Saturday, July 14, 2012

Ragehammer®: Pot & Gary Johnson

Gary Johnson, erstwhile New Mexico governor and present Libertarian nominee for president, has some baggage he can't get rid of even with a record as governor that included cutting spending, cutting government jobs, and cutting taxes.  It's the pot. Johnson admits to using pot after injuring his back, and once you admit to using pot, it's like copping to having sex: the media just can't focus on anything else.

People smoke weed. People fuck. It's not goddamned earth-shattering news.  Hell, it's not even news.  I would like to go on record and say that I smoked pot in my twenties. I smoked a lot of it. I enjoyed it. I inhaled every last fucking chance I got.  I smoked weed in my house in Nashville, I smoked with my editor at her house in Nashville, I smoked weed in parking lots, with girlfriends, I even smoked fucking weed in a Unitarian Universalist church once.

I smoked weed until I was 29 years old.  I grew out of it.  Would I smoke weed again? Sure, if I weren't in law school and complying with a promise to abide by the law.  If I had to choose which substance my kid would use in high school, between cigarettes, alcohol, or weed, I would fucking choose weed.  Without hesitation.  I wouldn't be happy about my teenager smoking it, and I'd bust their ass because that's what a parent is supposed to do when they catch their child engaged in illegal behavior or conduct beyond their years, but I wouldn't worry about it as much as beer or whiskey.

One of my good buddies in high school was a raging alcoholic even before we graduated.  He drank and drank and drank.  He's a year sober now.  That's how fucked up alcohol can make you: it's a momentous occasion when you go a year without drinking any.  I don't recall getting any medallions after a year had elapsed from the time I last smoked weed.  I didn't sit in a church basement crying to total strangers and  regurgitating psycho-babble bullshit about how I was a weed addict.  I never got a DWI while I was smoking weed or after smoking weed.

I sat on my goddamned couch and listened to Miles Davis albums.  In A Silent Way is my favorite Miles album high or sober, but when I was high, it was even better.

People in the media need to grow the fuck up.  It is not news when a public figure smokes pot.  It's like taking a shit, brushing your teeth, or eating a hot dog.  Nobody gets all pissy when I fire up a Camel Wide, even though hundreds of thousands of people a year get cancer or die from emphysema.  When I sit down and drink an entire fifth of Old Forester over the course of an afternoon and into the early morning hours with my pipe, it's no big fucking deal.  I'm a grown ass man, and I pay my own bills. I sit on my couch with my dogs, write, and I walk outside to smoke my pipe because my lease says so and because I'm not into blowing tobacco smoke in my dogs' faces.

It's my fucking choice.  You know, we have those in a free society.  As for those of you who will say that my choice affects others because of healthcare costs, I didn't fucking make the decision to back medical costs with insurance. The government did with its regulations.  I have to have fucking healthcare, and I don't mind fucking paying a little more because of my personal choices.  However, it isn't set up like that.  Again, not my fucking choice.

I'd wager that as a former pot smoker, I was more motivated and driven than anyone reading this shit.  I worked out six times a week.  I had virtually no sugar intake beyond beer.  I ate tunafish without mayonnaise.  I prepared boneless, skinless chicken breasts with low sodium recipes.  I was in great fucking shape, even as a guy who drank and smoked pot.  When my car's engine blew up, I bought a bike and rode 28 miles a day to and from work, and that's a 56 mile round trip. I showered at the Gold's Gym next to the store I worked at.  I didn't fucking die from the experience.  I've biked 110 miles non-stop before, and it was while I smoked pot.

I did pushups in my living room when I couldn't sleep, and I had a pair of 30 lb dumbbells.  All of this talk about how shiftless pot smokers are doesn't wash with me, because everyone I smoked pot with had a job and a career.  I smoked with executives, I smoked with a guy who owned his own consulting business for fundraisers, and I smoked with people who owned their own goddamned businesses. I smoked pot with a guy who owned sixteen hotels.

Are there dumbasses who smoke pot? Absolutely.  There are far more idiots in the ranks of drinkers and smokers. I would rather sit down and have a conversation with someone who smokes pot than someone who drinks to excess.

Gary Johnson talked about drug legalization because drug legalization is important.  We incarcerate a half a million people in this country because of drugs.  We pay billions of dollars to do so, and for what? So they can be imprisoned in a rape factory for ingesting, possessing, or selling a substance?!  Not even a substance that does as much harm to its users as we know tobacco and alcohol do.

No one I've ever talked to laments how their buddy overdosed on pot.  You don't hear someone say, "Man, I wish Chuck were still here, but that goddamned pot just ate him alive until there wasn't anything left."  How many people die from cancer exclusively from smoking pot?  You have a higher chance of getting cancer from the beauty products you use on a daily basis than you do from smoking a fucking joint.

Our drug policies are a goddamned joke. Our last three presidents would have gone to jail under those laws had they been caught as regular guys without political connections to bail them out. They stand as living proof that drugs don't ruin lives. You can be president after smoking pot, snorting cocaine, and fucking everything that moves.

The worst part is that everyone with experience knows that drugs aren't that bad. I had my constitutional law professor stand up in front the class and recount how one of his former clients used heroin and, wait for it, actually fucking functioned. All the stuff you see on television about people falling backwards with a single tear running down their cheek after shooting up is bullshit.  I know bankers and traders who've used heroin.  They aren't junkies.

I also know people who are junkies, and the difference between those people and the career types who use drugs is that the junkies are already maladjusted individuals when they start using drugs.  Drugs don't change shit.  They simply magnify what's already there.  All of these parents who want to cry and rage about how their baby changed when that demon weed or that meth got ahold them are fucking idiots. Your baby was likely a narcissistic, disobedient, rebellious, jackass of a child and you mythologized them afterwards because you didn't want to face the fact that you raised a goddamned sociopath. Your kid was a fucking jerk, and you refused to face facts and crack a whip before they got into drugs.  You were a shit parent, you indulged a bad seed, and now you want to cry about it and blame anyone or anything besides yourself.

What I hate more than anything about the dialogue on drugs in this country is how it erodes personal responsibility and accountability.  If someone eats a homeless man's face, everyone is in shock.  If you say, "Oh, he was high on bath salts or weed!" everyone nods with that snide fucking look of understanding as though his being high explains everything.  No, it fucking doesn't.  I smoke a ton of weed, and I did plenty of other drugs as well, and I never ate anyone's face.  I didn't fucking attack anyone while I was high or because I was high.  You know why? Because I knew I was responsible for my choices and my decisions.  Eating someone's face is wrong.  Beating someone up for no reason is wrong, and even with a reason, most of the time it's still legally fucking wrong.  There are tons of times I had good reason to beat someone's head and ass in, but I didn't because doing so would have still been illegal.

I took responsibility, I exercised fucking control, and I made a decision to comply with the fucking law where it related to violent behavior. Shut the fuck up about how drugs made him or her do it.  They didn't.  These people are fucking assholes beforehand, viruses with no regard for basic human decency or restraint, and they certainly don't feel any obligation to exercise self-control. Fuck them. The fact that they were high or drunk while they attacked somebody is irrelevant.  It's called responsibility and accountability for one's own actions.

Despite the fact that I hate prohibitionists and the silly logic they use in arguments over drug policy, I have never once reached across a table to bitch slap a single person for their positions on drug policy. Did I want to at certain points? Yes I did. Again, I have a respect for something deeper than the law, something called moral restraint that says you don't always  get what you deserve.  Violence is something you deploy in self-defense or defense of others who can't defend themselves.  It isn't a means of resolving an argument, even when the person on the other side of the argument is being a little cunt.

Gary Johnson made one critical mistake in assuming that he could have a rational discussion about a serious topic in drug legalization with a room and a country full of cunts.  What angers and infuriates me more than anything is this: how many of us have used drugs and survived the experience?  How many of us really weren't that affected?  How many of us are living proof that drugs don't ruin your life or turn you into a violent psychopath? And how many of us refuse to take a principled stand on this issue and tell the prohibitionists that they are fucking wrong?  How many of us enable these cocksuckers, these fucktards of the morning dew dancing through our lives with their drivel, these total goddamned cunts, to continue driving and dominating the narrative on this topic with our cowardice and our silence?

