Friday, March 15, 2013

Ragehammer: The RINO Rape of America

It's now been five months since the 2012 election returned President Obama to office, where he could predictably continue on his merry little campaign of expanding the size and scope of government, while simultaneously defecating on our civil liberties.  I want to be upfront about one thing in this post: I'm not going to curse like I normally do in a Ragehammer, because I don't want anyone to have that as their excuse to not read this piece.  I'm going to lay out in simple terms what I see as the problem with America, and in particular the Republican Party.

I grew up in an archconservative household. My dad was a fundamentalist Southern Baptist; so fundamentalist, in fact, that he would have fit in better as an Independent Baptist.  My dad endorsed public stonings for gays, and the one book other than the Bible he bought me was Rush Limbaugh's The Way Things Ought to Be.  We grew up with VHS recorded tapes of This Week with David Brinkley, where the only acceptable opinion expressed on the show came out of the mouth of the Oracle himself, George Will.

We were in church as many days out of the week as a church in Mobile County was open.  On Sundays and Wednesdays, that meant we were at our home church; the rest of the time, it meant that we were at any local Southern Baptist church that happened to have a revival going on that week.  My dad was the type of guy who made sure that his family didn't have a television until I was in the seventh grade.  He was the guy who didn't allow us to read books that weren't from a Christian perspective.

We grew up with Ronald Reagan, Bob Larson, Tim LaHaye, Ron Dunn, and other guys who passed the smell test of my dad's rabid conservativism and fundamentalist Christianity.  My dad believed people who spoke in tongues were demon-possessed, and he brooked no compromise with anyone over anything.  Taxes were to be low, children were to obey, and government was supposed to mind its own damn business.

I know what a Republican is.  I know what a real Republican is.  There was never any question about what a real Republican did when I was coming up.  A real Republican stood firm on the issue of abortion, always coming down on the pro-life side.  A real Republican stood for traditional values and abhorred any attempt by government to interfere in the practice of those values.  When I say traditional values, I mean that a real Republican didn't buy any nonsense about women being equal to men, or gays being allowed to be gay without risking jail time or capital punishment, or the government telling gays they could marry or adopt children.

Real Republican men went to pancake breakfasts and Wednesday night fellowship suppers, prayed all the time and before every meal and even a few Dr. Peppers, kept their yards mowed, did chores around town on Saturdays, and beat the hell out of their kids for back-talking adults in any way, shape, fashion, or form.  Real Republican men bought their atheist sons a Survival Kit and made them study the Bible every morning before school regardless of the fact that their sons were atheists.  They also routinely threatened those sons with the wrath of Almighty God.



I know this, because I lived it.  Real Republican men felt that blowjobs were for sissy men with limp wrists and men who frequented prostitutes and other types of loose women. They did not require their wives to put the same mouths they kissed their sons and daughters with over their penises.  I know this, because my real Republican dad articulated that sentiment to me during the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal, and it was at that moment that I realized I could never be a real Republican man.

When real Republican men saw a RINO like George H.W. Bush, they sneered.  They looked at the alternative in a commonsense talking guy like H. Ross Perot, and they signed on as his supporters instead.  George H.W. Bush, you see, was pro-choice before he was pro-life, a real flip-flopper, and he loved anti-Republican organizations like the United Nations and the one world government such organizations were trying to usher in so that the Antichrist could destroy America.

Now, I grew up to cast my first vote in 1996 for Bob Dole.  Bob Dole was a war hero, a man with an impeccable record and a questionable inner ear, and Bill Clinton was a perjuring, adulterous, lying sack of shit with a propensity for strippers and fat interns.  He may have even sold military technology to China for campaign donations.  There were penises on the White House Christmas tree, and Tipper Gore punched Hillary Clinton's lights out over that sacrilege.

I know what a Republican is, and I know what a Republican is not.

When Bob Dole's number came up, he went to war and gave up his hand for his country.  For the rest of his life, he'd be stuffing that pencil in that hand, talking about himself in the third person in a gravelly voice, because Bob Dole didn't pull the whole college deferment card when his number came up in the draft.  He didn't go get in the reserves or go AWOL from the Texas Air National Guard.

Bob Dole went to war, because real Republican men go to war when they're called upon to go to war.  George H.W. Bush went to war, too, but he was called Rubbers because he supported family planning, and God plans families, not you and your wife.  My mom had my sisters eleven months apart out of submission to God's will, but when she had to be cut open to deliver my bowling ball of a brother via a C-section, she took it as a sign from God.  The uterine cancer that resulted in a hysterectomy was just the cherry on top of the sign.

When a real Republican man says something, he means it, and he follows through. Read my lips, no new taxes means no new taxes.  American jobs stay in America, and we don't let Mexico suck jobs out of our country.

I know what a Republican is, and I know what a Republican is not, and I wasn't fooled in 2000 when George W. Bush came out of Texas and sucked all the wind out of the primaries and caucuses.  I wasn't fooled by John McCain, either, because he left his wife for his newer, richer, younger wife, and real Republican men don't do that.  I wound up voting for Harry Browne when I saw him speak at the Libertarian Party Convention on C-SPAN.



Years later, when George W. Bush denigrated the actual service of a man who went to Vietnam while he stayed in Texas and goofed off, and exploded our national debt, I still wasn't fooled.  I wasn't fooled when Bush exploded the federal government's role in education via No Child Left Behind, and I wasn't fooled when he exploded Medicare with a prescription drug benefit.  When Bush gave us the Patriot Act, lied us into war with Iraq, and led us into a world of "free speech zones," I wasn't fooled.

Two types of presidents allow attacks by terrorists on U.S. soil: Democrats and RINOs.  Bill Clinton had the first WTC attack and Oklahoma City, and George W. Bush had 9/11.  The only difference is that people blamed Clinton for his failures, and gave George W. Bush a pass.

Real Republicans deal with the problem before it becomes a problem.  Ronald Reagan bombed Libya.  He let the world know he meant business.  When Grenada threatened U.S. freedom, we invaded that country and let the world know we wouldn't tolerate some podunk Caribbean nation getting all commie on us.  Ronald Reagan cut taxes.  He spent money on bombs and bullets and Star Wars, and cut spending on actual people, because that's what a real Republican does.  Terrorists didn't come to the U.S. to strike our interests, they stayed in Berlin and bombed discotheques.

In 2008, when the Republican Party nominated John McCain, a man who had teamed up with Democrats to destroy free speech by denying issues groups the ability to mention a candidate's name up 60 days before an election, I knew they had gone completely RINO.  It only got worse in 2012, when the Republican Party nominated a man who gave us Romneycare in Massachusetts, and raised fees on everything from blind people to ambulance companies in order to avoid being guilty of a "tax hike." Any fee that the government charges any citizen is a tax, Mittens.

The RINO rape of America was thus implemented, and as a result, Barack Obama became a two-term president.  The fact that a president could get re-elected with rampant unemployment, a contracting economy, and banks manipulating interest rates, committing fraud, and laundering drug money should tell you everything you need to know about how the RINO rape of America worked out.  Today, we're no better off than we were four years ago, and we're faced with an exploding national debt and a government that says it doesn't have money for White House tours while spending money on 2,700 tanks and two billion bullets.

