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Name: William Rivers Pitt
Gender: Male
Hometown: Boston
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 57,861

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If your God can't take a joke, He's not God.


If you believe in your God, then you must believe He invented humor, because humor exists.


Your God is not the problem. You are.


"Baptized in borrowed blood"

In this veil of tears in the aftermath of the Paris massacre, I wish to take note of a master of his craft.

Charles P. Pierce, in describing the Fox News hategasm that came in the aftermath, described the whole network as "baptizing itself in borrowed blood again."

Fuck my life. That, right there, is how you do that.

God. Damn.

I want to be Charlie when I grow up.


"Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

"Humanity has unquestionably one really effective weapon - laughter. Power, money, persuasion, supplication, persecution - these can lift at a colossal humbug - push it a little - weaken it a little, century by century; but only laughter can blow it to rags and atoms at a blast. Against the assault of laughter nothing can stand."

-- Mark Twain

...in memory of the ten satirists and two officers butchered in Paris today because some people can't take a joke. Let the humor go on, if for no other reason than fuck them.

Had us a pretty nifty little ice storm here (pics)

Planting a Seed for 2015

(Image via Shutterstock)

Planting a Seed for 2015
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 01 January 2015

If there were such a thing as a Hall Of Fame Of Suck, the year 2014 would not only win first-ballot admission, it would have its very own wing.

Consider this abridged butcher's bill:

In January, a teenaged gunman named Darion Aguilar opened fire in a Maryland mall, killing two before killing himself. In West Virginia, a storage tank containing a toxic chemical ruptured, pouring massive quantities of poison into the Elk River, which is part of the Mississippi River watershed. Some 300,000 residents were left without clean drinking water for weeks, and the ecosystem of the river was obliterated.

In February, the Ebola outbreak began in Africa, eventually killing more than 7,000 people and infecting more than 20,000 others.

In March, Malaysia Airlines flight 370 disappeared over the Gulf of Thailand with 239 souls on board. It was never found, and the US "news" media had a ghoulish field day for weeks on end. A building exploded in New York City, killing eight. At the South by Southwest music festival in Austin, a drunk driver bulldozed into a crowd, killing two and injuring more than 20. An oil barge in Galveston Bay collided with another ship and spilled a fair budget of the million gallons of crude oil it was carrying. Protests erupted in Albuquerque after video showing police killing a homeless man surfaced.

(snip through many months)

In December, the Senate finally released its torture report, which contained detailed horrors that beggar description, opening yet another round of flaccid discussion on why the perpetrators have never once seen the inside of a courtroom. Bradley Stone killed six people in Pennsylvania before killing himself. Another grand jury refused to indict NYPD officers Daniel Pantaleo and Justin Damico in the clearly-videotaped strangulation death of Eric Garner, and the national rage over police brutality and racism grew by orders of magnitude. Not long after, Ismaaiyl Brinsley shot and killed two NYPD officers before killing himself. In a despicable act of self-importance, police officers turned their backs on the Mayor of New York during one of the services for the fallen officers, thus joining the Westboro Baptist Church in becoming the only other group in the US with the gall to hold a political protest at a funeral.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Robin Williams, Shirley Temple, Sid Caesar, Harold Ramis, Mickey Rooney, Rubin "Hurricane" Carter, Maya Angelou, Casey Kasem, Tony Gwynn, Horace Silver, Bobby Womack, Paul Mazursky, James Garner, James Brady, Lauren Bacall, Jackie Cain, Ben Bradlee, Tom Menino and Joe Cocker all died.

And one of my best friends, Brian, also died out of absolutely nowhere in November. He was the soul and spirit of our group of friends, three times my roommate since 1994, and his absence from my life, from this world, is an open wound I doubt will ever fully heal.

Strangely enough, when I think about every terrible thing that scarred this long year, I also think of Brian, but not in the way you might assume. See, I do not believe in death. Brian the man is gone from us, but knowing him made me a better person. He planted a seed within me, and by being the better person he helped to make me, I plant that seed in others: my friends, my family, and especially my little daughter. In this way, Brian and every other person who planted seeds go on, and on, and on, spreading from person to person, from relationship to relationship, and those seeds reap a mighty harvest that makes the world entire a little bit of a better place.

