Deck the halls with Special Counsels. Fa-la-la, la-la,la, la-la-jail!

Since it’s officially December I thought I’d try to spread some Yuletide cheer.

On the first day of Christmas

Bob Mueller gave to me,

Manafort & Gates

on twelve counts of conspiracy.

On the second day of Christmas

Bob Mueller gave to me,

Manafort & Gates

and George Papadopolous

for lying to the F-B-Í.

On the third day of Christmas

Bob Mueller gave to me,

Manafort & Gates

Papadopolous

and Michael Flynn

for colluding and copping a plea.

More to come I’m sure.

-And just remember Trump White House:

He knows with whom you’ve been sleeping, he knows from whom you take. He knows when you’ve been bad or worse, so resign for goodness sake!

Happy Holidays you filthy animals!

 

Photo of Michael Flynn by Mario Tama/Getty Images

 

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Deck the halls with Special Counsels. Fa-la-la, la-la,la, la-la-jail!

Viva Las Vegas

After last nights slaughter in Las Vegas I’ve given up hope that this country can change.

People have swallowed the NRA Koolaid and it no longer matters how many Americans get murdered, 30 school children in Sandyhook, 50 nightclub goers in Orlando, now 60 dead and hundreds more wounded at a concert in Nevada.

The numbers just keep growing and yet we do nothing.

We continue to allow the worst amongst us to murder our friends, neighbors, and children so that some of them can own a weapon of war.

We all know the statistics, or at least we all should. On average 93 Americans are killed by guns a day.

93 a day! 

12,000 Americans are murdered with guns a year and for every one person killed by a gun, two more are injured.

And yet if you bring up these grisly statistics to any of the 2nd amendment fetishizers on social media or elsewhere, they’ll regurgitate the same old nonsense about how gun regulations don’t stop crazies and the only way to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun.

Safe to say that the hundreds of casualties from last night showed just how pitifully that logic holds up, so kindly stop decrying our outrage at this heinous act as unsightly politicization.

It’s not politicizing a tragedy when a slow leaking dam finally bursts, so why do we resort to vicious infighting the moment a firearm is involved?

If the body count from Sandyhook, Pulse, and Vegas are not enough of an eye opener for us to stop offering half-hearted condolences and empty prayers in lieu of action,  I ask you what will it take?

A hundred people murdered? Two hundred?

More?

I truly hope we never learn the answer to this question. I hope that tomorrow sweeping bipartisan legislation is passed eliminating these hateful weapons from our country.

But if I’m honest, last night was the final nail in the coffin. It’s time to bury any hope that those in politics will ever take action when doing so would hurt their own self-interests.

To them, money and power will always trump the lives of their constituents.

And for those of you who believe that the 2nd Amendment is more important than the well-being of your fellow Americans, I urge you to think long and hard about what that says about you as a person.

Does a machine whose sole purpose is to take life truly deserve more protections than the living?

My thoughts and deepest condolences to everyone who will lose someone they love to gun violence today.

-Niko

https://everytownresearch.org/gun-violence-by-the-numbers/

Viva Las Vegas

The Runoff Principle

 

water-tutorial-3.jpg.838x0_q80

Over dinner today my friends and I had a discussion on the topic of what in particular I found to be so wrong with the concept of being spiritual, as opposed to religious, and I don’t think I got my message across in as clear a way as I would have hoped.

So this will, hopefully, serve as a more fleshed out and well-reasoned representation of my argument.  A written bit of staircase wit or as the French say, l’esprit d’escalier.  

The topic of personal spirituality, meaning here the separation of a deity from the context of a corresponding organized religious dogma, was raised and I voiced my opinion that I was not a fan of either the term or its cultural usage.

My dislike for the term “spiritual” stems mostly from its loose definition. When that friend of yours, you know the one, says that they don’t believe in any of that stupid religious stuff but they’re still spiritual I’m never exactly sure what that means. Do they still believe in a god or are they just super into nature? If original sin and the transmutation of wine into blood is too unbelievable for their modern minds then why is the concept of an invisible man in the sky still an acceptable belief for such a person?

The fact that being spiritual is so up to personal interpretation is part of what makes it so dissatisfying to me and so many other freethinkers.

When the discussion turned to the cause of this trend to the “spiritual” we came to a consensus that as our modern society has evolved the darker side of organized religion, namely the misogyny, homophobia, and murderous tendencies, have become too much for those socially liberal individuals who might still wish to believe in some sort of omnipotent higher being who watches over them. So instead of following the barbaric dogma of religions that were founded by illiterate desert dwellers thousands of years ago, they decide to come up with their own moral system and by extension their own version of god.