How many of us would have been raped in jail had we been caught, charged, tried, and imprisoned?  Were our actions so terrible that they merited such punishment?

Gary Johnson is a fucking hero, a goddamned American through and through, and a man who fucking counted the cost and stood his fucking ground.  Stack his record as governor of New Mexico alongside the record of Mitt Romney as governor of Massachusetts. There is no goddamned comparison.  Gary Johnson stomps Mitt Romney's patrician ass on liberty, on fiscal responsibility, on taxes, all of it.

And don't even bother comparing their record on business, because Gary Johnson actually built a company from the ground up and didn't use it to leverage loans so that he could line his own goddamned pockets with a dividend payout while leaving his lenders holding the bag.  Gary Johnson managed a company.  You know, he did something other than put a little money up to buy an existing company and load it with debt to generate a huge payout for himself and his partners...he actually fucking ran the company to generate a profit from its actual goddamned operations.  Imagine that shit.

You don't even have to bother with an Obama comparison, because it's pointless.  Barack Obama is a shitty president who added record deficits to an already exploded national debt.  He has failed on every front, on his promises, and his achievements thus far will only worsen the issues they purport to resolve.

The only reason Gary Johnson can't win is because Americans don't have the balls to stand up and say what's what.  I smoked weed, my neighbors have smoked weed, my dad smoked weed, and most of the people I know have smoked weed. We didn't deserve to be thrown in jail for that shit, and we didn't deserve to be incarcerated with sexual sadists who rape their cellmates.  The fact that we smoked pot or that we still smoke pot doesn't make us less as people.  It doesn't make us violent criminals with a disregard for morality.  The average American commits multiple federal felonies a day without realizing because our lives are buried in regulation and prohibitions.  Saying that someone who smoked pot is a criminal is like saying that the average American who breaks the ridiculous litany of laws is a sociopathic criminal with no regard for the law he routinely breaks on a daily basis.  It's fucking asinine.

Americans need to start acting like fucking Americans and throwing this fear of the unknown to the goddamned wind, and the first place they can start is by rejecting this notion that Mitt Romney is the only motherfucker who can have a chance of beating Obama. The only reason that's true is because America is becoming a nation of goddamned pussies.  I guess we should have tried to negotiate with Hitler to pay fucking tribute instead of kicking his genocidal psychopathic ass all over Europe and North Africa while simultaneously shoving Hirohito's balls down his throat and seeing to it that Mussolini would end up hanging from a goddamned lamp post.  America, man the fuck up.

Nowhere is it written that the path to less tyranny runs through the Republican Party's nominee, but here in this Ragehammer it is written that the best possible path towards a liberty restoring, fiscally sane presidency lies in electing Gary Johnson to the White House.  Less tyranny? Are you fucking shitting me?  Is that what we're going to fucking settle for in America?  The lesser of two goddamned insipid evils with similar records of governing?

This is America, and my 24 mile to the gallon Mercury Grand Marquis named Roscoe P. Coltrane is gold, and my Big Gulp is 64 oz., my Camel Wides are goddamned delicious when I indulge them, and my fucking cheeseburger is flame broiled.  I fear no towel headed fuck living in a cave on the other side of the world, because I live with indoor plumbing and two dogs who would make him piss in fear and defecate over his neurotic cultural hangups on the cleanliness of canines.  God made me with two feet to stand before men, and two knees to kneel before Him alone.  Shit goddamn, I'm a man, and an American one at that.

I carry the fire of my ex-Marine dad, and his father before him who fought in two World Wars.  I believe that it is my responsibility to make the rent and pay my way.  I believe in my own choices, and in consequences for those choices as incentives and deterrents.  I bear the Ragehammer® and use it towards anyone who tries to encroach on my liberty in the name of security.  I do not believe in false choices as anything other than the enabler of charlatans, tyrants, and the comfort of cowards and pussies.  I apologize for nothing, because apologies are for those who regret or those who are guilty, and I am neither.

I believe that those copper robes on the Statute of Liberty once concealed a pair of giant brass balls, and I think it's time that we restore them.  For eighty fucking years, we've had solutions to our problems that only made our problems worse.  Americans can't afford healthcare because of insurance, and a lot of us can't afford to retire because our savings and retirements were decimated by inflation and executive wrongdoing while those same assholes sold their shares as we were locked out of our 401(k)s, and what they did was legal.  It wasn't right, but it was goddamned legal.

It is long established principle of our fucking jurisprudence that the law does not exist to sustain absurd results.  It is beyond goddamned time to start identifying the laws that sustain absurd results and deracinating them, by a moral refusal to enforce those laws and a resolute determination to provide recompense for those who were ruined by those laws.  Gary Johnson wants to begin with our drug laws, and I think it's a fine fucking place to start.  America, Johnson 2012, and kiss my white Irish ass and suck my Ragehammer® if you have have problem with it.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Ragehammer: Barack Obama

Screed of Momus is proud to introduce another regular featured column, Ragehammer™.  Ragehammer™ is the NSFW takedown of a person or group or company that has engaged in extremely bitchassed conduct.  Our first target is none other than President Barack Obama, whose recent accusations towards Mitt Romney are characteristic of leftist tactics in that they obscure the real issue.  It's time to drop the fucking Ragehammer™, ladies and gentlemen, and restore some goddamned clarity to the debate.  Part of the issue is that Mitt Romney apparently doesn't have the spine or the willpower to fight back effectively, and while Screed of Momus doesn't endorse Mitt Romney for president, we aren't about to let a leftist charlatan like Barack Obama take him apart without firing back.

Let's talk about those 12 years of tax records that Barack Obama wants for a moment, shall we?  I'd advise Mitt Romney to make a counter-offer: when Barack Obama releases his undergraduate and law school transcripts, as well as all of his published work as a graduate student and constitutional law lecturer, and the records held by the Illinois State Bar pertaining to the surrender of his law license, he can have the fucking tax records he wants.  Until then, he can sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up and stop acting like a snide little bitch.  Oh, and he can put forth his Selective Service registration as well.

And let's talk about Mitt Romney's history at Bain Capital, because Barack Obama likes to talk about the layoffs and the company closings.  Deutsche Bank did an analysis of 68 deals that Bain engaged in during Romney's tenure, finding that Bain lost money or broke even on 33 of the deals.  That's 35 more successful deals than Barack Obama ever had. Bain almost doubled its investors' money annually.  In 15 years under Romney's leaderships, Bain Capital returned $3 billion on $260 million in investments on just its top 10 deals.  Barack Obama promised to cut the national debt in half by the end of his first term, and we all see how that fucking turned out, don't we?

Here you have a president with the fucking gall to criticize Mitt Romney for layoffs at companies he invested in when the country President Obama oversees puts more people on disability each month than it does into actual fucking jobs.  Really, could you be any more of a cunt?  Could you?

Barack Obama and his allies in the media like to make a to-do about Mitt Romney's role in giving an effeminate classmate a haircut at the preparatory school he attended.  Well, if Mitt Romney's worse transgression was a haircut that was cruel, he's still got a future president who belonged to the Choom Gang beat.  Of course, we know that Mitt Romney confesses to having tasted a beer and smoked a cigarette, but Barack Obama used fucking coke and weed, and has the goddamned gall to advocate for strict federal enforcement of drug laws today that would have have gotten his ass thrown in jail for years had he been caught.

There's absolutely no goddamned reason for Barack Obama to be criticizing Mitt Romney on any of these goddamned fronts, beyond the fact that Barack Obama is a charlatan, a liar, and a jackass who doesn't give a flying fuck about anything besides winning another term in office even though his first term was an unqualified disaster for America.  From the stimulus that was supposed to keep unemployment under 8% to the deficit that was supposed to be cut in half, to Department of Energy loans and guarantees for failed energy companies, this jerk-off fucked up virtually everything that he touched.  

Even with his goddamned insurance reform law, the price of insurance premiums for families is projected to reach half of the median income by 2021.  That's just the fucking premiums, and it doesn't count the goddamned copays and deductibles.  Man, that's fucking progress.

