Good Ideas Don’t Need Death Threats to Protect Them

A group of Muslim extremists is demanding death for “insulting” their precious, delicate religious sensibilities. Must be Tuesday. Oh, wait, it’s Sunday. Guess it could be any day of the week, come to think of it.

Dhaka, Bangladesh (CNN) — Tens of thousands of radical Muslims marched toward the capital on Saturday to demand laws to target bloggers they said denigrated Islam and the Prophet Mohammed.

Muhammad must be a colossal wuss if he can’t handle a few bloggers making fun of him. Or could it be that Islam is all just complete bullshit unsupported by facts and reason (shock!), and the only way it can stand is by threatening and intimidating those who ask questions for which it has no answer?

Anyways, I’m 100% on the side of those bloggers.

The bloggers initiated a recent sit-in at Shahbagh Square demanding the death penalty for people involved in war crimes perpetrated more than four decades ago.

Okay, maybe not 100%.

Can we ever have a rally in a Muslim country that doesn’t involve calling for someone to be killed? That would be nice. Look, I’m all for punishing war crimes, but the death penalty is not the answer to all of our problems. Answering cruelty with more cruelty is not the right way to go.

But let’s also be careful not to equate what the bloggers are doing with what the Muslim extremists are doing. The bloggers are calling for the death penalty for war crimes. The extremists are calling for the death penalty for saying mean stuff. I’m not for the death penalty either way, but at least in the former case an actual crime was committed.

Muslim hard-liners under the banner of Hefazat-e-Islam on Saturday rallied against bloggers and authors.

Poverty. Starvation. Violence. Crime. Communicable diseases. Illiteracy. Superstition. Misogyny/rape culture. Ethnic hatred. Under-funded schools… What? Oh, sorry. I was just making a list of the problems faced by a struggling, third world country like Bangladesh. I’ll let you know when I get to “bloggers and authors.” Infant mortality. The lingering effects of the 2005 tsunami. Unsafe work conditions in factories. Political corruption…

The Hefazat rally branded the government as cohorts of the atheists and said they wanted it to meet 13 demands, including reinstatement of “absolute trust and faith in the Almighty Allah” in the constitution and capital punishment for those who would denigrate Islam and its prophet.

The demands included declaration of the Ahmadiyya Muslim sect as non-Muslim, a ban on free mixing of men and women, making Islamic education mandatory at all levels and no installation of any sculpture in any public place.

That’s all a bunch of oppressive bullshit, but I’m almost with you on that last one. Wish more people were on board with that in my country, at least as far as publicly-funded property goes.

Speaking of my home country, let’s check in on how far we’ve come in our own struggle for civil rights and equality.

ROCHELLE, GA – …

Stephanie and Keela are white and Mareshia and Quanesha are black. They’re seniors at Wilcox County High School, a school that has never held an integrated prom during its existence.

“There’s a white prom and there’s an integrated prom,” said Keela.

The rule is strictly enforced, any race other than Caucasian wouldn’t dare to attend the white prom.

Sigh. It’s days like this that I just want to give up.

Oh, and hey, South, are you listening? I say this as a person who was a resident of you for many years: I want you to find every sharp object available and just ram it right up your tightly wound, bigoted asshole. Just fuck yourself with every sharp object known to man, and just keep doing it ’til you bleed out and die and let the rest of us finally try to make some real progress on racial equality in this country.

Segregated proms. In 2013. Fucking shameful.

Gun Glurge

CNN has been making a big deal about an open letter from a former Marine to Sen. Dianne Feinstein about the evils of gun control. So I bet this letter has some kind of groundbreaking new argument, some refreshing insight into the subtleties of gun violence in America that makes it worthy of getting a headline on the front page.

Oh, wait, no, it’s just a bunch of glurgy crap regurgitating the same tired pro-gun claptrap we all grew sick of hearing 20 years ago. I hope no one reads this and is surprised that CNN is spreading around crap so trite and thoughtlessness-provoking that it could be a chain letter forwarded around by Granny’s women’s group at the local Baptist church. It’s pretty sadly typical of the quality of “journalism” one often finds at CNN.

Senator Dianne Feinstein,

I will not register my weapons should this bill be passed, as I do not believe it is the government’s right to know what I own.

