How Did the One Percent Hijack “Progressivism?”

Let them eat cake

Phoenix holds its Pride festival not in June, when everybody else does, but in April. It’s just too hot around these parts to have it in the summertime.

Anymore, when people in “the community” are asked if they’re going to Pride, they tend to respond with bitter laughter. The weather’s fine, but who the hell can afford it?

A friend informed me that admission to the festival is now $22 at the gate. A trip to the website boasts that this year, attendance was “record-breaking.” Either the one percent is much larger than I thought, or lots of folks are willing to take out a second mortgage on their houses just to hobnob with the Let-Them-Eat-Cake crowd for a day.

Pride was intended to be for everybody in the community. It was supposed to be a celebration of equality. Now that big corporations and the wealthy have gotten ahold of it, it has become yet another way for the Babbittry to put the squeeze on those of us who actually do the work.

The cluelessness of the elites who run the “progressive” movement is very much like that of the White Star Line executives who boasted that the Titanic was unsinkable. Oh, a typical George F. will assure me, but anyone who wants to volunteer at the festival can come in for free!

Yes, you can let these people work your ass off all day. You can provide them with free labor! In exchange for which, you’ll be graciously admitted to an event that’s supposed to belong to the people in the first place – without being skinned alive like the rest of them.

Of course the Establishment Left is absolutely clueless about what’s really going on in America today. They see small businesses fighting laws that mandate who they must serve, and all they see is an issue (like LGBT rights) they can exploit. They see standoffs between ranchers and armed Feds, like the one in Nevada, and they think, “Wingnuts!” – and leave it at that. They hear the rumblings of the Tea Party, and they’re too lazy to look past how obnoxious and irrational many of the baggers happen to be.

They’d just better wake up.

In the larger sense, the civil war now brewing in this country is not between Left and Right, but between the Haves and the Have Nots. Yes, the Occupiers were right that it is between the One Percent and the other Ninety-nine. “Progressives” love to remind us of this. But what they fail to recognize is that in any group as large as 99% of the nation, there are going to be people they don’t like, as well as those they do. People who tend to side with them politically – and people who don’t.

We had all just better grow up, and do it fast. Little children refuse to play with anybody they don’t like, and expect everything to be pleasant and fun. Adults realize that the world doesn’t work like that. Not everybody I deal with politically is congenial, or even reasonable. Some of them are damn near intolerable. But that doesn’t mean that many of their concerns are not also many of ours. They don’t live on some planet too distant from ours to be visible without a telescope.

The Marie Antoinette crap I hear coming from people in the Democratic Party is disgusting. Big corporations and the rich run the Democratic establishment, just as they do the Republican. A growing number of Americans are leaving the two-party system and becoming Independents. And yes, that includes a huge number of the millenials “progressives” are so sure they’ve got in the palm of their hand. For those who have been lulled into complacency, it is wakey-wakey time, indeed.

A local Pride festival whose organizers are out of touch with their community may seem trivial. But it is a symptom of a much deeper problem. The Babbitts need to stop bagging on people who lack the “moral superiority” to shop at farmer’s markets and must settle for Walmart instead. Or who can’t afford gated communities or private armies and must arm themselves to protect their homes and families.

As long as the cluelessness continues, resentment against elitism will continue to grow. Nor will it target only Right-Wing elites and leave the Leftists alone. As long as the “progressives” persist in their self-satisfied slumber, the Duck Dynasty crowd’s rhetoric will continue to gain traction. Huge societal mistakes always get their footing on the terrain of partial truth.

Wakey-wakey, people. Cock-a-doodle-doo.

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The Mark of the Beast

Yes, I know, this is a lobster in a tiara.  I didn't want a picture of a really SCARY beast.

Yes, I know, this is a lobster in a tiara. I didn’t want a picture of a really SCARY beast.

Life is filled with little epiphanies. Things that make us go, “Ahhh!” I keep stumbling onto them. Okay, Lord, I’m listening.

First, there was the slimy cockroach-swarm over at Gay Patriot that basically drove all decent people away from that blog. Then the Duck Dynasty PR blitzkrieg, shamelessly played to the hilt by every fraud in the GOP. Then the blatant sham of SB 1062, the “religious freedom” bill pushed by the Antichrist Religious Right.

Enough is enough. I get it. Social conservatives have no character. Neither do conservatives in general. There are exceptions, of course, but not very many. Decades of pandering to reactionary spoiled brats has led the political Right to moral ruin.

These phonies have absolutely no business lecturing anybody else about morality. And there is nothing more asinine than the way they presume to lecture us about freedom.