I have to lay the blame for this squarely on the Republican Party.  You can't slap a Republican sign on a pile of manure and expect people to see it as being substantively different from the pile of manure underneath the Democratic Party's sign.  Poop is still poop, and people had already had enough poop rammed down their throats for four years prior to 2012.

The Romney campaign said it would eliminate tax deductions and loopholes, but it wouldn't say which tax deductions and loopholes it would eliminate.  By the way, the elimination of deductions and loopholes is called a tax hike, and the problem is spending, which the Romney folks really didn't care to address in any real fashion either.  The Romney campaign didn't say which government programs it would actually cut.

In point of fact, the entire message of the Romney campaign on its budgetary plan was about the same as Nancy Pelosi's take on health care reform: you have to pass it so you can out what's actually in it.

But Romney's record contained one flip-flop after another, as he was pro-gay rights before he was against gay marriage, and he supported gays in the military before he opposed the repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell. He was proud of Romneycare and thought it was a model for the nation before he insisted it was only a state program.

And now, all these months later, there are Romney supporters who are whining and butthurt on Twitter about his loss, and angry with anyone who didn't vote for him as a vote against Obama.  Everyone who voted for another candidate voted against Obama.  I want to be as clear about this as possible: Mitt Romney lost in 2012, and even if everyone who voted for a candidate other than Mitt Romney or Barack Obama had switched their votes, Mitt Romney would have still come up short in the popular vote.  Even though Barack Obama finished with seven million fewer votes in 2012 than he finished with in 2008, he still beat Mitt Romney by over three million votes.

The number of votes for other candidates other than Romney or Obama totaled a mere 1.9 million.

Maybe Romney supporters need to face up to a little reality check, and realize that the President lost seven million votes and more people voted against him in 2012 overall than voted against him 2008, and Mitt Romney still could not win the election.  Even if all of those voters had switched their vote to Romney, he would have still lost the election.  There's no conceivable math you could do that would change the fact that Romney lost, and would still lose, under any number of other scenarios.

And why is that? Because he's a RINO, and people don't get excited about RINOs, because RINOs are just as bad as what they already have. Your problem isn't with the 1.9 million individuals who voted for someone other than Barack Obama and Mitt Romney; no, your problem ought to be with the Republican Party, whose leaders couldn't nominate a candidate who could have captured some of those seven million lost votes for Barack Obama from 2008 that would have garnered a different result.

Your problem is you.  You signed on for a candidate that even you couldn't bring yourself to vote for; instead, you settled for yet another election where your vote was cast against someone you didn't like, and you have the Republican Party to thank for that and for the re-election of Barack Obama.  Now, I haven't cursed to this point, but I'm going to now: I'm fucking sick and tired of all the butthurt pussies who thought Romney was going to win, and who are still blaming everyone but Romney and the Republican Party for the re-election of Barack Obama.  Sit down and shut the fuck up, because we told you what the outcome would be if Romney was nominated, but you didn't want to fucking listen.  You wanted to believe that people would still come out for a guy that didn't inspire them, didn't move them, and didn't represent their passionate commitment to the ideals that make this country great.

You wanted to believe that a guy who spit on the president who made them feel good about being Americans was someone they'd accept.  I've criticized Ronald Reagan in the past, but I still think he's the best president of the past forty years, hands down.  He made you feel good about being an American, and he inspired you to believe in yourself and your country, to entertain the idea that you could be whatever you wanted in this land of opportunity.  He didn't apologize for opposing communism, and he stood for something. You could pin him down to a position, because he stuck to actual positions because he had actual convictions, regardless of whether they were right or fucking wrong.

When Mitt Romney ran for Senate against Teddy Kennedy, he said he didn't want to go back to that.  He acted like he was fucking ashamed of it against a guy who drove his goddamned date off of a bridge and left her to die in a submerged car.  Really?  You're standing on a fucking debate stage with Ted Kennedy, and apologizing for Ronald Reagan?! Get the fuck out.

Now, you can get mad at me, you bunch of fucking pansies, because I know you like living in a fucking echo chamber where no one ever tells you the hard fucking truth about the choice you made and the result it generated.  When your fucking kids have a lower standard of living, and they don't have the same goddamned opportunities that you did, you can look back on the past two elections and realize that you're to fucking blame.  You are the problem, because Barack Obama beat  both of the Republican candidates you supported and lined up behind so badly that even if everyone else had switched their vote to Republican, it wouldn't have made a lick of fucking difference. Obama would have still won the fucking election, because McCain and Romney didn't inspire anyone or convey that their real convictions and sincere beliefs aligned with liberty and reduced government.

Americans want a fucking choice, and they want a real Republican or libertarian to line up and tell them what's what and stick to their fucking guns. They want that shit.  They've heard all the bullshit, and they've been courted by all the disingenuous fucks who say one thing and mean another, and they don't buy it anymore.  If the Republican Party had stuck someone genuine up in front of the fucking convention, and gave them the fucking nomination, even if the American people disagreed with that person on some points, that person would have kicked Obama's ass.  This country is starving for authenticity, especially when it comes to leaders.

The American people have been sold a bill of goods time and time again, only to find that the goods are rotten and useless upon delivery.  They want someone to say something, anything, and actually fucking mean it, even if they might disagree with it on some level.  They want to believe like they haven't been able to believe before, because belief is the one thing that moves men at their core.  I remember what it was like to believe, because I was alive when Ronald Reagan ran this fucking country, and when he spoke people fucking believed it.  My dad and his friends got all kinds of fired up over Reagan's speeches, over his persona, over his gravitas.

They fucking believed, and their lives were the better for it.

When you have something to believe in, you can go on and on and on through all the mud and the blood and shit of life, in the hopes that one day you'll realize that belief.  And you know what? Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, if you just keep going you'll wind up where you want to fucking be.  If you don't have anything to believe in, you don't have anything to hope for, and if you don't have anything to hope for you don't have a reason to keep fucking trying.

That's what the Republican Party has taken from us: a reason to keep fucking trying.  It's disgusting. They don't give a fuck about us, about this country, about what men need spiritually to renew their spirits and give their lives purpose as it relates to political leadership.  All they give a fuck about is the status quo.  It's stupid and short-sighted, because if they'd find authentic fucking people and put them up for election, they'd build an electoral majority for decades to come.

But they're pussies, and they don't see anything beyond the next two fucking years, and the two years after that, and the two years after that.  They don't care to give us anything to be excited about, or anything to fucking anticipate that's good; instead, what they do is give us fear as the alternative.  If you don't vote for us, it will only get worse.  That's not fucking good enough.   Even when we are voting for you, it's only getting fucking worse for most of us, so the efficacy of your message is fucking gone. We don't know that our hard work and determination is going to pay off.  We don't know that we'll do better if we invest in ourselves and risk everything the form of loans to go back to school and get an education. The people who succeed in our society increasingly aren't hard workers or even smart people; rather, they're the fucking people who can afford to buy the government and get that government to take from the rest of us to cover their fucking stupid decisions.