This type of opinion-based morality sets a potentially dangerous precedent.

When someone says that their personal god is an all-loving, all-forgiving, peaceful extension of the universe at large and therefore completely harmless, I have to disagree. For every personal peaceful hippie god interpretation, there is inevitably the reverse. The pick-your-own-adventure format doesn’t sit well with society when the convicted child-rapist, war criminal, or machete-wielding madman tries to pin his actions on his personal interpretation of the Bible, Torah, or Quran.

This picking and choosing of which parts of the (insert religious text here) that you choose to follow is one of the main reasons I became an atheist. If these texts actually contain the literal word and will of god then who are we to dare interpret them to our benefit? To say that gay people can’t get married and teenagers have to abstain from premarital sex but you won’t stone your daughter for mixing two types of cloth or for picking up sticks on the sabbath rings a tad hypocritical, no?

When we see clergy members constantly adapting the tenets of their faith so as to better appeal to modern audiences in an attempt to fill empty pews, then one has to wonder just how “sacred” the word of god really is?

(Pope Francis’ recent reversal of the Catholic church’s centuries-old stances on everything from contraception to evolution being just one example.)

This constant dilution of the core values of a faith is my primary argument as to why the concept of religion is so implausible to me. If an infallible god passed down his hand-crafted rules on how to live then how can his priests change these rules and still claim divinity? I firmly believe that theists must stand by everything in their books, even the truly evil stuff, or else abandon everything as equally illogical and ridiculous. What are we supposed to think about a religion as a whole when reading something as awful as this passage from Deuteronomy?

“As you approach a town to attack it, first offer its people terms for peace.  If they accept your terms and open the gates to you, then all the people inside will serve you in forced labor.  But if they refuse to make peace and prepare to fight, you must attack the town.  When the LORD your God hands it over to you, kill every man in the town.  But you may keep for yourselves all the women, children, livestock, and other plunder.  You may enjoy the spoils of your enemies that the LORD your God has given you.” -(20:10-14)

Modern theists, barring ISIS members and Evangelicals, have more or less come to distance themselves from these sorts of hateful passages in favor of the more “Blessed are the merciful” type bits, but this distancing does nothing to address the many faults at the core of the Abrahamic faiths and for that matter all religions. Seemingly every positive sentence in any religious book is followed by a paragraph glorifying suicide or blaming women, homosexuals, and apostates for the many evils of this world.

How can the “spiritual” overlook the horrific outcomes of religious faith and yet still yearn for some form of a deity whose followers will inevitably go on to commit horrors in its name?

They say that one quart of oil can contaminate a million gallons of drinking water, and the same is true when it comes to religion. The title of this piece, The Runoff Principle, refers to the fact that no matter how many different interpretations a religion goes through, becoming more and more distilled with each incarnation, each social advance, it still flows from the same polluted source and is therefore not safe for human consumption.

“Apparently one of the most uncertain things in the world is the funeral of a religion. “
– Mark Twain, Following the Equator.

 

 

 

 

 

The Runoff Principle

The Atheist Prophet

I recently watched Hasan Minhaj’s hilarious one-man show, Homecoming King, a really well-written and funny bit of stand up. After watching it there was one thing that stuck with me beyond the comedy. In a bit towards the end of the show, Hasan brought up Bill Maher of HBO Real Time with Bill Maher fame. He recounted how Bill along with his guest Sam Harris, a noted scientist, and Atheist, had bad mouthed the Muslim faith and how Ben Affleck, of Gigli and Batman vs Superman infamy, had come to the defense of Muslims everywhere. Even Batman, Hasan claimed, was against the blowhard Maher’s indefensible claims that Muslims must be thrown into internment camps like Japanese-Americans were during the second world war.

Now, even though I am an Atheist I am not a big fan of Mr. Maher’s. His show and its writers can be quite funny and he is a seasoned comedian with good timing but his smug over-simplification of complex issues as well as his reprehensible habit of bringing fame-seeking imbeciles like pro-pedophilia Milo Yiannopoulos and the snake oil salesman “Dr.” Samit Chachoua, a man who has claimed to cure AIDS with fucking goat’s milk, onto his show have stripped him of all credibility. This kind of showbiz buffoonery delegitimizes Maher as a leading voice for Atheists everywhere.

