Thursday, April 30, 2009

Rep. Virginia Foxx: Incompetent Moron, or Evil Fucking Bitch? You Decide!

To begin with, I have some concerns with hate crime legislature. I think hate crime laws are made for very, very good reasons, and I support the intentions. However, from a legal standpoint, I’m not convinced that motive should affect sentencing. Maybe it should, I don’t know. Do I think someone who steals to survive deserves to be sentenced as harshly as someone who steals out of boredom? Personally, no. But should the Justice System, which is theoretically blind, be blind to motive? …Maybe?

My point is, I’m not sure whether or not I can endorse hate crime legislation from a judicial standpoint. What makes a hate crime a hate crime? To paraphrase the South Park example, if a man kills his neighbor because he slept with the man’s wife, doesn’t he hate that man? Maybe it’s all semantics, maybe there does need to be protective legislation, and maybe there doesn’t. I really DO NOT KNOW, and therefore I won’t put my support for either side at this point.

What I do know, however, is that there are some things that people just shouldn’t get away with. I’m looking right at you, Virginia Foxx, representative of North Carolina’s fifth distraction in the Unites States of America’s House of Representatives. Yesterday, while sitting across from Judy Shepard, Matthew Shepard’s mother, Congresswoman Foxx said the following. And no, I am not making this up.

“I also would like to point out that there was a bill -- the hate crimes bill that's called the Matthew Shepard bill is named after a very unfortunate incident that happened where a young man was killed, but we know that that young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery. It wasn't because he was gay....This -- the bill was named for him, hate crimes bill was named for him, but it's really a hoax that that continues to be used as an excuse for passing these bills."

Okay, how the fuck is anyone supposed to react to something like that?

How about by saying this: On October the 7th, 1998, Matthew Shepard was tortured by Russell Arthur Henderson and Aaron James McKinney outside of Laramie, Wyoming, subsequently dying because of his substantial injuries. The New York Times reported: According to the local police and prosecutors, the two men lured Mr. Shepard out of a bar by saying they were gay. Then, the Laramie police say, the pair kidnapped Mr. Shepard, pistol-whipped him with a .357 Magnum, and left him tied to a ranch fence for 18 hours until a passing bicyclist spotted Mr. Shepard, who was unconscious.” Shepard never regained consciousness, and was pronounced dead at 12: 53 AM, October 12th, 1998.

None of these facts have ever been in dispute. In point of fact, Henderson and McKinney’s own lawyers would argued that they were temporarily driven insane, in a panic by Shepard’s alleged sexual advances towards them. That’s right, these murderous, bigoted scumbag’s own lawyers said they killed him because he offered gay sex to them. Both of their girlfriends testified at the trial that they had earlier plotted to rob a gay man. Henderson would eventually plead guilty and testify against McKinney, who himself was found guilty by a jury of peers.

“That young man was killed in the commitment of a robbery,” Congresswoman Foxx says. I supposed she thinks it was all an accident. Those misguided boys didn’t mean for him to die, they just got over excited, apparently. And it’s true, robberies do go wrong. A botched robbery usually looks like something like this, though: Robber approaches victim, to rob them. Something goes wrong, the robber panics. Robber accidently shoots victim, panics more, and often flees. A botched robbery doesn’t involve picking someone up at a bar to attack based on sexual orientation, driving him to the country, robbing him, beating him into a comma, and leaving him to die in a field tied to a fence. THAT is called premeditated murder. The robbery is incidental.

I’m not going to call Rep. Foxx a liar. It’s possible that she’s merely incredibly incompetent. She may simply have the single most misguided and useless collection of political advisors in the history of American Politics. It’s POSSIBLE. But to publicly suggest that Matthew Shepard’s death was some sort of freak accident- and THAT, Rep. Foxx, is EXACTLY what you are doing- is simply baffling. In front of his own mother, of all things.

Matthew Shepard was brutalized and murdered because he was gay. Not a single forensics worker or Wyoming police offer has ever suggested any thing else. Rep. Foxx has made a grossly false statement, and she should immediately apologize. Whatever her personal views on homosexuality are (and I doubt they’re overly accepting), that in no way justifies her dishonest statement, whether it was intentional or not. This isn’t about hate crimes, this is about directly misrepresenting the facts of a criminal case in a public forum.

