So it Begins


The Republican convention is underway in Cleveland, which apparently resembles some dystonian nightmare. The convention itself has gotten off to a fairly chaotic start, and I think at this point we can assume that the #nevertrump movement is totally dead. They’ve shot their wad, and it’s time to go home.

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Make your own joke.

I won’t be blogging about the convention too much, not unless something really interesting happens. I might blog about Trump’s acceptance speech, but he’s started move his speeches into Castro territory, so maybe I won’t.

Either way, I’m much more looking forward to the Democratic convention.

A Bit on Brexit


I was still out of the blogging game when the whole Brexit thing went down. I’m still mildly astonished that it happened, but somewhat not. I mean, many democracies, including the one I live in, have a history of voters voting against their own self-interest (see: Reaganomics), but seldom have I seen one that was quite this major.

It really was a stupid vote. Cameron should never have allowed it, and it really is clear that no one who is actually in charge of making it happen wants it to happen.

And there’s no reason it should have happened. The United Kingdom was fine being in the UK. Things were going well for them. They weren’t getting regularly fucked by the organization’s banking system (see: Greece), and were at the top of the economic heap. They had tremendous financial and political influence and now they’ve basically thrown that all away.

What a senseless, stupid waste.

Anyhow, here’s a fun little video on the subject.

When is a Truck Not a Gun?


So the weapon of choice for the attacker in Nice (who may or may not have been a religiously-motivated terrorist. Looking at his life, he could have just been a nutjob), was a truck that he drove at high speed through a crowd of people, killing dozens.

This has, of course, led some smug pro-gun people to say, “Well, I suppose now you want to ban trucks? Ha-ha, don’t be stupid. Of course you don’t. So don’t ban our guns!”

This is a very intellectually dishonest argument. First off, very few people want to completely ban guns in this country. My position is pretty extreme, and even I don’t want to ban them entirely; I just want to make them significantly difficult for private individuals to own them.

Second, fine, let’s treat guns like we treat trucks. Let’s require that someone be a certain age to use one, let’s require that it be registered, and that they have to have a license and training in order to use one.

Lastly, vehicles are made for one purpose: to move goods and people from one place to another at a fair speed. When used correctly, they do this and do it fine.

Guns are made for one purpose as well; to fling a projectile at high velocity toward a target. This target can be a person, an animal, or a simple target. When used correctly, they do this, and do it fine.

When used incorrectly, a vehicle can become a weapon, and can be used to kill people.

When used correctly a gun can become a weapon, and be used to kill people.

Guns are only made as weapons. That is their entire purpose. They aren’t made for anything else. They’re made to kill or wound at a distance.

This really is a very stupid argument, and if it’s the best that groups like the NRA can field, then it baffles me as to why we don’t have sensible gun control in this country.

Feeling Penceive


Donald Trump has, apparently, picked Indiana governor Mike Pence as his vice-presidential candidate.

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This guy…

For those who are now saying, “Who?” allow me to remind you of something I wrote about a year-and-a-half ago. Yes, this is the douchebag who is all in favor of allowing people to discriminate against, and mistreat, minorities for religious reasons.

He’s a pretty terrible person, from what I can tell, supporting all sorts of extreme positions, none of which are very good. He’s kind of like Trump in many ways, only he has at least something of a filter.

This is, in many ways, a great chance not for Trump, but for Hillary. If she now picks someone other than an old, white male, as her VP, just imagine the contrast. Imagine seeing her and someone like Julian Castro up on a stage, and then contrast that with these two old assholes.

Trump has delayed announcing officially who his VP choice is, due to the mess in Nice. So Pence could still turn out to not be the one. But for now, I feel good about this guy. He’s as terrible as his lord and master, and only helps Hillary.

How Bernie Won


Bernie Sanders was quite defeated at the ballot boxes by Hillary Clinton. This wasn’t a big conspiracy, or anything like that; it’s just that most people who voted, voted for her. They didn’t vote for the guy who came in out of nowhere, with no history with the party, and said he was going to be the one in charge.

But Sanders did accomplish something good, and that’s moving the party a bit further left on certain issues. He forced Hillary to talk about issues, and take positions on those issues, that she’d probably rather not have had to address, so as to avoid alienating middle-of-the-road voters in November.