This being said, I must come to Mr. Maher’s defense. Nowhere in the ten-minute segment does Maher call for Muslims to be interred. I understand that he has a long history of badmouthing and demeaning Islam, much more so than any other particular religion. Despite this, he does bring up some legitimate and on-point concerns about the Muslim faith. At the beginning of the segment, he makes the claim that “Liberals need to stand up for liberal principles.”

This is an admiral stance.

His argument, as far as I can tell before Ben Affleck starts to yell (drunkenly?) over everyone, is that Liberals in America have grown to conflate the argument against bad ideas as an argument against the people who hold said ideas. Case in point “Batman” equates calling out Muslims for some of their more despicable views, namely murdering apostates, homosexuals, and those who dare leave the faith, to calling someone, “A shifty Jew.” Affleck claims that if you call out members of the second largest religion in the world for their holy book’s indefensible stance on everything from women’s rights to glorifying suicide, then you are in his eyes a racist.

This is terribly flawed logic. Muslims are not a race of people. Neither are Jews for that matter. Islam and Judaism are both just monotheistic forms of religion. It so happens that the term Muslims or Jews has become synonymous with different ethnic groups from the Middle East, Africa, and Europe. You can identify as a Jew but not go to Temple or believe in the doctrine of the Torah. Liberals in America seem to have no problem accepting this, but for some reason when you replace Jew with Muslim it’s a different beast entirely.

Liberals claim to despise the acts of barbarity committed daily by ISIS and Al Qaeda but then in the same breath call others bigoted for making the assertion that perhaps these jihadists are the true practitioners of their faith; a faith that was born of conquest and violence. After all, the Quran was cobbled together by the disciples of the illiterate “prophet” Muhammed from bits and pieces of the Old and New Testaments sometime in the sixth century and was used as a unifying document in Muhammad’s battles against the other Meccan tribes.

To say for instance that the Quran does not directly call for the murder of non-believers or free thinkers is simply false.

Quran (2:191-193)“And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing… but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful. And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone. But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun(the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”

This passage is honestly no more evil than anything found in Jewish or Christian doctrine, but it does seem to be more widely executed by its practitioners. A day does not go by where you do not read about suicide bombings, or a family burning their pregnant daughter alive for marrying a non-Muslim, or another terror attack committed in the name of a supposedly all-loving Allah.

I do not mean to start a which religion is worse debate, I simply make the point that in any of the three Abrahamic religions there are many repeated passages that call for actions that a modern and civilized society should find barbaric.

All organized religion lends itself to abuse and violence.

To decry another’s beliefs because they do not stand up to the test of modern morality and justice is not the same thing as hating another person for such idiotic reasons as skin color or place of birth. The argument against the problems with Islamic faith is not an argument against a specific people, but against a specific set of ideas.

In the 1950’s it was common to hear a person openly decry the system of Communism because it did not meet the American criteria for decency. It was considered an immoral and inhumane method of governance and should be gotten rid of, and looking back most people would agree on this point. So why is it that a political or governmental worldview can be attacked for its merits, or lack thereof, but a religion is immune to equal scrutiny?

Can we not differentiate between the freedom to practice a religion, within the constraints of modern law, and the freedom to criticize a religious idea when it’s a bad one?

I have no problem with intelligent people like Hasan believing in a god, nor with their right to practice their religion unmolested by such un-American tests or bans as the current administration is inflicting on theists of a certain skin type. I do, however, take issue with those who would brush aside any discourse about the morality of a certain religion by saying that any such discourse is automatically racist or, as in this case, Islamaphobic.

Beliefs do not have intrinsic rights, only people do.

For instance, Kyrie Erving of the Cleveland Cavaliers thinks the world is flat. I don’t begrudge him this idiotic belief, but if he starts cutting members of the Warriors head’s off because they don’t share his beliefs then I would take umbrage with said flat-eartherisms.

To repeat Mr. Maher’s words, “Liberals must defend liberal principles.” Society cannot afford to sit idly by while members of one of the largest groups of us act like animals in the name of a fictitious book. If the more reasonable and educated members of the Islamic faith want to truly affect change they must be the first to admit that their book has flaws. As does any religious text. Only by admitting this problem can they begin to shift the faith away from its more violent roots into the religion of love that it’s proponents claims it to be.

Hasan was the right to call out Maher for his self-appointment role as the Atheist Prophet as freethinkers neither need nor want any one person, let alone some perpetually-stoned comedian, to speak on our behalf.

Atheists don’t need prophets, we let facts and reason do our speaking for us.

