Republicans Try Their Own False Equivalence

Joe SalazarHave you ever noticed how Republicans get apoplectic at the slightest thing that a Democrat does wrong? There could be ten Republicans who murder their wives. Then a Democrat is caught cheating on his wife. And the Republicans are everywhere screaming that this isn’t just an outrage; it is perhaps even worse than the ten wife-murdering Republicans. Well, we have a new example of this.

Joe Salazar is a Colorado House representative. He was talking about House Bill 1226, which would invalidate concealed-carry permits in university buildings. He made a pretty standard (and good) argument that having people carry guns is prone to cause them to shoot others for little or no cause. Here’s what he said:

It’s why we have call boxes, it’s why we have safe zones, it’s why we have the whistles. Because you just don’t know who you’re gonna be shooting at. And you don’t know if you feel like you’re gonna be raped, or if you feel like someone’s been following you around or if you feel like you’re in trouble when you may actually not be, that you pop out that gun and you pop… pop a round at somebody.

The Republicans are all over this one! Republican Colorado House representative Lori Saine shot back, “I guess, Rep. Salazar, if a woman doesn’t know she’s being raped, she doesn’t fear it.” I don’t even know what that means. Is she saying that women should just shoot anyone they think might rape them?

According to the article, Republicans are likening his comments to Todd Akin’s notorious comments about women having special spermicide that is released if they don’t enjoy the sex. I’m not sure how they see that. Maybe I’m just a guy and there is something I don’t understand here. He isn’t saying or even implying that while a woman is being raped she wouldn’t be sure. All he is saying is that you can feel threatened when there is no threat. I just don’t see how he is minimizing rape in any way. With the ridiculously high rape incidence on college campuses, a woman would be forgiven for shooting first and asking questions later. And that seems to be the point.

But Salazar’s speech at worst falls under the rubric of inartful comments. So why the Republican freak out? I think we all know. Given not only their language, but their ideology, Republicans have to latch on to any comment they can. Personally, I don’t see that it does anything but make themselves perhaps feel better. No one outside the right wing bubble is going to think much of Salazar’s comments, and they certainly don’t speak to the Democratic Party generally. But comments by Todd Akin and Richard Mourdock do indeed speak of a Republican Party that doesn’t much care for women.

Fecal Tooth Brushing in the Naked City

Elisa LamThere are eight million stories in the naked city, and this is two of them. The water in the Cecil Hotel in downtown Los Angeles was trickling in. Two British tourists, Michael Baugh and his wife, complained. “What kinda country you got here? You don’t know about water pressure?!” So the management checked out the system. The pipes seemed fine. That’s when they found an obstruction in the water tank. It was a dead body.

It’s a sad story—two sad stories. You see, the people were having trouble brushing their teeth. And if that’s not enough, there was that soggy dead dame. She was 21-year-old Elisa Lam from Canada. She was supposedly going to Santa Cruz, which is over 300 miles closer to Canada than where her body was found. There are 60,000 stories in Surf City, and this was not one of them.

The authorities are trying to figure out if her death was the result of an accident or foul play. I wonder—I really do! According to the Associated Press, “The opening at the top of the cistern is too small to accommodate firefighters and equipment, so they had to cut a hole in the storage tank to recover Lam’s body.”

I’m thinking “accident”: she takes the elevator to the top floor; she climbs the stairs up to the roof; she deactivates the alarm and picks the lock on the door; she climbs the later up to the tank and then climbs up the straight sides of it; And then she squeezes into the small hole at the top, because, you know: who hasn’t wanted to go swimming inside cistern; but she forgot she couldn’t swim and drowned. It’s the most likely thing to have happened!

As for the more important story: that poor British couple brushed her teeth with that water. Even more shocking: they brewed coffee with it. Personally, I’d rather be murdered and have my body disposed of in the bottom of some hotel cistern. But the police say not to worry! The only thing to worry about is from fecal material. Apparently, when people die they often defecate. That’s right: defecation.

There are eight million stories in the naked city, and two of them have to do with murder and brushing your teeth with the victims feces.

Afterword

Before anyone gets on me: my point is that as creepy as the couple’s story is, what most matters is that this young woman was murdered. But the murder alone would not have made the AP.

Is Tebow OK with Fagots Burning in Hell?

Tim TebowHave you heard the joke about the football player who is an “influential voice for his religion”? Oh, you have? You just didn’t know it was a joke? Well it is. It is a big joke about the pathetic state of religion in the United State.

The football player? Tim Tebow of course. Over at Yahoo! Sports (That’s a good joke right there!) Jay Busbee reports on Tebow’s important journey as the spiritual leader that God’s gift of good legs and a strong left arm have prepared him for. And the great thing is that he doesn’t even need to read the Bible. This is really important because Matthew 6:5 is like a direct insult:

When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.

You may be wondering why there is all this fuss about Tim “Public Prayer” Tebow. Well, he was going to speak to the First Baptist Church of Dallas, Texas. But he had to back out. You see, he learned—What a surprise!—that the pastor of that church, Robert Jeffress, thinks pretty much everyone is going to hell: Muslims, Jews, Mormons, and Catholics. This kind of exclusionary Christianity is apparently not good—at least, not good for Tim Tebow, LLC.