After all of this, and the soul-searching it has inspired, I find myself coming to some inevitable conclusions. The main one is that I’m back where I was for most of my adult political life.

I am a libertarian-leaning liberal. I have wandered in the wilderness, for the past few years, on a rootless search for a political affiliation that fit my basic convictions, but those convictions have not appreciably changed. This is a time of tremendous upheaval for everybody in America with a brain, and only those who can mindlessly cling to one easy label or another deserve to be dismissed as inconsistent.

I have been deeply disgusted with the Democrats, because Barack Obama was supposed to be the antidote to Bush II, yet he turned out to be his heir apparent. That doesn’t make me a hypocrite; it has made turncoats and hypocrites out of those who have blindly supported this betrayal of everything liberals have ever stood for.

Libertarians are never going to win over conservatives. The GOP will never accept them. I am basically on board with libertarianism, but the Libertarian Party is an exercise in going nowhere. Only in a major political party can citizens effect change. I’m still deeply disgruntled toward the Democrats, but I have noticed a couple of things I can’t help but factor into my conclusions about where I belong.

The party in power is always the one – libertarian theory holds – that will be least interested in libertarian ideas. According to this line of thought, the party on the bottom of the heap will be the one more amenable to liberty. But this has not happened. Conservatives in general, and Republicans in particular, remain savagely hostile to libertarianism. And if they’re like that now, they always will be.

Liberals, on the other hand – even many diehard Democrats – still give libertarians a better hearing. Even now, when the theory holds that they won’t. Most of my family, friends and associates are liberal Democrats, so I can attest to this from abundant experience.

Here’s the difference. Republicans give lip-service to being congenial to libertarians (some do, anyway – those who are not social conservatives, at least). But once they hear what libertarians actually stand for, they are horrified and want nothing to do with it. Democrats, on the other hand, have been conditioned to loathe the libertarian label – and react to it with snarling, Pavlovian rage. But this is largely because they have been lied to about what libertarians believe.

If I drop the label, and simply tell them what I stand for, I find them surprisingly receptive. As a matter of fact, many of the opinions they express are (as shocked as they would be to learn this) actually quite libertarian.

In my realization of this, I have indeed considerably changed. For a while, I thought the opposite – and vociferously said so, even contributing a chapter to a book titled Why We Left the Left. I have certainly have left the statist Left, so most of what I said in that book still stands. But in my heart, though with a strong libertarian bent, I am still a great, big, old liberal.

Life is an ongoing learning process. I have learned a lot since I wrote that chapter.

Last week, I re-registered as a Democrat. That was my political party for nearly thirty years. Yes, I’m baaaaack! Real liberals have no reason to disapprove of that. There’s a reason why the words “liberal” and “libertarian” are so closely related.

Bogus, big-government “progressives” will probably never accept me, or any other libertarian-leaning liberal. They’ll try to smear us, and lie about what we believe. But this country needs real liberalism – real liberty – more urgently now than ever before.

To Hell with liars and frauds, both Left and Right. And I mean that. They truly do bear the Mark of the Beast.

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Hawaii in the Grand Canyon State!

pineapple kitty

Dignity U.S.A.’s Phoenix chapter has just adopted a name. We are now St. Damien’s of Molokai. We’ve brought Hawaii to the Grand Canyon State!

We have a few members who hail from the Aloha State. They’re very nice people, and they bring a rainbow with them whenever they’re there. I hope to visit Hawaii someday. My parents went once, and they brought me back a huge clam in a sealed jar of water and a coffee mug that said “Loli,” which is, evidently, my name in Hawaiian. That’s the closest I’ve ever come.

Dignity is a wonderful organization. It supports LGBT Catholics around the nation. I’ve been an Episcopalian for some time, but though I’m now an Anglo-Catholic, I still very much believe in what Dignity is doing. Our chapter here in Phoenix, once on the verge of disintegration, is now being revitalized, and I am happy to be a part of it.

If you get the opportunity and feel the urge, stop by the national organization’s website and see how you can get involved. I don’t know how much of a difference Pope Francis is going to make to the Roman Catholic Church on LGBT issues, but he has made a promising start.

A fresh wind is blowing. Let’s hope it brings a rainbow with it.

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Bricks from the Brooklyn Bridge Here!

100 times smarter than the average social conservative

100 times smarter than the average social conservative

H.L. Mencken famously said, “Nobody ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.” The Sage of Baltimore was right about a hell of a lot of things, and that was certainly one of them.

