The United States of America is the Most Tolerant Nation in the World

The United States of America is the most tolerant nation in the world.

  • We tolerate the highest number of homicides among industrialized nations.
  • We tolerate growing and harmful inequality.
  • We tolerate black on black crime.
  • We tolerate white on white crime.
  • We tolerate citizen on citizen crime.
  • We tolerate ignorance.
  • We tolerate racism. 
  • We tolerate violence.
  • We tolerate our crumbling infrastructure.
  • We tolerate mistreatment of veterans.
  • We tolerate poverty, and blame its victims.
  • We tolerate endless wars in Asia.
  • We tolerate sexism.
  • We tolerate female income inequality.
  • We tolerate cultural stereotypes.
  • We tolerate xenophobia.
  • We tolerate anti-Semitism.
  • We tolerate discrimination and hatred cloaked in the mantle of “religious freedom”.
  • We tolerate religious persecution.
  • We tolerate religious discrimination and violence.
  • We tolerate homophobia.
  • We tolerate rape and the rape/bro culture.
  • We tolerate everyone’s guns.
  • We tolerate outrageous and ridiculous CEO pay.
  • We tolerate homelessness.
  • We tolerate poverty.
  • We tolerate the erosion of the labor movement.
  • We tolerate the erosion of the middle class, which built this country.
  • We tolerate the deification of the super-wealthy as “job creators” who are above law and policy.
  • We tolerate people not having access to health care.
  • We tolerate our idiotic, wasteful health “insurance” system.
  • We tolerate truancy.
  • We tolerate the assault on public education.
  • We tolerate religious fanaticism.
  • We tolerate government overreach.
  • We tolerate governmental corruption.
  • We tolerate do-nothing incumbents, year after year.
  • We tolerate unlimited money in politics.
  • We tolerate hate speech and hate radio.
  • We tolerate the dictatorship of the bureaucracy.
  • We tolerate institutional reluctance to modernize and change.
  • We tolerate not being the best at things, and we tolerate not caring about it.
  • We tolerate economic and political theories long proven to be nonsense.
  • We tolerate cops killing unarmed people for minor offenses.
  • We tolerate government violence and police brutality.
  • We tolerate segregation.
  • We tolerate the privatization of essential public services.

Like I said, America is the most tolerant place in the world. We need to stop using that word as something positive.

When used in that context we mean to say, be nice to one-another. Don’t discriminate or be hateful. But that’s a given. We should replace the wishy-washy trope of “tolerance” with “kindness” or “acceptance” if not silence.

For instance, if you do a Google image search of “tolerance”, it’s replete with pictures of the “COEXIST” bumper sticker, and people being kind to others. No one is urging anyone to be tolerant of the list shown above.  “Tolerance” of terrorism, assault, or murder isn’t on the table.

We should aspire to be more than – better than – just “tolerant” of people’s differences, but embrace the good and combat the bad – together.

Stop being so damn tolerant. Start being kind and just.

Scenes from America

In Ferguson, Missouri, a police officer shot and killed an unarmed Black teenager. The shots were not at close range, indicating no immediate struggle, and there were at least six shots fired. Setting aside the subsequent character assassination of the victim, the police response to popular outrage and demonstrations has been militaristic in nature, and overflowing with issues of race and class in contemporary America. 

No one condones looting or violence, but the ridiculously overwrought police response has quashed the people’s right to demonstrate. 

Hysterical right wing commentators have overwhelmingly sided with the police officer who shot Michael Brown, labeling the dead kid a “thug” who clearly deserved to die. Of course, we still don’t have a copy of the police report surrounding the shooting incident. The people in Ferguson are outraged by the latest homicide of an unarmed Black teenager under questionable circumstances, and their demonstrations have been met with this: 

Some months back, there was a standoff in Nevada over Cliven Bundy and his cows. Back in 1993, Bundy didn’t like a change in policy at the Bureau of Land Management, so he refused to renew his license to permit his cattle to graze on public land. In 1998, a federal court barred Bundy from letting his cattle graze on the “Bunkerville Allotment”. In July 2013, a federal judge further ordered Bundy off of additional lands

It should be noted that, in both court cases, Bundy had an opportunity to be heard, and exercised it.

In 2014, the Bureau of Land Management undertook action to forcibly remove Bundy’s cattle from federal lands pursuant to the court orders. Hundreds of armed, right-wing, so-called “militia” came to Bundy’s aid in the Nevada brush, and the rancher became a right-wing, anti-Obama cause celebre. 