Meanwhile, the impetus is on smart young Muslims like Hasan Minhaj to be the change they want to see in their faith. The worst parts of the religion cannot be expunged by more bombs or occupation forces, but only by the overwhelming pressure of a billion and a half of their fellow Muslims to rid their beliefs of a doctrine of bigotry, hate, and violence that has plagued it since its inception.

And if anyone can do so it Hasan and those like him.

 

Quran quote from http://www.thereligionofpeace.com/pages/quran/violence.aspx

The Atheist Prophet

An Alluring Future

There’s a term used in certain writing circles called the Alluring Future, which is a tool the author employs to keep their audience coming back for more by assuring them that everything is going to turn out alright in the end. It’s the carrot on the end of the stick that keeps the people at home or in the theater engaged throughout the length of whatever story you care to tell. This device has been used in countless tales to great success in every conceivable story type and genre. Whether it be a pair of seemingly destined lovers, like Ross and Rachel, or the summation of an epic quest, like Frodo and Sam, the alluring future is what keeps reinforcing the audience’s hope that they will be rewarded for their emotional investment.

I think it safe to say we’ve all seen or read something that leaves us unsatisfied because the alluring future we were promised didn’t come to fruition. The shock that a writer could lie to us about something as sacred as the patented Hollywood Happy Ending is unbelievable. How dare (insert writer/director/author here) not give me the outcome I desired!? There’s somewhat of a social stigma to such occurrences. I mean please show me one person who liked the ending to Matrix Revolutions. (Seriously three films only to come out in a tie with the robot overlords???) This kind of unsatisfying third act has sunk many a potentially great film and proves that the Bobby Womack quote, “Always leave them wanting more…” does not always apply when it comes to storytelling.

This being said the concept of an alluring future is not only confined to the realm of cinema. This tactic is used daily by those in power in this, and every other, nation or culture on Earth. The alluring future offered up by politicians, clergymen, and self-help gurus is a time-honored tradition that stretches back far beyond the reach of human memory. Human beings have always used this tactic as a way to further their own agenda. Simply tell the people what they want to hear, let them know that either through their votes or their prayers or their campaign contributions they too can have everything their little hearts have ever desired.

I’m here to call bullshit on that.

Americans have been voting against their own best interests since the inception of this country. The poor residents of those nascent states have been voting into power a never-ending line of power hungry liars and thieves since the first ballot was cast. This ceaseless parade of self-interested charlatans, one Long after Tweed after Blagojevich after another, all have one thing in common. One common thread that without fail ensures their meteoric rise to the top of the trough.

The promise of an alluring future.

Herbert Hoover famously proclaimed that a Hoover presidency would mean, “A chicken in every pot and a car in every garage.” How could you not support a future as alluring as that? Who doesn’t like chicken after all? But instead of full pots and Fords in the garage, most Americans under Hoover were likely to go to bed hungry and live in those same cars. That or in one of the thousands of sprawling tent cities across the country, or Hoovervilles as they would come to be called.

Our society finds itself somewhat numb to the deluge of campaign promises that come pouring out of a candidate’s mouths. From Nixon’s “secret plan” to end the war in Vietnam to H.W. Bush’s “No new taxes.” line, candidates have lied to their prospective constituency for so long and so often that you would have to be more than a bit naive to take their promises at face value. I mean who actually believes these people?

Apparently quite a lot of you.

Just look at the recent election, a textbook example of voters being swayed by an alluring future of epic proportions. Tens of millions of Americans voted for a man not only devoid of the slightest shred of human decency -to say nothing of his total lack governmental experience- but one who actively campaigned on bigotry, xenophobia, and isolationism. Are we then expected to believe that everyone who voted for this racist buffoon is themselves a bigot, homophobe, or idiot? Although there were a fair number of voters who did and continue to fall under one or all of these categories, I would have to say that the majority of them were simply sick of being lied to by entrenched politicians.

This yearning for an alluring future, not only for themselves but for their children, is what spurred these coal miners, mechanics, fabricators, and every other manner of skilled laborers across the nation to overlook 45’s racism and misogyny and focus instead on that alluring future where their lost jobs would magically return from overseas, and from the mechanised assembly lines of their former employers, and from the inevitable and necessary transition to renewable energies. This dream of a working man’s utopia promised constantly in one ill-spoken speech or barely legible tweet after another has turned out to be less of a dream and more of a mirage; evaporating faster each scandal-riddled day.

