Matt Damon is a pretty good actor. Dude doesn’t know when to shut the fuck up, but he’s a pretty good actor. And yeah, of course, he has the right to voice his opinion. In response to the #metoo movement, he apparently made the “spectrum of behavior” argument. That argument always sounds convincing and reasonable.
And hey, he’s right. Patting a woman on the ass isn’t as bad as rape. We acknowledge that some behaviors are worse than others. But that’s not the discussion we need to be having at this singular moment in time. Here’s the discussion we should be having:
Burn the patriarchal system to the ground. Burn it, pound the ashes into dust, scatter the dust, and salt the fucking earth.
It’s far too late to have the Matt Damon discussion. This isn’t the time for the niceties of fine distinction. This isn’t the time to parse offenses, to weigh and balance behaviors. This isn’t the time to figure out whether twenty years of patting asses is as bad as, say, five instances of wanking in front of women who didn’t (or felt they couldn’t) voice an objection to it.
This is the time to put the system to the torch. Burn it all, and if some lesser offenders get caught up in the pyre with the worst offenders, well that’s a shame. They’re all offenders. Will some innocent men also get caught up in the blaze? Yeah, sure they will. Bound to happen. Too fucking bad. All the women who were sexually harassed or assaulted, they were innocent too. If there’s One True Thing we all know, it’s that innocence won’t save you.
Years ago — it must have been in 1989 or 1990 — I was in graduate school, living in a rather dodgy part of Columbia Heights in DC (back then the entire neighborhood was pretty much dodgy). My apartment was a couple of blocks from All Souls Church, where Sweet Honey in the Rock were giving a concert. The opening act was an a cappella group of women from South Africa, and they sang a song called Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo. (Okay, I should admit I had to look that up; it was a long time ago, and while I remember the translation, I’d forgotten the actual words). This is what it means:
When you strike the women, you strike stone.
This is the year we’ve struck stone. And if we’re lucky, the sparks from that will start the fire that eventually incinerates the patriarchy.
— That’s okay. The people of Alabama don’t always understand what’s going on in Alabama.
— I mean, Roy Moore lost? Actually lost? A Republican lost to a Democrat? To a pro-life Democrat? In Alabama?
— These are the days of miracles and wonder, as the poet Simon said. And dude? This is like our third or fourth conversation about Roy Moore. And, it’s to be hoped, the last.
— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.
— Fair point.
Roy Moore watching election results (SPOILER — he lost.)
— I mean, sure, Moore lost…but he hasn’t made a concession speech yet. He’s talking about fighting it.
— As far as that goes, Moore hasn’t conceded that the South lost in the Civil War. Hell, he didn’t concede to the fact that he was kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court. Twice. Concession is not his strong point.
— Being an unrepentant racist, misogynistic fuckwit, that’s his strong point. And a pedophile.
— Well, not technically a pedophile. But yeah.
— But at least the people of Alabama have rejected him. Maybe now he’ll just disappear.
— Not all the people rejected him.
— Most of them.
— Actually most of the white folks who voted cast their votes for Moore.
— You’re joking. Tell me you’re joking. You’ve got to be totally fucking joking. Please say you’re joking. You’re not joking, are you.
— Nope. More than seventy percent of white men voted for Moore. More than sixty percent of white women voted for him.
— Jeebus fuck me with a chainsaw.
Roy Moore deeply regrets his decision not to hire more than one Jewish lawyer.
— Black folks, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Black women in particular. The NAACP and the volunteers that got folks out to vote, that’s who kicked Roy Moore’s ass. Old school grassroots campaigning, that’s what kicked Roy Moore pale ass.
— I got to say, today I love me some Alabama. I’m starting to remember how to breathe again. I’m convinced that today will be all bluebirds and rainbows.
It’s been a while since I’ve stuck my head into the roiling mass of hate, stupidity, and hot bubbling fear that’s FreeRepublic. Lately I haven’t really felt the need to find out what’s going on in the fevered minds of the extreme right, mainly because it appears every day in headlines from the White House and in the cesspit of Comrade Trump’s Twitter account.