Please, Congresswoman Foxx. Do the right thing and apologize. Now.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Oh Bill, You Really Should Sit Down and Have Some Cocoa.

Because I’m a bit of a masochist, I occasionally read Bill O’Reilly’s columns and commentaries on the world in general. I usually find them to be somewhat better thought out than his radio show and television tirades, you see. And the tragic thing is that I want to think Bill O’Reilly really is an intelligent guy. In fact, I KNOW he is, I’ve read articles by him that were clearly well thought out and researched and everything. Which is why every time he doesn’t write as well as he can, it, well, it makes me sad. You can be a smart guy, Bill. I know you can. You just need to stop acting so dumb.

Take this, for example. It’s a recent column of his, and I’ll reprint it in its entirety, just to prove I’m not Daily Showing it up here:

Kids Gone Wild

By Bill O'Reilly

Thursday, April 16, 2009

1. “These are dark days for traditional Americans-folks who believe that the Judeo-Christian principles of right and wrong should be considered when making public policy. The other day, former "Focus on the Family" chief Dr. James Dobson actually told his crew that the culture war was being lost in America. And it is hard to argue with Dobson's opinion.

2. “All over the USA, secular-progressives are on the move, promoting gay marriage, legalized drugs, unfettered abortion, and attacking almost all judgments on personal behavior. And nowhere is the movement more intense than in the nation's most liberal state: Vermont.

3. “The legislature in the Green Mountain State recently voted to legalize gay marriage, overriding the veto of Governor Jim Douglas. Vermont is the first state to actually legislate in favor of homosexual nuptials, as Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Iowa all had gay marriage imposed on the citizenry by judges.

4. “It is worth noting that Vermont is one of the few states that voted down Jessica's Law, the tough mandatory prison sentence legislation against child sexual predators. An investigation into Vermont's criminal justice apparatus reveals the state embraces "restorative justice," whereby criminals often receive "holistic" treatment as part of their sentence for even heinous crimes like child rape. The goal is not so much to punish the offender, but to "restore" him or her to their rightful place in society. That is a secular-progressive hallmark.

5. “While Vermont is coddling child predators, it is also sending a message to kids: Hey, you can do pretty much what you want. Somewhat incredibly, the Vermont senate has passed a bill decriminalizing consensual "sexting." That is the process by which children send sexual pictures of themselves to other children using cell phones or computers. The proposed Vermont law says that 13- to 18-year-olds will be allowed to do that, but not distribute the photos to more than one person or an adult.
“Supporters of the sexting law say it's necessary so that teenagers will not be prosecuted as sexual offenders and have their lives ruined. There is some validity to that, as dopey kids do dopey things. However, the sane solution would be to categorize sexting as a misdemeanor breach of the peace, thus sending a message that it is unacceptable for kids to send other kids sexual images.
“But secular-progressives are loathe to make that judgment. Remember, these are the same people who believe a girl has the right to an abortion without telling her parents. So if a kid can undergo a major life altering operation (especially for the fetus), why should it be a big deal to do a little sexting?
“With a liberal federal government and media, there is little opposition being voiced to what is happening in Vermont and other secular-progressive enclaves. Culture war issues have been forced to the back room by the awful economy, and the S-P's are taking full advantage. If American children are legally allowed to send explicit pictures of themselves to other kids, then say goodbye to traditional boundaries of behavior.
“The slippery slope is here.”

Now then, this is hardly Mr. O’Reilly had his most nonsensical. It’s fairly well thought out (fairly), and he makes his points mostly without offending anyone (well, other than anyone who is supportive of gay marriage, obviously). But when you actually sit back and look at it (and fact check it, hurrah for fact checking!), you realize that O’Reilly really is always pushing his agenda, whatever it may be. To demonstrate my point, I’m going to go paragraph by paragraph- that’s why I numbered them for you- to comment on Mr. O’Reilly’s commentary. Oh, this outta be good…

Paragraph 1:

James Dobson says he’s loosing the culture war. Am I the only one who thinks that that’s a good thing? Anyway, Bill, you can believe whatever crazy thing you want, that is your Constitutionally-granted right as an American citizen. And hey, you’re hardly alone. A whole bunch of people would agree with you that our society is based on old time religion Judeo-Christian morals. But, uh, they’re still wrong. American Law is actually based on the common law system of English Law. Common law itself is derived in large part from Norman Law, which was brought to Britain during that messy Norman Conquest business. Amusingly enough, Norman law is related more towards Islamic law than anything Christian, but I digress.

