The Statue of Bigotry

Picture it now, the colossal statue that Trump is going to erect of himself, with an arm outstretched and a palm facing east, his other arm clutching an executive order that reads:

Get back, wretched refuse,
To your teeming shore.
You are not wanted anymore.
Go back, wretched refuse,
To your lives of fear.
You are no longer welcome here.
You wanted refuge, I suppose.
But now the Golden Door is closed.
I lift no lamp to guide you to my land.
I lift only my tiny little hand.

Countless

From the crumbling, bullet-ridden houses,
Full of countless childhood pictures,
They fled.
From the smoldering cities,
Heavy with the smoke of countless fires,
They fled.
From the dust of countless broken buildings,
They fled.
Into the dust of the desert,
With countless broken people,
They fled.
Their countless dead,
And all their possessions,
Left behind.
In the fire.
In the dust.
Across the world, across the sea,
They fled,
For countless weeks,
They waited and hoped and prayed,
Their struggles, countless.
The horrors they’d witnessed, countless.
And then…
When they finally got there,
They were told,
That no one would help them.
That they were not wanted.
That they, the countless,
Did not count.

Extreme Vetting…

…discrimination by executive order.

Omran Daqneesh

There is a pantload of pictures throughout history that make people stop dead in their tracks. For some, it’s Quang Duc’s self-immolation. It could be the photo of Nguyen Van Lem’s being shot in the head in Saigon. Or – it could be Tank Man from Tiananmen Square.

The picture that has haunted me since I first saw it is of Omran Daqneesh aka “Syrian Ambulance Boy.” All of five years-old. As a parent, it is heartbreaking and soul crushing. As a human being, it makes you wonder what constitutes humane.

Today, an executive order was signed suspending the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days. All immigration from “countries with terrorism concerns” has also been suspended for 90 days. This includes Syria, where Omran lives.

Some will say it’s not the United States’ responsibility to fix the world’s problems. As many have pointed out, today is also Holocaust Remembrance Day. With that in mind, I’d like to remind those who feel that way that there was a boat full of Jews who were seeking safety in the United States. Our country turned that boat away.

We can repeat our mistakes or we can learn from them. A five year-old boy is not a threat to our national security. Neither is a majority of Muslims seeking asylum from their war torn nations.

We have to be better than this.

MIGHT NEED THAT LATER

MIGHT NEED THAT LATER

He’d say ”see ya in the funnies”,
And then he’d try to make one,
He could never resist,
Even the worst pun,
Kept all the rubber bands,
From his Globe & Mail,
And drawers full of clothes,
That he bought on sale,

He had so many kids,
Didn’t always know their names,
He’d call’em all George and Henry,
When they’d all play games,
He was always kinda short,
Even shorter in the end,
No one ever doubted,
Shirley was his best friend,

Yeah Pappa’s gone on
To gates so pearly,
No doubt St.Peter said
you’re a little bit early”
To which Pappa woulda said,
I’m here to see my Shirley”,

Knew his way around his tools,
And a welding torch,
In the old days he’d sit,
With a guitar on a porch,
Always a kind word,
To the cashier and waiter,
And kept every little thing,
Cuz he might need it later,

Sometimes he’d disappear,
In his room or on a ship,
He even disappeared
On a Las Vegas trip,
But we’d never ever worry,
Cuz we’d always know,
We could find him somewhere,
In the casino,

His emotions were never hung out on his sleeve,
Wasn’t quick to say what he didn’t believe,
He liked to joke and tease, could be an instigator,
He kept his love on a shelf,
Cuz he might need that later……

 

The Repeal of The Affordable Care Act…

…theory does not practicality make.