I won't fucking get into the guns his employees walked across the Mexican border, which were used to murder hundreds of Mexican civilians and Border Patrol Agent Brian Terry, who was firing back fucking beanbags the night he was killed. Yes, that's right: beanbags.  Our Administration made sure Border Patrol agents were stocked with beanbags rather than bullets while simultaneously arming Mexican drug cartels with goddamned assault rifles.

Seriously? This motherfucker is talking shit about Mitt Goddamned Romney?  After his record over the past three years?  What fucking balls this cocksucker has.  The only thing more deplorable than his lack of integrity or scruples is the unwillingness of Mitt Romney to grab Barack Obama by the ears and skullfuck him into submission with the cold, hard truth about Barack Obama's record over the past three years and his life before he became president.

But the coup de fucking gras in all of this is a legal bank account in fucking Switzerland, which has been used to, get this, deposit money overseas. Holy fucking shit.  Imagine using a foreign bank account to deposit money overseas.  Barack Obama and his supporters in Congress have a problem with Mitt Romney using foreign bank accounts, so I'll lay down the fucking gauntlet to every single Democrat in Congress and every single bundler and financial supporter of the Obama 2012 campaign: if you have or have ever had a foreign bank account, or an offshore company, the Obama campaign should return every fucking red cent it has received from you.  You should all disclose your foreign bank accounts, and the fact that you used those accounts to deposit money overseas, you fucking hypocrites.  Because depositing money overseas isn't illegal, but it is...unseemly.

The fact that someone has a account with a foreign bank is grounds to conclude that they have a bank account with a foreign bank. That is all. It is not evidence or proof that they have engaged in tax evasion, or money laundering, or any other goddamned malfeasance whatsoever.  And it is also none of your fucking business.  That's right: it's none of your fucking business.

The Obama campaign needs to realize that these kinds of attacks, illegitimate and hypocritical and utterly unwise as they are, are going to be responded to, and not even by people who like Mitt Romney as the GOP nominee.  It's just a simple duty of anyone who fucking hates these kinds of specious attacks by the Left to highlight the dishonesty and hypocrisy of those who make such attacks.

You don't have to drop the Ragehammer™ with expletives galore, but this is an information war.  Mitt Romney is getting his ass kicked right now over this nonsense, and it's time to defend him even though he's apparently incapable of articulating a defense himself.  Social networks like Twitter, Facebook, and the like are a perfect goddamned opportunity to go on the offensive.  Seek a leftist out and have a war for the world to see. Put them on the defensive about Obama's scurrilous attacks, and evolve your own unique Ragehammer™ to deploy in this battle.  Win this information war online, and let these fuckers have it every chance you get.  Kick the shit out of them on messaging, because enough is enough.  I'll be voting for Gary Johnson in November, but I'm not going to sit by and let the Left make these attacks without answering them.

Get the fucking Ragehammer™ out, and get ready to take these leftist assholes out.

Rep. Paul Gosar's Whipping

Representative Paul Gosar, Republican of Arizona's District 1, found out the hard way what happens when you insist upon telling the truth about America.  Watch the video below to see what took place when Gosar told a roomful of conservative activists that they would lose if they insisted upon pure constitutionalism: 

This video went viral on Twitter, lit up the blogosphere, and had everyone up in arms as an example of how members of Congress view fighting for the Constitution as a losing battle. Words like shameful and treasonous were bandied about as everyone fell over each other to fulminate harder about how outrageous Gosar's statement was.  
The problem is that Gosar's statement is absolutely accurate.  I'd be willing to wager that among conservatives, more than 50% support programs like Medicare and Social Security.  Neither of those programs is constitutional because neither of those programs fits within the enumerated powers of the federal government.  We know from the correspondence of the Framers and Founders that the general welfare referred to in the Constitution did not include federal philanthropy with other people's money.  
The only way Franklin Delano Roosevelt could get the Supreme Court to uphold programs like Social Security and his New Deal legislation was to introduce a bill to stack the Supreme Court with additional justices.  In other words, Roosevelt threatened to ram his legislation through judicial  review by selecting more compliant and cooperative justices to add to those justices who had struck down virtually every piece of New Deal legislation they had reviewed.  Roosevelt's contempt for any limitation upon his office or the power of the federal government was his defining characteristic. 
He had no concept that he lived and governed in a republic rather than a democracy, nor did he care to acquaint himself with the notion.  Today, even among people who classify themselves as conservatives, federal programs like Social Security enjoy wide support.  People genuinely believe that they have paid into Social Security and should be able to enjoy it when they hit retirement age.  
There's only one problem.  You don't pay into Social Security for your retirement.  Whatever money you pay into Social Security while you work is gone after you pay it.  It's used to pay benefits for current retirees, and whatever surplus is left over is borrowed by Congress, which uses the money to lower the publicly reported deficit.  This is exactly how Bill Clinton accomplished his four years of surplus: he ripped off Social Security.  
If I put it simply, I would say that you and I have consented to have the federal government steal our wages to pay for the retirements of others, on the condition that we also be allowed to enjoy the fruits of theft when our turn comes around.  It's redistribution, plain and simple.  I finance my retirement on the backs of current workers.  They don't get to keep 15% of their wages, because I demand that 15% to support my retirement and my healthcare costs. My justification for doing so is that someone else stole from me, so I should be entitled to steal from you. 
Two wrongs do not make a right. A five year old can understand this principle.  American seniors cannot.  Neither can so-called conservatives, who rant about the Constitution and denigrate anyone who tells them that reality dictates a gradual move back to the constitutional principles this country was founded upon rather than an immediate shift.  There is a reason why progress is so incrementally slow, and it is because anyone who speaks the truth in the manner that Paul Gosar did is immediately castigated and shouted down.  Their words are twisted and misrepresented, their conservative and libertarian bona fides impugned to no end.  
I want to make it very clear to conservatives and libertarians alike: if you support a federal program for retirement and healthcare costs whereby the government takes from present workers to pay for the costs associated with present retirees, you are neither conservative nor libertarian.  You're not a constitutionalist, either.  There are those who will protest that these programs have been reviewed and found constitutional in the courts, but those courts are riddled with sophistry in the form of functional and formalist analyses whereby a tax is not a tax on the one hand only to be a tax on the other hand.  Those courts have no credibility left, because they have increasingly ignored the constitutional limitations on federal power to uphold whatever the federal government does in the name of deference.  
"We are not experts in healthcare, or national defense," judges say, "therefore, deference to Congress is appropriate."  Given the record of Congress as it relates to healthcare and national defense, our elected representatives are not experts either.  What judges are supposed to possess expertise on is simple: the Constitution.  They owe no deference whatsoever to anyone on that topic.  Their job is to uphold the Constitution, no matter what the law says or what it purports to accomplish.  If it is incompatible with the Constitution's limits on federal power, it is to be struck down.  You don't have to know about what the legislation regulates, you simply have to know whether or not the Constitution permits Congress to regulate it or legislate on it.  
State governments have wide latitude and discretion under the 10th Amendment to establish these kinds of programs, which is why I have supported striking any mention of states from the 10th Amendment and leaving to the people in place. 
This is not a democracy, and yet it is, practically speaking. You can have a purist adherence to the Constitution, but the the price is a civil war if you want it quickly.  That is how far we have sunk as a republic and a nation. You would have to go into the streets and shoot a lot of your fellow countrymen if you wanted the Constitution restored to its proper place sooner rather than later.  What is more, there is no guarantee that you would win, because those of us who revere the Constitution and support limited government are greatly outnumbered.  
Representative Gosar said as much, and he was raked over the coals on the Internet for telling the truth. You have to have a plan.  I know this, because I wrote a plan to unwind Social Security over a forty year period.  My staunchest opposition came from so-called conservatives who liked Social Security and wanted it kept around for their benefit.  These people ridicule elected officials as Republicans In Name Only as a matter of daily routine, and yet they are Republicans In Name Only and conservatives in name only by virtue of their support of a redistributionist program that takes from one man to give to another.  
Liberals didn't have to bother responding to the plan I wrote, or to the advocacy positions I took, because so-called Republicans did their work for them.  This has happened time and time again, with men like Senator Alan Simpson, who called Social Security a cow with 310 million teats.  
You are not going to undo over 80 years worth of socialism simply by insisting on the Constitution.  Change will be incremental, and marked by internecine warfare.  Your own kind will oppose you, because these programs are ingrained in the American psyche.  They're part of the fabric of who we have become as a people.  George W. Bush signed the largest expansion of Medicare into law as a compassionate conservative.  
Well, if compassion means leaving behind hundreds of billions if not trillions in additional debt, then George W. Bush was Mother Teresa.  His heart was enormous.  
To a man, every other individual who reacted on the panel parroted the same asinine ideas about strict constitutionalism with nary a hint that they understood the practical realities of America today.  And when all was said and done, the most ridiculous statement came from National 912 Project co-chair Stephani Scruggs, who said that everyone was a slave.  Those kinds of histrionic statements play well on television, or on Youtube videos, but they are demonstrably wrong.  
No slave ever had the ability to march into a building like The National Republican Club and hold a meeting with other slaves where a panel of slaves discussed the Constitution and its implications.  How stupid can you be to call yourself a slave, and to say that free speech has been demolished as a plank of the First Amendment while you exercise free speech in making such a ridiculous statement?  Words fail.  No slave had the ability to petition elected representatives to come out and attend the meeting and sit on the panel.  
Stephani Scruggs is an idiot, and she's part and parcel of the reason why the Tea Party and the liberty movement has failed utterly to make meaningful inroads in achieving a liberty-minded agenda.  She makes statements that are extreme, she plays to the crowd of delegates who elect her, and she promptly achieves for herself a position of prominence while the agenda she purports to represent goes to hell.  I would go as far as to say that Stephani Scruggs is in the business of Stephani Scruggs, and she has little if any interest in taking a rhetorical tact that could advance the agenda of liberty.  Her present rhetoric only makes it easier for the Left to malign that agenda, to mock it as unmoored from reality.  It's tailor made for an easy response from the Left.  
It is impractical to the goal of achieving a more constitutional government, and restoring a republic while shredding this asinine democracy that produces constituencies of narrow interest like seniors and poor people who demand more and more from the rest of us with nary a hint of restraint.  Government should help people!  Actually, no. Government has nothing to help anyone with that it does not first take from someone else.  If helping you hurts me by taking 15% of my earnings, then you can take your help and shove it up your posterior.  My wages and earnings are mine to enjoy, the fruits of my labor, and no man, woman, or child should be able to seize the government that represents us both in order to achieve their interests at my expense by utilizing government power.  To the extent that the federal government has a constitutional basis for asserting its authority in areas like national defense, it may justifiably seek to procure funds for that defense from my earnings given that an income tax is now legal.  There is no such constitutional basis for federal programs like Medicare, Medicaid, or Social Security.  God willing, there never will be, and should my state use the 10th Amendment as the basis for establishing such programs at the state level, I will be voting with my feet and moving somewhere else.  
Representative Gosar did not deserve to be denigrated for his very reasonable assertion that 50% of Americans don't support the Constitution, or that they have abandoned individual liberty for a false concept of freedom. He is absolutely right, and the longer we sit here and pretend otherwise, the less likely it is that we will ever form an actual plan to restore the Constitution that is reasonable and achievable.  

