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Defense of Marriage Act Shoved Back in Closet

1:46 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

This morning, a federal appeals court in Boston ruled that the 1996 law that defined marriage as a union between a man and a woman – the Defense of Marriage Act, is unconstitutional because it deprives gay couples of the rights and privileges granted to heterosexual couples.

Oh, how I do enjoy the culture wars where victories mean we don’t have to kill people – like in actual wars – we just get to kill knuckle dragging, regressive ideas.

If you are among the minority of people who feels that marriage (as defined legally) should consist of a union between a man and a woman, know that public opinion is shifting so fast on this issue that soon enough you’ll be forced into the closet with your views.

And in the closet you can stay.

If it gets too lonely in the closet, you might occasionally venture out, under the cover of night where maybe you can cruise the park and find other hate mongers to commiserate with, and the anonymous, fleeting nature of your exchange might save you from the ridicule of your peers, who have jumped onto the wave of progress and are threatened not by the intimate acts and lifelong commitments between consenting adults.

If your argument for denying rights to homosexuals rests on any scholarship found in a book of laws written by an all knowing creator of the universe, then fine- bully for you- I’m sure there is a club of like people in your neighborhood where a man in a dress who has taken a vow of celibacy (alter boys don’t count!) will join you and yours in holy matrimony- and that is just great- nobody is taking that blessed event away from you.

But after you do your thing in the church, it isn’t legal until you go to court and sign a contract.

The argument that if Adam and Steve can be openly and legally married will somehow tarnish the integrity of their neighbors hetero marriage is part of a broader picture wherein people cling to an idealized picture of the world that recalls Norman Rockwell, LEAVE IT TO BEAVER and the smell of moth balls. It was a simpler time, right before the 1st season of MAD MEN, where women did what they were told, and men did whatever they wanted and gay people did their best to become invisible. Sure, some of had an aunt Edna, who moved away and lived with her “friend” Alice but they never went anywhere as a couple, did they?

There are many who were killed because they were gay. Matthew Sheppard was beaten, tortured and strung up on a fence and left there to die because a real man was so enraged that he was gay. The defenders of the defenders of marriage act may never give physical agency to that kind of rage, but their brand of hatred springs from the same putrid, poisoned well. If you are infected with this rage, if you are foolish enough to defend the defense of marriage act my advice to you is keep it in the closet.

 

 

Obama’s Kill List Reveals Gangsta Mentality in the Oval Office

3:35 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Imagine if John McCain had won the 2008 election and a New York Times article revealed that McCain was sitting in the oval office lording over collection of mug shots and bios, not unlike a baseball card collection or a high school yearbook, that amounted to a kill list?  A list of targets, among them teenagers and several American citizens, that the president was personally signing off and ordering their execution. These subjects have been charged with no crime, and would never receive a day in court, but with the stroke of a pen from the President, the most powerful military in the world would now draw a bull’s-eye on your back where it would remain until you were pulverized and rendered food for worms.

If those actions could be attributed to a President McCain, Nancy Pelosi would be bum rushing every MSNBC show she could get herself on apoplectic with indignation, Mike Meyers would host Saturday Night Live and do a rendition of McCain as Dr. Evil and Moveon.org would have the entire slacktivist universe signing e-petition after e-petition. A few people might even take to the streets.

President McCain, however, is guilty of no such crime, but President Barack Obama is. Even the stunning May 29th New York Times report by Jo Becker and Scott Shane would surely have taken a more condemning tone had the president been a Republican. Instead the report seems to credit Obama for finding grey areas and legal loopholes wherein he can twist rhetorical knots that both please the moveon.org crowd and leave room for him to act like gang lord whose silent nod would send hit men out into the night to snuff out a rival.

These legal grey areas are so convoluted that the White House can claim that collateral deaths, (or to put a finer point on it: innocent people killed by drone strikes in a country that has not attacked us and poses no threat to us) are in the single digits because Obama, the legal expert, has redefined combatant to mean any male of legal age within striking distance of the target. That means if Obama wants you dead, and our drone strike kills you and the ten people around you, whoosh – all of those corpses are classified as combatants, so sleep tight with a clean conscience y’all because no innocent civilians died in the never ending war on terror today.

I can’t wait to see the Presidential debate on foreign policy. Romney is gonna have to promise that the US will save the world from the impending intergalactic invasion of the Transformers, or go all defcon 5 to outdo Obama, who – on matters relating to the global war on terror- has mindfully charged well to the right of the homicidal idiot from Texas whom we all thought was as bad as it could get.

 

Verbs for Noun

1:05 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

A popular refrain that one hears when talking about the troops is that they fight, kill, and get killed, maim and get maimed so that we can enjoy our freedom here at home. The troops make the ultimate sacrifice so that we can be free.

Does anyone with even a partially functioning frontal lobe and a sliver of conscience believe this bunk?

Let’s reframe that question: Are we fighting the global war on terror because 3000 people got killed on September 11th- or were 3000 people killed on September 11 because the US has been swinging its nuclear tipped disco stick (figuratively, and sometimes literally) all over the world for the past 70 years not in pursuit of securing our freedom, but in pursuit of profit.

Don’t take it from me, take it from a decorated veteran, Marine General Smedly Butler who said, “I spent 33 years and four months in active military service and during that period I spent most of my time as a high class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers. In short, I was a racketeer, a gangster for capitalism.”

And Smedley died in 1940. Wars were always fought for the 1%, and the super rich have usually been smart enough to let enough of the spoils trickle down to keep the rest of our consciences in check.

We are told, repeatedly, that all of this violence is to secure the peace, to protect our freedom.

Fill in your own killing for peace is like verbing for noun here.