Why can’t people extend logic just a smidge?  An iota?  A scintilla?  If you have the creative capacity to dream up scenarios to defend your shitty, weak hypotheses, what is the harm in thinking an additional minute or two to ensure your idea isn’t completely off-base or entirely wrong?  Wouldn’t it make it easier to sell?  Wouldn’t it make it believable?  Because, when you don’t take that extra five minutes or so, you’re left with being challenged by some nitwit, healthcare consultant in the South who doesn’t care much for people and certainly isn’t agreeable when she identifies significant gaps which she, in her distorted sense of ethics, deems immoral.

Alas, no.  Logic is not a consideration in Conservative decision making. Neither is decency.  Nor humanity.  If it was, these assholes wouldn’t be hijacking government via “special sessions” (imma lookin atchu, NC General Assembly) and the Senate wouldn’t be voting to repeal the Affordable Care Act when they should otherwise be in bed, fucking their rent-boys.

A few things to note:

  1. The costliest demographic to providers and insurers in healthcare is the chronically ill, age regardless.
  2. The general public will never escape the burden of funding care for those who cannot pay the bill.

In a society that relies on employer subsidized healthcare as the model, eliminating the consumer’s protection with respect to preexisting conditions is reckless, irresponsible and immoral. There is absolutely no guarantee any person can maintain constant employment. Costs for non-subsidized health insurance are unrealistic for middle and lower class citizens without opting for a deductible that is unreasonable.

With Ryan’s plan, the state and federal governments are still involved. The insurance providers are still involved. They’re still subsidizing the cost. Your tax dollars are still paying for this albeit less efficiently because you have diluted the market, as a whole. Your insurance premiums will still be offsetting the cost for the providers.

 “For sick patients who cannot continue coverage, Ryan’s plan calls for a return to state-run high-risk pools. These pools allow sick people to buy insurance separately, while states, insurers and the federal government help subsidize the cost. The president-elect’s website says he supports risk pools.

Risk pools have a long and controversial past. Before the ACA was passed, 35 states ran risk pools for people with preexisting conditions ranging from cancer and diabetes to more minor afflictions such as arthritis or eczema. Premiums for risk pool coverage were as much as 250 percent more than a healthy person would pay for individual insurance, and some states, overwhelmed with sick patients, had wait lists for coverage or imposed other restrictions, said Fish-Parcham.”

Additionally, as we see in other business models, when there is shrinkage or loss, the cost of business is passed along to the consumer. Do you honestly believe providers (practices or hospitals) are not going to inflate their charges to the consumer to make up for the bad debt of others?  Do you think you’re not going to be stuck assuming that burden?  YOU WILL BE.

And so forth.  Further reading here.

POTUS

​So much hate for Obama

That it made his face red

His need for drama

Meant he’d defile their bed

So he sourced it out

That’s his way I guess

And now I’ve no doubt 

POTUS stands for Pissing On The US.

Love (because what else is there?)

And after life had had it’s way with me,

Sometimes shaken me,

Taken me,

Shoved me around,

Worn me down,

Let me taste joy,

Made sure to show me, that joy,

Was most often fleeting,

That there were challenges,

Constant challenges to be meeting,

Sometimes losing,

Sometimes beating,

When life had dragged me to the point,

Where I could be nothing else but strong,

Where I’d seen so much pain,

That the slightest beauty made me burst into song,

When I was at the point where I could still go on,

But could not take  much more,

Then,

And only then,

Did the universe deliver you,

Gently,

Warmly,

Spectacularly,

At my door.

christmas day

on christmas day my heart swells slightly
thoughts and memories held too tightly
things that fade yet won’t erase
sometimes take too large a place
looking inward reaching outward
oft drawn back though striving forward
wiser now through my life’s sum
grateful for christmas yet to come
and for the peace that greets this dawn
the goodwill born of christmas morn
on this day amidst the fluff and fuss
we muster up the best of us
hearts open pure and shed their guise
the world is seen through different eyes
for just this moment we see clearly
not just those that we hold dearly
with christmas spirit we are aware
of all with whom this world we share
we’re aware though temporarily
of the deepness of humanity
the best we are without divide
when pettiness is put aside
when love rules all we get to see
the utmost that we all can be
and that is why we sometimes say
it should be christmas every day

FATHER

Waiting,

Because that’s all that I can do,

Thinking,

Of moments that I’ve had with you,

Moments,

Are pretty much all that I knew,

Maybe,

All I have left,

My father,

With my love and my respect,

Still I wish,

You’d somehow learned how to connect,

It’s your absence,

On which I now mostly reflect,

As I sit here,

So sadly and bereft,

Wishing,

For something that we never knew,

And hoping,

Because that’s all that I can do.

