debate anyone on the abortion issue. If someone is antiquated enough to believe it should be a criminal offense for a woman to terminate a pregnancy, they are not interested in statistics showing:

1 in 3 women will have an abortion in their lifetime.

OR

Access to abortion is a major factor in single mothers’ ability to rise above poverty.

OR

By age 45, half of all American women will have an unintended pregnancy.

OR

A hispanic teenager has a greater than 50% chance of getting pregnant before the age of 20.

I could go on and on and on.

But “pro-lifers” (laugh) couldn’t care less. Certainly, not the politicians. I would bet big money that a large percentage of Republican male leaders have both impregnated a female and pressured that same woman to have an abortion. They just use the issue, and women’s rights, autonomy, and quality of life merely as a convenient political strategy.

My approach to the abortion discussion is simple: Your opinion on abortion only matters IF YOU ARE A PREGNANT FEMALE. End of story. If you are not pregnant, than you have no place in the discussion. See? It’s easy. Simple.

The owner of Mississippi’s only abortion clinic said a few days ago on MSNBC that 1, plenty of people are anti-abortion until they need one (refer to previous comments on Republican male leadership) and 2, if women need an abortion, they will find a way to have one. This is what I’m talking about. Even if the religious mini-tyrants (find me one true atheist pro-lifer) succeed in removing access to safe abortions, scores of women resort to dangerous methods to achieve the outcomes they must to survive.

A person’s privacy and civil liberties are not the issue of anyone else. Even women who are not pregnant have no place at the decision-making table. Shut it down. I refuse to entertain any nonsense, let alone engage in the most worthless exercise in futility as attempting to persuade an anti-choicer to change their opinion. I pour cold water on the whole clusterf*&k.

The only opinion on abortion that matters is the woman who must decide whether to proceed with her pregnancy. Everyone else, exit stage left. Condoms and birth control dispensers are available at the door.

Gun Yahoos Sighted

My list of things to do this warm January morning included returning a few items to Academy Sports and Outdoors. I live in Texas, so why should it surprise me that just ahead in the return line and later in the purchasing line were a couple of local yahoos stocking up on ammo supplies. The checker said they see these types in every morning, sometimes lining up before the store opens and, at times, one person had bought out the whole supply. Gotta get all they can before Obama takes away their Second Amendment rights. Or before Jesus comes back.

The first thought that goes through my head is a reminder of the Facebook posts I see talking about how safe someone feels because they saw another person carrying a firearm. I live in TEXAS, after all. But, these dudes didn’t look like they should be trusted with a butter knife. Hell, I wouldn’t even loan them my can opener.

In fact, they looked eerily similar to these dudes:

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The NRA is watching all this gun control hoopla with their Cheshire Cat frowns, guffawing all their way to the bank as they try not to trip over the bodies of Americans dead by gun violence. It’s just gross how much calls for gun regulation, as well as our now-regular massacres, have the sure result of firearms and ammo flying off the shelves. All the while, the chances of real gun control legislation passing are greater than my two year-old acing the SAT tomorrow. Serenity now, bitches.