Retweet Love

And now it's time to recognize those who recognized Screed of Momus with today's edition of Retweet Love.  Promotion and word of mouth are the keys to any successful website, and at Screed of Momus, we appreciate the Retweet Love.  Ooooooohhhhh, yeah.

Without further ado, here are the people who made today possible:

Robert Stacy McCain
Edward Cobb
Friendly Smoker
Michael McCormick
Brooke @Hollivan
RD Brewer
King Shamus
Jared Roberts
Laurie "Smoke 'em if you got 'em" Bailey
Rachel Veronica
Dustin Stockton
Jake Scofield
Dan Collins
Sissy Willis
Mr. C
Matt Sapaula
Traci McCormick
Michelle Ray
Greg W. Howard
Patrick Read
Amy "You saw his manparts?!?" Mousepants
The Twisters
Pat Dollard
Dr. Marty Fox
Bill Price
Liberty Warrior
Darth Bluto

Special shout outs to the Twisters and Magna Cum Blogroll, as well as TPO_Hisself, for the consistent Retweet Love and cross promotion. Keep the fight going, and thanks for the retweets, Facebook likes, +1s, and cross posts! To anyone I may have overlooked, put yourself in the comments section.   

I Give You Gun Porn, Because America

Ladies and gentlemen, porn is distinctly American.  We're gratuitous in everything we do, excessive to the maximum and beyond, and we do it big or we don't do it at all.  Just go to your local Wal-Mart and watch the people in the motorized scooters move about, filling that handlebar basket with all sorts of sodium and fat-laden frozen foods, getting their recommended daily allowance of preservatives.  We have more free porn in this country than we have pay porn, because the market works.

Whatever your tastes are, you can find the porn that fits your individual tastes. Bible porn. Health, wealth, and prosperity porn.  Sex porn.  Nude porn.  Car porn.  Today Screed of Momus salutes gun porn, because America is the one bastion of firearm sanity left on this planet.  We have more guns than people, and thank God for that.  Most of us would need more arms than a Hindu God on crack to fire all the guns we have at our disposal, because being American means having more than you'll ever need and still bitching about your inability to buy as much as you want.

I get a tear in my eye just thinking about it.  Yes, other countries ban firearms in the hopes that violent crime will decrease, that homicide rates will implode, but they never do. After England imposed a handgun ban in 1997, crimes committed with handguns went up 40%. The British burglary rate is twice that of America's, and the rate of robbery is 1.4 time higher.  Professors Don Kates and Gary Mauser of Harvard found that countries with lowest rates of gun ownership have homicide rates three times higher than that of countries with the highest rates of gun ownership.

Empirical Evidence that Guns Are Awesome
Guns, people.  They're awesome. Now, President Obama may not think so, but Chicago's handgun ban hasn't reduced violent crime or homicide rates one bit. In fact, Chicago is one of the leading cities in both categories.  We all know that our President is a leftist, and we think of leftists as people who really can't see correlations in statistics or empirical data unless those correlations align with their preconceived ideological notions.  That is why those who believe in leftist ideologies, or who have a documented history of affiliating with organizations that openly and proudly profess their communist or socialist inspiration, should not be allowed to hold office in this country.  We need serious people in leadership positions, and people who think communism is a good idea even after decades of precedent in the form of the Soviet Union, the Khmer Rouge, North Korea, and China, simply aren't serious people.  They're idiots. 

Now, it's one thing to be a social liberal.  I know tons of social liberals who respect private property and the right of the individual to own property for himself in order to sustain his life and enable the fulfillment of his interests.  It's another thing to be a communist, and to deny that individuals should hold private property or possess the capacity to defend themselves, their homes, and their families as individuals.  Collectivism is evil, and it should be called evil without hesitation in every living room, at every dining table, and in every quality establishment where good, solid, red-blooded Americans gather to enjoy frosty beverages and unhealthy fried foods.  Hell, if you had a 64 oz. Big Gulp today at your local 7-Eleven, you can thank freedom for that, and turn towards New York City to raise your middle fingered salute high to that totalitarian jerk Mike Bloomberg.

America is built on excess, and on a free market for morality and economics.  To the extent that we respect those markets, and the consequences they impose on those who make bad decisions, we remain great as a nation.  To the extent that we bail people out of those consequences, or try to prevent them from facing accountability for their actions in the form consequences by limiting their freedom to choose courses of action, we become a nation of pansies.

But I digress, as I am wont to do.  Grab yourself a fried chicken drumstick, and an ice cold beverage loaded with sugar and/or alcohol, and watch today's Gun Porn.  Like The Roundup, Gun Porn is going to be a regular feature on Screed of Momus from now on as we celebrate those unique qualities and freedoms that make our nation great and serve to prove that the State growing up out of that nation has become insanely unmoored from a healthy respect for those freedoms.

