That’s me in the spotlight, losing my….

(this was from a Facebook post from a year ago today, and perhaps more true now than it was then.)

…religion – ALL religion, regardless of denomination – amplifies who you are as a person. it’s a channel through which your natural inclinations are shown to your fellow man. if you’re cut from kind, loving, charitable stock, then you’ll find inspiration from your faith to escalate your game in that direction.

conversely, the same is true if you’re someone who walks the earth with a chip on your shoulder, full of hostility and general disdain for your fellow man. If you’re a hateful person, you’ll use your faith or your religion as a crutch or a banner to propogate and spread your hatred and fear of anyone who doesn’t hate the same people you hate.
Whether it’s ISIS or the Westboro Baptist Church, the latter scenario is true across the board with all of them.
People who are inclined to hate will do it in the name of their chosen higher power, because they find absolution in it. It frees them from personal responsibility for their own character.  
It’s not Islam, specifically, that we need to be worried about. It’s the alarming rise in population of people who only know how to hate each other. And they exist EVERYWHERE, in every color and creed.  
And there are more in your own backyard, dressed like you, speaking the same language as you, going to the same church as you…than you may want to realize.
Blame religion, blame guns, blame politicians, whatever gets you through the night…but our downfall will be our failure to simply see our fellow man through a different lens – and choose kindness over hate and exclusion.

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what Al Franken SHOULD say…

so there’s been an announcement that Al Franken intends to address the public at some point tomorrow.

Hi, Al – just in case your speechwriters were maybe hitting a wall, I went ahead and wrote up a little somethin’ for you to consider incorporating into your remarks.

You’re welcome.

 

My fellow Americans…

You see before you a man who, on a lark nearly a decade ago, did something stupid, insensitive and just plain wrong.

In fact, I’m willing to bet that you’re seeing an awful lot of guys who have done stupid, insensitive and wrong things regarding their treatment of the opposite sex lately, and regrettably, I’m one of them.

If there’s a silver lining to this maelstrom of courage that’s swept up our victims this past few months, I’d say it’s this – it’s given us an opportunity to have open, frank discussions about gender, harrassment, and shame in this country.

Tonight, I’d like to focus a bit on the latter.

Friends, you are living in a parody of a once-great country, a Nation Upside Down and at war with itself…a war being fought largely via a tidal wave of hypocrisy, and this issue is no different.

I don’t come before you today to argue that the scrutiny of my actions has been unwarranted – rather, I want to remind you that ALL of us – Democrat, Republican and Undeclared – are willing participants in the most staggering double standard in modern political history, where the notion of scrutiny is concerned.

I would remind you that the very people calling for my resignation are supporting the candidacy of a pedophile to take office in the same legislative body that I’m currently a part of.

I would remind you that my colleague, John Conyers, just resigned from Congress for the same offenses that Blake Farenthold is accused of, and Mr. Farenthold’s repentance is comprised of cutting a check to reimburse the $84,000 settlement that American taxpayers paid on his behalf…and oddly, no one seems to give a rats’ ass about his transgressions, if media coverage is any indicator.

I would remind you that just last year, sixty two million Americans went to the polls after hearing their candidate brag about “grabbing women by the pussy” and throw their vote behind him anyway…and I would submit to you that those are the very people who are currently calling for my head on a spike.

I am not defending my actions, nor am I asking that you overlook my behavior – but if you’re willing to be truly honest with yourselves, you cannot ignore the fact that, at present, WE ONLY SEEM TO DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM DEMOCRATS.

Let me say that again, so that you have a moment to let it sink in….

WE ONLY DEMAND ACCOUNTABILITY FROM DEMOCRATS.

We are currentlly less than a week away from a historic election, in which an accused pedophile may very well be seated in the United States Senate. The Majority Leader of that body voted in favor of Bill Clintons’ impeachment twenty years ago, but his moral position seems to be considerably more flexible all these years later, as he’s all in for the guy. Jeff Sessions also voted for impeachment, but he’s clearly possessed of the same selective integrity as the other leaders of his party. John McCain, Richard Shelby, Orrin Hatch, Lindsey Graham, Chuck Grassley…all found their voices to condemn a sitting President two decades ago, but now – with a man sitting in the Oval Office carrying the accusations of over a dozen women of the same sins I have publicly confessed before you, they have fallen silent.

I will say again – what I did was wrong.

But I didn’t jump through hoops to distract, deny, or otherwise obstruct the words of my accuser…I issued an immediate apology, and I called for an Ethics Committee investigation the day the incident came to light.

In other words, while I can’t change what happened, I’ve done everything in my power to own it and be a man about it, before God, my family, and my constituents.

Where others who stand accused of similar – and much worse – are concerned, I seem to be in the minority in that regard, and you know it.

And I know you know it.

So to those who have steadfastly called for my resignation, I stand before you today to say to you:

Either spread it accordingly amongst your own kind, or just go the fuck away.

There WILL be an Ethics Committee investigation. My fate will be decided after a thorough review of the facts involved in my case.

In the meantime, I would ask those of you who keep parroting the notion that “the people of Alabama should decide” whether or not a pedophile can be a senator or not to kindly go fuck yourself before weighing in on the future of my political career.

Merry Christmas.

We Get The Government We Deserve

In less than two weeks, Roy Moore will be the newest member of the United States Senate.