American fascists justify the homicide of Michael Brown, whom they dismiss as nothing more than a thug who got what was coming to him. They deride the outpouring of grief and anger in Ferguson as being nothing more than a subhuman gallery of violent looters. They have nothing whatsoever to say about a military show of force against lawful protests in Ferguson, and ignore the obvious provocation of police snipers and tanks aiming at civilians in middle America. 

But when Cliven Bundy disregarded a lawful order of the court, and declared some sort of idiotic war against a federal government he claims has no legitimacy, hundreds of American fascists came to his aid. The bloodlust against federal agents was shocking, and we had images that contrast with those out of Ferguson in one very salient way: 

In Ferguson, protesters are mostly African-American, and the government’s guns are pointed at them. 

In Nevada, protesters were mostly white, and they pointed their guns at government agents. 

It’s like the anti-Burning Man

 

Cliven Bundy had people aiming guns at federal agents, but we’re supposed to get all upset because some angry demonstrators in Ferguson broke a McDonald’s store windows or stole some TVs? 

The people who support Cliven Bundy’s defiance of legitimate government authority think that the demonstrators in Ferguson have no business protesting questionable government actions. 

Go home, America. You’re drunk. 

What Do We Do?

Some lunatic shot up a school in Oregon Tuesday. It was only the 74th school shooting since Sandy Hook

Two right-wing eliminationist Infowars listeners shot two cops in Nevada.  The cops were oppressing everyone by eating lunch, and the Alex Jones acolytes covered their bodies with Gadsen flags, screaming about the revolution. 

Some rancher out in Nevada won’t pay his bill to the government for the privilege of having his cattle graze on land held in the public trust. A bunch of Alex Jones types weren’t going to let the federal government essentially stop this man from being a deadbeat. 

A company is going to sell bullet proof blankets for kids to use during school shootings. Because ours is totally not a third world country and this is totally not a banana republic in which we live.  

All the freaks who scream about how the “other” (fill in your own blank for that one) are dragging real America down don’t realize that they have it backwards. It’s not illegal immigrants or Obamacare or black welfare queens or gays or N0bummer himself who are turning this country into a third world backwater.

Instead, I’d argue that our creeping third world status is brought about by the people who believe lawless wild west gunslingin’ justice should act as a template for contemporary society. It’s the notion that a “good guy with a gun” – and they sure as shit don’t mean a cop – is the only thing that stands between you and a “bad guy with a gun”. The cops in Nevada – they were armed. A shooter in Washington State – he was subdued with pepper spray. While he was reloading (remember how the NY SAFE Act limits magazine capacity?) 

But the best we can do is to throw a kevlar blanket to a kid and say, “play dead?” 

Let’s just cut through the bullshit. An armed society isn’t a polite society; an armed society is a dysfunctional, failed state.

Oh, but SWITZERLAND!!1 Right? 

Right. Switzerland

Let’s pretend for a moment that a comparison with Switzerland is apples to apples. Let’s make-believe that the libertarians don’t really mean Somalia when they’re describing their dream governmental structure. 

I’ve spent a lot of time in Switzerland. I have family who lives there. Switzerland is an officially quadrilingual confederation with better schools, better social services, better foreign policy ideas, better medical care, better access to medical care, and excels at just about anything it touches. Switzerland is a wealthy and law-abiding first world functional state. Less than 8% of Swiss live below the poverty line – in the US it’s 15%. Unemployment in this country with a private health insurance mandate is 2.9% – in the US it’s 6%. The Swiss have this whole “functioning society” thing down pat. They do share our mistrust of foreigners and immigrants, however. 

The Swiss are armed, because they have what we call a well-regulated militia. And the Swiss know from regulation. 

And they own their extremely well-regulated guns to protect their country – not to overthrow their Cantonal or federal governments because some asshole on the radio decided there’s tyranny afoot. 

If Sandy Hook didn’t convince you that we have a serious problem, or if the almost weekly spate of mass shootings didn’t convince you, I don’t know what will.  Instead, we have a bunch of guys carrying semiautomatic rifles into Target and Starbucks, because arglebargle. 

Maybe the $100 billion annual cost to taxpayers from gun violence will convince you, if nothing else. 

Will stricter gun laws make a difference? I don’t know. 50-state uniformity would be nice. Expanded background checks would be swell. 

What about expansion of mental health services – that’s the one the gun people like to highlight.  Ok, folks. I’ll go for that. But you realize you have to pay for it. You have to set it up right, run it properly, and fund it adequately. Given the ease with which Obamacare was passed and implemented, please don’t insult my intelligence by pointing to “mental health treatment” as the answer because you know and I know that you don’t want to pay for it. 

