Now, any kid can grow up to become president

Hillary Clinton is officially the Democratic nominee for president. Up until this moment, you couldn’t honestly tell a girl that she could grow up to be president someday..

Eight years ago around this time, Barack Obama was officially the Democratic nominee for president. Up until that moment, you couldn’t honestly tell black children that they could grow up to be president someday.

This country has seen huge gains in equal opportunity in recent years.

And a certain flatulent Cheeto tinted balding lump of smarmy ego is trying to sell us that we need to “Make America great again.”

Which brings me to a reality check by the Rude Pundit directed at a disappointed segment of the left who swear that despite their preferred candidate saying it’s time to unite and make sure Truckfumpet never gets near the nuclear codes, there’s way, no how, they will vote for Hillary because … ??? (The language is not pretty):

You know who will get hurt by a Trump presidency? Every fucking group you think you’re defending with your purity. And don’t fucking get upset when we say that not voting or voting for Stein or Johnson is as good as voting for Trump. It’s as good as voting for Trump because Clinton is the only candidate who can beat him, and any vote not for her is a net gain for Trump, and that shit’ll matter in states like Pennsylvania, Ohio, and elsewhere. And, yeah, fuck you if you think that voting for Clinton to stop Trump ain’t enough of a reason. It is enough of a reason. It’s always been, in every election, enough of a reason. Sorry, sunshine, that’s the fuckery of democracy.

Fuck you for not knowing your history and not wanting to do everything you can to stop someone like Trump from ascending to the White House and appointing Supreme Court justices, which will fuck us all for the rest of our lives. You know who agrees with us and disagrees with you? Bernie Sanders. Elizabeth Warren. Michael Moore. President Obama. And a fuck-ton of liberal writers (and a shitload of conservative writers, but fuck them where they stand anyways).

Do you think we’re all just lying to you? Do you think people across the left are liars or shills, including the dude you worshipped all this time? Or maybe, just maybe, we are sounding a warning bell, telling you that this shit is real. A Trump presidency is realer in its consequences than a Clinton one, however bad you think a Clinton presidency might be. Fuck, the Washington Post took the really unusual step to say, “Yeah, fuck this. Trump is a psychopath. Stop him.” That’s unheard of.

Don’t damn us to be Cassandras. Don’t let us stand there in 2017 and forward and say, “Told you so.” Probably from our cells in the gulag.

Back in my youth (in 1980), I was one of the pure of heart, swearing,”by God, I’m voting for John Anderson because those puppets of the major party establishment need to be taken down a notch.”

The result: Eight years of Ronald Reagan and the validation of all that today’s GOP believes America should be. A place where those of a certain color or gender or sexual preference needed to shut up and stay in their place.

And then the next generation of the pure of heart came along in 2000, swearing, “by God, I’m voting for Ralph Nader, because those puppets of the major party establishment need to be taken down a notch.”

The result: Eight years of George W. Bush (the Dumber) and the total abdication of civil liberties and human rights for the introduction of a police state mentality that watches our every move and has a fetishistic obsession with torture as a way of dealing with people who were a genuine threat to our safety, but easy enough to nullify without waterboarding or other “enhanced interrogation techniques.” A situation brought about because Fuckhead the Dumber ignored every warning that a bunch of religious zealots were about to attack, even though the Democratic president before him warned that he should watch out because a bunch of religious zealots were about to attack.

I was wrong, and I’ve been trying to make up for that mistake ever since. The pure of heart of 2000 were wrong, and they haven’t begun to make up for that mistake.

This is 2016. Another mistake like that could be our last.

 

 

Death in Dallas: Just like in …

At least five police officers were killed and seven injured by a sniper in Dallas during a Black Lives Matter rally held to protest two killings by police this week of black men in Louisiana and Minnesota.

Now, we know the Right is going to twist this into their version of reality where the Obama administration has created an atmosphere hostile to police and brought about the unleashing of terrorism in the Black Lives Matter Movement. But that’s bullshit.

Our country is filled with psychopaths who have easy access to guns. And when psychopaths have guns, people die. According to reports on the latest gun atrocity:

Four Dallas Police officers and one Dallas Area Rapid Transit officer were killed by “snipers” perched atop “elevated positions,” officials said.

Videos circulating on social media showed an individual with an assault-style rifle shoot a police officer in the back at point-blank range.

A gunman, believed to be the same shooter, then engaged in a violent, three-hour standoff with SWAT officers, police said. Brown said the attacker was killed when police sent an explosive device attached to a robot to where the suspect was holed up and detonated it, killing him.