I give you today's Gun Porn: Shooting the Biggest Guns Money Can Buy.  America!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Roundup: Super Troopers Edition

Police in Henrico County, VA came to notify Ricky Ellerbe's family that he had been killed, and as his sister LaToya walked out to the front porch to cry, the family dog, a pit bull named Tiger, came running around the house.  The police officer promptly shot and killed Tiger, because police officers tend to be the types of individuals who get off on discharging their guns for whatever reason.  If a dog runs towards you after hearing his owner come outside to cry on the front porch, he's clearly a rabid and feral beast who is about to bite you.

The police promptly cordoned off the front yard area where Tiger was shot with crime scene tape.  Tiger died just eight blocks away from where his owner Ricky Ellerbe died in an alleyway after going to a mini-mart.  No word yet on whether Officer Fife will be forced to surrender his sidearm while the investigation into Tiger's untimely passing continues.  Given the rampant prejudice against pit bulls as a breed, it stands to reason that Internal Affairs will classify the shooting as legitimate.

And if the TSA hasn't endeared itself to the American public enough by retaining employees who mock each other's small penises after training exercises with naked body scanners, it most certainly will improve its image with the following story.  The National Association of the Deaf held its annual conference in Louisville, KY, and when some of its attendees went to depart via flights, they encountered TSA agents who picked up on the fact that they were deaf due to their t-shirts.

One of those attendees blogged about the incident on his now defunct Tumblr Teaandtheatre:

"It was a very public week-long event downtown, make no bones about it. As such, the shirt very clearly identified me as deaf.

While I was going through the TSA, some of them started laughing in my direction. I thought it might’ve been someone behind me, but I found out otherwise.

They went through my bag (for no reason), and found a couple bags of candy I brought. I was told I wasn’t allowed to fly with that (wtf? I’ve flown with food before — these were even sealed still because I brought them right in the airport). I was then asked if I would like to donate the candy “To the USO”. Since I know the airport there has an Air National Guard base, and I figured it would go to the soldiers, I (annoyed) said sure, why not? 

The guards, as I was getting scanned, started eating the candy they just told me was for the soldiers. In front of me, still laughing at me (very clearly now). One of them asked why they were laughing, and one of them came up to me, pointed at my shirt, laughed at me and said, “Fucking deafie”. The Louisville TSA called me a “fucking deafie” and laughed at me because I was deaf, and they expected wouldn’t say anything back (or wouldn’t hear them). Make no bones about it — she was facing me and I read her lips. There was no mistake. I would later find out that they had called at least 4 other individuals the same thing."

The fucking tone deafies at the TSA need to realize that American taxpayers and air passengers have had a long and slow burn over the past few years as TSA agents have given detailed inspections to the crotches of six year old children, among other indignities.  Next, the assholes at the TSA can be expected to accost newly married couples in order to assert their right to prima nocta because they are our feudal overlords.  I apologize, because this particular analogy has already been made.

Seriously, how hard is it to just be nice and decent to other people?  Obviously the troglodytes and Philistines at the TSA think it is too hard to exercise common courtesy and refrain from referring to deaf people with denigrating terms like "fucking deafie."

The Houston Police Department does not wish for you to narc on its speed traps, as college student Natalie Plummer found out when she was arrested for obstruction of justice, a felony that carries a possible five year sentence.  Plummer noticed the HPD pulling random cars over and decided to drop her groceries on the sidewalk, make sign out of one of the bags, and warn oncoming motorists.  Minutes later, an officer came over to Plummer and grabbed her backpack to turn her around and snatch her sign. He then arrested her and she was detained for 12 hours in jail.  The felony charge was later dropped to a misdemeanor of walking the roadway where sidewalks are provided, even though Plummer insists she stayed on the sidewalk the entire time.

Far be it from me to endorse gangster rap out of Compton, but...fuck the police.

Alex Miller of Broomfield, CO, called the police to notify them that his older brother Kyle was having a breakdown and toting an Airsoft pellet gun as opposed to a real handgun.  The 911 operator assured Alex that officers wouldn't shoot his brother, who had a documented history of mental illness.  In her words, "Officers are trained in this kind of thing. They're not going to go around shooting people."  Of course not.

When the officers were dispatched to the scene to confront a diagnosed schizophrenic brandishing an Airsoft pellet gun, they promptly shot him.  The Broomfield Police Department refuses to release any information regarding how many shots were fired or how many officers were involved.  The officers are on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.  The citizens of Broomfield are on notice that their tax dollars will likely be used to pay a large civil settlement, as opposed to training officers to pay attention to their dispatchers when they are told that a mentally ill man only has an Airsoft pellet gun.

In Detroit, Officer Isaac Parrish was off-duty and still carrying his loaded .40 caliber pistol while dancing with Adaisha Miller at a fish fry.  Parrish alleges that Miller hugged him from behind while they were dancing, causing the pistol to go off and kill her.  Though the gun was holstered, supposedly pointed downward, the hug was so strong that it turn the gun 110 degrees upward and pulled the trigger to cause the discharge that resulted in Adaisha Miller's death.  Parrish has the distinction of being a police officer whose lies strain credulity.  Oh, wait.

Lest you think that law enforcement is any better elsewhere, 32 year old head patrol officer Yoshimi Minamoto of Tokyo was arrested for driving drunk with her five month old baby in the car. She collided with another car, and then tried to run with her baby.  When she fell to the sidewalk, she got up and left her baby behind.  Minamoto's blood alcohol content was six times the legal limit, and her emotional capacity as a mother was eleven times less than the baseline requirement.

And just so you can understand why it is important to keep the stupid out of law enforcement, here's a video of a policeman shooting himself in the leg:

So concludes today's Roundup: Super Troopers Edition.  Enjoy.

Brad Pitt: Man the Fuck Up

Brad Pitt, actor, philanthropist, wife of Angie, has been conspicuously silent as a controversy rages over his mother's letter to the editor of a local paper.  His mother has faced death threats for one awful atrocity: exercising her First Amendment right to free speech.

Now, I'm as socially liberal as they come with a few exceptions.  I'm pro-life to the core, and I oppose the death penalty.  I married a woman, and I have pretty traditional views on what marriage is even if she turned out to have other ideas.  I support gay marriage because I hate the idea of a federal government or even a state government defining marriage.  Marriage is between the two, or the three, or the four, or the however many adults want to engage in it.  I do think that every couple should have to sign a partition agreement that specifies the distribution of property in a divorce before they get married.  That's only because I don't think that taxpayers and the state should have to be burdened with a divorce court system that strains under the acrimony and rancor of petty personal disputes between former spouses.

I support the legalization of drugs.  I've used them quite a bit, and they didn't ruin my life.  They didn't turn me into a sociopath or a monster.  Drugs don't have that kind of power.  What drugs do is simple: they magnify what's already there.  I'm an obnoxious, intellectually arrogant guy to begin with, and when I did drugs those tendencies were turbocharged.  I don't blame a substance for my asshole attitude because I believe in personal accountability.  If you can snort it, smoke it, or swallow it in pill form, I've done it.  I no longer do, because around 29 years of age, it just got old.  Actually, I got older and even cheaper and decided I wanted a nice couch and a big television for my townhouse, so I used the money I would have spent on pot and pills to buy decent furniture and a huge Panasonic television.

The guy who taught me to play poker, spades, and shoot whiskey turned out to be gay.  He was the guy I went to talk to after I broke up with my first girlfriend.  We were roommates with a third guy my first year of college.  I was raised to think of gays as deviants and predators by a Southern Baptist ex-Marine father who endorsed public stonings for sexual immorality.

After my mom gave me the talk, my dad followed up by telling me he'd kill me if I had sex before marriage.  Muslims are not the only religion with honor killings.  Southern Baptists, real, hardcore, dye in the wool Southern Baptists, will kill their sons as well as their daughters for sexual impurity.  I waited until I was 19 and away at college.  I've never gotten anyone pregnant, and I'm 34 and childless.  I've never been arrested.  Regardless of how I might feel about the way my parents were, I have to give them credit: none of their four children are in jail, have an STD, or exist on welfare.