But this morning, while waiting for the coffee to get off its ass and do its job, I decided to see what that group of manky patriots are fussing about today. And I saw this subject line:
New Poll Finds 92% of Democrats Uninformed, Ignorant and Easily Played.
Now that, I thought, would be an interesting poll to look at. There was a link to the Gateway Pundit (which, in case you don’t live under a rock, is a conservative website that describes itself as ‘one of the top political blogs in the nation’ and has received (and no, I’m not making this up) the Breitbart Award for Excellence in Online Journalism). But before examining the source material, I thought I’d look at the comments made by Freepers. Here’s a representative sample:
Willful ignorance. Combined with pathetic and badly-constructed lies. That’s all the FraudStream Media knows how to sell. Problem is, there is a WHOLE LOTTA STUPID goin’ on out there, taking it as “truth”. How do you educate someone who rejects reality?
Which is a good question, isn’t it. How DO you educate someone who rejects reality? Let’s probe deeper into that question.
When you combine the results of Dunning-Kruger and Murray’s The Bell Curve, when you look at street gangs like Antifa, BAMN, or any communist humanities college student, you are left with the inescapable conclusion that democrats are genetically stupid. They were short-changed in the DNA Lotto, with their ratio of grey and white brain cells, short-term vs long term memory, and the number of synaptic connections.
Sorry, there it is.
Yes, there it is. Democrats are genetically stupid. It’s inescapable. Need more proof? This Freeper has it for you.
92% of democrats are on the left side of the Bell Curve. That is why they have been named the LEFT. 8% of democrats are the political leaders of the LEFT, and they know better than the lies they tell to the other 92%.
There it is again. You can’t argue with science. Or whatever this is.
Democrats are the masses of ignorant dependent. Led by the bigoted elite. Pretty much. More exploited for their votes than led by. To be honest. The elite of America hate our history and hate male dominated western civilization and resent Christianity in anything but puff form.
This is how stupid I am. I didn’t even know there was a puff form. Why didn’t anybody tell me about the puff form? I don’t even know what the puff form is, but apparently it’s a pretty important form and is the reason I hate history and male dominated western civilization.
My favorite comment was a photo. That’s it. Just this:
It’s a still from The Return of the Archons, a Star Trek episode from 1967. The episode takes place on planet Beta III in the C-111 system, ‘at the start of “Festival”, a period of violence, destruction, and sexual aggressiveness.’ Apparently during the Festival the inhabitants of Beta III arm themselves with baguettes and potatoes — not normally the weapons of choice for violence, destruction, and sexual aggressiveness. But, to quote an unnamed Freeper, there it is.
Democrats voters is stupid. Republican voters are abused, taken for granted. That’s hopefully not going to fly any more.
Yeah, I don’t think that’s going to fly anymore. I think that’s pretty much incapable of flight. Because Democrats voters is stupid.
With this collective Freeper wisdom in mind, I clicked on the link to the Gateway Pundit. I wanted to see the poll that found 92% of Democrats were ignorant, uninformed, and easily played.
It turned out to be a poll by CBS News that indicated 92% of Democrats believe the Trump campaign did something sleazy with Russia. Seriously, that’s it. That’s the entirety of the claim. Allow me to present the Gateway Pundit’s evidence:
The liberal mainstream media has pushed the conspiracy that the Trump campaign was colluding with Russia during the 2016 election to defeat Hillary Clinton.
This was all a lie. In fact, it was Hillary Clinton and the DNC who colluded to defeat Bernie Sanders in the primary and then colluded with Russia. Democrats and the Obama FBI paid cash for a fake Russian dossier so they could spy on Donald Trump at Trump tower.
But Democrat voters are ignorant. And Democrats rely on the fact that they are stupid and easily played.
A new poll released this week by CBS News found that 92% of Democrats believe Trump advisors had improper dealings with Russia.
