Archive for the ‘civil rights’ Category

Racists to the left, liberals to the right? WTF, NOPD?

Take a look at the flags on the left. Specifically, the white flags with a black cross on them. That’s the flag of the League of the South, a Southern secessionist organization whose leader has a bad habit of saying racist and bigoted things in the pages of their magazine. Things like “In a free & independent South, Islam would be banned, Muslims deported, and all mosques closed down.” They’re protesting the take-down of racist monuments in New Orleans, Louisiana.

A friend of mine suggested that the statue of Jefferson Davis that the City of New Orleans pulled down a couple of days ago be replaced with a statue of Ruby Bridges. I snorted. Yeah, that’d certainly send the racist bigots into spittle-flecked rage!

But that got me to thinking about Norman Rockwell. Which seems strange at first glance. The beloved painter of Midwestern schlock?

But in 1963 Norman Rockwell painted this:

The Problem We All Live With

Norman Rockwell was in his late 60’s when he painted this scathing condemnation of racism, depicting Ruby Bridges integrating the New Orleans Public Schools in 1960, flanked by four hulking Deputy U.S. Marshals enforcing the court order. How does a man at that time of life, a time of life when most people’s thinking becomes ossified, suddenly decide that civil rights are important enough to basically set his career aside and dive in with something like this?

Given all the neo-Confederate and White Power signs I saw around the demolishing of the Jackson Square monument to white supremacy, it looks like we took two steps forward, but have gone one step backward. But I am always in awe of the fact that sometimes courage comes in small packages as well as large, the courage of a small child and the courage of an old man who has nothing to prove but plenty to stand for. Seems to me that we need some more of that, today — people today do what’s convenient, rather than doing the right thing. Because the right thing is hard. But without people doing the right thing, evil wins.

And sometimes it takes a sixty-something-year-old painter of cornball schlock — and a six year old child — to point that out.

– Badtux the Wistful Penguin

Read Full Post »

And they kicked a blind woman and her guide dog off a plane because they didn’t want to re-seat her to someplace where her dog could sit on the floor in front of her. Despite the fact that the Americans with Disabilities Act says they have to accomodate her and re-seat her if a seat can be found.

But they’re American Airlines, which has a long history of violating the law regarding service dogs. They regularly harass and bully people and claim impunity. They have even continued this conduct after signing a consent decree saying they wouldn’t do it anymore.

This is, of course, a blatant violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act, but they don’t care about the law, because they don’t have to — a federal government that is 100% owned by big corporations is refusing to enforce the law against said big corporations.

So in short, American Airlines is a criminal enterprise that refuses to obey the law, and the government refuses to enforce the law against it. That’s the sort of situation that leads to massive lawsuits or, if lawsuits have been barred by law, eventually leads to violent revolution. And violent revolution never ends up well for the country that does it. I can’t remember one that turned out well, whether it was the Russian Revolution that put the Communists in charge, or the Egyptian Revolution that put the Islamists then the Army in charge, all that happens is that the most violent win and then impose their will upon the rest of the people at gunpoint.

— Badtux the “These people are criminals” Penguin

Read Full Post »

Yep, it’s true. The 1st Amendment applies to government employees too. Which is why these government employees can set up their own unofficial Twitter feeds on their own private time:


So, what about all the gag orders that are coming down from the Trump administration, saying that government employees cannot speak to the media etc.? They are only effective while the employee is at work. Once the employee has left work, the employee has all the same 1st Amendment rights as you and I and can speak as much as he wants, as long as he makes it clear that he is speaking for himself and not for his department.

In short, any attempt to prevent government scientists from releasing government research *on their own time*, or submitting papers to scientific journals *on their own time*, or preventing agency officials from tweeting climate change facts *on their own time*, are blatantly unconstitutional and illegal. The data is public domain. The government legally cannot restrict access to it in any way.

Will that stop the Trump administration? Nope. They’ll fire the employees, then fight the inevitable lawsuits. Then Congress will set the employee’s salary to $1, which basically is the same as firing him. Which will result in *another* lawsuit, since that blatantly violates the Civil Service laws set by Congress, and the Democrats in the Senate for damn sure ain’t gonna let a repeal of Civil Service through without filibustering it. Which is one reason why these feeds are being kept semi-anonymous. It’s easy to figure out who’s behind them, if you have an org chart of the agencies in question, but proving it — and creating an excuse to fire the people behind it — is quite a bit harder.

But in the meantime, it’s hilarious that National Park Service rangers and a dictionary are leading the resistance against the Trump regime….

– Badtux the Free Speech Penguin


Read Full Post »

Aftermath of D.C . protests. We shall rebuild.

Aftermath of D.C. protests. We shall rebuild.

There’s right wingers whining about the amazingly destructive protests against the Trump Administration, which have resulted in a few dozen arrests and a burned-out trash can (we shall rebuild though after this mass destruction!) and maybe a few people delayed getting to work or getting home from work. Ignoring the fact that there was plenty of right wing violence after the election of Barack Obama, including torching a black church, they have a point.