Or as Houndentenor, an occasional commenter on this blog, noted in an Independent Gay Forum thread, “It’s a win for A&E. Everything according to plan. We were played. Merry Christmas!”

People, the whole Duck Dynasty “controversy” was about as real as NORAD’s annual tracking of Santa Claus from the North Pole. The suckers have been had again.

The only thing real about this has been the entertainment value of watching social conservatives demonstrate – yet again – how vile they really are. How low they’ll sink. Purple Elephant blog called them out on the hypocrisy of criticizing A&E for suspending the Duke of Duckdom when these same culture warriors have insisted, all along, that companies have the absolute and divinely-ordained right to fire gay people simply for being gay.

So there it is – the real Gospel According to Crybaby Reactionaries: Free enterprise, free speech and freedom of religion for me – but not for thee.

In other words, no freedom at all. These big-government theocrats want to do to exactly the same thing to America that Obama & Company aspires to accomplish on the Left. They are nothing but frauds. Different flavor, same cheap imitation ice cream.

A&E did not cave in to these yokels; they did precisely what they’d planned to do all along. I hope some enterprising journalist will soon unearth evidence of collusion between A&E and the Robertson clan. You can be pretty sure it was there. I fully expect to find out that this was nothing but bidness, folks. Big-money bidness as usual.

Nobody with an I.Q. greater than that of a house plant ever seriously believed the Robertsons were great crusaders for free speech and Christianity. I think I ought to start selling pieces of the Brooklyn Bridge online. Given the number of morons out there, I’d make a mint.

Forget about the srimp bidness. I’m gonna sell me some bricks!

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Christmas Lutefisk — on Mars!

You betcha!!!

You betcha!!!

Well, my relatives in Minnesota must be happy to know that the Rover has found lutefisk on Mars. What a wondrous Christmas tradition! Even the little green people (and the statue of Elvis) love it.

A Merry Christmas to one and all, from Born on 9-11. And I promise I won’t send you any lutefisk. In Norway, one of the many lands of my family origin, they eat slimy white fish cured in lye. They also eat reindeer. Still further reasons I’m glad my ancestors came to America.

Santa told me I'd better smile -- or he'll make me eat reindeer!

Santa told me I’d better smile — or he’ll make me eat reindeer!

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Visitors from Fantasyland

23_space_teriyaki

This is a fairy tale. Unfortunately, it also happens to be true.

Independent thinkers are familiar with visitors from Fantasyland, because we encounter them frequently. There are two distinct kingdoms within it: Right-wingia and Left-wingia. Each kingdom shelters its citizens so completely that they know almost nothing about the rest of the world – except what they’re told about it, which is usually wrong. But since they’re also told that they know everything, it’s difficult to get them to see that things outside their magical kingdom may not be the way they’ve been told.

Independent thinkers have a problem with media-generated brouhahas like the Duck Dynasty controversy because they essentially involve everybody else being dragged into a squabble between Right-wingia and Left-wingia. The rest of us don’t want to live in Fantasyland. I think that, to a huge degree, both sides are full of shit. So do most of the intelligent people I talk to every day.

A commenter to my previous post exhibited typical Fantasyland thinking. He couldn’t strain his brain by considering how people outside of Pastor Bubba’s congregation might read Scripture. It’s difficult, however, for anyone who’s actually read the Bible to see how the passages used to clobber gays could ever be taken the way they are by those who wield them as weapons. The spiritual sickness in Right-Wing churches has grown so severe that they don’t want to see those passages any other way.

Those particular snippets — selected, as they have been, to speak to people other than these, people they don’t like — are, therefore, the ones they always quote. Screw everybody else, and Go Them! Their tiny little idol god doesn’t love anybody else but them. Fantasyland has its own religion.

I graduated from a Southern Baptist college, where Bible study was mandatory, and went on, sometime later to teach adult catechism in the Catholic Church. Every day of my adult life, I have read and studied the Bible. Naturally, when I came out a month before my thirty-fifth birthday, I went back and re-studied the infamous “clobber” passages (as do all gay Christians). When people lecture me about “what the Bible teaches about gays,” as if I were an idiot, it’s understandably difficult for me to take them seriously.

Left-wingians think the Bible says the same screwed-up crap that Right-wingians believe it says. Though Fantasyland has long been divided into two kingdoms – once of which accepts the Bible (their messed-up and self-serving interpretation of it), while the other rejects it – their thinking is suspiciously similar. Their kingdom might also, just as well, be known as Either-Oria, because they both take the same sticky, hairy, childish mess of junk to be the full extent of reality. One is mandated to believe one set of things about this blob, while the other must believe a totally different set of things.