How about legislation that allows, say, the families of the slain Las Vegas cops to sue Alex Jones and his corporate empire into bankruptcy? Oh, I’d love to see guys who yell “fire!” in the most crowded of lunatic theaters every single day have to pay for the natural results of their incitement. 

What do we do? 

I don’t know. 

But what I do know is – whatever we’re doing isn’t working. 

Guns and Fun Unter dem Totenkopf

Waffen und Spaß!

20140505-111142.jpg

20140505-111151.jpg

20140505-111257.jpg

Shown above are three images from Assemblyman David DiPietro’s (R-Gunhug) recent gunapalooza fundraiser. A supporter posted them to Twitter, and they seem to have been taken during the “free gun” portion of the event.

Note the skull & crossbones – the Totenkopf – behind DiPietro.  Reading “2nd Amendment 1789 America’s Original Homeland Security”, that flag is as ugly and ominous, and makes believe we still live in a postrevolutionary frontier. Our original homeland security was made up of state militias, well-regulated.

It must be so horrible to live a life so perpetually in fear of imminent danger and violence that you feel the need to arm yourself to the teeth, and then tell people it’s all about “sportsmen”.  Then, when Cuomo says a sportsman doesn’t need 10 bullets to kill a deer, you mock that. Because it’s isn’t about sportsmen or target shooting or hunting, it’s about protecting yourself from Obummer and Hitlery Klintoon and il Duce Cuomo.

I don’t have a problem with legitimate sportsmen or people who want to keep a gun in their home for protection. I do have a problem with the paranoid freaks who demand the right to own an arsenal so they can kill all the people. I have a problem with nuts like the guy in Minnesota who, sick of break-ins, sat in the dark, with tarps at the ready, to shoot and kill the next people to do so. Now, he only used one gun that he purportedly kept in his house for “protection”. If you listen to the nauseating audio of the actual double murder, towards the end he gives a speech.  In it, he regurgitates all the NRA propaganda he can muster. You get a window into what it’s like when the gun lobby takes a legitimate self-defense right and turns it into a license to murder.

Thankfully, the prosecutors and the jurors saw through this and convicted this ignorant monster of murder. As a society, we’re trying to make it more difficult for unhinged lunatics to commit mass-murder. We’re trying to make it more difficult for the criminals and the insane to obtain, own, and possess firearms and ammunition. I frankly don’t understand why the DiPietroite gun nuts and the gun lobby are standing in the way of those goals.

 

Coca Cola Offends People Who Purport to Hate “PC”

If this woman singing “America the Beautiful” in Arabic makes you angry, then you are a horrible and small-minded person

Last week, left-leaning horrible 24-hour news network MSNBC was forced to apologize for Tweeting,

“Maybe the rightwing will hate it, but everyone else will go awww: the adorable new #Cheerios ad w/ biracial family. http://t.co/SpB4rQDoAR“.

A staffer even lost his job over it.

MSNBC was right to bow to pressure from Reince Priebus and the Republican National Committee.  It got it all wrong. 

The right wing was actually outraged over an ad for Coca Cola, which featured people singing “America the Beautiful” in different languages

To sum up, if you are outraged or angry over this ad for a sugar water that is sold around the world, and is practically an ambassador for America itself, then be advised that you are a horrible and awful person, and I implore you to get help.

Here’s one Fox News hack

Here’s former Congressman and alleged crime perpetrator Allen West,

I am quite sure there may some who appreciated the commercial, but Coca Cola missed the mark in my opinion. If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing “American the Beautiful” in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?

Well, it’s not as patriotic as beating a detainee or threatening to kill an Iraqi policeman, so maybe we shouldn’t take West’s word for it. And don’t forget to follow #BoycottCoke and #SpeakAmerican (yes, that.) 

And these people are also supposed to be interested in buying Maseratis?!

I loved the hell out of that Coke ad, and I’m not offended or threatened by Americans who speak or sing in another language. In fact, I’m one of them. 

SHOCKER: American Children Compelled to Swear Loyalty Oath to N0Bama Regime

Last night I was listening to Michael Caputo filling in for Tom Bauerle on WBEN, and the topic of the Common Core curriculum came up. Admittedly, I don’t know quite enough about Common Core to be strongly for or against it – I know that there are concerns about excessive testing, and this is troubling to me. 

However, one of the callers likened Common Core to Mein Kampf (OF COURSE) because, although the new school curriculum doesn’t call for, e.g., the extermination of international Jewry, it was implemented under Indo-Kenyan socialist Hussein N0bama. 

The wildly inappropriate Hitler analogy was prompted by a sentence culled from a textbook on grammar that reads as follows, 

The commands of government officials must be obeyed by all.