But here’s the thing. All Christians think that Muslims and Jews are going to hell. They may not run around saying it, but it’s true. That’s been my biggest problem with Christian friends: knowing that as much as they may think I’m a good guy, they also know I am going to hell because I do not believe that Jesus is my savior. Certainly, if you could get Tim Tebow alone and off the record he would admit that, yes, Frank Moraes is most certainly going to fry in hell. So what’s the big deal?

On the Mormon and Catholic issue, I think most Protestants go along with Jeffress too. Christians I’ve talked to don’t accept that Mormonism is a kind of Christianity, even though it most certainly is. And Catholics are betraying the First Commandment with all of their saint worship. Protestants generally think that Catholics have gotten away from the true way of the Church. And thus, they are more than likely going to burn in hell.

People! You either believe your religion or you don’t. The Bible is either the word of God or it isn’t. And if it is, that means that slavery is okay. It means you should stone to death anyone who works on the Sabbath. It means that David totally rocks by sleeping with one of his soldier’s wives and then having him killed to avoid detection. (And let’s not forget about the fags!) Don’t give me all those slippery apologetics about how Christ brought in a new church and so the old laws were no longer valid. Jesus explicitly said the old Judaic law should be followed.

And the Bible says that Jesus is the one way to salvation. So if you aren’t a Christian, you are going to burn in hell. And if you are a Christian, then you must believe that. After all, isn’t it easier to believe that all non-Christians are going to burn in hell than to believe that God would send his son to some backwater to live a poorly documented life and expect all of humanity to “believe in” him in order to get to heaven? I urge Tim Tebow to follow his convictions.

Say it loud, and say it well: all you fagots will go to hell! Yaaayyy Jesus!

Palestinian Nonviolence? What a Joke!

5 Broken CamerasWe have met the enemy and he is us. The last several months, Saadiq Long has been bouncing around in the no man’s land of the No Fly List. He is a ten year veteran of the United States Air Force. His appearance on the No Fly List has nothing to do with the fact that he is a Muslim. And now, Emad Burnat, on his way to the Academy Awards where he is up for Best Documentary, was detained at LAX. What the hell did he think he was he doing in America? That’s just like the terrorist to make an award winning film to get into this country and Bam! We’d never see it coming. His detention at the airport had nothing to do with his being a Palestinian.

Five Broken Cameras

Burnat’s new film Five Broken Cameras is dangerous. It tells the story of what all the Very Serious Villagers are always claiming Palestine needs: nonviolent resistance. The truth is that Palestine has a very long history of nonviolent organizing — just as long as American media have been ignoring it. As Foreign Policy has reported:

The truth is that there is a long, rich history of nonviolent Palestinian resistance dating back well before 1948, when the state of Israel was established atop a depopulated Palestine. It has just never captured the world’s attention the way violent acts have.

It’s enough to, you know, make you violent. The cameras in the title of Burnat’s film refer to the cameras that were destroyed while documenting the resistance against the building of a separation barrier in his village of Bil’in. The film looks really good:

Emad Burnat’s Story Continues

The detainment of Emad Burnat is the perfect crown on the entire Palestinian resistance movement. American media won’t cover it. Burnat collaborates with an Israeli filmmaker Guy Davidi to document this movement. And when Burnat comes to America to help spread the word, American authorities harass him because he doesn’t quite smell right. A film about Palestinian nonviolence? Don’t make me laugh!

The good news, of course, is that such stunts only help get the word out. But I continue to be ashamed of my country — precisely because I expect better of it. I always have. And it continues to disappoint, oftentimes heartbreakingly. The enemy is not supposed to be us.

Reagan’s Liberal Dream

Dream ActAdam Serwer has a great catch. He compares Ronald Reagan’s immigration plan with Obama’s, Obama’s Immigration Plan Is Far Harsher Than Reagan’s. You know Obama’s plan: the nonstarter. And you know Reagan: the Grand Poobah of Conservatism; the shining actor on the hill; the man who would solve all our problems if only he were still alive and suffering from dementia half the time.

In the bill that passed and became law, the Immigration Control and Reform Act of 1986, undocumented immigrants could apply for a green card after 18 months. In Obama’s proposal, they would have to wait 8 years. That would mean that it would take at least 13 years to become a citizen. So people my age stand a very good chance of dying before they become a citizen.

This begs the question: if 13 years is a nonstarter and just too liberal a policy for Republicans, including wonderboy of Latino outreach Marco Rubio, what would be acceptable? Perhaps 65 years? That way, if a baby is brought to this country illegally, he might be able to get citizenship by the time he dies. All others need not apply.

I am reminded of Ari Melber’s observation that Republicans really don’t want the things they claim to want. This is a great example. They don’t actually want immigration reform. They want to appear like they are doing something but they don’t want to actually do something. I think they are making a mistake. They assume that just because their base is happy with a party that gets nothing done but grandstanding, that Latinos will be equally impressed. I just don’t see that happening.

Afterword

I think this whole Republican push is a fool’s errand anyway. Latinos are not going to start voting for the Republican Party in large numbers just because they pass immigration reform. The number one reason that Latinos vote for Democrats is that as a group, Latinos are poor. Repulibcans are the party of the rich and they demonstrate this every day in every way.