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DAHOF: South Dakota Rep. Michael Clark

Not every selection for the Dumb Ass Hall Of Fame is an idiot, dotard, or buffoon. Some, like this week’s honoree, are just brain-numbed by hate and ignorance.

America In Decline, From Facebook.
Bigoted SD Rep. Michael Clark doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near the tribute to these great leaders.

The morality of the nation crumbles around us, hurtling toward a precipice of as-yet-unimaginable depth, spurred by the pubescent leadership of our President, the jibbering sycophants who surround him, and the spineless cowards of the Senate and Congress, most of whom are more than intelligent enough to see what this man is, but refuse to act for reasons both partisan and personal. I awake each morning, take my pills, and empty my bladder beneath a cloud of dread: what terrible things have transpired since the day before. What has the skulking boy king said, what has he done or, most often, what excremental feats of churlish impertinence have the lunks and sneering bounders emboldened by his example been up to?

Another cop killing an unarmed black man? Running him down with a patrol car? Shooting him seven or eight times in the back? Gunning him down for closing a door–a fragile blue ego more important than a warrant and the Fourth Amendment? Or maybe another ally insulted? Another adversary provoked? Another treaty broken? Another bold faced lie maintained in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary? Another denial of that lie, despite video?

Given all of this and so much more, I am barely surprised to hear that South Dakota stateScreenshot(1) Representative Michael Clark tried to press the argument, that businesses should be allowed to turn down people based on the color of their skin. As my dad used to say, “I shit you not.”

In a heady stupor of exclusionist victory dancing following the Supreme Court ruling in favor of a homophobic Colorado baker who refused to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple because of his religious beliefs, Clark boasted on Facebook that the decision was a “win for freedom of speech and freedom of religion.” Other FB users called him on his gleeful embrace of bigotry, and the intrepid lawmaker doubled down.

“It is his business,” Clark wrote in a comment. “He should have the opportunity to run his business the way he wants. If he wants to turn away people of color, then [that’s] his choice.”

We’ve seen this mindset before. On buses in Tennessee. In schools in Arkansas. At lunch civil-rightscounters in Alabama.

It is modestly affirming that a furor quickly built, on Facebook and among the general public and first regional, then national news organizations began covering the incident. At first he tried to frame his bigotry as standard anti-government rhetoric, asserting that  business owners only need serve certain segments of society and that the market would ultimately determine if the business succeeded or failed. The negative comments and press coverage built up, as some of reminded this attorney and elected lawmaker of a not-so-irrelevant document called The Civil Rights Act of 1964. Predictably, the heat was too much for tough cowboy Clark, who ultimately deleted the post on Tuesday. He said he had “jumped in on it a little bit too fast,” the Argus-Leader reported.

ScreenshotNot long  after, he apologized via email to a reporter for the Leader, followed by a glib, insincere retraction on Facebook. “I am apologizing for some of my Facebook comments. “I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their color or race.”

But in an interview with the Argus-Leader, Clark said he believed that business owners should be able to turn away certain customers if they would otherwise violate their religious beliefs. “If it’s truly his strongly based belief, he should be able to turn them away,” Clark told the Leader. “People shouldn’t be able to use their minority status to bully a business. The vote of the dollar is very strong,” he said.

I’m still parsing which is more disgusting, the unapologetic awfulness of the President and his Trumpkins, or these slimy, cynical clones who imitate his success playing to the lowest common denominators, shouting whatever vile and hateful bile they happen to indexbe regurgitating at any particular moment? It is a tough contest indeed. Trump is culpable for setting the tone, but they’re all playing the same game: vomit out sinful rhetoric to the bleating masses and keep pressing–then either deny it completely and blame the press for making it up, or mutter a dishonest, heartless apology rife with crocodile tears and move on. “I didn’t say that. But if you have tape that shows I did, then I certainly didn’t mean it.”

Well,  Mr. Clark, we’re not buying what you’re selling. You don’t get to worm and squirm out of it with a cynical “I’m sorry,” so take ownership for the man you’ve become. Burn a cross, beat a gay man–be your honest self. Your soul is already exposed before your neighbors, your friends, and especially your God.

It is easy to say, “I would never advocate discriminating against people based on their 1963-derechos-civilescolor or race” but the simple fact is that yes, you would, because yes, you did. It’s not like we haven’t seen your kind before.

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Smoking and Obama Kill?

If you’re wondering do other nations villify us  as much as we do them, witness this poster seen recently in Moscow. It says, “Smoking Kills More People than Obama does.”