They got this way because they’re intellectually lazy – essentially sheeple – and don’t want to make the effort of thinking for themselves. The sociopaths who aspire to rule the world have divvied them up into two different, rival herds. Right-wing sociopaths shepherd one herd, while their Left-wing counterparts control the other.

I welcome visitors from Fantasyland – both wingias – to this blog. But as I do not accept their assumption that I am their inferior, they will come here to debate me following the same rules they expect me to follow. I have no problem, for example, debating my own morality – as long as they are equally willing to debate their own.

It is insulting and degrading to put other people on the spot like that, while expecting to remain comfortably protected. It is also cowardly. It isn’t going to be permitted here.

One of the things I require is that anyone wishing to debate me must subject him/herself to the same standard he/she would apply to me. Jesus said we should do that. Same Jesus they claim to believe in, and in the same Bible. I find it exceedingly odd that these people can apply select snippets from Leviticus to me – the same Holiness Code they violate every time they eat pork chops, shave their faces or wear fabric made from mixed fibers – then turn around and claim Jesus as their Lord. They clearly don’t listen to a word He said.

If they come here to debate me, they also forfeit – forever and ever, amen – the privilege of pretending I, as a gay, libertarian, politically Right-of-Center Christian, do not exist. By endeavoring to debate me, they are acknowledging my existence. They can’t debate somebody who does not exist.

And, as I live in the real world, if they are to travel to this blog, they must leave Fantasyland behind. The real world is such a scary place, to them, that many of them never want to be here. If they’re unwilling to abide by my rules, on my blog, I’ll happily purchase a one-way ticket to send them back.

That way, we’ll all live happily ever after. The End.

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Sad Clowns in the Circus of Life

sad clown

The current brouhaha over “Duck Dynasty” is getting the predictable treatment, both in the largely-liberal mainstream media and in its right-wing equivalent. Those who aspire to wield the power of big government over the peasants must, by all means, control the narrative. And as usual, the supposed rivals are actually working off of the same script.

It is of little consequence to me what some fool on trash-TV says about gays. Despite the outrage generated on the left, this is exactly what we might expect from a redneck with voodoo-fundamentalist religious beliefs. If he’d been ignored – as he deserved to be – none of this tempest in a piss-pot would ever have arisen.

Then, of course – in the spirit of the game – the right had to become outraged because A&E, the network that ran the popular filth in question, punished the yokel who made the anti-gay remarks. Social conservatives, and those who toady to them, would have us believe that he is the victim of full-scale persecution. As if he were being marched off to a gulag.

What actually happened was exactly what conservatives usually claim should happen — until it happens to them. A private employer disciplined its employee. At no level did government become involved, so there was no censorship. As my colleague at Purple Elephant blog, Lori Sanders, pointed out, this all happened the way it should in a free society.

Let me explain, for those in the Heartland, what is really going on here. Gay Christians are too inconvenient for either the statist right or left to mention. We’re the proverbial fly in their ointment, because we don’t do the bidding of either side. They don’t know what to do with us, so they ignore us in the hope that we’ll disappear.

This is called lying by omission.

The social-conservative right wants a new way to demonize gays. It intends to do this by painting ALL gays as anti-religion, and especially as anti-Christian. No gay Christian flies must be permitted into their ointment.

The secular left wants to demonize religion, in particular Christianity. It plans on accomplishing this by painting ALL religious people as anti-gay. No gay-welcoming churches, or heterosexual Christian allies – not to mention actual gay Christians – may be allowed to toss any monkey wrenches into their works.

Social conservatives know very well that gay Christians exist. So do secular liberals. In omitting us – on purpose – from the dialogue, they are bare-assed liars.

Social conservatives are also abject, lily-livered cowards. They are afraid of the public debate — on whether that handful of Scriptural snippets they’ve clipped out of context to “support” their argument actually say what they claim — that would surely follow if the truth about gay Christians’ existence were more widely known. Lying by omission is not the behavior of people confident that the argument is theirs to win. It’s the behavior of those who know that they would lose.

I will point it out. I will shout it from the rooftops. I will do my utmost to mobilize other gay Christians, and our allies in the churches, to loudly, vigorously and insistently enter the fray. If the spiritually-sick and twisted souls who want us out of the Church want a fight, they’ve got one.

Okay, by their chickenhearted dishonesty, they’ve indicated that they DON’T want a fight. They’re going to get one, anyway.

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