It’s a simple active/passive voice exercise, but people can find anti-American outrage EVERYWHERE. I mean, if you look at that sentence, it’s palpably true, in 99.9% of instances. If a cop orders you to pull over, you’re supposed to obey. If a government official is carrying out the law, within the bounds of his authority, you’re generally supposed to obey the command – to be drafted, to pay taxes, to stop at a red light, to show your passport at the border, etc. It is a completely uncontroversial sentence that helps instill the notion of civic duty in a kid. Back in the allegedly “good old days”, this is precisely what was taught.  

Furthermore, there are myriad textbooks and materials from which school districts can choose, and if a particular district doesn’t like the way its grammar exercises are set up, it can pick another one. 

Now, if you look at the insane lunatics at Infowars, you find that it wasn’t developed by the Chavista cadres of Obama’s cabinet, but by a massive private corporation. (I’m not linking to Infowars, sorry). 

This country is so fundamentally sick, I think it’s beyond help. It’s not sick because of idiots being outraged by a sentence in a textbook; it’s sick because everything is perceived to be a Stalinist/Hitlerist assault on God Bless America. 

Here’s how easy this is: 

The results of a Buffalopundit investigation reveal that children throughout Obama’s America are forced to swear a loyalty oath every morning. This loyalty oath is directed to a multicolored piece of cloth that the innocent children are told represents the government; the “Republic for which [the piece of cloth] stands”. But our exclusive investigation of the content of this loyalty oath also reveals that the children are forced to swear fealty to the government itself; “…United States of America, and to the Republic…” 

The oath goes on to shunt aside the rights of the individual, instead claiming that they are part of an “indivisible” “one Nation” collective taken right out of Marx’s Das Kapital. That collectivist agenda is tempered somewhat by the addition of the invocation of the Judeo-Christian deity, in whom some of the individual taxpayer-children in the crowd may not believe. 

We don’t know what kind of “liberty and justice” the totemist-communard loyalty oath anticipates, but it’s clear that Obama is indoctrinating America’s children into something that mirrors his particular anti-American agenda. 

Public Sector Millionaires Wage Class Warfare on Poor

For your Friday watching pleasure, watch a Democratic Congresswoman explain the rank hypocrisy of her Republican colleagues who lead lifestyles of the rich and famous on a sub-$200k salary thanks to lobbyists, etc. As these public sector millionaires (like Chris Collins) work to cut food stamps and do further harm to America’s working poor, including eliminating SNAP benefits for veterans. (Brian Higgins voted against it.)

In my district, California 14, we have about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more,” said Speier. “Yet, they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.

Let me give you a few examples: One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak.

Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.

Another 20 members made a trip to Dublin, Ireland. They got $166 a day for food.These members didn’t pay a dime. They received almost $200 for a single meal only for themselves. Yet, for them the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl. The families of veterans, of farmers, of the disabled, of the working poor are not visible to them, not even when they are their own constituents.

The Republican House of Representatives voted to literally take food away from working people. It now moves on to the Senate, where the bill will die a swift death. The balls on these guys.

Public Sector Millionaires Wage Class Warfare on Poor

For your Friday watching pleasure, watch a Democratic Congresswoman explain the rank hypocrisy of her Republican colleagues who lead lifestyles of the rich and famous on a sub-$200k salary thanks to lobbyists, etc. As these public sector millionaires (like Chris Collins) work to cut food stamps and do further harm to America’s working poor, including eliminating SNAP benefits for veterans. (Brian Higgins voted against it.)

In my district, California 14, we have about 4,000 families who are on food stamps, but some of my colleagues have thousands and thousands more,” said Speier. “Yet, they somehow feel like crusaders, like heroes when they vote to cut food stamps. Some of these same members travel to foreign countries under the guise of official business. They dine at lavish restaurants, eating steak, vodka and even caviar. They receive money to do this. That’s right, they don’t pay out of pocket for these meals.

Let me give you a few examples: One member was given $127.41 a day for food on his trip to Argentina. He probably had a fair amount of steak.

Another member was given $3,588 for food and lodging during a six-day trip to Russia. He probably drank a fair amount of vodka and probably even had some caviar. That particular member has 21,000 food stamp recipients in his district. One of those people who is on food stamps could live a year on what this congressman spent on food and lodging for six days.

Another 20 members made a trip to Dublin, Ireland. They got $166 a day for food.These members didn’t pay a dime. They received almost $200 for a single meal only for themselves. Yet, for them the idea of helping fellow Americans spend less than $5 a day makes their skin crawl. The families of veterans, of farmers, of the disabled, of the working poor are not visible to them, not even when they are their own constituents.

