Congress has finally stepped up and done something pro-gay, pro-human, pro-democracy: the House passed a bill making it a federal crime to assault people based on sexual orientation, which is expected to make it through the Senate sometime later, and so the U.S. is finally admitting that people are abused, beaten, and even killed solely for being gay! This is a baby step toward complete legal equality of gay citizens with their straight counterparts. What’s not to like about this? The Republicans, of course, have the answer:
“This is radical social policy that is being put on the defense authorization bill, on the backs of our soldiers, because they probably can’t pass it on its own,” House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio said.
Woe unto you, White Christian America: you are under attack! These anti-American, anti-Christian, Communist Democrat perverts are making our blessed, freedom-loving troops (never mind that a lot of troops are gay) carry the disgusting weight of this terrible, horrible, sodomite legislation! They are busy trying to fight for your freedom, not gay freedom! Yea verily, this day shall live in infamy!
Rep. John Boehner
Remind me how it’s okay to keep denying equal protection to gay Americans. Please tell me why being gay is wrong and deserves only intermittent civil liberties, and try not to use any ancient divine command or your own aversion to “kissing another guy (or girl)” as a solid argument.
With this month’s offering from his “Weak On…” series, President Obama had a hard act to follow: last month’s health care reform episode earned sky-high ratings; everyone was talking “death panels” and “señor citizens”; it featured A-list guest appearances from the likes of Max Baucus and Chuck Schumer; and it even earned him a one-man cheer (actually, jeer) from Congress!
Alas, real health reform and a national conscience that doesn’t resemble a turd flung against a wall will have to wait another few years (and another few thousand preventable deaths) to take shape. For his next non-act, Obama will (not) tackle gay rights issues– human rights issues– in this country, and will put off acknowledging homosexuals as first-class citizens until at least 2010, when he may finally stand up to the bigoted “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy that the military employs. His Department of Justice has already decided that the Defense of Marriage Act that denies same-sex couples some 1100 federal benefits afforded to “traditional” couples is perfectly constitutional. On overturning “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”, Obama’s national security adviser James Jones had this to say:
He has an awful lot on his desk. I know this is an issue that he intends to take on at the appropriate time. And he has already signaled that to the Defense Department. The Defense Department is doing the things it has to do to prepare, but at the right time, I’m sure the president will take it on.
I guess the “appropriate time” is sometime after January 20, 2017, when it will be impossible for Obama to be so distracted by being President that he can’t do anything about the rights of at least 10% of Americans; in the meantime he can take on Aghanistan and the closing of Guatánamo prison camp! On second thought, look for those issues and more in the coming episodes of “Weak On…”
Posted in Democracy, Homophobia, Law and justice, Political science
Tagged Chuck Schumer, Civil rights, Defense Department, Department of Justice, DOMA, Don't Ask Don't Tell, Gay marriage, health care reform, James Jones, Max Baucus, Obama, Same-sex marriage
This piece from HuffPost is part of a series of backlashes against defenders of Roman Polanski, the child rapist. It is a particularly scathing (appropriate) criticism of Polanski and the people kissing his ass.
Maybe [Polanski’s supporters] believed the child rapist was a worthy cause to rally around. But a child rapist is not a political prisoner. Political prisoners tend to be brave and selfless. A middle-aged man who treats a 13-year-old girl like an inflatable sex doll, and who then flees justice, is a degenerate and a coward.
Where's Jack Ruby when you need him?
I only update about this because the defense of Roman Polanski– the belief that somehow he’s exempt from justice because he’s an artist or had a hard life (who cares?)– is something that feels like a shotgun blast to my brain. I’m not a bloodthirsty, death-penalty-for-pedophiles kind of guy– the rights of the accused, in particular the presumption of innocence, are what makes democracy work, and I love democracy– but the rights of the convicted do not include a pass to escape to Europe and keep working on movies until you’re an old man, when your arrest will be framed as a “sabotage” or a “political stunt” by the people who worship you. I don’t know how to argue when the argument itself is so obvious that it should be useless to even talk about it. Something misfires in my brain when the other side (why is there even another side to this?) has thrown out all the assumptions that I thought humans took for granted.
Christopher Hitchens, and a man so atheist that he’s devoted his life to the cause, wrote a short op-ed for Slate today and proved more than anything that the English have a God-given talent for making prose sound like poetry. Hitchens, who kind of looks like Tim Curry, comments on Roman Polanski’s evasion of the law after committing child-rape, the inexplicable support Polanski is receiving from Hollywood, and some of the other sick doctrines (besides celebrity exceptionalism) that allow sick things to be done to children around the world.
It is, rather, quite astonishing that Polanski has been able to caper about on the run for so long, thumbing his nose, even collecting damages, flourishing a “Get Out of Jail Free” and a lucrative “Pass Go” card, and constantly reminding the law of its impotence.
For another excellent opinion piece written by someone who has a vague idea of what the rule of law means, read this piece from Salon.com:
Roman Polanski raped a child. Let’s just start right there, because that’s the detail that tends to get neglected when we start discussing whether it was fair for the bail-jumping director to be arrested at age 76, after 32 years in “exile” (which in this case means owning multiple homes in Europe, continuing to work as a director, marrying and fathering two children, even winning an Oscar, but never — poor baby — being able to return to the U.S.).
This Polanski story makes my head hurt. I cannot understand what is going on in the world when people who I assumed weren’t justice-hating rape apologists are dying for a chance to show support for Polanski because, well… that’s just it— I don’t know why the hell anyone is complaining that he was arrested! The best these people can come up with is that he’s a Holocaust survivor; he’s a genius filmmaker; it happened so long ago; the victim doesn’t want to press the issue; they arrested him on the way to a lifetime achievement award; blah blah blah this SUCKS!!! I can’t believe it but my head actually hurts to think about it. My head doesn’t hurt like this when I think about the people who buy seasons of crappy sitcoms like “Two and a Half Men” on DVD; or when I hear someone saying that maybe old black people were discriminated against but younger black people don’t really face discrimination; or even when I see that Nickelback went triple-platinum: nothing sucks as much as people making excuses for themselves and their friends based on nothing, especially when the rule of law or common decency is being subverted.
Posted in Hollywood scum, Law and justice, Scandal, Sex
Tagged Celebrity exceptionalism, Child-rape, Christopher Hitchens, Excuses, Headaches, Hollywood, Justice, Roman Polanski, Rule of law