We’ve watched 45 scrap basic programs that support millions of underprivileged people and push through a so-called healthcare bill that would see over twenty million more lose their access to care and send the deductibles of the elderly and those with pre-existing conditions through the roof. Meanwhile, he has alienated nearly all of our key NATO allies while cozying up with a Murderer’s Row of dictators and human rights violators from the Middle East, Asia, and Russia. Not to mention the thousands of families he’s ripped apart by way of deportation. Or those minority victims of sexual assault and domestic abuse who are now too afraid of ICE to ever report these crimes. America, once a shining city upon the hill, has become the laughing stock of Western Democracy.

I ask you, is this the alluring future you were promised?

 

An Alluring Future

The Problem with Faith.

“Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” – John 20:29

“The way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason.” ― Benjamin Franklin

In the wake of the recent election, many of us have been trying to figure out the “why” of the thing. Why did so many people vote, if they did at all, the way they did? Why, oh why, did they vote for him!? Well, many of his followers have stated loudly and often that they have faith that he will make America great again. Regardless of a total lack of specifics or any real proof of his ability to govern, fifty plus million people decided to put their faith in a man who lost a billion dollars in one year. This stupefying occurrence has baffled the so-called political experts and left the rest of us searching for that oldest of questions,

WHY?

The answer is that faith as a philosophy is intrinsically flawed, and those who practice faith as their primary means of decision making are behaving in an unjustifiable manner. A bit of a heavy-handed claim to be sure but in this time of unreason, with its distinct lack of rational decision making, we must search for the source of our many woes. After all, we can’t blame Trump for everything. At least not yet.

Let’s start with an agreed upon definition of faith. After all, if we can’t quantify what it is, how can we say that there is something wrong with it? My E-dictionary has the following two definitions:

1. Complete trust or confidence in someone or something.
2. Strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.
Two rather distinct interpretations of a concept, no? This dichotomy of meaning is part of the problem with faith. When I, an open Atheist, say that I have faith that America will eventually recover from the next four years of inevitable mismanagement and stagflation, I say this without any religious connotations. I do not believe that god will descend from the heavens and save us poor souls from the great evil that is the Trump administration. I have faith that the people of this country are essentially good, and I can back this up with facts. The fact that more than two million more people voted against Trump than voted for him. The fact that thousands of my fellow protestors are espousing love in the face of hate all across this country and the fact that America has survived McCarthy, Nixon, Reagan and two Bush’s and we’re still here. These are the secular and factual truths that I have, nearly, total trust and confidence in.
And yet, even with all this evidence, my faith in this country may prove false. That’s another pitfall of faith. Faith can be broken. People cheat on their spouses all the time. Lance Armstrong had more juice in him than the Koolaid man! So the secular incarnation of faith, like respect, must be earned. We need proof before we put our faith in something.
In the case of religiously orientated faith, this logical progression is unnecessary.  You simply need to believe in something or someone for it to be true. So Trump will make America great again because, well, he will. This is an example of circular logic, where the person starts with the answer that they’re trying to end with, and it’s this sort of defective reasoning that has led us to a Trump presidency.  What will he do to make America great? I don’t know, but he can’t make it great unless he’s president, so let’s put our faith in him, regardless of whether or not he’s proven capable of the task at hand.
Does this seem like a reasonable way to go about your life? Making decisions based on nothing substantive, on essentially gut reactions? I’m all for spontaneity and spur of the moment experiences, but as an actual means of governance?
I think not.
This bipolar understanding of faith as a concept is a major factor in why we as a nation have such difficulty empathizing with one another. Truth has become subjective. We shout our truths into an echo chamber of like-minded individuals. Our Facebook feeds reassure us that our respective viewpoints are correct, without bothering to fact check the source of these digital pats on the back. Without the ability to discern fact from fiction, to objectively view the world around us as it truly is and not how we wish it to be, we can never be free of the nonsensical trappings of our past, i.g. racism, misogyny, and tribalism.
We are one people, not just Americans, but humans. Religious faith has been used since its nacency to control not just the actions, but the minds of it devotees. And when you can shape the reality of the world around you, what’s to stop you from taking advantage of this power? The history of faith is chock full of abusive tyrants, genocidal conquerors and unholy despots who claim that their regimes are annointed by some god or another and therefore nothing that they do is wrong. When we allow this sort of baseless claim to go unchallenged, be prepared to face the always grisly consequences.
In this post-truth world we find ourselves in, it’s up to us to stand sentinel against this sort of predatory group think. Because if we stand idly by and watch our rights, and the rights of our less represented fellows, we are culpable in whatever comes next.
I have faith that humanity will not let this come to pass.
“It is the job of thinking people not to be on the side of the executioners.” ― Albert Camus
Semper Pugnare Tyrannis
The Problem with Faith.