What's my fucking motivation in that?

I have an initiative and drive from within in any situation,  but a lot of people aren't like me. They need someone or something to believe in, something to lead them to realize the potential that is within themselves, and the Republican Party isn't fucking providing that right now.  Their best orators are a bunch of fucking cocks who always blow the spotlight, like Bobby Jindal did during his response to the State of the Union or Marco Rubio with his fucking water and cottonmouth and his douchebag Wiz Khalifa reference.

Even I struggle to believe in this country when I see people committing fraud and laundering drug money and going unpunished for no reason other than their wealth and their connections with political elites.  You can't sell me that system and expect me to invest in it wholeheartedly, when it so obviously exists to fuck people like me in the ass so that people in the top 10% can have more and their kids can inherit more fucking money than I can earn.

Don't fucking defend a market as being free when you're handing close to $30 trillion in bailouts to the banks, and $83 billion a year to banks as a subsidy.  Don't fucking tell me the invisible hand is keeping those banks afloat when I know about goddamned Maiden Lane.

Don't fucking tell me it's politics, or business as usual, and expect me to just look the other way.  Fuck no, this is economic treason.  The people perpetuating these practices should be dragged from their offices and skinned alive in the streets.  Don't fucking justify or split hairs over due process where an American citizen is concerned because he joined a group and spoke out in favor of that group's actions. The only crime you can try him for is exercising his free speech to an end that we both find odious, but this is fucking America, and what makes this country great is limited government and individual liberty to do things the government doesn't fucking like.  It's not a fucking crime to have a shitty opinion, and it's not a reason to kill someone with a Hellfire missile.

If you aren't going to stand for the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, and you're just going to sit there can carve out exception after fucking exception in the name of pragmatism, then call yourself what you are: a Democrat, a liberal, a leftist, and a piece of total fucking shit who doesn't stand for anything except for the fact that you can shift what you stand for on the fly until it doesn't mean anything any more.

I have more in common with John Cusack than I do with any of you who support drone strikes abroad on a fucking mouthpiece, because at least he's asking where the fucking Democrats are.  Here's a news flash, John: they're with their RINO friends for dinner at Michelle and Barack's place.

Don't give me any more of this butthurt bullshit about how people should have voted against Barack Obama by voting for Mitt Romney.  You shitfire fucktards of the morning dew, people who voted for Gary Johnson were voting against President Obama.  I can't help it that you're too invested in being a good little Republican soldier to question why the Republicans sent you into battle to back up a rube of a general, or that you're too fucking stupid to realize that the Republicans needs to start looking at fiscal conservative liberty voters as the only goddamned game in town, as opposed to the other way around.  We are the only path back to salvation and relevance that these assholes have, and if they don't start giving us candidates that give us something to fucking believe in, they can chalk their entire existence as a party.

This country is getting raped because the Republican Party is so goddamned enamored of RINOs, even though the last two RINOs led them to the ash heap of electoral oblivion and helped one of the worst presidents we've ever had get elected.  That's the fucking problem, not my vote for Gary Johnson.  The problem is the fact that you aren't facing fucking reality about what the GOP has done for the past two presidential elections.

Stop being a bunch of little bitches, and start fucking manning up and owning the fact that no matter how you cut the vote totals, McCain and Romney could not have fucking won. Then ask yourself why, and come to the only appropriate conclusion: a vote for a RINO might as well be a vote for Barack Obama.  Stop getting into situations where your prior vote makes you an apologist for a man who stood on a stage with a man who drowned his fucking date and felt the need to apologize for Ronald Reagan's record.

Stop the RINO rape of this country, and start insisting on an actual choice that you can believe in and find a common ground with.  Stop being whiny little butthurt bitches, and consider this post your dose of man the fuck up.

   
     


Thursday, March 14, 2013

The War on Gun Ownership II

Kamala Harris
The institutional and activist left is on the march against gun ownership across the United States, and some of their key battlegrounds are coming to the forefront.  In California, State Attorney General Kamala Harris has seized some 2,000 weapons in the past year, many from the mentally ill and convicted felons. While this may seem entirely unobjectionable, Harris and her allies are not merely seizing guns from the mentally ill; they are going even further by seizing the registered firearms of anyone who lives with a mentally ill person.

Such was the case in Upland, California, where 48 year-old Lynette Phillips and her husband David found themselves on the receiving end of a search by nine California Justice Department agents out to confiscate guns from individuals in the state's database of mentally ill individuals, convicted felons, and those with domestic violence restraining orders.  Though David had no history of mental illness, California law goes further than merely regulating gun ownership for the mentally unstable: it extends to removing all access to firearms from the mentally unstable by enabling the California Justice Department to confiscate the firearms of those who live with someone who has been recently committed or hospitalized in a mental hospital.

What is more, the stories written about the Phillips's plight do not go into any great detail about California's laws on mental health issues and gun ownership, particularly the 2008 Dangerous Weapons Control Law (Section 8100 thru 8108 Welfare and Institutions Code Sections/Mental Health), which explicitly states that a patient is not subject to the restrictions upon discharge from a mental health facility.  Additionally, the Attorney General is required to notify individuals barred from gun ownership due to threats communicated to licensed psychotherapists of their right to petition a superior court to determine that they are not a threat to themselves or to others, and therefore they can have their guns restored to their possession.

In Phillips's case, the involuntary nature of her hospital stay would bar her from gun ownership for five years, but she could still petition a superior court to find that the State of California had not met its burden to demonstrate that she was a threat.  The facility where she stayed is required by law to inform her of the five year ban, as well as her option to petition the court for a hearing, and the facility is even required to provide the form for requesting a hearing.  Additionally, the facility must forward that form to the court unless the patient indicates that they will submit the form to the court.

Nothing in any of the stories reporting Phillips's plight would indicate that the facility, Aurora Charter Oak Hospital in Covina, did its duty under the law to inform her of the five year ban or her option of petitioning the court.  However, what the news media isn't reporting is the actual facts that led to Lynette Phillips's involuntary commitment at Aurora Charter Oak Hospital.  Screed of Momus located Phillips and conducted a phone interview with her over the events leading up to her involuntary commitment, and what we found was troubling.

A Simple Desire  


Lynette and David Phillips
Lynette Phillips could not stop crying.  Since her medication had been switched, she cried constantly and unceasingly.  She did what any individual in her situation would do, and called her psychiatrist for help.  The psychiatrist suggested that she go to a nearby mental health facility in order to be voluntarily admitted so that her medication could be adjusted in order to alleviate the crying.

As Phillips puts it, "I had a new grandbaby, and it was going to be her first Christmas, and I just wanted to be okay for her first Christmas."  When Phillips called the first facility, there were no beds available, so she called Aurora Charter Oak Hospital as an alternative.  They had open beds available, and so she and her husband David drove over to the hospital so that she could be admitted.