In this way, my friend Brian, along with everyone else who has been lost to us, are eternal. I find that to be a tremendous comfort.

This is the time for New Year's resolutions, and I have a request of you: plant that seed wherever you find fertile soil. Be that better person. Help to gentle the cold brutality of this hard world within reach of your arm. Let us not do 2014 ever again. It is in the rear-view mirror now, finally. Let's try to keep it there.

Happy New Year.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28303-planting-a-seed-for-2015

To you, and yours, and all you hold dear...

...I wish you the happiest of New Years. You deserve it. We all do.

Here's a little puddin' face to take with you into 2015.


Sexy Rexy has been shown the door.

Foot fetish jokes in 3...2...1...

Merry Iconoclastic Christmas

I know this is a day late, but I haven't had the chance to post it until now. Hope you enjoy. -- wrp

(Photo: Jeff Weese)

Merry Iconoclastic Christmas
By William Rivers Pitt
Truthout | Op-Ed

Thursday 25 December 2014

The Houston Chronicle reported late Tuesday night that former president George H.W. Bush was rushed via ambulance to a local hospital after suffering shortness of breath. Despite the fact that the man is in the habit of throwing himself out of perfectly good airplanes to celebrate his birthdays, the truth is that he has passed 90 of them, so the medical precautions being taken to safeguard his health are wise.

This probably makes me a terrible person, but my first thought was to take sharp note, in the context of the times, of what happens when a wealthy white man says, "I can't breathe." Not to put too fine a point on it, but really, there it is.

I'm just sayin'. I sincerely hope the man recovers in time to celebrate Christmas at home in the mansion with the rest of his wrecking ball of a family. Everyone deserves a holiday. Hell, even God took a day off.

My grandmother would have scolded me for such talk. "That's not very Christian of you," she would have said.

And therein lies the funny part.

If you pay heed to the talking points boiling out of evangelical Christian churches all across the land, as well as media outlets like Fox News, you would be led to believe the United States is a "Christian nation." There is no passage in the founding documents to confirm this claim - and a mountain of established facts, in fact, to refute it right down the alley and into the dumpster - but this has not ceased the increasing fictionalization of the nation's creation. If the trend continues, the next generation of benightened evangelical home-schooled children will be raised to believe the Constitution was written by Jesus Christ as he rode a saddled Tyrannosaurus Rex over the graves of Muhammad and Martin Luther King, Jr.


In point of fact: It's Christmas, upon which we celebrate the birth of Jesus, which is entirely wrong, because the Roman emperor Constantine gave Christianity its first taste of state sponsorship in the year 312, and later Christianized all the standing pagan holidays to consolidate his power. Jesus was not, in fact, born today. At the Council of Nicaea, the emperor and his crew made sure the "Good Book," and its interpretations, would read the way they wanted it to down through the centuries, and that flex has lasted for close to two thousand years.

Beyond these historical anomalies are the pressing modern realities, chief among which is this madhouse push to acquire personal belongings as a means of celebrating a man who cherished and preached the benefits of poverty and self-denial. Our annual carnival of consumption stands in stark contrast against the legacy of someone who took a whip in hand and beat the holy hell out of the bankers in the temple.

It's probably considered not "Christian" to say these things, either. But it's honest, at least.

There is what we believe, and there is what actually happened. There may very well have been a guy born in Bethlehem who spent three years preaching against the order of his day until he was executed for it. That may have happened, but the gross manipulation of that alleged event definitely happened, century after century, at the hands of people not seeking piety but power. So much of our culture has been shaped by the aftermath of the arrogance of the righteous, and we are all the poorer for it.

Jesus was not born today. Constantine told me so. Regardless, have a very Merry Christmas. The best present you can give yourself is an understanding of history. Misleading mythology withers on the vine of knowledge, and that is always a good thing.