Doesn’t matter what you believe, Gomer. It matters what’s the law and what ain’t. And the government already requires you to register things you own. For instance, just the other day I renewed the tags on my car. So the government knows the make, model, year, and color of my car. And if I didn’t register it and get a tag, I could get pulled over and have my license revoked.

The thing is, you currently aren’t required to register your guns. But maybe someday in the future you will be. That’s really all there is to it, and you’ll comply just like every other law abiding citizen, no matter what kind of empty bravado you sputter in your iReport letter.

Nor do I think it prudent to tell you what I own so that it may be taken from me by a group of people who enjoy armed protection yet decry me having the same a crime.

They’s gonna take our guns, y’all!

No, dumbshit. Nobody in Congress is trying to take away your precious penis substitutes. Pull your paranoid head out of your ass and look at the facts. If you register your gun, it’s still your gun. The purpose of registration is that guns, like cars, are dangerous, and it’s helpful to law enforcement if they have a database to work with when a crime happens. So long as you don’t murder anybody, you should be alright.

You ma’am have overstepped a line that is not your domain.

She’s a fucking Senator. This is exactly her domain. She gets elected. She makes laws. That’s how it works. The Senate’s constitutional power to legislate doesn’t magically disappear the moment they consider legislating something that might affect you.

I am a Marine Corps Veteran of 8 years, and I will not have some woman who proclaims the evil of an inanimate object, yet carries one, tell me I may not have one.

You ever think that all the crazy gun nuts writing whacked out shit to her on a daily basis might be part of why Sen. Feinstein feels the need to own a gun?

And, again, when did Sen. Feinstein say you couldn’t have a gun? Unless presented with evidence to the contrary, I’m going to assume that we aren’t talking about real-world Feinstein right now. Instead, we’re speaking of Right Wing La La Land Feinstein, who wants to steal the precious, precious guns from noble Troops and melt them in the fires of Mordor.

I am not your subject. I am the man who keeps you free.

“I am also apparently rather lacking in humility.”

I am not your servant. I am the person whom you serve.

Well, she’s the bitch who pays your salary, so you might wanna be a little more respectful, or those proposed military cuts might go just a little deeper.

I am not your peasant. I am the flesh and blood of America.

This is what happens when Gomer buys his own hype. I presume he wrote this with a straight face (I could never do that). I presume he has that special right wing lack of self-awareness that prevents him from seeing how arrogant, stupid, and childish he sounds. You know, that part of the conservative’s brain that allows him/her to think that he/she speaks for all “true” Americans, and that everyone else in the universe is just as deeply concerned with his/her petty, imaginary “issues” as he/she is? Yeah, that part. The dumb part.

The dumb part of the conservative brain also filters out the meaning of words. Take “peasant”, for instance. A peasant is an impoverished laborer whose hard work enriches the wealthy aristocrats who own the property on which he/she labors. We do have peasants in our society. We call them “poor people”. We don’t call them “paranoid, white, middle class gun owners”. The word for that is “privileged”.

I am the man who fought for my country. I am the man who learned.

Learned what? How to write stilted prose and create imaginary problems to solve through self-aggrandizement? You don’t need 8 years in the military to learn how to do that. Just watch FOX News for a few minutes.

I am an American.

So is Sen. Feinstein. You ever think of that?

You will not tell me that I must register my semi-automatic AR-15 because of the actions of some evil man.

But killing thousands in Afghanistan because of the actions of some evil man, that’s fine. Hoo – rah! Semper fi!

I will not be disarmed to suit the fear that has been established by the media and your misinformation campaign against the American public.

No one’s disarming you, you ignorant, simpering little fuck. Banning high capacity magazines or requiring registration will not disarm you. You’ll still have your stupid fucking guns and your stupid fucking smug attitude.

We, the people, deserve better than you.

Respectfully Submitted,
Joshua Boston

Joshua Boston, you are a whiny, ignorant, self-absorbed nincompoop.

Respectfully submitted,

Riffing Religion.

Here’s the thing. Not only is this guy going to be able to keep his guns (regardless of whether Sen. Feinstein passes a bill or not), but I wouldn’t want to take them from him anyway. I don’t oppose responsible personal gun ownership. This is actually an area where I find myself in disagreement both with those on the left and on the right (but more with those on the right).  Here’s the text of the Second Amendment:

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

Now, many on the left frequently home in on the “militia” clause and say something stupid like, “The amendment just says the state can have a government-run militia. That doesn’t mean private citizens get guns too! Durrr, I’m a constitutional scholar!”

What they’re ignoring is the later clause, which uses the phrase, “right of the people.” Here’s another amendment that uses the phrase “right of the people”:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I’m pretty sure no one in their right mind would want to argue that this amendment doesn’t apply to private citizens, but only to those who work for some government-run outfit. But that’s why we need to respect the places where the constitution says “right of the people.” The phrase should not be taken lightly, and definitely should not be taken to refer only to people working for the government. If the constitution says “right of the people”, it means private citizens. So we should interpret the second amendment as guaranteeing the right to bear arms to private citizens, and the Supreme Court has said as such in the past. Simply put, as long as the Second Amendment is in place (and I don’t see it being repealed any time soon), Joshua Boston and the other frothing-at-the-mouth gun nuts have nothing to worry about. The government can’t take their guns.

That’s where the liberals tend to be stupid. But the conservatives can be quite dumb also, and this is no exception. Conservatives like Joshua Boston above insist that the government has no right to regulate their firearms. But this is obvious bullshit, as the Second Amendment explicitly states that the purpose of its existence is the necessity of a “well regulated Militia.” I mean, the word “regulated” occurs right there in the text of the amendment, so any claim that regulating guns is unconstitutional contradicts the very text of the amendment itself.

Congress (and the states) have the power to regulate guns all they want. They just can’t ban private citizens from owning them. So long as it’s still possible for a private citizen to purchase and own a gun, the constitution has not been violated. I have a few ideas for regulation that might actually be effective, which means, of course, that none of these ideas will ever actually be put in place. But I’ll share them anyways, because what’s the point of blogging if not to come up with futile, pointless ideas that few will read and no one will ever implement? Here goes:

  • Keep guns legal, but ban high-capacity magazines. Both the Arizona shooting and the Connecticut shooting involved a gunman using clips that held 30 rounds. I can’t conceive of a legitimate usage for a high capacity magazine. They seem to be specifically designed for murdering large numbers of people in a short period of time. There is absolutely no reason a law abiding, private citizen should ever need such a thing.
  • If anyone is convicted of a felony, any guns found on his/her property are seized and destroyed, and the person convicted is barred from owning a firearm for life unless he/she specifically appeals to a judge to have the prohibition overturned. This would do a lot to reduce the number of guns in circulation. The important part is that the guns be melted down, not merely seized and then put back into circulation at a later point in time.
  • Start a gun buy-back program, similar to Obama’s “Cash for Clunkers” program. Offer to buy people’s guns at above market value if and only if they sign a pledge not to purchase another gun for at least five years. All guns acquired by the program are destroyed.
  • Limit the amount of ammunition a person can buy in a short period of time. The killer in Arizona bought thousands of rounds in the months leading up to his shooting spree. This shouldn’t be that hard to prevent. If we can restrict the amount of pseudephedrin people buy, it shouldn’t be that hard to do the same with bullets.
  • Tax guns and bullets more heavily. This will force up the prices and make people think twice about buying them. It worked for cigarettes, as smoking rates have declined as prices have gone up. People said this would inevitably lead to a “black market”, but that never happened with cigarettes. As long as prices don’t go up too high, that shouldn’t be a problem.
  • Require a background check for any gun purchase. The goal here should be obvious.
  • Require a license to own a gun, and require a psychiatric test for anyone applying for a license. Again, the purpose should be obvious.
  • Require a multi-day gun-safety training course for a license. Again, obvious.
  • Make it a felony to provide a gun to anyone who fails the above requirements. If you provide a gun to an unqualified individual and they commit a felony with that gun, you are complicit.
  • Make it a felony to store guns unsafely. A person caught storing guns unsafely loses his/her license to own them at the very least, and must file an appeal to get it back.
  • Institute frequent and thorough surprise inspections of gun stores, gun shows, and anywhere else guns might be sold, to ensure that they are following the rules.
  • Reward private businesses that ban all guns on their property.
  • Increase the number of public outreach programs to educate people about the dangers of gun violence and how to avoid it.
  • Require insurance companies to cover psychiatric care and to share information about at-risk individuals (in cases where it would not violate their privacy).
  • If someone is involved in any kind of gun-related accident, their license is suspended and they must go through the above rigamarole to get it back
  • Make courses about the dangers of gun violence available in public schools and universities.