How is it possible that a guy with an assault rifle can fully display his weapon and casually walk up and unload on a bunch of cops? Because you can just walk around with a gun in Texas.

Open carry became legal in the state of Texas on January 1, 2016, and open carry on college campuses will take effect at the beginning of August. Approximately 937,000 people (about 4 percent of the state’s 27 million residents) have a license to carry. Those nearly 1 million people could openly carry their licensed handguns starting just this year, but many have had confusion about when and where they are permitted to do so.

Gun laws in Dallas allow licensed gun owners to openly carry their handguns wherever they were previously permitted under the state’s concealed carry laws. …

Some of the licensed attendees at the protest were openly carrying their weapons, and many of them reportedly turned their guns over to local police once the shooting happened.

In Minnesota, the black guy who was killed had a permit to carry a gun. He told the cop he had a permit, and the cop shot him.

In Louisiana, open carry of firearms is allowed without a permit if the gun holder is at least 17. The black guy who was killed probably wasn’t allowed to carry a gun because he had a criminal record. But as the videos of the incident show, he was already subdued by the police and wasn’t going for his gun when he was shot to death.

In Texas, open carry is a religion, and Second Amendment fetishists bring out the heavy artillery whenever there’s any kind of event involving people and protests and a chance to say “fuck the government, here’s my gun and I’m proud of it.”

And we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath in Texas with an assault weapon and a grudge against cops unloads on police assigned to keep order at a protest rally.

Just like in Florida, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon and a grudge against gays goes into a nightclub and unloads on people dancing  celebrating Pride Week.

Just like in Colorado, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon and a grudge against existence goes into a cineplex and unloads on people catching a midnight show of “The Dark Knight Returns.”

Just like in California, we’re supposed to be surprised when psychopaths with assault weapons and religion induced dementia go into a Christmas party at a regional center and unload on people just trying to enjoy the holidays.

Just like in South Carolina, we’re supposed to be surprised when a racist psychopath with an assault weapon goes into a church and unloads on black parishioners as they’re studying the Bible.

Just like in the District of Columbia, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon who’s frustrated at work goes to a naval installation and unloads on people who are trying to make sure our Navy is ready to defend the country.

Just like in Arizona, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon and a grudge against government goes to a congresswoman’s meet and greet and unloads on the representative and her constituents.

Just like in Connecticut, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon and still holding a grudge for how he was treated as a little kid goes into a grade school and unloads on six and seven year olds who are just trying to learn.

Just like in Virginia, we’re supposed to be surprised when a psychopath with an assault weapon and a history of scaring his teachers and classmates goes into a major university and, until the incident in Florida above, commits the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

I am now a broken record. And like a broken record, I can go on with this list forever.

The shooting in Dallas isn’t about Black Lives Matter, or unjustified police shootings or any other conspiracy theory bullshit people come up with in the next few days to “explain” the event.

It’s about psychopaths with guns.

And instead of addressing the problem, we’re going to study the lint in our collective national navels, shift our attention to another shiny object and go on about our business.

Until the next psychopath with an assault weapon strikes.

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And now, a word from the Right, just as expected:

Following the killing of at least five police officers in Dallas overnight, a former one-term congressman from Illinois ignited a firestorm with a now-deleted tweet threatening President Obama with “war” and warning Black Lives Matter demonstrators to “watch out.”

“3 Dallas cops killed, 7 wounded,” former Rep. Joe Walsh, an Illinois Republican, wrote just before midnight, in a tweet that is no longer on his profile: “This is now war. Watch out Obama. Watch out black lives matter punks. Real America is coming after you.”

The reaction to the tweet  was an immediate mix of shock and outrage, as Twitter users assailed Walsh for openly threatening the president and for the racially charged nature of the tweet.

Brits voted to leave the European Union

This is why it is an enormously bad idea:

And to put this into context: That “world’s Ringo” reference at the very beginning? This now makes the United Kingdom the world’s Pete Best. (You kids under 40 don’t get the joke, but your grandparents are laughing their asses off.)

The slogan for the anti-E.U., British exit (or Brexit) supporters was something you hear from the right wing in America:

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Does that sound like a certain piece of moldy Cheetos lodged in the single tooth of the American heartland?

Hold on a sec, Donald Trump’s mouth is moving. I have to do something:

trump_is_electrified

What happened, essentially, was a victory for the Donald Trump message in the U.K. The nativist, anti-immigrant, ethnic-purity language that has gotten Trump within footsteps of the White House has led to what is going to be the official end of the British Empire.