The nurse who interviewed Phillips in her initial assessment made no indication that there was any issue at all.  Phillips informed her of her desire to regulate the medication in order to avoid having issues during the holidays, but she also says she made it clear that she was not a threat to herself or to others, and that she did not have suicidal thoughts.  The nurse then asked a question that seemed out of the ordinary about a car accident and how Phillips would feel about getting into a car accident.  As Phillips sat in tears, suffering from the transition of a medication change, she said that a car accident would be out of her control.

The assessment concluded, and Phillips was taken back to the unit.  The LVN on duty then showed her that her commitment was involuntary, much to Phillips's shock.  The paperwork contained an admission that Phillips said she'd never made, one in which she said she would not care about getting into a car wreck or driving off of a cliff.  In other words, Phillips alleges that the nurse who conducted her assessment fabricated those remarks.

Phillips tried to get Aurora to contact her psychiatrist to verify that she was not a threat, not suicidal, and simply wanted her medication adjusted. Aurora's nurses and doctors did not comply, but they did offer her the option of a family interview to assess whether or not she was telling the truth. Additionally, Aurora did not stock Phillips's new medication, and so they would not administer the medication to her.  For two days and nights, her husband had to smuggle the medication into her room during visits to ensure that she had the medication.

After the family interview, and an interview with a psychiatrist who worked at Aurora, Phillips says that she was told that the hospital "should have better procedures so that this doesn't happen."  Within a forty-eight hour period, Lynette Phillips went from being a 5150 patient to being discharged from Aurora.  If she had been actually suicidal or a legitimately assessed as a threat, the likelihood that her stay would have lasted from 8:00 p.m. on a Monday to just before noon on Wednesday would have been virtually nil.

The actual psychiatrist who examined Phillips found her to be safe for discharge.  It was only the assessment notes of the nurse, containing statements attributed to Phillips that she insists she never made, that formed the basis for her involuntary commitment and subsequent loss of firearms.  Phillips paid to have a copy of her records in the aftermath, and during the phone interview, she said that she never received any notice that she would be stripped of the right to own or possess a firearm for five years, or that under California law she could petition a superior court to find that the State had not met its burden in establishing that she was a threat to herself or to others.

In fact, all of the forms in her records that indicate she declined to petition the court were dated on December 17, 2012, which is the day she was admitted into Aurora Charter Oak Hospital.  The nurse who conducted her intake assessment never covered the contents of the paperwork with her, and she was never provided the forms.  She was simply asked to sign paperwork while she sat in her chair, crying incessantly as a result of an imbalance in medication.  Upon her discharge, the issues were not revisited in any way.

Though Lynette Phillips was discharged on December 19th, it wasn't until three months had elapsed that the California Justice Department sent nine armed officers in unmarked cars to her house to confiscate the guns her husband owned.  "I had bought a gun for my husband as a gift," Phillips said, "and I didn't know the first thing about guns.  He picked it out, and I went and got the license and purchased the gun for him as a gift."

And so it was that Lynette Phillips and her husband David found themselves faced with nine armed officers going through their house, without a warrant, after soliciting entry into that house.  Phillips had no idea that she could say no, or refuse to answer the door.  Her neighbors, including one Upland Police Department detective, looked on as the officers carted ammunition and firearms out of her house. When the detective inquired as to why the California Justice Department was engaged in a search, and volunteered his assistance, he was told it was none of his business and to go away.

Bloomberg reporters were along for the ride, and informed beforehand of the circumstances.  The California Justice Department agents informed Phillips of their presence, and their desire to conduct an interview, albeit grudgingly.  "I got the impression they didn't want to have the story told," she said.  "That made me consent to the interview."

If Bloomberg did in fact know about the reasons for the California Justice Department's raid on Phillips's house, especially her mental health issues, it would be significant because California law makes such information confidential under Section 8103(f)(2), which states:

"Any report prescribed by this subdivision shall be confidential, except for purposes of the court proceedings described in this subdivision and for determining the eligibility of the person to own, possess, control, receive, or purchase a firearm."
While Bloomberg may not have had the report itself, if they had the information contained within that report and knew beforehand why Phillips was being raided by the California Justice Department, the confidentiality of that information may have been breached. The significance of this cannot be overstated, given that Section 8103(e)(3) defines the disclosure of similar information relating to a conservatorship as a misdemeanor.

It would appear that the Aurora Charter Oak Hospital did not in fact inform Lynette Phillips of the ramifications of her involuntary commitment, as Phillips was not even aware that her commitment was involuntary until she arrived on the unit and the LVN on call showed her the 5150 paperwork containing fabricated statements attributed to Phillips.  The paperwork relating to the five year ban and the petition for the superior court hearing was dated December 17th, 2012, the date Phillips was admitted into Aurora Charter Oak Hospital.  It was filled out during an assessment during which Phillips was undergoing uncontrollable crying and struggling with a medication change.

Additionally, Phillips further alleges that Aurora Charter Oak Hospital withheld her medication on the grounds that they did not stock the medication, and her husband had to bring it in for her.  The nurse who classified Phillips as a suicidal patient and allegedly fabricated statements to that effect in Phillips admissions paperwork was overruled less than 48 hours later by the psychiatrist on staff who examined Phillips and interviewed her family, and who signed off on her discharge on Wednesday, December 19th, 2012.  If Phillips were truly a threat to herself or to others, this expedited release would have been highly unusual.

The State of California then took three months to show up to Phillips's home and remove her husband's firearms from the safe they were kept in.  While various media outlets have reported that the firearms belonged to Lynette Phillips, she insists that she only purchased them as gifts for her husband David.

Aftermath

Today, Lynette Phillips wonders how these events even took place. She wonders how a nurse could be invested with so much power, and how a hospital like Aurora Charter Oak could deny her the medication she'd been prescribed on the grounds that they did not stock it.  She wonders why Aurora would not contact her psychiatrist, who could not come to Aurora because she did not have privileges there.  Aurora was merely the second option, a hospital that had available beds.

She and her husband David have two German Shepherds left as protection, and she hopes that she'll be able to have the guns back after a petition to the court.  After all, two dogs are not the same level of protection as even one firearm.

The State of California holds itself out as a model to the federal government and the rest of the nation; but the troubling story of Lynette Phillips serves to highlight the flaws of assuming that mental health providers act in good faith in how they classify individuals as suicidal or mentally ill. What began as a simple voluntary check-in to a local hospital by a woman who just wanted to be emotionally okay for her grandchild's first Christmas turned into a nightmare that resulted in the loss of her property and her husband's gun rights, even though he had no prior issues to speak of involving mental illness.

"I feel like I've been raped," Phillips said softly, her voice trailing off on the phone.  In the meantime, Kamala Harris and the left march on, their certitude a hallmark of their unwavering commitment to an ideology that has no regard for the practical ramifications it yields for people like Lynette and David Phillips.

The War on Gun Ownership isn't a story about guns; it's a story about people who own guns, and how their lives and reputations can effectively be ruined by healthcare providers and states rushing to short circuit the very laws and processes that exist to restrain their actions so that a result can be arrived at.  That result is the disarmament of individual citizens, many of whom may struggle with a medication adjustment, but who are not demonstrably a threat to themselves or others.  Before we as a country commit to blanket solutions for the issue of gun violence, we would do well to consider the story of Lynette Phillips as a cautionary note.