Now, a gun nut would interrupt to inform me that even if all these ideas were in place, it wouldn’t completely end gun violence. Well, of course not! I have no delusions about making violence go away forever, but we can at least reduce the amount of violence in our country, and I think these regulations would be a good step towards achieving that.

Or maybe I’m just trying to take your precious guns away. I’m sure that’s what at least a few tiny brains out there might take away from all this. We should just require our under-paid and unappreciated public school teachers to carry guns so they can shoot crazy people and turn schools into the showdown at the OK corral. That oughta solve the problem! And I’m sure the teachers would love having even more responsibilities foisted on their shoulders while the kooky right wing cuts their pay and benefits again.

Goliath Whines

So they’ve released the letters Jerry Sandusky and his wife gave to the judge prior to his being sentenced for molesting ten children over 15 years. Keep in mind, at the time he’s writing this he’s already been convicted. According to the court, he’s guilty. This is the time to try to convince  the judge to give one a merciful sentence. So how does he decide to address the court?

I write without expectation or a plea for leniency.

What? Then why are you writing at all?

As I sat looking at walls, I spent many hours reliving this ordeal. First, I looked at me, my vulnerability, my naivety (some say stupidity), and my trust in people.

Oh, poor you. Let’s all throw a pity party for the guy who coached at one of the biggest programs in the country, and who used his wealth and influence to lure young boys from troubled backgrounds into the showers where he raped them. I see Disney making an inspirational film about this in a few years. “The Little Child Molester Who Could” starring John Goodman as Rapey McGee sounds about right. They could get Brett Ratner to direct.

There were so many people involved in the orchestration of this conviction (media, investigators, prosecutors, “the system”, Penn State, and the accusers). It was well done. They won! When I thought about how it transpired, I wondered what they had won. I thought of the methods, decisions, and allegations.

This isn’t a game, Rapey, and it’s not a conspiracy either. Just how fucking delusional is this guy? Does he really believe that anyone is going to fall for this?  Hey, Rapey, the reason why you “wonder what they won” is because there is absolutely no reason for all these groups to conspire against you. Collectively they’ve got nothing to gain by railroading you. Get off your fucking high horse and realize that you are not so important that the whole world would go out of its way to bring you down. You’re a pedo football coach, not a god.

What would be the outcome of all the accusers and their families who were investigated? I knew the answer. All of their issues would surface. They would no longer be these poor, innocent people, as portrayed.

We all knew the victim blaming was coming, didn’t we? But even as victim blaming goes, Sandusky starts to get pretty god damn vile:

I have been blamed for all of their failures and shortcomings, but nobody mentioned the impact of the people who spent much more time with them than I did. Nobody mentioned the impact of abandonment, neglect, abuse, insecurity, and conflicting messages that the biological parents might have had in this.

Oh, so this is really about the victims blaming “all their shortcomings” on poor little you. Obviously the impoverished families of these charity kids are bullying the “vulnerable” wealthy, famous guy.

Those who have worked with troubled lives realize a common reaction for those with low self esteem is often to blame others.

It’s also a common reaction from self-absorbed, deluded perverts.

Maybe, they will have a better place to live, a new car, access to more highs, but they won’t change. Most of their rewards will be very temporary.

Well, I hope they enjoy all those new houses and cars they got from me shower-raping them.  I swear, some people just have no gratitude for a good old charity rape.

When I reflected, I realized much of what transpired was about protection. I was placed in protective custody; “the system” protected “the system”, the media, the prosecution, the civil attorneys, and the accusers. Everybody protected themselves. Penn State, with its own system, protected their public image, their decisions, and the allegations. The authorities were protected. Media protected their jobs and ambitions. Prosecutors protected their jobs and egos. “The system” protected the prosecution. As the stakes became higher, people had more to protect. Civil attorneys were protected.

Uh, actually, I’m pretty sure that this was mostly about protecting children from being raped.

The accusers were protected and provided access to potential financial gain, free attorneys, accolades, psychologists, and attention.