Look. I mean, I have no idea why a black man might be protesting an attorney general who promises to take voting rights away from black people in the Old South rather than enforce voting rights, or why gay men might be protesting a vice president who advocates attaching electrodes to their balls and shocking them with electricity in order to “cure” their gayness, or why parents of handicapped children might be protesting a Secretary of Education whose opinion is that schools should not be legally required to educate the handicapped, or why Muslims might be protesting a Secretary of Homeland Security who advocates rounding up all Muslims into concentration camps, or why women might be protesting the notion that Big Government should have control over their pussies, or etc. I mean, I’m a white straight Christian male, none of that matters to me, right?

So gosh darn it, all those protesters should just give up all those rights quietly rather than inconvenience me on my daily commute! That’s the only right thing to do. Right? Right?!

– Badtux the Snarky Penguin

Read Full Post »


Yes, today is when we celebrate the life of a happy token negro who never said anything threatening and was like all peace and love and all that. Kinda this kindly uncle (tom) figure who just magically made civil rights (sort of) happen for black people by being nice.

Of course, the real Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. was a fireball. He didn’t encourage violence because a minority attempting to gain equal rights via violence is a minority asking to be exterminated, but he had no problem inconveniencing racists in every way possible while pandering to the tv news crews and to politicians like LBJ all the way. He also knew that poverty and ignorance had to be eliminated. Every conversation with LBJ where I’ve read the transcript, he’s pushing for anti-poverty programs and education programs. For everybody, not just for black people, because he knew that poverty and ignorance fed racism the way that june bugs feed ducks.

Then he was killed and became a martyr, kindly uncle (tom) who was all peace and love and all that and polite, like, and certainly not threatening to us white folk. SIGH. History re-written. So it goes.

– Badtux the History Penguin

Read Full Post »

I am awaiting a description of what rights the guns being carried by heavily-armed KKK members were protecting when they were lynching and burning down the houses of “uppity nigras”.

Oh wait, the guns owned by the black population protected their rights? Uhm… not so much. When you’re an outnumbered minority, all that taking up arms against your oppressor manages to do is get your entire community exterminated. And yes, there were entire black communities massacred if they took up arms to defend their rights.

So okay, guns in the hands of a majority don’t protect the rights of a minority, got it. But clearly the guns in the hands of the majority are necessary to resist oppression by the central government. Which is why the heavily armed Ukrainian Partisan Army was so successful at winning independence from the USSR in the aftermath of WW2. They were heavily armed first by the Nazis to fight the Soviets, then by the Soviets to fight the Nazis. They had plenty of guns, and enough ammunition. And they were totally exterminated. Because armed resistance against a totalitarian government willing to exterminate entire populations in order to maintain control has never succeeded. The American Revolution succeeded because King George III had scruples — he was not willing to order that entire cities be razed and their populations exterminated or sold into slavery if they resisted English rule. Indeed, he likely would not have been able to stay on his crown if he did that, the outrage in England proper would have likely drove him to the gallows. But a true totalitarian government like that of Stalin has no such scruples. If a town was found to be harboring a UPA partisan, the town was razed and the population deported to Siberia. Wash. Rinse. Repeat. By the end of the UPA, the mayors of towns were calling up the Soviet secret police to tell them who the UPA partisans were in town, and the UPA partisans were then taken out in the middle of the night by heavily armed internal soldiers of the Soviet regime. The UPA was crushed, utterly and totally. The modern equivalent is this:


Okay, so guns maybe aren’t always useful for resisting an oppressive central government that’s willing to engage in acts of genocide against its own citizenry, but they’re necessary for overthrowing the central government. So, you’re saying that the Soviet Union was overthrown by use of force, rather than by the people collectively deciding that they no longer were content to be good Sovoks and refusing to cooperate with Gorbachev’s regime, leaving him to be a sad relic rattling stomping around in the Kremlin shouting out orders that nobody obeyed until finally he realized the Soviet Union was done and officially dissolved it? Wow. I must have missed that. You’d think that I would have noticed that the most tyrannical government ever in world history was overthrown by force of arms, but somehow it just eluded me. Funny, huh?

So what rights are actually being protected by guns right now? Well: guns protect your right to terrify other people who think you’re the latest crazy nutcase who got a gun in order to shoot up a random school, park, movie theater, or mall. Taking away the right for ammosexuals to terrify everybody around them would be, like, un-American! So yeah, guns *do* protect one (1) right in America. Hip hip hurray!

And of course guns are useful for self defense and hunting. But the Supremes say that self defense is a 2nd Amendment right, so the 2nd Amendment is protecting, err, the 2nd Amendment, there. And hunting isn’t a Constitutional right, period.

Finally: If you want to make the argument that the 2nd Amendment protects the others, then why have the others been all but killed with abso-fucking-lutely nothing said or done by the so-called 2A people? Even if we want to buy that argument, the data doesn’t back it up. Free speech zones, stop and frisk programs, mass voter suppression, the PATRIOT Act, constant surveillance, secret courts, warrantless wiretaps, no-knock raids, etc. All those millions of guns aren’t going to do shit if all you do is use them to terrify Muslims going to mosque or people marching to stop murders by police.