My mom is Brad Pitt's mom.  She's a highly conservative religious fundamentalist who has severe misgivings about Barack Obama, gay marriage, abortion, and high taxes.  She might have written a letter to the editor that expressed the same sentiments, albeit in far sharper and more articulate terms.  You see, my mother can cut you to shreds with her arguments.  In another life, she might have been a litigator.  In this life, she's had to settle for being the original pitbull without lipstick, because she didn't ever wear that much makeup.  She raised four kids.  She carried a switch in her purse.

The difference between myself and Brad Pitt, beyond the fact that I believe in a sharply reduced, limited government and extremely low taxes, is that no matter what my mother wrote to an editor of a local paper, anyone who threatened her life for articulating her views on any subject would face my unquenchable wrath.  I would not suffer in silence while my mother was subjected to invidious attacks and inflammatory vitriol.

I'm from L.A. Lower Alabama.  What that means is that my mother gets a free pass, because in Lower Alabama, you don't talk about somebody's momma unless you're willing to get into a knock down, drag out, brawl to the death with them.  You certainly don't threaten their life.  In this day and age, with technology being what it is, I realize that people feel as though their anonymity is assured.  They can make phone calls with the number blocked, or they can use VoIP and proxies to harass and harangue people.  I think we've established that I can get a person's identity anyway.

What disgusts me about this entire situation isn't the hateful, arguably bigoted rhetoric of Brad Pitt's mother.  It's Brad Pitt's silence.  His mother is from a different era, and while that does not excuse her entirely, her son's willingness to go to the mat on her behalf ought to for anyone inclined to hurl threats.  It's just something you do. When someone threatens your mother, you go to war.  You do not hesitate. You do not pause. You go after that person, and you destroy them utterly.  You exploit everything from their financial situation to their personal life, anything and everything that can be used to break their will and force them into conceding an apology and an admission of wrongdoing. When all is said and done, and your boot is on their throat, and they beg for you to stop, you have a decision to make. I'd press down regardless, but that's just me.

Brad Pitt is faced with a critical moment, a moment that is defining in many ways.  The question is whether or not he's going to man the fuck up and represent liberal manhood in a universal way that even those who disagree with his mother's rhetoric can support.  Go get those sons of bitches, and make an example out of at least one of them.  Nobody gets away with threatening a mother who has a son, or at least they shouldn't get away with it.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

On Sexual Shaming

Recently, I watched as a new friend of mine on Twitter, the writer and photographer Lee Stranahan, faced off with one Nicole whoever as she tried to characterize him as a smut peddler. I've never like people who vilify eroticism, or who demonize sexuality or the depiction thereof.  For me, sex is a natural and quite enjoyable part of life, and I don't have any hang ups about it.

I've always found it odd that the people who protest vehemently against the depiction of sex in art and culture are the ones who tend to be the most avid private consumers of pornography.  My own father was a Southern Baptist minister who went street preaching, and one of his Independent Baptist minister buddies went with him on occasion.  My dad recounted how he noticed this friend's eyes glued to the posterior of teenage girls on more than one occasion.

I remember paying for America Online in my house with lawnmower money, and getting caught at three in the morning doing what teenaged boys do on the Internet: looking at breasts.  Glorious, enormous, rounded breasts that seemed to defy gravity and genetic limitation.  My dad yanked the phone cord out of the wall, and the signal went dead, and when I went to the phone jack, I knew I was in trouble. My dad was nowhere to be found.

I went to bed. The next morning, my dad was simple and succinct with me:

"I know what you were looking at, and I'm going to be honest with you: you're no different than any other man I know.  We've all looked at it.  That doesn't change the fact that you're in my house, and my rules don't allow it.  We won't talk to your mother about this, but I called and cancelled the Internet."

And that was that.  I got grounded, of course, and I took my punishment because I knew I had it coming.  I looked at breasts with buddies of mine on their computers while our parents sat in the living room having coffee.  It's the American way, where you're raised in church and told sex outside of wedlock is bad,  and you and your youth group buddies look at titties on the Internet while your parents are just in the next room.  Teenage boys cannot be stopped in their quest for carnality.

You can threaten our lives, and you can take our freedom, but you'll never diminish the innate desire we have to see naked women.  Naked women are everywhere, and if you think your teenage son isn't looking everywhere for them, you can think again.  The Sunday paper has sales circulars from department stores with pages of bra advertisements.  Your Ladies Home Journal and Good Housekeepings will have at least one full page advertisement for a diet pill that shows a woman in a revealing swimsuit.

We all agree that the Bible prohibits fornication and classifies merely looking at a woman with lust in your heart as adultery.  We all know that the Bible says that fornicators and adulterers do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven.  And we all know that by that standard, no one on this planet besides small children has a chance at entering the confines of Heaven.

We're in a battle between the spirit and the flesh as ordinary people trying to live moral lives, and the flesh seems to win out more oft than not.  We all look, and a lot of us go further and touch.  It's damnably difficult to turn sex down.

As a man whose been conservative in his home, and libertarian outside of it, I didn't cheat on my wife. I ruefully lamented to my dad that all those years of wondering what it would take to actually be celibate were answered the moment I got married.  Marriage makes long stretches of celibacy possible.

I'm not ashamed of sex. I'm not uncomfortable when it's depicted on television, or in movies, or in art.  I don't think people who enjoy sex, even those who enjoy it according to different moral standards than I do,  should face shaming from the wider community over it.  It's just not your damned place.  Tend to your own life, and worry about your own moral walk before you worry about that of others.  It's none of your business.

Sex is not smut. This idea that sex has to be confined to a particular set of parameters in order to be clean is absurd.  Oral, anal, vaginal, whatever the sexual expression or act may be, it's between the people involved.  If you want to know why sex is so alluring in this society, beyond the basic biological compulsion we all experience that makes us desire sex, it's the fact that it is treated as exotic rather than normal.  It's smutty, shameful, and therefore something that evokes curiosity in those who haven't experienced it.

The puritanical approach that this country and its culture has where sex is concerned has serious consequences.  Parents can't talk to their own children about sex without feeling uncomfortable, and vice versa, and so the government gets involved.  Adults abdicate their right and default on their responsibility to talk about sex with their children, to have frank and open discussions that could prevent a lot of the issues we face with teenage sexuality from ever occurring to begin with.  And when all is said and done, parents want to complain about what the school taught their children about sex, rather than acknowledging that the travesty is that the school talked about sex at all with their child.

When you have this kind of backwards approach to sex, where it's a forbidden topic that can't be spoken about in relaxed terms, what you have is a distortion of sex that emerges. Today, there are young men who learn what they learn about sex from pornography.  They think that women want the kind of sex you seen in porn films.  I've had quite a bit of sex. I don't know that many women who enjoy the piledriver position, or who don't get tired quickly doing reverse cowgirl.  Porn sex is porn sex. If it takes you an hour to knock a woman's socks off, you're probably not doing it right.

The foundation of sex isn't mere attraction.  Yes, it's one of the ingredients, but if you're having sex based solely on physical attraction alone, there are a number of issues that will come up over time, assuming you have sex with that partner more than once.  But that's the distorted view you get when you live in a society where sex is vilified, where sex is classified as smut.

You get unrealistic depictions of what sex is, what it can be, and what it ought to be.  You get Teen Mom, and a depiction of pregnant teenagers who make six figures and manage to avoid legal culpability for engaging in violent behavior. No matter how awful their conduct is, no matter how destructive their behavior becomes, the normal consequences that would befall a regular human being are delayed so that the show can go on and on and on.

You get depictions of sex where individuals have a pregnancy or an STD scare that lasts for part of one 25 minute episode. It's not real.  How many sitcoms that you've watched ever depict a positive STD result?  How many are interested in dramatizing a life with herpes?  This is the culture you're learning about sex from if you're a child, because your parents in this culture where sex is smutty are too terrified and embarrassed to give you anything resembling a counterpoint.

And so it is that kids learn about sex from shows that depict grenades, and a team ethos of falling on the grenade so that your buddy can have the attractive friend.  This is the basis of sexual behavior: you take the unattractive girl for yourself in order to let your buddy have the hot girl. That's as selfless as sex can get in a smut culture, and the selflessness isn't even directed at your sexual partner, who is a mere pawn in the sexual strategy that plays out between friends.