Crushing Dissent Over Debt

The United States federal government, which borrows money to pay the interest on money it has already borrowed, has faced downgrades from Moody's, S&P, and little known rival rating agency Egan-Jones over its indebtedness.  However, the United States government, while not interested in pursuing any action against those rating agencies for giving subprime mortgage securities the highest possible rating of AAA, has shown all manner of interest in those same agencies in the aftermath of downgrades to the government's own credit rating. In other words, if your ratings give an inaccurate picture of the viability of private mortgage-backed securities, you are fine; but if your ratings give an accurate picture of the overextended fiscal situation of the United States government and its debt, you face an investigation by the SEC.

That's exactly what Egan-Jones faced when it downgraded the U.S. debt three times, and faced an enforcement action by the SEC alleging that Egan-Jones had lied in its application to be a Nationally Recognized Statistical Rating Organization for asset-backed securities and government securities.  Egan-Jones went on to settle with the SEC without any admission of wrongdoing; additionally, the punishment for Egan-Jones gave an insight into the underlying issue, because Egan-Jones was barred for rating U.S. government debt for 18 months.  Many market observers felt that Egan-Jones was perhaps the most candid rating agency when it came to the debt issuances of the United States, and the SEC's actions were widely seen as pure retaliation.

Likewise, the Department of Justice timed its suit against Standard & Poors to pre-empt any further downgrade of U.S. debt in the aftermath of the debt ceiling negotiations and the fiasco of sequestration. Standard & Poors had already downgraded the U.S. debt in August 2011, the first downgrade of U.S. debt in history by a major credit rating agency.  It was entirely likely that S&P would downgrade the U.S. debt again, given the inability of Congress to implement any meaningful spending cuts or revenue increases to balance the books.

Considering that 61% of the U.S. debt issuance is being purchased by the Federal Reserve while China,  Japan, and other foreign governments reduce their holdings of our debt, the market has already rated U.S. debt as a bad bet.  However, the Department of Justice and the SEC cannot prosecute China and Japan for their lack of "objectivity" in refusing to buy U.S. Treasury issuances.  A country with a debt bigger than its GDP, and a devalued currency made necessary by the cost of interest on that debt, has no objectivity of its own to speak of and no basis from which to defend itself from even the most subjective interpretations of its fiscal condition.

Retaliating against rating agencies that provide an independent analysis of U.S. debt, and dressing up the retaliation as enforcement against said agencies for long-unprosecuted failings (in the case of S&P) or misrepresentations on an application (as was the case with Egan-Jones) does nothing to change the reality: this government has to rely on its central bank to purchase most of its debt issuance by monetizing that debt.  One might ask why any rating agency would be required to apply to the government whose debt it rates for permission to rate that debt; but one would be considered naive in the eyes of the intelligentsia, who see no conflict whatsoever between the supposed independence of rating agencies and their reliance on the governments they rate for permission to operate.

The U.S. government would do well to realize that the problem isn't the debt-rating, or even how it was arrived at. The problem is the debt itself.  Crushing dissent that highlights the essential problem of debt and forces the media's focus towards an inconvenient subject does nothing to change reality.  The idea that the U.S. government would question the objectivity and methodology of rating agencies, when its own statistical measurements of unemployment and inflation are laughably subjective for what they omit, is absurd on its face.




Adam Carolla Gives the Business to the Huffington Post



Another forty cases of fucking mangria for the Huffington Post, courtesy of Adam Carolla, who invited Huffington Post to get a fucking boycott going against his pirate ship after the Huffington Post covered his interview with Gavin Newsom, during which Carolla asked Newsom what was wrong with blacks and Latinos as it related to their inability to access a checking account or an ATM.  For Carolla, the question was one of education and family structure, and he linked the socioeconomic plight of blacks and Latinos to single parent households:

"The family is the number one problem in the Black community. […] It's simple. Fathers, stay at home, raise your family, do your homework with your kids, put an emphasis on education like the Jews, like the Asians, and let's see what happens to the problem in 20 years."

Adam Carolla is exactly right about the number one problem in the black community. What he isn't correct in doing is to assume that the black family unit simply came apart at the seams in a vacuum. There is a presumption in many quarters that slavery for black Americans ended in 1865; in fact, slavery continued under various arrangements like debt peonage or the leasing of prisoners to private employers, as the book Slavery by Another Name, and the PBS film based on that book, points out:

"But the most corrupt and abusive peonage occurred in concert with southern state and county government. In the south, many black men were picked up for minor crimes or on trumped-up charges, and, when faced with staggering fines and court fees, forced to work for a local employer would who pay their fines for them. Southern states also leased their convicts en mass to local industrialists. The paperwork and debt record of individual prisoners was often lost, and these men found themselves trapped in inescapable situations."
These sorts of practices continued well into the 20th century; moreover, author Douglas A. Blackmon makes a compelling case that slavery under these practices continued into World War II.  The effect of having black fathers put to work to pay off debts accrued as a result of trumped up crimes cannot be overstated, especially when that work was in direct competition with the traditional role of fathers in providing for their families and children.  Nevertheless, by the 1960s, the black family in America was well on its way to economic integration via upward mobility into the middle class.  Half of all blacks had moved into the middle class by 1964.

The racial motivations underlying the U.S. government's crackdown on drugs was best seen by the racial rhetoric that drug prohibitionists utilized to justify banning marijuana. The term marijuana was itself a slang word used by Mexicans, and drug prohibitionists were fond of pointing to marijuana as a Mexican problem.  In much the same way, sentencing disparities for offenders who possessed powdered or rock forms of cocaine only served to exemplify the underlying racial motivation of the drug war: the federal sentencing penalties were 100 times harsher for crack cocaine than powdered cocaine.   Considering that the rock form was cheaper and therefore more accessible to black users, while the powdered form was more expensive and preferred by white users who tended to have more income, the obvious implication was that sentencing disparities were targeted directly at people of color.  Indeed, given that powdered cocaine and crack cocaine are pharmacologically the same drug, there is no real justification beyond race for the disparity in punishment.

Drug laws were an effective way of ensuring that individuals convicted of drug crimes would be marked for life and unable to achieve anything resembling equal footing in society. By focusing enforcement efforts on urban areas where people of color lived, and enacting harsher punishments for the drugs they were more likely to use, drug prohibitionists accomplished an outcome whereby blacks were seven times more likely than whites to be in jail or prison.

As a result, blacks were seven times more likely to lose the right to vote, own a firearm, access federal aid for financing higher education, and they were effectively consigned to a second-class status.  The effects on family structure were predictable enough: seven percent of black children have an incarcerated parent.  That's nine times the rate of white children. Indeed, the overwhelming majority of drug laws and their enforcement is targeted at black individuals despite the fact that whites are more likely to use and sell drugs than blacks:

As studies done by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Household Survey on Drug Abuse noted in 2000, not only did “white students use cocaine at seven times the rate of black students, use crack cocaine at eight times the rate of black students, and use heroin at seven times the rate of black students,” but whites between the ages of twelve and seventeen were also “more than a third more likely to have sold illegal drugs than African American youth.” In the 1980s alone, however, African Americans’ “share” of drug crimes jumped from 26.9 percent to 46.0 percent, and arrested black juveniles “were 37 percent more likely to be transferred to adult courts, where they faced tougher sanctions.” If convicted, African Americans of every age “were more likely than whites to be committed to prison instead of jail, and they were more likely to receive longer sentences.”
Despite the fact that alcohol and tobacco do far more damage than illicit drugs, with tobacco use alone causing more deaths than human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), illegal drug use, alcohol use, motor vehicle injuries, suicides, and murders combined.