Within hours of the conclusion of the Brexit vote, this happened:

As Britain absorbed the earth-shaking news, the political fallout reached to the highest level with Prime Minister David Cameron saying he would step down after championing the campaign to remain in the European Union.

Just hours later, the leader in heavily pro-E.U. Scotland, Nicola Sturgeon, said she will push for their own referendum to break with England and the other two partners in the United Kingdom, Wales and Northern Ireland.

A second independence referendum, following a defeated vote in 2014, is “highly likely,” said Sturgeon, the Scottish first minister. Calls to break away were echoed by nationalists in Northern Ireland.

Here’s a map of the U.K.

uk_colour_map

Scotland is definitely leaving. It had it’s own Brexit vote in 2014, but that vote was to leave the U.K. not the E.U. The Scots overwhelmingly supported remaining in the European Union in yesterday’s vote. They’re definitely gone.

And independence for Northern Ireland was a cause that led to “The Troubles,” a barrage of murder and terrorism that surged throughout the U.K. from 1968 to 1998. Now that they’re countrymen have said, “Hey, it’s OK to leave a place you don’t like,” expect rumblings of a departure there. Hopefully, it doesn’t lead to another civil war.

The British equivalent of the Republican party and its supporters have just not only pulled out of the E.U., they have destroyed their country. I’d say “God, save the Queen,” but in a couple of years, that’s only going to apply to that tiny portion of yellow and purple on the map above.

Muhammad Ali dies at 74. He was the greatest of all time.

You’re going to see a lot of tributes in coming days to Muhammad Ali, who died in Arizona last night of respiratory problems. People are going to say the three-time world champion heavyweight boxer transcended sports and was a great humanitarian. They’re going to say how he was a powerful symbol for oppressed people. They’re going to say how good he looked and how watching him in action was witnessing the physical expression of poetry.

Which is all true.

But don’t let the tributes fool you. When Muhammad Ali was at the peak of his talents, he was one of the most hated people in America. Black people loved him. White people hated and feared him. Anyone who was alive in the ’60s and ’70s knows that was the case. He was hated because, unlike today’s athletes, he spoke out against injustice.

Remember civil rights? When people were saying we’ll all get along by just grabbing hands and singing “Kumbaya,” Ali was in America’s face talking about its hypocrisy:

In the previous video, they talked about Vietnam, the issue that resulted in the the theft of his heavyweight crown. But when smug college boys tried to tell him that he wasn’t patriotic and anti-American because he wouldn’t support his country’s war against a tiny nation thousands of miles away, he threw the issue back in their faces.

He really threw terror into the hearts of white America. Don’t think that everything was beautiful and the multitudes agreed with the things he said at the time he said them. He was lightyears away from today’s athletes in terms of skill in a sport, but most of all in terms of impact on society. Today’s athletes aren’t going to do anything that threatens the removal from their sport or the loss of multimillion dollar sponsorships they have with sneaker companies.

The greatness of Muhammad Ali is that he gave up everything for what he believed.

Really, when you think about it, there are only two great athletes who spoke on behalf of black America when blatant racism was just the routine of life. Muhammad Ali and Jackie Robinson.

Robinson was told to internalize the injustices he was subject to. Don’t fight back. Don’t say anything no matter what the bigots in the stands or on the fields said or did. So, in what was the right move for his time, Jackie took the abuse, but he also spoke up against it when the opportunity came.

Jackie Robinson died when he was 53. He died young, and I’ll always believe that the mistreatment he faced in his early years in baseball contributed to that.

One thing you can say for Muhammad Ali was that he didn’t internalize anything:

I’ve seen Muhammad Ali live twice and neither was in the ring. The first time was in 1979 at the No Nukes all-star concert at Madison Square Garden. He said a few words and tried to endorse a senate candidate, but the crowd was surly and shouted “No politics.” Which was kind of stupid because:

  1. The anti-nuclear movement has to be a political movement. I mean how else are you going to put an end to nuclear power and nuclear weapons unless you get politicians to pass laws against them? And …
  2. When you’re giving a concert in New York’s Madison Square Garden, you’re using a lot of kilowatts. Where do you think that energy is coming from other than the nuclear plant up the river.

Anyway, Ali left the stage and the bands played on before an oblivious crowd.

The second time I saw him was at the 2013 Louisville vs. Florida Sugar Bowl college football game in New Orleans.

It made me so sad. Look at that beautiful vibrant intelligent man of the 1960s, and then to see him 50 years later wasting away is heartbreaking.

But we shouldn’t feel sad, because we’ve witnessed one of the most important people of the 20th century.

He was the greatest of all time.