Why?  Because he’s exactly what the people of Alabama, and the nation, deserve.

Now of course, you’re reading this, and you’re already offended, because if you’re a person who runs in the same circles as I do, you’re not someone who traffics in the same ideologies that people like Roy Moore does…you’re a generally tolerant person who puts a lot of stock in “live and let live”, you don’t trade in hatred, in bigotry, in sexism, in demonizing people based on race or religion…you understand that the constitution was actually written to enforce freedom of religion, and you don’t twist that principle to leverage Christianity over other faiths or practices.

And that means that you, like myself, are in the electoral minority in this country.

Sure, we all know that there’s a huge unrepresented ghost-herd of “reasonable disconnected citizens” out there who don’t hate people, but also don’t vote, don’t participate in the process, and as such – don’t COUNT…because they’re unwitting participants in the rise to power of unrepentant assclowns like Roy Moore.

Let’s be clear, here….political scandal is NOT a new thing.

But the vast majority of scandals past ended predictably – with the ensuing publicity resulting in resignations (Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Tom DeLay, etc.) and occasionally jail time (William Jefferson, Duke Cunningham, and the like).  There have been the odd outliers who managed to escape any real electoral scrutiny after coming out on the other side of various scandals, but – until very, VERY recently, they seemed to be – by far – the exception rather than the rule.

We’ve entered a new age, though.

We’ve entered the Age Of Zero Accountability here…where you can publicly rape and pillage as long as you have an R after your name and walk the streets unmolested.

Now, we have assholes like Scott DesJarlais, who managed to get re-elected by a horde of trailer dwellers in East Tennessee after a laundry list of shitty behavior.  For those of you who are old enough to remember this past summer, there’s Greg Gianforte – who was elected LITERALLY THE NEXT FUCKING DAY after being brought up on assault charges for physically attacking a reporter…and first lying about it, but being disproven by an audio recording of the attack.  (some of you who actually bother to watch the news may remember the “man on the street” soundbites of folks who said that the fact he went at Ben Jacobs actually made them MORE likely to vote for Gianforte.)  And, hey – if you remember that, you probably remember the good folks of Georgia electing human cardboard cutout Karen Handel after famously telling her potential constituents that she “did not support a living wage”.

You see, we don’t punish our lawmakers for wrongdoing now, and – shit, even WORSE – we reward garbage humans with seats on Capitol Hill in light of incontrovertible evidence of shitty behavior.

Alabama, the state currently in question, actually has a colorful recent history of rewarding shitty behavior in lawmakers – their state Speaker of the House, Michael Hubbard, was famously brought up on two dozen counts of corruption prior to election day and – guess what – he won re-election.  Oh, and not only that – once re-elected, he was given his old Speaker job back by his fellow lawmakers WHILE AWAITING TRIAL.

Then, of course, there’s Robert Bentley, the gross, Viagra-popping, secretary-groping, dirty-talkin’ Governor who got caught on tape saying some truly creepy shit to the object of his affection.  Oh, and due to the politically exquisite timing of that particular shitstorm, it turns out that there was a Senate seat to name someone to – what with perennial Disney Bad Guy Jeff Sessions becoming Attorney General and all.  So Governor SexyTalk named his Attorney General, Luther Strange (no, you really CAN’T make shit like that up) to replace Sessions on Capitol Hill…mere moments after he managed to squelch impeachment proceedings against Bentley in his capacity as state Attorney General.

So you see, that’s how shit works now.

We are a nation of knuckle-dragging, Budweiser-swilling intellectual midgets who are not just unafraid, but PROUD to reward garbage humans at the ballot box.  And in the Gilded Age of Trump, all bets are off.

Beat up a reporter?  You Win.

Fuck a mannequin out of wedlock while your terminally ill wife is dying of cancer, all while leading a good old torches and pitchforks revolt against a sitting president for a less shitty plot of your own story?

You Win.

Arrange for an abortion for your mistress while running on a staunch pro-life position?

You Win.

Two Dozen Counts of Corruption?

You Win.

Alabama, it’s not as if it’s a choice between two similar fucking shades of grey, here.

You’re not choosing between two similar mindsets who have slightly different outlooks on intricate legislative points…two guys who are both shitty but maybe one is slightly less shitty than the other.

There is ZERO nuance involved here.

You’re literally choosing between a fucking nutjob whos’ been thrown off the bench not once, but TWICE – for failing to enforce constitutional law.  A dude who, even BEFORE the truly shitty stuff started coming out recently, was ALREADY a drastically awful candidate – but in light of his fondness for teenage girls and getting banned from the mall and all the avalanche of crap that’s come out lately, it’s as if the cherry on top of the whipped cream somehow actually became the entire fucking sundae….

…you’re choosing between that guy and a lawyer with decades of prosecutorial experience fighting for the people of your state, to include actually sending members of the Klan to jail for bombing a church and killing four children.

You’re literally being asked to choose between John McClain and Hans Gruber, and you’re charging to the polls yelling “Yippie Ki-aaaaay, Motherfucker!” in a German accent.

In two weeks, Doug Jones will join Jon Ossoff and Merrick Garland on the sidelines to watch the final chapter of this shitstorm run its course towards swallowing up our democracy…and we’ll deserve every sad, ridiculous, avoidable landmine that we collectively step on.

Hide your daughters.