No, I mean protecting them BEFORE you rape them. You know, so all the attorneys and psychologists would be unnecessary.

And WTF? “Attention”? Really? Most of the victims’ names were never even publicly revealed. And rape victims are usually so ashamed of what happened to them that drawing lots of attention to it is the last thing they want.

But whatever, man. “The system” and all that, you know.

Then I thought of not being able to be with my wife Dottie, not seeing our dog, Bo, not being there for our kids, not seeing our grandchildren mature…

Okay, stop right there.

Instead of walls, I saw great memories: I saw loved ones who will carry the light; I saw family and friends; I saw those who overcame huge obstacles; I saw all the people who thrived with a little of our help and hope; I saw a locker room with people hugging and crying as national champs; I saw all the people who have stood by me; I saw all the inspirational cards and letters I had received;

Great speech, coach. And if this were the locker room before the big game, it might have some kind of point.

I saw me throwing thousands of kids up in the air and them asking for more;

EWWW!!!

I saw me in hundreds of water battles that nobody wanted to end;

EWWW EWWW EWWWW!!!!!

I saw black, white, brown, yellow, young, old, gifted, and handicapped all at our home; I saw kids laughing and playing; I saw a big, lovable dog licking their faces;

What the fuck is wrong with you??? You’ve just been convicted of child molestation. Don’t talk to the judge who’s about to sentence you about how you fantasize about child face licking, even if it’s a dog doing it.

Again: Ew!

The book with the most impact for me was entitled Left to Tell. It was about an amazing woman of tremendous faith who survived the Rwandan Holocaust. Over a million people were killed because they had to pick sides. She talked about what happened. In the words of a pastor, “I’ve seen these killing sprees before – once the blood lust is in the air, you can trust no one, not even your own children.” There was betrayal and murder. Families turned against one another. Best friends became enemies. Those who had been helped at one point in their life sought and killed those who had helped them. In a lesser way I’ve experienced this.

No. No, no, no, no, a million times No.

The sheer fucking shamelessness of this guy makes me want to puke. Being convicted of child molestation is JUST LIKE the civil war in Rwanda. Un-fucking-believable.

My trust in people, systems, and fairness has diminished. My faith in God who sends light through the darkness has remained.

Must be Catholic. God is very fond of kiddie-fuckers. Just one more reason to tell him to fuck off, in my opinion.

I was supposed to be David but failed to pick up the sling shot. Goliath won, and I must deal with the outcome.

No, you pompous, arrogant, bloated, perverted, self-centered, sick-minded, delusional gas bag. You are not David here. The victims are not Goliath.

You were Goliath compared to the ten year old boy you raped in a shower 11 years ago. You had wealth and power and physical strength on your side. He had nothing and no one to protect him, not even that coward McQueary who saw you do it and ran away rather than call the cops. You don’t get to be the victim here.

Sandusky’s also-evil wife also wrote a smug, self-righteous letter to the judge. It’s more of the same shit: victim-blaming, false martyrdom, whining, etc. etc. And as you might expect, it ends with this:

I pray each day that God will give me the strength to do what is right and that I will be able to hold our family together.

If you need any more proof that there is no God and we are alone in this universe, look no further than Jerry Sandusky. Earlier I called Mike McQueary a coward for witnessing a rape but not calling police. God, who is supposedly infinitely more powerful than McQueary, is even worse. God is infinitely more cowardly than McQueary or any of the others who knew but did nothing at Penn State. No benevolent God would sit by and watch a child be raped and do nothing to stop it. No maundering, logic-chopping theodicy from the “sophisticated” theologians can justify God’s inaction when it comes to the worst of human suffering, which would have to be violence against children.

Jerry Sandusky spent at least fifteen years molesting impoverished or troubled children while living a wealthy lifestyle. Fifteen years before he was finally brought to justice. Only a tiny fraction of the people who enabled this behavior will ever see justice. And Sandusky and those few who do see justice will blame the victims for their “suffering”. The worst part? This is only a tiny, tiny horror when compared with what the Catholic Church has done to children for centuries, often getting away scott free and attacking others who might even suggest that they should be held accountable. And these people, who are most dangerous to our children, then hold themselves up and the arbiters of morality!

There. Is. No. God.