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When I’m done laughing, all I can think is: yeah, well–that’s all fine and dandy and cute and funny, Russia–but ask yourself this: are your better off today than when your own President took office?  Because he sure is, with a net worth of nearly $200 Billion that qualifies him as one of the wealthiest people on earth.

So, let’s call it a draw. May the biggest man win.

SAINT PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 05: In this handout image provided by Host Photo Agency, Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and U.S. President Barack Obama shake hands during an official welcome during the G20 Summit on September 5, 2013 in St. Petersburg, Russia. The G20 summit is expected to be dominated by the issue of military action in Syria while issues surrounding the global economy, including tax avoidance by multinationals, will also be discussed during the two-day summit. (Photo by Alexey Kudenko/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)
(Photo by Alexey Kudenko/Host Photo Agency via Getty Images)
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The Face Of Idiocy

My heart wants to call him the Face of Evil, but that sounds kind of cool, and Vontaze Burfict is anything but cool.  I suppose “Face of Everything Wrong With the NFL” would work. I can’t say it was a pleasure watching him and Adam “Pacman” Jones throw away an entire season of sweat and effort invested by their team-mates, but it certainly was expected.
vontaze-burfict-010915-usnews-getty-ftr_qx31d3ws11wz15027zw4n2dya

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Paul Pelton/ Paul Santucci–Remember This Face

If what has been alleged is true, and the evidence seems fairly universal and damning, the ugly sack known as Paul Pelton is not a collection of skin and bile and fat and bone, he is a sick, festering, rotting sack of worm-ridden shit.
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It is story that must be read to be believed–in short, he came upon a traffic accident, forced his way into the wreckage, and berated the victims while filming their suffering, and never lifting a finger to help. One of the grievously injured teenagers died shortly after.

Pelton attempted to sell the footage to local news stations around Lorain, Ohio, but when they rightly–and admirably, I must say–refused, he published them himself under a the pseudonym “Paul Santucci” on Facebook.  Alerted the disturbing, macabre act police arrested Pelton, but there really isn’t a law to fit this disgusting violation of human decency.

In my mind, the heartless Pelton is a cold, evil man to be watched, a potential sociopath unburdened by conscience, empathy, or even a tenuous grasp of the concepts of right and wrong.  May he live out his day, isolated by his fellow humans, feared by some and loathed by all, like a monster who lives under a bridge on the dark road outside of town.

Paul Pelton Filmed Fatal Car Crash And Refused To Help Victims — Should He Go To Jail? [Video]

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There Can Be Only One–My First Meme

Choose your flag. Choose your cliche.  Choose your side.
There can be only one.
Either you’re in, or you’re out.You’re either for us, or against us.
Don’t like it?  Get out.

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Want To Save Some Elephants? Here’s How–It’s Pretty Cool, Too.

I was going to put a photo of a poached elephant, shot dead and hacked with a machete some monster used to removed it’s tusks, but it’s too disturbing and I don’t see the point in piling cruelty upon cruelty. I’d encourage you to look for yourself, however, because it’s something you won’t soon forget. I’m not much of a bleeding heart–I eat pig and cow with relish (and ketchup, steak sauce, whatever works), and I’m not even passionate about circus animals, whose captivity I believe helps their species as ambassadors of a sort–as well as deepening the genetic diversity. But elephants, like cetaceans, are a special case–they’ve got a lot of brain behind those eyes, and clearly a lot going on in there as well. I’m not sure I believe in karma except as a self-fulfilling force, but I’m absolutely certain that what humanity reaps, as a society, from the wholesale slaughter of creatures whose intelligence, however alien it might seem, could rival ours, isn’t going to be pretty.

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And it’s not getting better, it’s getting worse.  Forty thousand were lost last year.  That sucks.

https://www.facebook.com/AirShepherd

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/air-shepherd-drones-stop-elephant-rhino-poaching

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Elizabeth Lauten & The Obama Girls

I suppose most of you–among the American contingent, at least–have by now heard about Elizabeth Lauten’s ill-considered, vile attack on President Obama’s teen-aged daughters, Sasha(16), and Malia(13).  I’ve been busy with family for the past three days, so I’m a little Obamas Yawnlate to the game, but I had to take an opportunity to say my piece.  First, in case you missed it, here’s the skinny:  Every year the President does this corny bit in which he “pardons” a couple of turkeys before going inside the White House to, um, have a nice turkey dinner.  It’s silly, but silly in a fun, nice, old-fashioned way.  The teenaged Obamas, as teens tend to be, were unimpressed in a very obvious, expertly ambivalent way.