Not only all that, of course, but let us not forget that the Founding Fathers were… well, they weren’t really the bible thumpin’ type, by and large. They were rich, white, local politicians. Were there religious members? Oh certainly. But some were also rather opposed to religion a great deal. Thomas Jefferson finished his own New Testament 1820, where he threw out all that ‘God’ stuff. George Washington himself never publicly discussed religion outside of church. And there’s that whole Establishment Clause in the First Amendment. The point being: ‘Judeo-Christian priniciples’ aren’t what this country is all about, and never really have been.

Paragraph 2:

According to Webster’s-

Secular: 1 a: of or relating to the worldly or temporal <secular concerns> b: not overtly or specifically religious <secular music> c: not ecclesiastical or clerical <secular courts> <secular landowners>

Progressive: 1 a: of, relating to, or characterized by progress b: making use of or interested in new ideas, findings, or opportunities c: of, relating to, or constituting an educational theory marked by emphasis on the individual child, informality of classroom procedure, and encouragement of self-expression 2: of, relating to, or characterized by progression 3: moving forward or onward : advancing

Oh, sure, when those damn progressives wanted to stop child slavery that was okay, but letting people who love each other get married- Now they’ve gone too far! Hey, isn’t having the government stay out of a person’s private life- as guaranteed by the Constitutional Right to Privacy- a major tenant of Conservatives? Why is it that the whole privacy rights stuff never seems to apply to recreational drug use, abortion, or what you may or may not do in the bedroom with a willing partner (or partners, if you want to make things interesting)? Just asking. Also, just asking again, but how does he know that Vermont is the ‘most liberal state?’ He really ought to site his sources better.

Paragraph 3:

‘Citizenry of judges.’ Umm-hmm. (Whatever.) And isn’t it interesting that the governor of supposedly the ‘most liberal state’ in the union, Jim Douglas, is a Republican who has been elected to the position four times in a row? Weird, right?

Paragraph 4:

Aha! Informal fallacy alert! You’ll notice how the fourth paragraph really has nothing to do with the last two? Yeah, that’s because it doesn’t have anything to do with them at all. See, the argument here is that gay marriage is bad because….? But! Vermont is pro-gay marriage. And Vermont is pro-child molesters (according to Billy Boy. I am SO not going there today). So, obviously, gay marriage is akin to child molestation, obviously. It all makes so much sense now! (A straw man, Bill? Really? Shouldn’t you be a better debater than that?)

And yes, in O’Reilly’s world, rehabilitation is terrible, apparently. It’s not like teaching criminals why what they did was wrong ever made the world a better place or anything.

Paragraphs 5 and on:

Okay, so after we kick gay marriage in the shins a bit and remind everybody that if you’re gay you rape babies, we finally get to the point of the thing: Naked children. (Wait, what?) Amazingly, this is the part that starts to make sense, until he goes and blames it all on us pesky progressives again.

So, sexting. Horny teenagers, with their hormones a-ragin’, send naked pictures of themselves to their significant others, who, being horny teenagers themselves, show them to all their friends. The problem, other than potentially tight pants and a lifelong period of embarrassment after the fact, is technically what these minors are doing is trafficking child pornography. Technically. And while, embarrassment aside, they are usually fully consenting while taking these pictures (hell, most of the time they take the picture themselves), because in the eyes of the law it’s child pornography, these kids can end up being labeled a sexual predator for life. Because they sent a picture of themselves nekkid to their friends. It’s ridiculous! And Bill rightly points that out. You hear that Bill? I said I agreed with you! You see, I’m only hating on you when you don’t make a damn bit of sense! I’m all about reasonable arguments.

The legislature O’Reilly is talking about (and I can’t help but notice that he never mentions it’s part of a bill to actually EXPAND on the sex offender registry, but I’m sure that just slipped your mind, right Bill?) exists to try to curtail some of the ridiculousness that been going on with all this sexting stuff. It’s some potentially good legislature, and could help things chill the fug out. The Vermont legislature knows that they can’t stop this from happening, so they’re trying to make it a little less stupid at least. That being said, I think O’Reilly’s idea here might have some potential as well. Did you see, Bill! That’s twice in as many paragraphs!