Go Fuck Yourself Weekly: Peter Thiel

Mayor of Libertaria
Population:  all the white boys who haven’t progressed beyond The Fountainhead

Peter Thiel is totally gay, people but that’s not why he wins RM’s esteemed Go Fuck Yourself Weekly Whenever award.  Nope.  I’d say we love gay folks but I’d sound like pander-pander-salamander or Donald Trump. Peter Thiel wins this round of Go Fuck Yourself Whenever because he is a horrible, horrible, horrible person with a dangerously “good brain.”

A little background music for the background, s’il te plaît.

On the surface, Bollea v. Gawker was a lawsuit about invasion of privacy of a reality tv personality (oxymoron, no?). Pull back Hulk Hogan’s ridiculous bandanna and you’ll not only find a bald head but Peter Thiel’s bulging forehead vein, a lust for vengeance and very deep pockets.

The end result: the death of Gawker Media due to an award of $115+/- million in compensation for the deeply traumatized, champion of diversity, Hulk Hogan.  Believe it or not, people celebrated this. They celebrated the collapse of a controversial media outlet. They were overjoyed that Nick Denton lost his empire. They delighted in AJ Daulerio’s bank account being frozen (worth all of $1,505.78).

All this celebration while missing the critical point: free press has been compromised by a Silicon Valley billionaire with a grudge. The precedent has been set: regardless of fact, regardless of reason – if you don’t like what is in print simply bury the outlet and move on with your bad self. So long as you have the dollars, of course. Thiel had the resources to kill Gawker. Thiel had the fire in the belly to stick it to Nick Denton (a post in Valleywag from 2007). All he needed was the case. Hogan’s was it. Nine years later, Thiel gets his and the cornerstone of our democracy – fuck it.

Meanwhile, Thiel’s company, Palantir Technologies, has been working for ICE’s HSI (since 2011) on a project called FALCON.  The scope (via Raw Story): develop and implement a “complex intelligence system which allows ICE to store, search and analyze troves of data that include family relationships, employment information, immigration history, criminal records and home and work addresses.”  In 2014, Palantir entered into another agreement with ICE’s HSI to build a case management system which processes civil and criminal cases.

Peter Thiel has been a very busy, totally gay man, people.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, the “totally gay” comment is what sent Thiel into rage overdrive with respect to Gawker Media.

Now, Thiel has a new folly.  Thiel is part of President-Elect Shitgibbon’s transition team.  Should you be concerned?  If his past actions are any indication of his determination, Thiel is going to get what Thiel wants. We know Thiel wants money and I’ll even go so far as to say “Good for you, totally gay, money making dynamo!  You make your dollars!”

But what about the diversity element?  How does Thiel feel about that?

Back in *1996, Thiel co-authored a book with David O. Sacks titled “The Diversity Myth:  Multiculturalism and Political Intolerance on Campus.” In it, Sacks and Thiel attack multiculturalism and diversity in academia, namely Stanford University:

This is a powerful exploration of the debilitating impact that politically-correct “multiculturalism” has had upon higher education and academic freedom in the United States. In the name of diversity, many leading academic and cultural institutions are working to silence dissent and stifle intellectual life. This book exposes the real impact of multiculturalism on the institution most closely identified with the politically correct decline of higher education—Stanford University. Authored by two Stanford graduates, this book is a compelling insider’s tour of a world of speech codes, “dumbed-down” admissions standards and curricula, campus witch hunts, and anti-Western zealotry that masquerades as legitimate scholarly inquiry. Sacks and Thiel use numerous primary sources—the Stanford Daily, class readings, official university publications—to reveal a pattern of politicized classes, housing, budget priorities, and more. They trace the connections between such disparate trends as political correctness, the gender wars, Generation X nihilism, and culture wars, showing how these have played a role in shaping multiculturalism at institutions like Stanford. The authors convincingly show that multiculturalism is not about learning more; it is actually about learning less. They end their comprehensive study by detailing the changes necessary to reverse the tragic disintegration of American universities and restore true academic excellence.

A passage plucked from the book and shared for your reading pleasure by Advocate:

But since a multicultural rape charge may indicate nothing more than belated regret, a woman might ‘realize’ that she had been ‘raped’ the next day or even many days later. Under these circumstances, it is unclear who should be held responsible. If the alcohol made both of them do it, then why should the woman’s consent be obviated any more than the man’s? Why is all blame placed on the man?

Passages cited by The Guardian on diversity:

Real diversity requires a diversity of ideas, not simply a bunch of like-minded activists who resemble the bar scene from Star Wars.

…and…

As paradoxical as it may seem, the extreme focus on racism has become the source of acrimony, as multiculturalists charge whites with more evanescent and intangible forms of racism, such as ‘institutional racism’ or ‘unconscious racism’. As a result, the awareness of racism, once the main hope for ending racial division, today has become a major cause of debate and friction.

In October 2016, Forbes contacted Thiel about “The Diversity Myth” and his spokesperson responded with:

More than two decades ago, I co-wrote a book with several insensitive, crudely argued statements,” Thiel said in a statement. “As I’ve said before, I wish I’d never written those things. I’m sorry for it. Rape in all forms is a crime. I regret writing passages that have been taken to suggest otherwise.

Granted, Peter Thiel did say “I am proud to be gay.” during his speech at the Republican National Convention this past July but is that enough? While it is certainly brave to own homosexuality at the Republican National Convention, the act itself does not mean the person doing it is free from bias and prejudice.  One can very easily fall into the category of marginalized while harboring feelings of bias.  Most do it daily, completely unaware of their own behavior, on some level.

There is no disputing Thiel’s genius which may be the saddest thing of all.  No one is demanding he cast aside his Libertarian ideology (although, I do think a 49 year-old Libertarian is intellectually stunted. That way of thinking should be left in one’s 20s.).  What Thiel does need to do is become less of a demented, evil fuckstick intent on using this country as his token while he plays his distorted version of Monopoly. Visiting a psychiatrist may also come in handy to get that anger under control.

Shutting down a media outlet because you don’t like what it prints is not the way this country works.  Manipulating a legal system for your own personal satisfaction is absolute bullshit.  It’s one thing to be a profitable supplier to a government agency.  It’s another thing to be a supplier of goods and services which harm society.  Enabling a government’s effort to harm people, citizens or non, is unethical but I suppose ethics get a little fuzzy when your vision is blurred by dollar signs and dancing bags of money.

As for the whole diversity issue, from a casual observer’s perspective, it looks as if Peter Thiel has end-stage Implicit Bias (best case scenario).  I shudder to think if this is intentional, although I should not be surprised.  Not in Shitgibbon’s Amerikkka, at the very least.

And, with one long, detailed, not-so-snarky post, Mr Peter Thiel, congratulations!  You are cordially invited to go fuck yourself in the totally gayest way you could imagine.  I’m putting my money on ball gags and leather because I’m also thinking Peter Thiel is a very, very, very, totally gay and totally naughty boy.

*Cannot confirm actual date of publishing.  Five (Advocate, Forbes, The Guardian, Goodreads, Independent Institute – 1996, 1995, 1995, 1996, 1998 respectively) sources cited three different years.