The Republican House of Representatives voted to literally take food away from working people. It now moves on to the Senate, where the bill will die a swift death. The balls on these guys. 

Happy Christmas. War is Over.

Posting has been light because everything comes across as somewhat insignificant lately. David Bellavia is filling in for Sandy Beach on WBEN this week, and he had me on for two segments to talk about guns, mental health, assault weapons, and Newtown. Bellavia is about as conservative as anyone can get, and we disagree about almost everything – but he is rational, and willing to engage in a discussion. This is a good thing. 

I saw another WBEN host asked his listeners why they own guns. One of the popular answers was, “because it’s my right”. Well, you also have a right to free press, but you don’t write for a newspaper, much less own one. You also have a right to freely exercise your religion, but fewer and fewer people do so, much less lead a parish. You have a right to freely assemble and to petition your government, yet people are woefully disconnected from government lately. 

It also didn’t go unnoticed that people’s attention spans quickly pivoted from what happened in Newtown to the revised terms of service for a cost-free social photo sharing mobile application. Way to keep your eyes on the ball, America. 

My friend Brendan Burke posted this to his Facebook timeline a few days ago, and I’ll leave it here. I think there’s a lot of truth in it. 

This is a public service announcement for anybody who is paranoid about their right to bear arms being taken away as a result of strict regulation. Especially to those from the “from my cold dead hands” camp: Your country has already been taken, my friends. Bank of America, Citi, Chase, Goldman Sachs, Walmart, McDonalds, Exxon. You do not own anything. You lease or rent, you live in hock, your police are militarized, your children are filled with fear and mistrust. You can not fly without taking your shoes off, and then get banged out financially for a carry on bag. Your jobs are outsourced, your wages are stagnant and in many cases dwindling as the cost of living rises, your unions are shot, your healthcare is crushing you with debt, your school is crushing you with debt. You have ZERO ownership of your everyday lives and as a result, have less freedom today than you’ve ever known. Your evil government doesn’t need guns to defeat you, and your guns are no match for the pervasive and poisonous effect that Wall Street has on your congress.

You have lost your country, precisely because you thought your gun was protecting you and your family. You will never win a pitched battle against what the military industrial complex (that you pay into) can deliver in 3 minutes right to your home. In my opinion, its time to use that great big beautiful mind that has been afforded to you by living in such a provident country and dream all night and day of ways to strategically take it back from Wall Street and those moneyed lobbies that infiltrate congress and those whom you elect to “lead” you.

Romney’s American Value: Lying

One of the reasons a local birther cited for choosing Mitt Romney over Barack Obama is that Romney is an American who holds American values with other Americans in America and has America’s best American interests at American heart. 

One of those American values must also involve lying

For instance, American Mitt Romney hopped on a Bloomberg story indicating that Jeep would return to the Chinese market. Jeep doesn’t make cars in China, and not a single car made in the People’s Republic of China is sold in the United States at this time.  That didn’t stop the Romney campaign from saying – with a straight face – that Obama is an outsourcer because Jeep will start building its cars in ChinaThe report was that Jeep would resume exporting American-made Jeeps to China. From Chrysler: 

There are times when the reading of a newswire report generates storms originated by a biased or predisposed approach.

On Oct. 22, 2012, at 11:10 a.m. ET, the Bloomberg News report “Fiat Says Jeep® Output May Return to China as Demand Rises” stated “Chrysler currently builds all Jeep SUV models at plants in Michigan, Illinois and Ohio. Manley (President and CEO of the Jeep brand) referred to adding Jeep production sites rather than shifting output from North America to China.”

Despite clear and accurate reporting, the take has given birth to a number of stories making readers believe that Chrysler plans to shift all Jeep production to China from North America, and therefore idle assembly lines and U.S. workforce. It is a leap that would be difficult even for professional circus acrobats.

Let’s set the record straight: Jeep has no intention of shifting production of its Jeep models out of North America to China. It’s simply reviewing the opportunities to return Jeep output to China for the world’s largest auto market. U.S. Jeep assembly lines will continue to stay in operation. A careful and unbiased reading of the Bloomberg take would have saved unnecessary fantasies and extravagant comments.

That didn’t stop the American Romney campaign from completely making something up out of whole cloth. On the American stump, Romney began saying that Jeep was going to start building cars in China. When Chrysler and the media pointed out that this was false,  American Romney doubled down on the lie and made an ad about it. It’s a lie. It’s false. Mitt Romney’s American or Mormon or whatever values allow him to just blatantly make stuff up

It’s so bad that it’s now actually become a thing. The Obama campaign is pouncing, Americanly 

1 2