There it is, yet again. How do you educate someone who rejects reality? Democrats resent Christianity except in puff form, and Democrats voters is stupid.
You may not like it, but there it is. That’s just the way life works out here on planet Beta III in the C-111 system.
— Yeah, we’ve had this conversation twice. But then it was about Judge Roy Moore and same-sex marriage. Now it’s about Roy Moore and dating high school girls. That’s crazy, isn’t it?
— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.
— But high school girls?
— And junior high school girls. The first accusation was made by a woman who said your boy Roy hit on her when she was fourteen. You know what that means?
— That Roy Moore is a pervert?
— No. Well, yeah. But it also means your boy Roy was thirty-something years old and hitting on a girl who was in the eighth grade.
— Jeebus on toast.
— I know. In the eighth grade. Sitting on a bench in the Etowah County courthouse.
— What was an eighth grader doing in the courthouse?
— Her parents were getting a divorce. They were there for a child custody hearing.
— So not just an eighth grader, but an eighth grader who was emotionally vulnerable?
— Yup. Also? Your boy Roy was an assistant district attorney at the time.
— Sweet Jeebus tuna salad.
— Funny you should say that. One of Moore’s toadies defends him by saying Joseph was older than Mary so it’s really sorta kinda Christian for Moore to be hitting on girls in the eighth grade.
— Seriously? Who’d buy into an argument like that? Who’d even make an argument like that?
— Dude, c’mon. Alabama.
— Yeah, but it sounds like Moore is maybe a pedophile or something.
— Not technically a pedophile. Pedophiles are attracted to pre-pubescent kids. Moore held off until they reached puberty.
— So there’s that. It’s a great campaign slogan. Roy Moore: Not Technically a Pedophile. His opponent must really suck, if the polls are that close. He’s got to be like a devil worshiper or something. A communist, maybe.
Technically not a pedophile.
— His opponent is Doug Jones. He’s the guy who indicted Eric Rudolph, who planted bombs at a women’s health care center and the Centennial Olympic Park. Jones also prosecuted the KKK guys who bombed a Baptist church, which killed four little African-American girls.
— So, a Democrat.
— No wonder he’s losing.
— Losing to a guy who got himself kicked off the Alabama Supreme Court twice. Twice.
— That’s not easy to do.
— It’s not easy to get kicked off once, let alone twice. I have to give your boy Roy credit for persistence. Too bad he’s persistently horrible.
— So what’ll happen if Moore actually gets elected?
— The Republicans will probably open an ethics investigation of Al Franken, then try to force him to resign.
— Too late. Al Franken resigned today.
— You’re joking.
— Fuck me with a chainsaw.
— Maybe something good will come of Franken’s resignation.
— You think?
— Maybe voters will see him resign and think ‘That’s how an ethical political party behaves.’ And then maybe they’ll do the right thing in the Alabama election next week.
In today’s Washington Post there’s an opinion piece by Emily Miller entitled I should be able to carry my concealed gun across all state lines. Miller, who is the senior political reporter for One America New Network (a conservative cable news channel), is the author of Emily Gets Her Gun; But Obama Wants to Take Yours. Her op-ed is in support of a proposed law call the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which basically says a person who has been issued a permit to carry a concealed firearm in one state should be able to carry a concealed firearm all the states.
The concept of reciprocity among states is popular with gun owners because the current patchwork of state laws is convoluted and disorganized.
That’s true. The concept IS popular with gun owners. And state laws ARE convoluted and disorganized. But I’m not convinced that’s a good enough reason to pass this legislation. Miller is distressed by the fact that she can carry her concealed handgun in Virginia but can’t carry it in the adjoining state of Maryland. She complains that if she wants to go to dinner in Bethesda, she could be arrested for carrying her concealed weapon.