We tolerate these lies, I think, because we don’t want to dishonor the dead, or sometimes worse the walking wounded by implying that they kill and get killed for a lie. So we keep fighting.

I’m starting to think that when people say that US soldiers die to protect our freedom, that freedom is some sort of euphemism that we all understand to mean our very comfortable way of life. I mean, lets admit it, even with Wall St criminals like Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein stealing and raping us blind, most of the 99% are still fairly well off when compared with the rest of the world. So really, all of these wars that serve to expand and protect US interests boil down to money, right? Can we just be honest about that? We don’t fight for freedom, or democracy, or liberty, or to stand on the right side of justice, we fight to get richer, because greed is American as Baseball, Apple pie, and stuffing your face with pig innards while enjoying a baton twirling contest at the county fair.

So, now that we are being honest with ourselves are you cool with your tax dollars propping up the greatest purveyor of violence in the world just so your lawn can be green, and your clothes can be had on the cheap and your cars can run on oil harvested where… over there?

Many of us, if we are honest with ourselves, really are perfectly fine with it.

 

Open letter to the 99%: Time to Make #NoWarWithIran a Top Priority

7:20 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

A decade ago, in the run up to the war w. Iraq, hundreds of thousands took to the streets in New York and cities all across the country and the world … and war happened anyway.

But was before occupy.

Our creativity, our new way of thinking about protesting, and our crowdsourcing of ideas that make us collectively so much greater than the individual sum of our parts came into being.

If a new world is in fact possible, if we are in fact Unstoppable, we need to leverage our might and bring into being a new type of protest campaign that staves off a war with Iran; that in fact, reverses the homicidal bull in a geopolitical china shop that is US foreign policy altogether and replaces it with a world that places human needs – here and elsewhere above corporate greed.

Discuss. Come together. Act.

 

The Cure for the Underwater Mortgage Crisis

2:39 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

How far could $144 Billion go towards addressing some of the problems we address today? A report released this morning from The New Bottom Line entitled “Pulling Back the Curtain: Exposing the 1% Behind the 2011 Big Bank Bonuses suggests that with less than 1/2 of $144 Billion (the sum total of salary and bonuses paid out by the nations top 6 banks in 2011) could eliminate all underwater mortgages.

 

The Lloyd Dobbler Dialectic

7:18 pm in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Would Lloyd Dobler Occupy?

Obama’s Promise Taken to the Bank (literally)

7:23 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

In October of 2007, Barack Obama said this: “I will promise you this, that if we have not gotten our troops out by the time I am president, it is the first thing I will do. I will get our troops home. We will bring an end to this war. You can take that to the bank. “ (Emphasis mine)

Recently, I went to a few banks and tried do just that:

 

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American Exceptionalism

6:11 am in Uncategorized by Dennis Trainor Jr

Most Americans- (and by Americans it has come to be understood by most living in the United States of America simply to mean those people residing within the borders of the 50 states of the USA and excluding the clearly inferior peoples who just so happened to be born in Central or South America- or Canada, eh?) – Most Americans believe that we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Is this true?

By almost any rubric save for the nationalistic bravado that has been pounded into our brains the answer is clearly – not even close.

Most Americans- (and by Americans it has come to be understood by most living in the United States of America simply to mean those people residing within the borders of the 50 states of the USA and excluding the clearly inferior peoples who just so happened to be born in Central or South America- or Canada, eh?) – Most Americans believe that we live in the greatest country on the face of the earth.

Is this true?

By almost any rubric save for the nationalistic bravado that has been pounded into our brains the answer is clearly – not even close.

But the belief in American Exceptionalism persists.

What has this Exceptionalism given birth to?

In the 19th century, we wanted to expand west. Our nation was great, went the thinking. its expansion destined and preordained by God. We call this concept, in a Lady MacBethian attempt at hand washing, Manifest Destiny. If a few Mexicans and Native Americans got killed and maps redrawn along the way, who is going to count the dead and file it in history books as Genocide or merely casualties of war?

Certainly not your 8th grade civics teacher.

In the 20th century, this Exceptionalism gave birth to military technology, like the A-Bomb, and our wiliness to exterminate major populations of cities like Hiroshima and Nagasaki even when doing so was the strategic equivalent of blowing up a house to deal with a roach infestation.

By the 21st century, it has been well documented; this Exceptionalism has created an unbelievable amount of wealth. If this wealth were dispersed evenly, we might find ourselves in a moral quandary as to whether to not the means justify the ends. However, when the wealth is concentrated is so few hands, as it is now and both Democrats and Republican bow to Wall street, and the military industrial complex needs more war to clear old inventory and make room for the new models- when weapons and war run on the same business model as your local car dealership, while so many within and without our borders suffer there can be no moral quandary that is defensible.

Many can readily produce statics that shock and awe, like “The amount of money blown on our illegal war in Iraq could have paid for 220,000 teacher salaries- each year; the yearly cost of stationing one soldier in Iraq could have fed 60 families in that same year.”

Similarly shocking examples of how better to re-direct our resources are readily available and demonstrate a country ruled by robber barons, who in their quest to be exceptionally wealthy are actively killing off the environment, herding the middle class into the expanding pool of poor, and expanding corporatism to the point where corporations are now fucking people.

I mean that both in the sense that corporations are fucking people and corporations (thanks to Citizens United) are fucking people!

Those of us who fight against this, who demand a return to a rule of law where power is not concentrated in the executive branch, who demand that Congress assert the congressional authority to declare war, and who find pornographic the implications of corporate personhood are easily dismissed by the machine that has little interest in hearing our demands.

But our numbers are growing.

Today, for instance, you just might join us. Visit October 2011.org for more information.

Dennis Trainor, Jr is a writer, video producer for No Cure For That and serves on the Steering Committee for October2011.org