This is why sex and relationships in this country have become so dysfunctional, because if Jersey Shore is the model for teenagers and college aged adults, imagine what that genesis can give rise to in the context of later life relationships?  Smut culture gives rise to smut, which is the unrealistic and unhinged depiction of irresponsible, unethical sexual behavior that never really has consequences beyond exotic trips with your girlfriends to desert kingdoms and humorous diarrhea scenes, all wrapped up in then with a psychobabble analysis about listening to your partner and a scene in the courthouse with a simple exchange of vows before a magistrate.  It's insane.

Art no longer imitates life, it propagandizes life and directs it in certain directions.  Entertainers become increasingly sexualized at younger and younger ages because the taboos on pedophilia and hebephilia  are broken for the purposes of marketing.  This is what a puritan culture enables: a society where shock is a commodity as it relates to sexuality.

The smut isn't sex. It's the unrealistic depiction of sex, and the culture of overly repressive mores that enables such idiocy to proliferate by rendering sex a topic that everyone may be aware of but unable to communicate over due to shame and embarrassment.  It's a universal drive and desire.  It's perfectly normal.  To hear us talk about it, and to see us depict it, you'd think it was something from outer space.

The smut, if you will, are the artificial moral strictures that simply don't apply in contemporary culture.  As parents or aunts or uncles, we encourage our children and nieces and nephews to wait until marriage, knowing all the while that such admonishments date from a culture where children were being married in pre-pubescence and early adolescence.  Today's culture does not allow for 12 year olds to wait until a marriage that can occur a mere two years later. Instead, children who are biologically adults are told to wait until their twenties and possibly even their thirties for "the right one," whoever that may be.

It's unrealistic, even a bit stupid.  And all the while, this artificial moral stricture, enabling as it has a backlash in the form of an increasingly permissive and blatantly pornographic culture where the sexual identity of teenagers and even children is commoditized in the form of Bratz dolls, professes shock and disdain for such cultural permissiveness, thereby ensuring that the permissiveness will seem even more attractive and avant garde compared the staid and outdated sexual mores of years past.

There is nothing quite so horrifying as seeing a girl in her senior year of high school pregnant, alone, and uncertain of the future.  Her family is ashamed, her friends are taken aback, and her crime is that she had sex while ignorant.  Imagine that: her parents didn't want to talk about these issues with her out of shame or discomfort, her friends and the baby's father and the culture in which she lived had no problem talking with her about it, and what resulted was an unplanned pregnancy with an environment that is both sexually repressive and permissive at the same damned time.  Is it any wonder kids get confused as to what is what where sexuality is concerned?  Is it any surprise that they grow up to be adults who are woefully inadequate to the tasks of marriage and parenthood?

How many parents who buy their children purity rings were virgins on their wedding nights?

There's nothing wrong with encouraging moral behavior, but failing to account for the possibility of immoral human frailty by a teenager has the potential for lethal and lifelong consequences. Parents have the responsibility to protect their children, to consider the possibility that those children will engage in very stupid conduct, and to assist their children in taking precautions.  That means frank and open discussions about sex as a normal part of life, about precautions as they relate to sex, and the open acknowledgment of one very simple principle: morality does not occur with an unregenerate mind.

The basis for moral behavior is salvation.  Even then, temptation is an overwhelming enemy to face.  To expect a teenager, even an adult, who has no salvation to behave as though they do is plainly stupid.  Of course they will engage in immoral conduct.  Of course they will sleep around.  It is simple mercy to account for this, and to enable them to understand the risks involved and take precautions to protect them from or lessen their exposure to potential consequences.  But in a society and culture where such mercy is seen as an endorsement of so-called smutty behavior, we cannot.

We must sit by while fanatics insist on abstinence only sex education when the fact of the matter is that no government school has any business whatsoever usurping the responsibility and role of parents in educating their children about sexuality.  For that matter, no government entity has any business assisting parents in shirking such responsibilities.

The future of this country does not depend on a restoration of repressive moralities, but on the restoration of a realistic morality tempered by one merciful epiphany: those who are unregenerate and unsaved are not going to behave as though they are saved.  You can shame them, you can hurl all manner of sarcasm and insulting rhetoric their way, and you can refer to them as smutty, slutty, and even whorish, but the fact remains that you aren't doing your morality a service by making their conduct seem even more alluring with your condemnation.

The point of moral behavior is to have a model of human conduct that works in the sense that productive or healthy choices are reinforced with good results while bad choices reap bad consequences.  This is no longer the case in our society.  Those who cheat and lie in our markets reap vast sums of money and never face real culpability for the fraud they commit.  Those who sleep around on our entertainment shows, or who engage in sexual conduct with no real parallel to life, never face any consequences.  And those of us who who have the responsibility of telling our children the truth don't, because we aren't comfortable talking about it. It's easier to stigmatize something than it is to explain it.

It's easier to construct some abstract, mystical mumbo-jumbo hocus-pocus morality about human conduct than it is to articulate a plainspoken morality that says teenagers shouldn't have sex in our culture in part because our culture prolongs their childhood past the point of biological reality so that we can have them for ourselves a little while longer.  We don't insist on greater responsibility that parallels their biological maturity because we don't want them to be autonomous, and now we have a truly smutty result where 26 year olds are on their parents' insurance and living in the basement.  And that, my friends, is what is truly obscene about our culture.  It damn sure isn't a nude picture depicting a sex act, or some breasts on the Internet.   Sexual shaming is smutty because it misses the entire point of what is really wrong.

Gallup Finds American Public Trusts the News Too Much

21% of Americans trust their television news, according to a recent Gallup poll examining trends in public trust as they relate to the media.  While Americans have gotten over 20% smarter from last year to this year, given that 27% of Americans expressed a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in television news last year, the fact remains that too many Americans trust a news medium whose employees falsely reported that Iraq did have weapons of mass destruction because they took the word of Stephen Hadley without verifying his assertions, or who thought that an economy built on subprime loans to borrowers with a history of defaulting was sustainable rather than inevitably doomed.

In other words, there is no reason for over 1 out of every 5 Americans to trust the television news, or any other news medium.  Granted, the Gallup Survey occurred before CNN and Fox falsely reported that the Supreme Court had overturned the individual mandate, so many of those Americans might have realized that television news is hopelessly misleading and often wrong about everything.  What the American people have to realize about television news is that it is populated by people who look good and talk very, very loud.  They read the words written for them by other people who are too ugly to stand in front of a camera.

Television news, like the newspapers and the radio, is dominated by people who think that screaming and insulting people makes them right.  Facts are immaterial in such a news medium, which is why there is absolutely no reason whatsoever to base your support or opposition to a policy on what you see on television or read in the newspapers.  Your news media is a lot like your government at this point, in that you can't trust them because they have a history of lying.

The above video relates to the "Waiting to Explode" episode that ran on Dateline NBC, in which Dateline had rigged the fuel tanks of the Chevrolet C/K pickup trucks it was testing with model rockets to make it appear as though they would detonate upon impact.  

That's not all: I'm sure you all remember Dan Rather having to apologize for running with a story based on forged documents about President George W. Bush's service record in the Texas Air National Guard.  But just in case you don't, the video to the left will refresh your memory.  Rather had to resign from CBS News as a result on the ensuing scandal.  There isn't a lot of justification for 1 out of every 5 Americans to hold a great deal of confidence or trust in the television news media, because the media across all mediums has shown itself to be absolute bankrupt of integrity.  

As a result, a good many Americans now get their news from the Daily Show and the Colbert Report.  Think about that for a moment.  

The Roundup: The Day in Stupid

Denise Morrison
Today's Roundup of the news in stupid begins with the story of Denise Morrison, a Tulsa, OK woman who committed the crime of growing an edible garden.  One of her neighbors called the City of Tulsa's Neighborhood Inspections division to whine about Denise growing 100 varieties of medicinal plants in her backyard.  The plants included stevia, mint, pecan trees, walnut trees, chives, garlic, basically the gamut of what you might grow in your backyard if you were a norman human being who liked to grow a backyard garden.