There are two rational responses to that. 1) Don’t go to dinner in Maryland. 2) Go to dinner in Maryland, but leave your firearm behind. A less rational response is 3) Force Maryland to obey the firearm laws of Virginia. No, wait, that’s not accurate. A less rational response is 3) Force every state in the Union to abide by the firearm laws of the state with the least restrictive gun laws. A lot of conservatives are passionate about states rights except when it comes to gun laws — less so when it comes to, say, public accommodation laws (fuck your gun laws, Maryland, but let’s protect the Colorado baker who suffers severe emotional distress at the thought of baking a wedding cake for a same-sex couple).
Why does Miller believe she needs a concealed firearm with her? Self protection, of course. Conservatives are always fretting that they’ll be unable to return fire in the event somebody decides to pull a gun in an Applebee’s in Bethesda. In a video she did with the National Rifle Association, Miller describes why she decided to get a firearm:
“I was dog-sitting for a friend at their house. And I took the dog for a walk, and in the time that I was gone, a man — the police believed to be a drug addict — got into the house and started robbing it. So when I came back into the house, he was in there robbing. He took my wallet, but I was able to talk him out of the house without hurting me, thank God.”
That’s pretty dramatic stuff. The story she told Lou Dobbs in an interview on FOXNews is even more dramatic.
“I walked in and found basically a thug, drug addict in my house stealing my wallet. It’s all he got away with. And thank God, you know, he did not hurt me. I unfortunately chased him down the street to get a picture, which I’ve learned from police is not a smart idea, I do not recommend — fifteen of his buddies standing around two pickup trucks. That’s when I called the police and I got away.”
And she described the event this way to Politico:
“I came home, and I was dog-sitting for a friend, and I walked in the house, and there was this thug, thief in the house, and like 15 of his buddies were outside on the driveway.”
This, however, is quite a bit different from her account which she originally published in an article in the Washington Times describing her struggle to get a concealed carry permit in Washington, DC. There she describes the critical event somewhat differently.
She’d been house and dog-sitting for friends who’d gone on vacation. She’d taken the dog for a short ten-minute walk, leaving the house unlocked. When she returned she saw a man leaving the house. He told her he was there to clean the pool.
“After the man left, I was still suspicious so I went inside, grabbed my Blackberry and clicked on the icon for the camera. I walked down the street, and as I turned the corner, I saw about 15 scruffy young men standing around two pickup trucks. We were at the end of a woody, dead-end road.”
Hours later, while at a party, Miller got a phone call.
“t was my credit card company asking if my card was in my possession because there were odd charges on it. I looked at my wallet and saw that all my cash was gone and the cards. It suddenly dawned on me that the “pool guy” had been inside the house.”
Not quite so dramatic, is it. But still a wee bit more dramatic than narrative described by the DC police who took Miller’s statement:
[Miller] stated that she left out to walk the dog at 1515hrs and when she returned at 1525hrs she observed [the suspect] exiting from behind the fence which leads to the side of the house. [Miller] asked [suspect] ‘What are you doing here’ and [suspect] stated ‘I am delivering firewood.’
[Miller] stated that she went into the house and felt that something was not right, so she exited the house to take a photo of [suspect’s] vehicle. [Suspect] approached [Miller] and gave her a business card that stated [a tree service] and [suspect] left the scene. [Miller] stated that [suspect] was operating a silver pick up truck with landscaping on the side of it.
[Miller] stated that she was contacted by her credit card company at 1945hrs about some fraudulent charges on her credit card. [Miller] stated that she checked her purse and noticed that her Visa credit card and $50.00 in US Currency was missing.
No face-to-face confrontation with a drug addict thug. No near escape from getting hurt. No talking him out of the house. No foot chase to get his photo. No theft of her wallet. No fifteen guys in two pickups in the driveway. Basically, somebody walked into the house she’d left unlocked and took a credit card and some cash from the purse she’d left on the kitchen counter.
Not to minimize what happened, of course. It’s not the ‘home invasion’ she claims, but it’s still a crime. Having been burgled a couple of times my ownself, I can attest that it’s an uncomfortable feeling to know somebody has been noodling about in your house. But hey, good solid police work enabled the DC police to identify the culprit. The fraudulent credit card charges at Wal-Mart and a tattoo parlor allowed them to 1) view security camera footage and 2) identify the suspect by the tattoo he paid for with Miller’s credit card (“a tattoo of a Skull with a blunt in it’s mouth and the word Stoned under it”).