Ignoring the complicated, confusing, and at times ridiculous consent laws in this country, the issue here is whether we punish what is usually a mostly harmless act to try to prevent it’s abuse, or whether we allow it to happen, knowing that no matter what we do, some old pervert will eventually get a stiffie from naked teenagers one way or another. It’s a fair debate to have, certainly, and I can see both sides of the issue. But, rather than dive right to the meat of the issue, O’Reilly has buried it under all this ‘anti-progressive’ rubbish that robs his argument of legitimacy. Instead of talk about it like adults, he has lowered himself to a sensationalist, using a real, uncomfortable issue that needs to be seriously debated as an excuse to run at the mouth against gay marriage and pinko commie progressives.

And I think, at the end of the day, my fundamental problem with Bill O’Reilly is just that. I think that he’s a smart enough guy that he really… he really ought to know better. When he spews forth a bunch of homophobic nonsense on his tv show, when his hypocrisy is just so obvious, I really think he should be smarter than that. The man calls himself a “Traditionialist” not a “Conservative,” and I admit, it does have a nice ring to it. But, personally, there’s a great many American ‘’traditions’ that I’d rather not draw attention to. Slavery, racism, mistreatment of the working class, sexism, mutton chops and driving gas guzzling cars have all been justified by American ‘tradition’ from time to time. And who fought these things, each and every time? Progressivists who thought we could make the world a better place, that’s who. (Except the mutton chops. I think people just eventually figured out that look ridiculous). So Bill, why are you so intent on make ‘progressive’ into a dirty word? What’s wrong with trying to think progressively? And would you please stop using real issues worthy of discussion as a sounding post for stupid comments? You lower the quality of the debate each and every time you do that.

Please, Bill. I really do think you’re smarter than you’ve been acting for the last 59 years. Why don’t you come inside, sit down with some coca by the fire, and have a good long think about things, hmm?

Friday, April 3, 2009

He’s the Best There is At What he Does

Minor spoilers, but hey, it’s a prequel. You knew at the beginning of Episode One that the little kid was going to grow up to be Darth Vader, right? (god damn I hated Episode One…)

Recently I saw a workprint copy of the Wolverine movie that may or may not have been acquired through legitimate channels. It’s a movie that I always expected to be bad, because, well, anything involving the X-Men and Gambit usually ends poorly. Prequels usually suck too. But mostly because of Gambit. God damn I hate Gambit.

But surprisingly, it didn’t completely suck. I’m still not sure why, if they’re making Wolverine and Sabretooth brothers, nothing was ever mention in X-Men 1. And while we explain where the name “Wolverine” comes from, there’s no mention of where the name “Logan” came from (fun fact: Wolverine’s real name is James Howlett, for reasons that are too silly to bother explaining). And why were Silver Fox and Emma Frost related? Seriously? And what’s with what they did to Deadpool? WTF?

However, bits off stupidness and Gambit’s very existence aside, it was okay. And ‘okay’ was a hell of a lot better than what I expected. And Lynn Collins, who played Silver Fox, is a rather lovely lady, which always is good. X-Men 3 was utter drivel from start to finish (Why is it noon when they step on the bridge and nighttime when they get off? What’s up with that?), but this movie was at least fun. Silly fun, with a few bumps in the road, sure. And the helicopter bit, is absolutely ridiculous. But hey, it was way better than X-Men 3, and thank the gods for that.

Also! Patrick Stewart cameo they’re not telling us about! You heard it here first. Sweeeeeeet….

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Episcopal Bishop of Springfield is an Ignorant Sod

I’m not going to call the bishop a liar.

I’m not going to, despite any personal feelings I may or may not have on the matter. And there is a very important, legal reason why I’m not going to call him a liar. It is a great irony of our justice system that calling someone a liar or a fraud can be grounds for a liable suit, but calling someone a smegma coated, dung eating gutter whore is accepted. You see, expletives are okay. So I will not be calling anyone a liar, a fraud, a charlatan, or a bigot in this. But if you don’t like swearing, too fucking bad.