There's no rational basis for leaving alcohol and tobacco as legal substances while outlawing drugs, when the former two substances kill and injure users at exponentially higher rates than all illicit drugs combined.  But the point of leaving tobacco as a legal drug is this: not only would you have to incarcerate whites, who smoke at a higher rate than blacks, but you'd also be eliminating the number one cause of death for blacks.  That's right, tobacco kills more black people in this country every year than AIDS, HIV, homicide, and drugs.

It's okay for tobacco to be legal, because tobacco kills black people.  Drugs result in higher rates of incarceration for blacks, and ensure that they'll be second-class citizens without political representation as a result of their inability to vote, while also ensuring that blacks can't finance their education via a Pell Grant or a Direct Loan that might provide them the educational means to pull themselves out of poverty.  They'll earn less as well.

And why to black people die at a disproportionately higher rate from tobacco use?  The type of tobacco that is marketed to the black community is part of the cause.  75% of black smokers smoke menthol cigarettes, compared to 23% of white smokers.  Menthol cigarettes are a superior cancer delivery system because they promote lung permeability and the diffusion of smoke particles.  They're more addictive because they deliver more nicotine.

Drugs aren't illegal because they kill people, or because they cost society lost money in terms of productivity and health issues.  Drug laws cost society money and get people killed because prohibition never works. Legal drugs like tobacco and alcohol are legal because the vast majority of the users are white, and because they do the job when it comes to users of color.  They kill people of color at a disproportionately higher rate than whites.  You can leave drugs like tobacco and alcohol to be legally used by people of color, and you can even make sure that the types of tobacco and alcohol that you target people of color with are more potent and lethal.  We're not concerned with mortality rates; no, the people who run our country and our society are concerned with making sure mortality rates are as high as possible for the individuals they consider to be a permanent and inferior underclass.  To wit, they ensure that drugs like alcohol and tobacco are legal; moreover, they ensure that drugs like cocaine and marijuana are prohibited, thereby creating a criminal market for those drugs that is dangerous to all who partake of the drugs in question and to the neighborhoods that are consumed by the commerce of illicit drugs.  Additionally, the elites of our society also make certain that users of color are targeted for more enforcement of those drug laws and therefore more likely to be incarcerated.

When it comes to alcohol, the alcoholic beverage that is marketed to the black community is malt liquor, which has a higher alcohol content than other types of beer.  According to a 2002 advertising audit of alcohol ads by Virtual Media Resources, "Compared to non-African-American youth, African-American youth saw 66% more beer and ale and 81% more distilled spirits magazine advertisements in 2002, and 45% more magazine advertisements for malternatives, alcopops and other "low-alcohol refreshers."8 This means that 96% of African-American youth, on average, saw 171 alcohol ads, whereas 83% of non-African-American youth, on average, saw 111 ads."  This is not accidental.  All 15 of the most popular television shows with African-American youth had alcohol ads.

On radio, VMR found that "African-American youth heard 12% more beer advertising and 56% more ads for distilled spirits than non-African-American youth." Advertisers target people of color, and they target them with advertisements for products that are demonstrably more harmful and dangerous than the products used by whites.

All of this occurs because there is a targeted war on black families. If fathers and mothers are incarcerated, they can't be present parents.  If they're addicted, they're less likely to be present or effective in their child's life.  When they get out of jail, their avenues for legal and legitimate employment are cut off by criminal records.  They make less in terms of wages, and they tend to have much higher rates of unemployment.  The incentives are perversely weighted for destructive behavior: if you want to increase your earning potential as a convicted felon of color, you can engage in the drug trade.  If you want to increase your cash flow as convicted felon of color, or even just as a person of color, you can have more children out of wedlock while unemployed to qualify for more government assistance.  There's no innocent reason to do this.

Adam Carolla is not a racist, but he is guilty of oversimplifying the underlying cause of the disintegrating black family over the past forty years.  It's no coincidence that the rise of federal and state drug laws, combined with an emphasis on targeting urban areas for enforcement at a time when whites were engaged in white flight to the suburbs, and the welfare state with its perverse incentivization of destructive behavior, just so happened to occur alongside spiraling rates of illegitimacy, incarceration, and all of the social ills that follow both illegitimacy and incarceration.  Increased illegitimate births and rates of incarceration are a direct result of drug prohibition and disparate enforcement, as well as the rise of the welfare state and its asinine incentives.

If Adam Carolla had been targeted for enforcement like the average black person, he would likely be a convicted felon today for his use of marijuana and/or other illicit drugs in the past.  So would I, and so would many white readers of this blog.  Not surprisingly, our nuclear family structure would have been deracinated in the process as parents went to jail for using a substance that is less harmful and less addictive than either alcohol or tobacco.

When unemployment rates for convicted felons of color are at 50%, and their earnings are far less than their white counterparts, there is every reason to believe that race is the determinative factor.  Karen Needels found that less than 40% of 1,176 men released from Georgia's prison system had any officially recorded earnings from 1983 to 1991.  White former inmates with jobs averaged $7,880 a year, while black former inmates averaged just $4,762.  Imagine the implications for the children of black former inmates, who were less likely to have employment, and who made over $3,000 a year less than their white counterparts.

In California, a study during the early Nineties found that less than 21% of the state's parolees were working full-time.  That's why half of the black and Latino population doesn't have access to an ATM or a checking account: they don't have jobs or money, because a drug conviction is a life sentence, and the punishment is total disenfranchisement from society.  Meanwhile, smokers and drinkers get to go to work and make higher wages, because their drugs, while more destructive to health and productivity, are legal.

There is an argument to be made for personal responsibility, for saying that one shouldn't do the crime if one can't do the time.  But personal responsibility isn't what differentiates the white community from the black community in terms of drug use: whites use and sell drugs at a higher rate than blacks, they just aren't targeted for heavy-handed enforcement of drug laws like blacks are.  The drug war has resulted in a situation where states like Illinois have more blacks in prison than they do graduating from college. Drug laws don't have anything to do with being tough on crime; instead, they have everything to do with creating crimes in order to implement into law the bigoted animus of drug prohibitionists against families of color.  They've been really successful.

Welfare has nothing to do with helping poor people or people of color subsist.  Instead, welfare has everything to do with incentivizing destructive behavior for people of color, in order to perpetuate a cycle of behavior that ultimately locks blacks into lives where fathers aren't present, single motherhood is glorified, and having more kids out of wedlock leads to more welfare aid.   Section Eight is nothing more than apartheid to keep the blacks in one area away from the whites.