He also has had an effect on the party platform, a draft of which was just approved. This platform includes abolition of the death penalty, $15 an hour minimum wage (which is small thinking, but it’s a start),  expansion of Social Security, more oversight for law enforcement, and more oversight of Wall Street, among other things.

Now this isn’t to say that, absent Sanders, these items wouldn’t be on the platform anyhow. They probably would, though in a reduced form. Say, a $12 minimum wage rather than $15 (though given that just a few years ago, $10.10 seemed pie-in-the-sky, this is great progress). So I think we can agree that Sanders probably had an influence.

And that pleases me. I’ve always respected the guy (though less so as the primaries went on), and I’m glad to see him helping to shape the party’s direction for the next twenty years.

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To win is to lose, and to lose is to win!

Of course, to move us along that path, we do rather need Hillary to win in November, so please, please, don’t forget to vote!

Poisoning the Well


If you’ve spent any amount of time on Facebook, you’ve likely seen some of these.

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These are anti-Hillary Clinton memes. Sometimes they’re sexist, sometimes they’re inaccurate, and frequently, very, very frequently, I see them being posted by liberals. The really confusing part? Many have told me they plan to vote for her!

For the last twenty-four years, the Republican machine has been driving into our heads the notion that Hillary Clinton is a terrible, evil, lying person who will say or do anything to be elected to office and accumulate more power. And even as you read this, I bet a number of you, who are Democrats, are nodding along! But listen: you’ve been lied to yourself. Not by Hillary, but by the Republicans.

Just about every scandal centering on Clinton on her husband has been blown out of proportion or fabricated completely. It’s no surprise that the Republicans would do the former; both sides do. It’s sadder that they would do the latter, which Republicans do far more than Democrats. But what’s really sad is that so many Democrats believe it.

Consider the dishonesty charge that so often gets thrown around about her. Now consider, if you’re a Democrat, who you’d rather be voting for in November. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess you’d rather have Sanders, because he’s more honest.

But in fact, there’s not that much daylight between them. They’re both pretty darn honest, and way more so than Trump. In fact, she’s pretty darn honest by most political standards. You know what the proof of that is? Go beyond the news articles that I linked to, and the proof is, quite simply, that despite 24 years of trying, the Republican machine has never once gotten an indictment against her, much less a conviction. There’s simply no there there.

It baffles me that I have to explain this to my fellow liberals. It also baffles me that many, who have told me that they plan to vote for Clinton in November, still share these anti-Hillary memes on Facebook, or make obnoxious remarks about her.

Why? Why? Why?! Why poison the well for yourself?

Look beyond the Republican lies. Look at the actual reality. Realize that, as I wrote over a year ago, she’s a pretty fantastic candidate, and likely will make a great president. Stop being a whiner. Stop being a sore loser. Really stop being a “Bernie or bust!” idiot, if that’s who you are.

Basically, grow up. Embrace pragmatism. I’m with her, and if you are, too, then stop acting like you aren’t. And if you aren’t, go fucking vote for Trump and get out of my life, because make no mistake; a vote for anyone other than Hillary will equal a vote for Trump.

Matthew 7:5


Hillary Clinton has been let off the hook when it comes to her private email server. The FBI basically said it was a stupid thing to do, and yes, there were a very small number of classified emails on there, including eight that were top secret or higher in classification.

It was dumb indeed, but…eh. Powell and Rice also had private email setups, though not quite as extensive as Hillary. If she were to be prosecuted, so should they be.

Of course the Republicans are going apeshit, complaining about all this. They go on about how much it damages the rule of law, and puts our nation at risk.

Well, fine. I’ll offer them a deal. If they like, we can prosecute Hillary for the crime of mishandling emails, provided that we can also prosecute Bush, Rice, Cheney, and others, for the much, much more severe crimes they committed, which include, but are not limited to, torture, illegal warfare, various war crimes, and, in the case of Cheney, eating the hearts of kittens (I may be making that last one up.)*

So the GOP has zero credibility on this issue, and I’m pretty sure it won’t make a difference in the long run. I’m pretty sure Hillary will still be president, and that’s what matters.

* Or maybe not!

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