Unfortunately, it appears Miller failed to follow through on her report to the police. They attempted to contact her three times about the case, leaving voice messages for her to call them. She didn’t. But she did get her gun and a concealed carry permit. So there’s that.
The thief? Presumably he’s still out there breaking into houses, frightening more people into wanting a concealed carry permit, drumming up business for the NRA.
As for Ms. Miller’s opinion piece, I’m inclined to think if you can’t be bothered to help the police prosecute the person who prompted your interest in obtaining a firearm, your opinion on where you should be allowed to carry your gun doesn’t carry much weight. I’d much prefer the Johnny Cash approach: don’t take your guns to town.
Okay, I’m a criminal defense guy at heart. Whenever I look at or think about a criminal case, my first instincts are to see it from a civil liberty/defense oriented perspective. So when I see Gen. Michael Flynn pleading guilty to a single count of making a false statement to the FBI, my immediate thought is this: This guy is in the car.
That’s an old, out-of-date term. In the car. It means to cooperate with the authorities. “Will this guy get in the car?” “Can we keep him in the car?” “Motherfucker is thinking about getting out of the car.” Like that. If somebody is in the car, he’s along for the ride.
Michael Flynn is in the car. He’s cooperating with Special Counsel Mueller and his team. The fact that he’s pleading to a single felony count also suggests (and when I say ‘suggests’ I mean ‘is pretty much definitive proof’) Mueller has a saddlebag full of other felonies with which he can charge Flynn. My guess is Mueller is also holding on to a few felonies for Flynn’s nitwit son, who is also criminally exposed (as we say in the biz).
Michael Flynn, former U.S. Army Lt. General, former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency, former National Security Director, felon.
So this is a good deal for Flynn, even if he ends up doing a chunk of time in some semi-pleasant federal prison. It’s a good deal for Flynn the Lesser, who may avoid criminal culpability altogether. It’s a good deal for Mueller and his team, because you can be sure Flynn is handing them incriminating information on folks higher up in the federal food chain. Maybe Jeff Sessions, maybe Pence, maybe Comrade Trump his ownself.
It’s bad news for those folks. This is the part of the movie in which we begin to hear the ominous musical theme. Sessions and Pence will probably go all tight-lipped and grim. Trump will…well, who know what the hell he’ll do? Explode, maybe. On weekends Comrade Trump likes to escape his handlers — which means he 1) can go golfing and 2) can rage-tweet. Unless, of course, his handlers wrestle his phone out of his hands. My guess is we’ll either hear nothing at all from Trump over the weekend or he’ll start flinging poo in all directions.
As a criminal defense guy, I have to admit I hate it when I hear somebody’s in the car. I do not like a snitch. As a patriotic private citizen, however, I’m glad to know Mueller has Flynn’s balls in a vise grip and is applying pressure. Mueller is a defense guy’s worst nightmare; he’s honest, he’s methodical, and he’s fucking relentless. Mueller is a patriotic private citizen’s dream for those same reasons.
I’m sad to say, though, that little attention will be given today to one of the real heroes of this story: Sally Yates. She was the acting Attorney General who informed the White House Counsel that Flynn was lying about his calls with the Russian ambassador, which made him vulnerable to blackmail by Russia. A few days later, Yates was fired (ostensibly for refusing to defend Comrade Trump’s illegal immigration order).
Tonight I’ll have a beer, and I’ll raise my glass to Sally Yates for first exposing Flynn, to Robert Mueller for his professional prosecution, to Michael Flynn’s legal team for making the best deal possible for their client, and what the hell, I’ll raise my glass to Flynn himself. He’s a rotten sumbitch who’s turning on other rotten sumbitches, but he’s the latest sumbitch in the car. And that car is moving right along.