The rest: http://www.truth-out.org/opinion/item/28200-merry-iconoclastic-christmas

When I was a very small boy, my mother tucked me in on Christmas Eve...

...and ordered me, upon pain of Santa's vast disapproval, to stay put. I did as I was told, but tried very hard to stay awake so I could hear him arrive. I didn't last long...but at some point that night, I awoke to hear heavy footfalls across what sounded like the roof. Not long after, I heard my mother speaking to someone in hushed tones from the living room, and the tinkle of ice in a glass.

...the footfalls...the hushed talk...the glass...Mom gave Santa a drink of water! She was talking to Santa by the chimney!

The footfalls, of course, were my mother stomping across the attic right above my bedroom. The tinkle of ice in the glass was her own scotch, and the hushed conversation was the last part of the show. It worked; I believed, and a few lingering atoms in my soul still do, and I can't wait to run that same scam on my baby daughter Lola when she is old enough to appreciate it. Because it was perfect. Just perfect.

A wise friend told me that after her kids stopped believing in Santa, she sat them down and said they should still believe, because "Santa" is another word for a parent's love for their children. I plan intently on deploying that line as well, when the time comes.

Merry Christmas Eve, all. My very beloved best to you and yours.

If you're wondering just what the hell is going on between the cops and the mayor in NYC...

...I invite you to read this fully excellent breakdown and explanation. I have been a long-time admirer of Josh Marshall over at Talking Points Memo, but with this - an analysis of just what the hell is going on between the cops and the mayor in New York City - he absolutely parks it. Some of his finest work. Read it.

Who Do You Work For?
By Josh Marshall
Talking Points Memo

23 December 2014

Here in New York, over the last few weeks, we've seen a turbulent and tragic series of events which might seem far-fetched in its plot line if had it unfolded in a novel. Protests erupted in the aftermath of a Staten Island grand jury's decision not to indict a police officer in the death of Eric Garner, an event which was itself catalyzed and primed by the roiling protests in response to the death of Michael Brown near St Louis. Major street protests followed. And then, as if to bring all the tension to a head, a deranged and violent man perpetrates what can only be called a street execution of two police officers waiting in their car in Bed-Stuy. The fact that the alleged assailant, Ismaaiyl Brinsley, attempted to kill his ex-girlfriend hours earlier in Maryland suggests there was some deeper, more personal impulse to violence and self-destruction behind his rampage. But there is no getting around the fact that at a minimum he grabbed on to the wave of protest against police brutality to provide some logic or rationale for his violent end.

So now we have police and their critics, each with their own righteous aggrievement, thrust together for a collision with no good outcome for anyone involved.

Before the killing of the two officers, actually just a day before, I wrote this post about Pat Lynch, the head of the biggest NYPD police union. By then, Lynch had asked officers to fill out forms requesting that the Mayor not attend their funerals if they died in the line of duty. This was followed by a union meeting in which Lynch appeared to call for a slowdown of police work in response to a lack of "support" and "respect" from the city's political leaders and went as far as to say de Blasio "is not running the city of New York. He thinks hes running a fucking revolution.

As I said at the time, the head of the police union isn't an active member of the force. So he gets leeway serving officers might not. But still, as the official spokesman of the officers' labor organization this seemed like really over the top rhetoric. And with that lead-in it probably wasn't that surprising to see his vitriolic response following the deaths of officers Ramos and Liu in Brooklyn. At a press conference, Lynch didn't pussy-foot around with talk of rhetoric creating climates of tension or anything like that. He went right for it.


The conflicts over policing are ones that need to be worked out at the grass roots level in the hard but critical work of police-community relations and at the grander level of city politics. But what has been disturbing to me for weeks, well before this tragedy this weekend, is the way that at least the leadership of the police unions has basically gone to war against the Mayor over breaking even in small ways from lockstep backing of the police department in all cases and at all times. When we hear members of the NYPD union leadership talking about being forced to become a "wartime" police department, who exactly are they going to war with? WTF does that mean? And who is the enemy?

The whole thing: http://talkingpointsmemo.com/edblog/who-do-you-work-for
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