Last night, myself and about seventy other members of St. Matthews Episcopal Church got together for a discussion with the bishop of the Diocese of Springfield (the diocese it belongs too), Peter H Beckwith (alias Bishop Asshole). The discussion was about St. Matthews’ search for a new rector- it’s been without a priest for 18 months now. The reasons that there still is no priest are multiple, but they basically either boil down to sex (if you’re Bishop Penisface), or to Bishop Cum Guzzler’s own brooding ego and my-way-or-no-way attitude (if, you know, you’re anyone in the St. Matthews’ congregation).

Last night, after comparing himself to Moses (who may or may not have been a real person), Bishop Petey (who may or may not rape dogs) went on and on for 45 minutes about how the Episcopal Church of America was strangling itself to death because of its openness to homosexuals in the clergy, because of its tolerance of ‘hedonistic culture’ instead of focusing purely on godliness and biblical law (biblical law prohibits shaving your sideburns, remember), and because That Woman- meaning the Presiding Bishop of all of the USA, Katherine Schori, who happens to be his boss- has tried to be inclusive and said that people of all faiths can get along together. For the record, potential dog rapist Bishop Petey has called her a heretic in public before. They used to burn heretics at the stake.

After rambling on for an eternity touching on such subjects as the horribleness of any sex outside of marriage, gay sex as the root of all evil in the universe, how only a ‘deranged mind’ could ever enjoy S & M (well, he’s not the first to call me deranged), and how divorce is evil and he’s been married 44 years during which I’m sure he’s had sex once or twice, Bishop Shiteater finally turned to the reason we were all there- getting our sexy church a sexy new rector. Honestly, I’m a little surprised he never mentioned how the only sex that isn’t sin is missionary, man on top. It’s a good thing I like sinning so much.

Claiming that his office has done everything it can to assist us and has been nothing but helpful- which is horse shit- the daft sod had the balls, which I’m sure were blue, to suggest that he wasn’t looking for the right fit for our church. What he’s interested is a dynamic leader who will get us off our asses and help save the church from sin, hedonism, and most likely butt sex. Christ on his throne! How can a man who spends so much fucking time talking about fun ways of fucking leave me so fucking bored? Shit god damn!

Opening the floor to questions, Bishop Titty Twister McGee managed to do his best to not answer a single one. Using confusing religious jargon, circular logic, and orthodox bullshit, Bishop Cockmaster refused to accept a shred of responsibility for the delays in finding a new priest. I know, I know, orthodox means different things to different people, but in my mind, being kosher is pretty orthodox. And BishopAssclown strikes me as a man who likes his pork.

The remarkable thing of it is that virtually the entire congregation is in agreement that ALL of the responsibility is on him and his office. What an ass. For months they delayed getting the paperwork for potential candidates to our search committee, then when we did get said paperwork and selected 17 people to be further investigated, the majority of them were rejected for not having been properly vetted by Bishop Buttface’s office. What the hell they were doing with them for all those months, no one really seems to know. Convenient. He had the gall to claim he’d only seen three resumes for the position, a bullshit claim that he had to recant once several people WHO WERE AT THE MEETING WIH HIM pointed out that he had gone over all 17 resumes personally. Isn’t selective memory a wonderful thing?

The entire debacle was nothing more than four hours of wasting time. Nothing was accomplished, other than getting the bullshit spewing Bishop Dirty Sanchez (I mean that as a sexual reference, no disrespect to anyone actually named Sanchez is implied) to state publicly that under no circumstances would he allow in a priest who agrees with the national church. Since we DO agree with the national church, we’re gridlocked. Fucking dingle berry bastard.

For the record, I never once swore at the man last night, nor did I raise my voice to shout at him. And once again, for the record, I never once in this entire writing said “Bishop Peter H. Beckwith of Springfield, Illinois is an egotistical, lying, manipulative tool, who cares only about his own personal power and refuses to compromise with anyone who disagrees with him on even the smallest issue. He is a man who fails to comprehend his own incompetence and will never seriously entertain the idea that he might be mistaken on anything. He is a hypocrite who cherry-picks minor bits of the bible for his own personal interest, and refuses to acknowledge that his ‘logic’ has any flaw, ever.” I DIDN’T say that here. And finally, for the record, I never said he rapes dogs.

I just never said he didn’t, either.