Denise was unemployed, and her garden was her sole source of income and the bulk of her food supply.  And so it was that the City of Tulsa sent its code enforcement officials to crack down on Denise's backyard plot of walnuts and pecans, only to have Denise show that she knew what the code said by pointing out the exceptions in the code which were relevant to her backyard garden.  Tulsa's Code of Ordinances prohibits plants exceeding twelve inches in height unless they are "healthy trees, shrubs, or produce for human consumption grown in a tended and cultivated garden."  In other words, Denise's garden was fully legal under the code, but the officials weren't interested in hearing her out.

Denise called the police, and they issued a citation which gave her a court date to resolve the issue. Before the court hearing, the code enforcement officials proceeded to show up and rip up every single plant from Denise's backyard.  Her food, her livelihood, and her property, gone because code enforcement official refused to even consider Denise's argument that her garden fit the exceptions within the code.  Indeed, they could not even wait for a court hearing to resolve the matter.  Due process was of no concerns to the autocrats of the City of Tulsa.  The garden was illegal because they said it was illegal, and saying a thing is illegal makes it so when you're an unelected, unaccountable officials whose actions will never result in any sort of personal liability.

Denise Morrison has filed a civil rights lawsuit against the city, which basically means that the taxpayers in Tulsa will be forced to foot the bill for any judgment or settlement she receives for the unconscionable behavior of the code enforcement officials who ripped up Morrison's garden.  This highlights the need, now more than ever, for Americans at every level of government to rise up and demand that when city officials, especially the unelected ones, step out of their legal authority to engage in tyrannical conduct, their qualified immunity as public employees should be lifted in order to impose financial liability on their personal assets rather than the tax revenues paid by hardworking citizens.

Our survey of human stupidity continues with the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorist and Responses to Terrorism (START), and its recent report Hot Spots of Terrorism and Other Crimes in the United States,  which caused a firestorm of controversy earlier this month when it described the ideological motivations of Extreme Right Wing Groups as "nationalistic (as opposed to universal and international in orientation), anti-global, suspicious of centralized federal authority, reverent of individual liberty, and believe in conspiracy theories that involve grave threat to national sovereignty and/or personal liberty."

 One cannot imagine why anyone would suspicious of centralized federal authority, given the legacy of that authority over the decades.  The Tuskegee syphilis experiment, in which the U.S. Public Health Service did not bother to inform the men in its study of their infected status, a failure which led 128 of those men dying from syphilis or related complications, stands as a high water mark of centralized federal authority.  Oh, and the USPHS didn't bother to notify the men that their syphilis was treatable, and 40 of their wives were infected and 19 of their children were born with congenital syphilis.  This is not at all to say that centralized federal authority and the secrecy that inevitably accompanies will always lead to grave threats to personal liberty, it is simply to not that it has in the past.

 The Stateville Penitentiary Malaria study, conducted by doctors under the authority of the U.S. Army and the State Department, went on for 29 years.  There was a related study at the Illinois State Hospital in which mental patients were deliberately infected with malaria as well.  The National Institutes of Health sponsored at study by Chester Southam in which he injected 300 prisoners with live cancer cells at the Ohio State Penitentiary.  The U.S. Navy began spraying serratia marcescens over San Francisco in 1950, leading to the death of at least one person and the illness of others who developed pneumonia like symptoms.  These sprayings continued until 1969.  In 1955, the CIA released whooping cough from boats outside Tampa Bay, leading to an epidemic in that city that killed 12 people.  In 1956 and 1957, experiments conducted by the U.S. Army on the citizens of Savannah, GA and Avon Park, FL in which infected mosquitos were released led to the infection of hundreds of residents with fevers, typhoid, encephalitis, and respiratory illnesses.

 This isn't a right wing issue.  Time and time again, our government has shown that it cannot be trusted. The desire to avoid being infected with syphilis and typhoid is not clustered among right wingers or left wingers, it's an issue that we can all agree on: we don't want to be the subjects of government experiments.  This is what START cannot understand, or will not understand, about why its characterization of right wing terror is so offensive to so many decent Americans who are never going to build a fertilizer bomb and park it under the World Trade Center or in front of a government building.  It's smart to be suspicious of your government, and to call its motives into question; indeed, it is your civic duty as a citizen who desires to make informed choices.  It is especially smart given that government's history, and the history of those universal and international organizations that so many in the upper crust of American politics endorse.

 Our next example of pure idiocy is the revelation that London-based HSBC Holdings will come before the U.S. Senate next week to apologize for not having sufficient anti-money laundering controls.  This comes on the heels of HSBC being ordered to pay for lying to businesses over interest rate insurance just last month.  There is no word on whether HSBC Holdings has any involvement in the rate-rigging imbroglio that has erupted and threatens to consume Barclays.  Time and time again, big banks engage in this kind of behavior, and time and time again, they come before government committees to take their public flogging, and nothing really ever changes.  And when you consider that money from the illicit drug trade finances terror organizations who use banks like HSBC Holdings to launder their proceeds, the failure of HSBC Holdings and other financial institutions to take enforcement seriously becomes even more egregious.

It's almost as big of joke as the hearings that the U.S. Senate will spend gobs of money conducting, only to have the same old thing continue unchecked.  If the U.S. Senate wants to be serious about dealing with money laundering, they can start by passing laws that enable the arrest of CEOs and executives, and lift limited liability so that the personal assets of executives are subject to forfeiture and confiscation if money laundering occurs on their watch.

Hossien Abedini
And in a final indignity, the Huffington Post published and then removed a post by Hossein Abedini, a man who belongs to the Foreign Affairs Committee of the National Resistance of Iran, or the NCRI, which is itself an arm of the Mujahideen-e Khalq, a group classified as a terrorist organization since 1997 by the U.S. State Department.

The MeK, despite its classification as a terrorist organization, pays the likes of Rudy Giuliani, Ed Rendell, Bill Richardson, John Bolton, and Michael Mukasey to speak at their events.  These men evade criminal consequences for taking money from the MeK by taking it from front groups who exist to "support" the MeK, a bullshit distinction if ever there were one. When called on their publication of Abedini's post by Glenn Greenwald, the Huffington Post removed his piece, despite the fact that HuffPo has repeatedly published his work in the past.  Also, while the U.S. HuffPo removed Abedini's piece, the U.K. HuffPo still has it up.

 For merely speaking on behalf of Al-Qaeda, U.S. citizen Anwar al-Awlaki was summarily executed via drone strike without a trial or even an evidentiary hearing.  His 17 year old son would die shortly thereafter in another drone strike.  Yet Hossein Abedini, the public face of the political arm of a terrorist group, walks about the world without fear or worry, and his paid American whores supporters continue to rake in millions in fees from groups that support the MeK for their willingness to lobby the U.S. government to take the MeK off of the terrorist organizations list. Regardless of what you think of the MeK, this is not the manner in which a terrorist organization should be able to remove itself from a terrorist organization list.  When terrorists realize that getting off of a list is as simple as retaining former elected officials with lucrative fees to lobby on their behalf, the precedent being set is extraordinarily awful. And that is your Roundup for today, with all the news that's unfit for mainstream state media coverage.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Screed of Momus Welcomes Stevie J. West!

Stevie J. West
Screed of Momus is always interested in picking up writers committed to fighting leftism and political groupthink.  With that in mind, we've joined forces with Stevie J. West.  You know Stevie from her time at The Trenches, and we're damned proud to welcome her aboard at Screed of Momus going forward.  Stevie's spitfire attitude towards the inanities of leftism should be a good fit here, and she's committed herself to being merciless in her examination and skewering of leftism.  Her politically incorrect outlook is welcome here, and she'll have free rein to write about a variety of topics in her own inimitable style and voice.

After two years, I've decided that it's time for Screed of Momus to diversify its offerings while retaining the commitment to censure and ridicule that defined the Greek god for whom this site is named.  Stevie fits perfectly within the brand I've established and built over the past two years, while adding her own unique take on issues.  It's not often that I ask anyone to come aboard at the sites I write, but when Stevie left The Trenches I knew it was an opportunity that wouldn't present itself again.

I'm proud to welcome Stevie aboard Screed of Momus, and I'm excited to see what she'll write going forward.

Jay Batman
Founder and Writer
Screed of Momus