The black community is going to have to deal in reality. The system is not changing, because the people who run it are the same racist bigots who used to hide behind the patina of science to legitimate their opinions that blacks were inherently inferior.  Eugenics and progressivism are vicious in their treatment of black people.  If anything, blacks have to realize that the only way to beat this system is to refuse to succumb at all to the temptations offered by the system in the form of advertisements for malt liquor, menthol cigarettes, and cultural offerings that glorify out of wedlock births by teen mothers while associating black masculinity with a capacity for sociopathic violence.  The entertainment that offers a glamorized view of drug use and drug commerce must also be rejected out of hand by the black community if it is ever to save a future generation from the genocide that has already consumed too many generations of young black men and women. There is no glamour in that lifestyle, only destruction for those who engage in such a lifestyle while living in a police state that has effectively marked them for increased scrutiny while overlooking criminal culpability on the part of their white peers.

Adam Carolla, while right on any number of points he raised about Gavin Newsom and his unwillingness to acknowledge the root issues and solutions to what ails the black community, is guilty of oversimplification. Like many whites, he wonders aloud why blacks can't do what he has done, and what Jews and Asians have done.  What he doesn't understand is that the targeting of Japanese-Americans for internment was temporary; likewise, the Anti-Semitism that led to the Holocaust fell out of vogue in the aftermath of World War II as the world's horrified reaction led to the near criminalization of any disagreement with Israel and Jewish assertions of any kind.  The ubiquitous discrimination faced by the black community in America, and the effects thereof, are of a categorically different quality than the bigotry he cites to refute the idea that blacks suffer from systemic discrimination.

Imagine if the Holocaust had not ended, because the bigots prosecuting that genocide had won World War II and found themselves faced with a stubbornly resilient target.  That's what the black community is, ultimately: a stubbornly resilient target, one that is targeted for extinction, but one that simply continues to live regardless, even if the lives of blacks are degraded to the point where they might as well be dead.  The inner cities are the feeder camps our Auschwitz-like jails and prisons, and while blacks are not being gassed in ovens, they are being fed menthol cigarettes, malt liquor, and welfare checks designed to ensure choices inimical to families.  They are being systemically eradicated, or at the very least consigned to a degraded existence of perpetual poverty and ignorance on the fringes of society, where violence is a way of life.  More people die in Chicago on the weekends than die in Baghdad in the middle of sectarian violence.  What no one wants to acknowledge is that Chicago, a major American metropolis, is a warzone.

When you have genocide consuming the Balkans, the United Nations assembles a peacekeeping force and steps in to restore order and ensure a transition with humanitarian outcomes.  When genocide plunges an entire American city into perpetual violence, we do nothing.  When a Muslim cleric speaks out in support of al-Qaeda, we have him executed as a terrorist with a drone strike.  When armed gangs finance their reigns of terror in major American cities with drugs, we do nothing so significant even though those gangs are terrorist organizations.  When the end user is caught, we incarcerate him; but when the bank that laundered the money from the proceeds of his purchases is caught, they pay a pittance in fines and move on with their business.

There is systemic racism underlying the erosion of the black family unit in America; and it is most evident in the welfare state with its promotion of perpetual dependency and its promotion of incentives guaranteed to destroy those who indulge in said behavior to gain the incentives, along with the drug war and its disproportionate enforcement and punishment.  Adam Carolla is courageous for pointing to a very real problem and a solution, and for trying to have a discussion about the solution, even though he refuses to recognize very obvious causal factors underlying the problem.

The Huffington Post, on the other hand, has engaged in nothing short of the perpetuation of the genocide by refusing to address the role of welfare and the drug war in the destruction of black families.   In this course, it is joined by virtually every other media outlet in America, because those outlets are owned by the very interests who perpetuated the legal regimes and welfare programs designed to destroy the black family unit and by extension blacks as a whole.
























Wednesday, March 13, 2013

In Which I See the Light of My Financing of Mass Rape...

Robert Stacy McCain has a piece out about the recent Daily Caller article covering Ashley Judd's crisis of conscience over "conflict minerals," in which she bemoans her own support of Apple products stained by"the shit and urine of raped women’s leaking fistulas."  As a proud MacBook Pro owner, my curiosity was piqued.  Like many celebrities, Judd is fond of jetting off to faraway locales in order to bring attention to injustices, even if the attention accomplishes little in the way of ending those injustices. Judd goes on:

“My electronics, received as gifts or purchased, profit armed militias and support slavery. I am financing mass rape as I enjoy these ridiculously Global North ultra-efficiencies and conveniences, for large scale rape is the preferred predation mining interests use to humiliate and terrify local populations, in order to control resource areas. The UN notes that virtually every mine in [Democratic Republic of the Congo] is militarized. This means little to no tin, tantalum, and tungsten is mined free of brutal exploitation, extortion, violence, rape, rape, rape.”

Ridiculously Global North ultra-efficiences and conveniences.  Well, I prefer average Global North efficiencies and conveniences, but they are so hard to find in stock these days.  Apple has since stressed a commitment to using only "conflict-free" minerals, for we are all aware of the importance of consensus-laden minerals, and their correlation to non-leaking fistulas.

Ladies, gentlemen, people of uncertain gender identities, as we sit back with our ridiculously Global North ultra-efficiencies and conveniences, let us ponder how stupid the Democratic Party of Kentucky would have to be in order to nominate Ashley Judd to run in a general election against Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.   Indeed, Ashley Judd's ramblings and the crises of conscience they manifest might be the only thing that could keep the spotlight off of Mitch McConnell's biggest liability: his actual record.

Leaking fistulas do tend to overshadow a legislative history that includes sponsoring the Protect America Act of 2007, which proposed to deracinate privacy and limited government surveillance powers by allowing the NSA to engage in warrantless surveillance of electronic and phone communications of suspected terrorists.  One might wonder why the authorities could not demonstrate probable cause for a warrant to surveil the suspected terrorist if in fact there were any merit to the suspicion; but we will not see that conversation in any race where Ashley Judd and her leaking fistulas will push such concerns to the background.

We might also fail to have any real debate over McConnnell's support of the 1991 Crime Bill S. 1241, where Mitch joined forces with none other than Joe Biden to try and institute a federal ban on semiautomatic firearms.  McConnell will likely avoid any discussion of his utter hypocrisy in lambasting congressional Democrats for urging then President Bush to bring home troops from Iraq, while he privately did the same thing when he had the president's ear.  On the one hand, McConnell insisted that the War in Iraq was essential to the national security of the United States; on the hand, he wanted to wind the war down in order to avoid a shellacking in the midterm elections. As the Louisville Courier-Journal puts it:
"[McConnell] can admit that he did not actually believe the Iraq mission was vital to American security, regardless of what he said at the time. Or he can explain why the fortunes of the Republican Party are of greater importance than the safety of the United States."
McConnell has to be praying for an opponent like Ashley Judd and leaking fistulas to take the focus off of his record of talking out of pandering and calculated cynicism, not to mention his inconsistent record as an advocate of smaller and more limited government. If the Democratic Party of Kentucky is indeed dumb enough to give Judd the nomination, he will have ample fodder to hammer Judd with while she ruminates about the ridiculously Global North perspective of Mitch McConnell.  One thing is for sure: should Ashley Judd wind up in a general election against Mitch McConnell for the Kentucky Senate seat McConnell presently holds, Judd will be toting a leaking fistula by the time the election is over.





Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The False Moderation of John McCain and Lindsey Graham

Senators John McCain of Arizona and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina have accrued reputations as moderates in their respective careers, reaching across the aisle to their opponents in the Democratic Party to forge consensus.  They've shown what many in the media would term independence by flouting their party leadership on any number of issues.  Indeed, Senator McCain's nickname for a period was Maverick.

Because they evince said independence from the party line, these men and their virtues are extolled by a  compliant media that seems to exist solely to perpetuate personality cults around public figures.  America loves sassiness, and by putting forth a line that diverges from their own authorities within the Republican Party, McCain and Graham have curried reputations as sassy individuals.

What no one in the media cares to examine is the end to which McCain and Graham exert themselves in order to sass the likes of Mitch McConnell or Rand Paul.  That end is always force; McCain, Graham, and others of their ilk fancy themselves enlightened types who can use the bludgeoning power of the law to make the world a better place, or at least better in the sense that their view prevails.  To wit, the McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform bill (actually better termed Shays-Meehan for the two House representatives whose end bill was passed into law) abridged free speech by prohibiting for non-profits the broadcast of messages mentioning candidates by name within 30 days of an election.  This, despite the fact that the First Amendment says that Congress shall make no law abridging freedom of speech.

While McCain loved to excoriate those who led his party for their departure from the Constitution, his own departures were less of a reason for outrage.  McCain's efforts in the Senate eventually gutted freedom of speech for issue organizations by making it illegal for such organizations to run ads on their issues that mentioned politicians or candidates by name within the time period that such individuals might be influenced by public pressure: in the time leading up to an election. Incumbents could therefore make it through the 30 to 60 days before an election without worrying about being forced to take difficult positions on issues like taxes, spending, gay marriage, or abortion.  Their positions on those issues could not be highlighted; indeed, any mention of a political candidate at all by issues groups was illegal.

All of this was done with the ostensible purpose of getting the corrupting influence of money out of politics.  Never mind that John McCain and his cohorts had no issues with hard money at all, because that money was usually donated directly to either the candidates or the parties that bolstered incumbents in their races.  Limits were less of issue with that money because control of its end use was assured.   Soft money, on the other hand, could be used by issues groups to strafe a candidate in the public eye over issues when that candidates was most vulnerable to public opinion and public outrage: in the period immediately before an election.

By all means, then, soft money needed to be subjected to the same restrictions as hard money, for an incumbent candidate hates surprises.  Campaign finance reform was never about money, because John McCain and his cronies who supported campaign finance reform raised gobs of money after the restrictions came into play.  No, what the eventual Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act accomplished was the centralization of control over political advocacy by previously independent groups who could not be depended upon to toe the party line in federal elections, be it state and local party officials or issues groups.  This was quite the maverick move, given that McCain and his congressional allies were effectively restricting the level of maverick-y behavior issues groups and state and local party officials could engage in during the 60 days immediately preceding an election.

When open public debate and information about a candidate's positions was most relevant and most important to voters, the architects of the BRCA made certain to close off any such debate or information by classifying it as "electioneering."  They found themselves on the losing side in court case after court case, because the courts of this country were still lined with judges who were extremely reticent to restrict or eliminate freedom of speech.  FEC v. Wisconsin Right to Life, EMILY's List v. FEC, Citizens United v. FEC all struck down components of federal elections law, and rightly so.  The absurdity of the government's position was obvious: informing an electorate about the positions of a candidate on particular issues immediately before an election was "corrupting"according to the likes of John McCain.

When a man who took nine free trips on Charles Keating's dime and failed to disclose those trips under House rules suddenly becomes concerned with corruption, it should give anyone pause.  Charles Keating is the infamous Arizona developer whose Lincoln Savings and Loan would go on to implode and cost taxpayers $2.6 billion in bailouts, and at his behest, McCain and four other senators met with bank regulators during a federal audit that examined Keating's bank and its accounting practices.  The net effect was a two year stay of execution, and no one could explain why it took two years to realize that Keating's S&L was a disaster, let alone why that disaster could not have been prevented beforehand.

Of course, given Lindsey Graham's views on freedom of speech expressed in his appearance on Face the Nation, it isn't at all surprising that he supported the BRCA.  For Graham, the government's indefinite detention power didn't go far enough; ergo, when Mike Lee and Dianne Feinstein moved to restrict that power by proposing an amendment to a Senate bill that would have kept the government from applying indefinite detention to U.S. citizens on U.S. soil without charges or a trial, Graham responded by filing a counter-amendment that would have allowed the U.S. government to indefinitely detain U.S. citizens suspected of terrorism without charges or a trial.  Very moderate, indeed.



Though Graham and McCain stood on the floor of the Senate and excoriated fellow Senator Rand Paul for his "offensive" questions, the real offense was the record shared by both men, a record of undermining fundamental individual liberties like free speech and due process.  While Lindsey Graham keyed in on Rand Paul's question about using a drone to strike an American citizen suspected of terrorism while that citizen sat in a coffee shop in order to portray Paul as an extremist, what he neglected to mention was that Abdulrahman al-Awlaki, a 16 year old American citizen from Denver, was killed in a drone strike on a cafe where he was eating dinner.  Graham wanted to pretend as though Rand Paul's premise was ridiculous on its face when in all truth, Paul's premise was based on the Obama Administration's prior acts.

Neither McCain nor Graham can lay any claim to the mantle of moderation in their viewpoints; instead, their moderation is a form of extremism that enables fundamentally unconstitutional claims of government power that strike at the very heart of our nation's identity.  In Graham's view, the war against terrorist organizations is not a war for free speech but a reason to restrict free speech.  How, then, is the result Graham agitates for any different than the result average Americans would experience if Islamofascist organizations succeeded in their campaign to bring the world under the dominion of their extremist forms of Islamic theology?

It is egregious that the media portrays McCain and Graham as individuals who defy authority when in fact they are the very bearers of the authoritarian standard, advocating for the restriction of free speech in order to protect their own incumbency while simultaneously supporting a world in which war is a justification for suspending both due process and free speech.  Additionally, both men seem to feel as though speech is a capital crime, given their support of President Obama's drone strike on Anwar al-Awlaki, a man whose offense was expressing vocal support for al-Qaeda.

If killing an American citizen for the views he expresses is what passes for moderation, and if agitating against such practices constitutes extremism, we have reached a level of Orwellian semantics that is frightening to behold.  John McCain and Lindsey Graham are nothing more than traitors to the Republic, and their records are evidence of a stunning contempt for the basic limits on government and liberties for individuals enshrined in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.  If we are to conduct drone strikes on American citizens for their speech based on its content and how that content undermines American interests, then John McCain and Lindsey Graham would make terrific targets for a Hellfire missile.