Anyone who has ever known a teenager knows those faces.  Annoying? Sure.  But also an opportunity: anyone who has never mocked a child who is making that face hasn’t truly lived.  I enjoy it on an almost daily basis.

ClimberElizabeth Lauten, the communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher (R-Tenn.) obviously has not had the pleasure, addressing the humorous image with a fusillade of angry denigration, publicly ridiculing President Obama’s children with a shockingly aggressive, repugnant, and inexcusable venom while taking a few oblique shots at the President and Mrs. Obama at the same time.

Elizabeth-Lauten-FB.png.CROP.rtstoryvar-mediumI ought not to be surprised–I like to joke that the only group I detest more than Democrats is Republicans, but the fact is that in the outright nasty department it takes one hell of an aggressive liberal to out-insult a  conservative.  Just think on Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, and all those gap-toothed inbreds who insist on writing italicizing the President’s middle name, Barack Hussein Obama like it matters.  In the low blows department, these people are whacking at ankles with croquet mallets and laughing all the way to their meetings with Wall Street swindlers and CEO’s of offshore-based corporations.  Why wouldn’t they take aim at innocent children, especially given the enthusiastic, muttering hate of a small but vocal minority of the far right for the President?

A lot of folks are calling for Ms. Lauten’s head on a platter, or a least for her swollen cankles to be compelled to take their place in an unemployment line.  Not me.  I don’t give a shit.  Apologies have been demanded, but I don’t care about those, either–I’d rather the bitch stood adamantly behind her words then to cower behind insincere, politically expedient words scripted by a public relations consultant.

What really irks me is the script Ms. Lauten followed when the inevitable apology oozed out of her office.
apology

What a load of cow pies, right?

“Blah, blah, blah I want to keep my job blah blah blah AFTER MANY HOURS OF PRAYER…blah blah blah.” That’s what I read.

I loathe this shit.  When I’ve tried to help people understand poetry, one of the tactics I suggested was to re-read a particular work with an eye towards visualizing each metaphorical element, then think about how they fit into the narrative.  That strategy can be instructive in this situation as well: just imagine Ms. Lauten on her knees, hands folded in front of her, communing with His Holy Humungousness–for “many hours,” on Thanksgiving Day no less,  over her venal skewering of a couple of innocent teenaged girls.  “Whatta ya think, G-Dawg, was that too much?”

I’m hear to tell you: that doesn’t mean a gawd-durned thing. I don’t give a good damn how much she prayed after the fact, playing the God Card now is a small, petty, and wholly transparent response.  Thinking that we’ll fall for such a cynical bit of ass-covering nonsense is, at best, gravely insulting.  Furthermore, I’m tired of self-professed Christians acting like supreme, sociopathic asshats until they’re called on it, only to step back, shove God in our faces, and ask forgiveness.  We’re smarter than that.  We see through you.

I mean: I’m an atheist, I don’t go to Church unless someone is dead or getting married, but somehow I know better than to act this way.  Why don’t they?  The truth is that they do.  They know, but they just don’t care.  Christian morality is little more than part of the costume they wear, like a prostitute in a corset and push-up bra, to seduce the weak and the idiotic.

Note: It seems Ms. Lauten isn’t alone in her cynical use of Christianity to serve her own wickedness.  This is her employer:  http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/05/22/gop-congressman-stephen-fincher-on-a-mission-from-god-starve-the-poor-while-personally-pocketing-millions-in-farm-subsidies/

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Quotes From The Dark Side: Michele Bachmann

This woman has spewed so much idiocy, I could write all day and not cover half of the hilariously frightening bile to come from her mouth.  I’d call is A Cavalcade of Blowhard Bachmann Ejecta.

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http://www.sodahead.com/united-states/this-could-be-a-career-ender-for-michele-bachmann/question-3671405/?link=ibaf&q=&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fi1178.photobucket.com%2Falbums%2Fx368%2Fjobs-jobs-jobs%2Fmichele-bachmann-crazy3.jpg

“Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn’t even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas.”
~ Rep. Michelle Bachmann

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Quotes From The Dark Side: Paul Ryan

Because he cares….

”We’re not going to give up on destroying the health care system for the American people.”

—Rep. Paul Ryan, March 12, 2013

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Quotes From The Dark Side: “Reverend” Pat Robertson

One of my all-time favorites:

”The feminist agenda is not about equal rights for women. It is about a socialist, anti-family political movement that encourages women to leave their husbands, kill their children, practice witchcraft, destroy capitalism and become lesbians.”
—Pat Robertson