A Privileged Bubble.

I had a guy in one of my classes say that he was going to start wearing one of those  red Trump hats around now that he is “our” President. His implication being that those who of us who are still upset by the outcome of the election can just go ahead and shut up about it. When I replied that those hats have become a symbol of hate, akin to wearing a KKK hood in public, he laughed me off and said that I was stupid for even comparing the two. While I’ll admit that my statement was a bit hyperbolic, not all Trump voters are racist’s, I don’t think that it was without merit. Americans who proudly don that stupid looking, made in China, cap are declaring something to everyone around them. They might say it’s pride in their candidate, or their party, or their religious beliefs; but for hundreds of millions of their fellow Americans, it stands for something else entirely.

It stands for hatred. Bigotry. Homophobia. Theocracy. Fascism. To name only a few.

When I see one of those caps, I can’t help but judge its wearer. I don’t know this person, but I immediately assume that they are either one of two things: ignorant or a racist. And by making this snap judgment of a complete stranger’s character, I am acting no better than the vile white supremacist who hates a person of color for nothing more than their skin tone. And that’s an unacceptable way to behave. I’m not a prejudiced person. I like to think that I grant every person equal respect. But unlike some people’s wealth, respect must be earned.

If I meet someone who casually drops racist epitaphs in my midst, because they assume that my fair skin means that I share their disgusting views, they’ve instantly lost my respect. This is how civilized society is supposed to work; someone does or says something horrid and the rest of the society reacts negatively to their wickedness. That way there is some sort of accountability for one’s words or actions. Unfortunately, we live in a social media-driven world, where people routinely espouse the most horrific shit imaginable without fear of recourse. In my opinion, this culture of anonymity, of not having to back up your words, has played a major role in the outcome of this election.

There are people casually dismissing the hate speech of their candidate, and now one week and 200+ reported hate crimes later they’re still denying that their candidate and his little hats stand for something sinister. How can a rational person ignore such an obvious correlation?

It’s either clinical denial or they live in a privileged bubble, through which nothing they disagree with is allowed entry.

There’s a great episode of 30 Rock where Liz’s handsome boyfriend, played by Jon Hamm, finds out that he isn’t actually good at anything and that people have been letting him skate by because of how handsome he is. Alec Baldwin’s character, Jack, informs Liz that this anomaly is known as “The Bubble.” This is the case for millions of middle-class white people in this country. They may not believe that their vote has lent credence to xenophobia and racism, but that’s exactly what they’ve done. They are simply oblivious to the type of systemic racism that has now become mainstream under this new President-Elect.

For further proof of this fact, you need look no further than Trump’s newly appointed chief White House advisor, Stephen Bannon. An avowed xenophobe and anti-Semite will be whispering sweet nothings in the ear of the most powerful person in the world for the next four years. Allah help us.

To all of you, happily residing in this seemingly impregnable bubble. I’m sorry that you grew up on an ethnically stale culdesac in a white-bread suburb, where the only minority you ever saw was the guy who cut your grass every week. I’m sorry that you don’t have any gay friends. You’re missing out. I’m not sorry for your inability to know what it feels like to be called a spic, kike, nigger, faggot, or any of the other horrible things people like me have been called by people like you. I envy you this. At the end of the day what your candidate has validified is the dehumanization of millions of people. It’s suddenly okay to think you’re better than someone simply because you burn quicker in the sun. That’s not just offensive, but categorically un-American.

So the next time you try to call someone stupid for relating one of those little hats to hatred, pause to consider who it is spray painting neo-nazi graffiti on synagogues, or spewing racial epitaphs at minorities on twitter, or beating to death a 24-year-old Saudi exchange student because of where he happened to be born. Try explaining to the family of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi why their son was murdered in Wisconsin on Halloween. Could it be that your candidates anti-Muslim rhetoric was exactly what some murderous little bastard needed to get it up and finally kill someone? You know, someone who didn’t look or speak like him.Someone who fell outside of his happy, privileged, bubble.

It’s time we burst this bubble for good.

Something to think about,

“Men are born free, yet everywhere are in chains.” Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-1778)

Semper Pugnare Tyrannis

 

A Privileged Bubble.