In short: I can find many examples in American history of guns being used to remove Constitutional rights from people. But not a single example of guns in the hands of private citizens being used to protect the Constitutional rights of people. I’m willing to accept non-bullshit submission, as long as they’re not yet more fake quotes from founding fathers (if I can Google and immediately find that the supposed quote has been debunked on Snopes, your message will automatically get changed to “I Like Pie” because I don’t have any inclination to engage with bullshit artists and liars). Happy hunting for an instance where the 2nd Amendment has protected one of the other rights in the Bill of Rights, and let me know what you find!

— Badtux the Reality-based Penguin

Note — I have deliberately not mentioned anything about Cheetoh Mussolini or the Queen of Mean for the past few days. We already know who we’re going to vote for. It makes no sense to belabor the obvious.

Read Full Post »

Born down in a dead man’s town
The first kick I took was when I hit the ground
End up like a dog that’s been beat too much
Till you spend half your life just covering up

Ah yes, the media. What a clusterfuck. First they put up the photo of an Open Carry activist, the brother of one of the organizers of the civil rights march in Dallas Texas, as a potential sniper. Except it turns out that Mark Hughes had nothing to do with the shooting, and in fact, the moment the shooting began, he turned his gun over to a police officer and then walked off. So now he is getting thouands of death threats. At least they *finally* took his down the photo they had on their Twitter feed naming him as “person of interest”. Finally. 24 hours after they cleared him.

Then they said that it was a Black Lives Matter rally. Except there is no Dallas chapter of Black Lives Matter. Instead, this rally was organized by a Dallas-area civil rights organization that regularly organizes rallies for voting rights and against violence of all kinds (whether police violence or gang violence), Next Generation Action Network, in conjunction with a liberal church headed by Pastor Jeff Hood (who is white, BTW). Yet I check and there is *still* no correction from any of the major media outlets which reported it as a Black Lives Matter event.

Then rather than wait for the final body count (five police officers dead, seven injured, and two civilians injured) they just started throwing out body counts. And instead of waiting for information about the perpetrator, they threw out the notion of “multiple snipers”. We now know that the attack was the work of a single man Micah Xavier Johnson, age 25, an Army Reservist who had served in Afghanistan but his specialty was mortar and carpentry, not shooting. But given that this is Texas, where they hand out assault rifles the moment you touch Texas soil ’cause 2nd Amendment, yo, he had no trouble laying hands on some heavy machinery and practicing his marksmanship.

And then nobody in the media seems to question the fact that the Dallas PD blew up Mr. Johnson with a bomb. Since when did it become permissible under law to blow up a cornered suspect who isn’t shooting at anybody? The Dallas PD said “they had exhausted all options”. Well, there was another option, which was to *wait*. The police had the advantage of being able to swap out personnel and resupply. He did not. At some point he either had to surrender, or jump out from behind cover and be ventilated, or fall asleep and be captured. It isn’t the job of cops to be judge, jury, and executioner under our Constitution, it is their job to use solely what force is needed to protect lives and apprehend a suspect (for under our system he remains a *suspect* until convicted of a crime, that whole innocent until proven guilty thing). I mean, I can think of a reason — if he told the cops he was wearing an explosive vest, blowing him (and the vest) up was the only safe thing to do. But nobody even questioned the Dallas PD saying it was “necessary”, nevermind get into the weeds of exact details about why it was necessary. It’s as if the media would have no problem if the cops simply bought some military drones and started sending Hellfire missiles into the houses of anyone they wanted to arrest. Is this the kind of country we want? Where someone can get blown the shit up and nobody even blinks an eye?!

So anyhow, 24 hours later I’m still reading news reports that this was a Black Lives Matter event (even though it wasn’t), or calls for the organizers to be prosecuted for condoning the killing of police officers even though they don’t and even posed with police officers for photographs during the rally before all hell broke loose. And of course nobody is talking about the reason for the rally anymore, which was not about killing police officers — rather, it was about stopping the killing. It was about disparities such as when black men are arrested, they get sentences 20% longer than when white men are arrested. It was about disparities such as black men being three times more likely to be arrested for marijuana possession even though every study done on the subject shows that white men and black men use marijuana at about the same rate. It was about disparities such as black men being arrested being 3 times more likely to be shot by police compared to white men being arrested. It was about disparities such as a rich black kid being five times more likely to spend time in prison than a poor white kid, i.e., it isn’t about socio-economic class, even when you compare rich black kids against poor white kids the black kid gets the shaft.

And it certainly wasn’t about a race war. Fuck no. Blacks are 12% of the population. Whites are 64% of the population. Blacks know damn well that if there was ever a race war, they’re going to all end up dead, period. That’s why MLK Jr. chose non-violence as his strategy for dealing with violent white people. It’s because the alternative, if you’re only 12% of the population, is death. NGAN and Rev. Hood know damn well what happens when a hated minority decides to take up arms against the majority. They get fucked up, big time.

So you get some poor sod who’s been kicked like a dog since he hit the ground who cracks and starts killing cops. Who does that help? Not black people, that’s for damn sure — and they know it. Being born black doesn’t make you stupid. It just makes you black.

– Badtux the News Penguin

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »