Monday, July 15, 2019

Dale Peck

From Ava and C.I.'s "TV: R-e-s-p-o-n-s-i-b-i-l-i-t-y:"

One took place last week.  THE NEW REPUBLIC published Dale Peck's "My Mayor Pete Problem" about Pete Buttigieg who has a small but devoted following.  Dale's column was immediately denounced as homophobic -- strange since Dale himself is gay and has been out for his entire career.  We're not hugely impressed with Dale's writing.   He's like Elizabeth Wurtzel to us, someone who is intentionally provocative and then wants to act surprised when some people are outraged.

None of that justified the rage that flew his way last week.  Or THE NEW REPUBLIC's way?  They deserve everything they got.  They elected to publish an article and then, under pressure, they didn't just apologize for it, they pulled it off their website.

Apologize for it?  We don't think the article called for an apology but if the publication had just done that, who cares?  It's their opinion -- no matter how cowardly.

But to censor the article after the fact?

Does no one stand up for the freedom of the press?  Do we not get that freedom of the press includes freedom to offend?

First off, if you missed the article (we did) when it was at THE NEW REPUBLIC, it's not really gone.  You can read it here. And you should if only to fight back against censorship.

Mayor Pete is not above criticism.  Or "Mary Pete" -- Mary Pete is the equivalent phrase to an Uncle Tom.

Dale's criticism is this:

All this makes Mary Pete different from every other left-leaning neoliberal in exactly zero ways. Because let’s face it. The only thing that distinguishes the mayor of South Bend from all those other well-educated reasonably intelligent white dudes who wanna be president is what he does with his dick (and possibly his ass, although I get a definite top-by-default vibe from him, which is to say that I bet he thinks about getting fucked but he’s too uptight to do it). So let’s dish the dish, homos. You know and I know that Mary Pete is a gay teenager. He’s a fifteen-year-old boy in a Chicago bus station wondering if it’s a good idea to go home with a fifty-year-old man so that he’ll finally understand what he is. He’s been out for, what, all of four years, and if I understand the narrative, he married the first guy he dated. And we all know what happens when gay people don’t get a real adolescence because they spent theirs in the closet: they go through it after they come out. And because they’re adults with their own incomes and no parents to rein them in they do it on steroids (often literally). If Shortest Way Home (I mean really, can you think of a more treacly title?) makes one thing clear, Mary Pete was never a teenager. But you can’t run away from that forever. Either it comes out or it eats you up inside. It can be fun, it can be messy, it can be tragic, it can be progenitive, transformative, ecstatic, or banal, but the last thing I want in the White House is a gay man staring down 40 who suddenly realizes he didn’t get to have all the fun his straight peers did when they were teenagers. I’m not saying I don’t want him to shave his chest or do Molly or try being the lucky Pierre (the timing’s trickier than it looks, but it can be fun when you work it out). These are rites of passage for a lot of gay men, and it fuels many aspects of gay culture. But like I said, I don’t want it in the White House. I want a man whose mind is on his job, not what could have been—or what he thinks he can still get away with.

Know something?  He's right.  America should be asking how mature Pete is.  Four years ago he was in the closet?  He's married the first guy he's been with?

As we've noted back when Chaz Bono was Chastity, she should have shut her damn mouth.  As we noted after she became Chaz, he really should have shut his mouth.

He'd accomplished nothing in his life other than being forced out of the closet when he presented himself as the voice of gay America and condemned -- in print and on TV -- Ellen DeGeneres' comedy show ELLEN.  Chaz (then known as Chastity) said ELLEN was too gay -- said it to print publications, said it on THE TONIGHT SHOW.  Confronted by Anne Heche, Bono tried to plead being misunderstood.

The only misunderstanding was Bono think that because she'd finally announced she was a lesbian and because she was Cher's daughter, she'd accomplished something with her life and had insight to share.

Her insight, if you've forgotten, was that Mel Gibson had no prejudice and that he was always nice to her -- even after she came out.

Chaz needed some living under the belt before self-presenting as an expert on anything.

If Dale Peck has correctly portrayed Mayor Pete, Dale's right, we need to ask if Pete is ready.

That's not homophobia. His article is in the grand tradition of gay critiques pioneered by Larry Kramer, Michael Musto, Vito Russo, Andrea Dworkin, Doug Ireland, and others.  How do you miss that? 

Maybe because you belong to the dominant culture and never bothered to learn about others?

The incredibly tiresome, totally out-of-proportion, kind of attacks that a subsection of the left practices on people it finds insufficiently radical are self-defeating to the changes they claim to want. Latest entry, that TNR Mayor Pete piece.

Look, it's the muddled, middle of the road mind of Clara Jeffery.

Wait, she wants to share more stupidity.

If you think someone's not radical enough for you, fine. You're entitled to your opinion, though your attacks don't need to be so asymetrical to the offense. But not gay enough? Not Black enough? Not Latino enough? idk, stfu.

Isn't MOTHER JONES today built upon slamming everyone that doesn't agree with them -- right or left?  Maybe it's Clara that needs to shut the f**k up?  And maybe before she next Tweets about her "headmaster," she might grasp that she's led a life few do and has lacked the curiosity to go beyond her own bubble.  She could start by reading critiques from liberation writers -- including Black Liberation writers like Margaret Kimberley and Glen Ford.

Clara's ignorance is what allows her to attack Dale Peck and to sport her ignorance of gay critiques.

What she proves, yet again, is she real strong when making her own point but not very good at listening to others or at grasping that the world she knows is not the world everyone lives in.  Now she doesn't have to be aware, but if she'd take a little more responsibility, she might be a better critic.  Again, it all comes down to personal responsibility.

They get it.  So does Rich Juzwiak (Jezebel):

But there I was, virtually surrounded by people and news outlets who seemed extremely convinced that an act of gross homophobia had taken place, when it never would have occurred to me to categorize it as such. Now after the fact, I remain unconvinced that author and critic Dale Peck’s critique of presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg, “My Mayor Pete Problem,” originally published (and then unpublished) by The New Republic, was homophobic in any definition of the word that I have ever experienced, despite having experienced the exact sort of gay-on-gay bitchery and contempt for the way I live my life as a gay man that Peck displays in his essay. NBCThe Hollywood Reporter, our sister site Gizmodo, on top of legions of tweeters all deemed it “homophobic” without much support, as if it was so self-evidently bigoted that they didn’t need to waste their time explaining. Or maybe it was as if they believed the definition of “homophobic” to be “being mean to a gay person.”
These arguments largely overlooked the history baked into Peck’s contemporary critique. Though he used language and techniques that were too outrageous for their own good, Peck spoke to a topic that has preoccupied gay people for decades: How we present ourselves in public, and how that relates to our status within the larger, straight-dominated world. Is it cheating to iron out queerness for the sake of straights or is it merely savvy? To fail to examine Buttigieg through this lens of authenticity is to willfully fail to examine Buttigieg as a candidate.
Peck played out in-group fighting in public and a lot of (seemingly) straight people with no real background in gay history or culture rushed to the defense of the victimized gay Buttigieg who’d probably rather be struck dead than be shaken from his chronic mildness and exhibit a fifth of Peck’s linguistic vigor about anything. The response was not just patronizing in the way that straight people feel like they need to infantilize gay people in order to relate to them, it was just a sign of total ignorance about the culture that was supposedly being defended. Peck, while assumptive and reductive, was using certain observable trends within gay culture to get under Buttigieg’s skin (or the skin of his supporters). His vast knowledge of the culture resulting from spending 52 years as a gay man is what allowed for this. I didn’t read the essay as an act of homophobia, but one of expert gayness.
Dale Peck was not being homophobic.  He was carrying on a critique that's long been a part of our gay liberation movement. 

Calling him homophobic is sporting ignorance.

Here's C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Monday, July 15, 2019.  Joe Biden tries a new excuse for his selling of the Iraq War "I'm actually dumber than the Village Idiot," and much more.

Let's start with Senator Tammy Duckworth.

It’s a national tragedy when our troops have to worry if their families will have enough to eat & their kids will go to bed hungry. I’m glad highlighted this critical issue + the legislation & I introduced to prevent military families from going hungry.

Really, Tammy?  That's where you draw the line for children?  If their parents are serving?  So it's not a national tragedy when an American child doesn't have enough to eat or they go to bed hungry if their parents are in the US military?

That's part of the nonsense that has built up since 9/11 as each person tries to make it clear that they support the military even more than the other person does.

It's crap.

Every American child should be fed -- regardless of their parents job.  No child in this country should go to bed hungry.

And if Tammy's unable to embrace all of America's children, here's something she might want to consider: You don't know which of these children will later end up in the military.  Oh, my goodness, Tammy, you might, right now at this minute, be spitting on future troops!

Again, there's no excuse for any American child -- or any child in America -- to go hungry.  There's no excuse for it.  That's it.

It's like our homeless problem.  It exists and it goes beyond troops although that's all anyone in Congress wants to focus on.  We have a homeless problem in America.  It's a serious problem and no one should be homeless.

I'm all for veterans getting what they have been promised and I've long advocated for that here.

But we don't have a two-tier system of citizenship.  We are a democracy where every person is supposed to be equal.

So Tammy's decision to fret over hungry children only if their parents are in the military suggest that possibly she should leave the US Congress -- which is supposed to represent We The People -- and move over to a VSO where her concerns might be more appropriately addressed.

The only good thing about the current election cycle is that Tammy didn't throw her hat in the ring.  But 25 people are seeing the Democratic Party's presidential nomination.  Including?  Former Vice President and former US Senator Joe Biden.

The always ridiculous Fred Kaplan of SLATE has drawn chuckles again by insisting that Joe Biden is the only candidate in the race with foreign policy experience when Joe's only foreign policy experience has been promoting and voting for war over and over again.

Joe was not Secretary of State.  That was Hillary Clinton and the John Kerry.  Joe has no real foreign policy experience to brag of.

Just a reminder: Joe Biden was a leading Democratic voice in favor of war in Iraq, it was he who laid the groundwork for Bush's invasion! We would have no peace if he's our President!

  1. Joe Biden Says He's Ready To Handle The World. He Got Iraq Wrong Three Times. |

has a long record of being on the wrong side of , including his vote in favor of 's war & support for 's of the people of & pursuit of in ;
As chairmen of the Foreign Relations Committee, Joe Biden relentlessly promoted the Iraq War. A cheerleader for one of the worst foreign policy blunders in U.S. history should not be POTUS. opposed the war from the beginning.

\Over the weekend, Joe saw the opportunity to promote his 'expertise' by offering yet another attempt to weasel out of his vote for the Iraq War and his selling of it before it began as well as afterwards.

Joe Biden on his vote for the Iraq war: The "mistake I made was trusting" former President George W. Bush
0:08 / 0:19

The "mistake I made was trusting" Bully Boy Bush.  That's the best Joe can offer.

It's a lie but if he wants us to believe him, okay, let's play.

Joe wants to be president.  But on one of the most important decisions of this century, he got it wrong, he says, because he trusted Bully Boy Bush.

Now the younger among us may not remember but Bully Boy Bush was not seen as the brightest bulb.  In fact, he was seen as the Village Idiot.

So Joe's justification currently is that he should be president even though he's so stupid that a Village Idiot managed to trick him.

That doesn't speak well to Joe -- not to his character, not his sense of judgment.

"Status Quo Joe" is the latest nickname the War Hawk's received.

Today, Joe's expected to deliver (as his campaign has whispered all weekend) remarks that will call for ObamaCare to stay and reject Medicare For All.

A reminder that opponents of Medicare for All are trying to preserve, protect and defend a system that produces this 👇🏻

Various fakes and phonies -- hey, Clara Jeffrey, we're looking at you -- insist that everything needs to be cute and cuddly.  Their "Hey, guys, we have to defeat Trump" is a lot like the spirit bunny speech Kelli Maroney's Cindy gave in FAST TIMES AT RIDGEMONT HIGH.

This isn't a game.

We have children going hungry in this country.  We have homeless people in every state.  We have never-ending wars.  Medicare For All is a basic right.  ObamaCare was a loser when Mitt Romney first sold it as RomneyCare.

A couple of years ago, Joe Biden was vice president and now he wants to be president but the best he can offer is ObamaCare?  Oh and he'll "seek" a public option.

Didn't he and Barack promise a public option while running in the 2008 general election?  Yes, they did.

Not to seek it, they promised to provide it.

Eleven years later, Weak Ass Joe can't even promise that.  He can only promise to "seek" it.

It's the vision thing -- he has none.

In the intensifying debate over Medicare for All, I don't think there's been enough focus on the fact that the very *first* thing Joe Biden did to launch his presidential campaign was hold a fundraiser with the CEO of a giant health insurance company.

Again, to those clutching the pearls and insisting we all be genteel, this isn't pie in the sky.  This is about the country's future and -- sorry, Joe -- our future isn't our past.

As Joe makes an idiot of himself over healthcare, he can take comfort in the fact that it may distract from yet another lie of his being exposed.

NEW: Biden's opposition to busing was far more sweeping than he has led voters to believe. and I took a deep dive into his record. He fought the court that forced Wilmington schools to desegregate. "We want to end court-ordered busing."

From Astead W. Herndon and Sheryl Gay Stolberg's report:

In the two weeks since Senator Kamala Harris of California, a rival for the nomination, invoked her own story of being bused to school to forcefully challenge Mr. Biden during the first Democratic presidential debates — and on the heels of criticism of his work with segregationists on crime legislation — Mr. Biden’s standing has dropped among the Democratic electorate, and his status as the race’s early front-runner is freshly threatened as his polling lead among black voters softens.

[. . .]

Mr. Biden has said that his record on school desegregation has been misrepresented, and he maintains that he supported busing as a remedy for the intentionally discriminatory policies that kept white and black students in separate schools in the South — a position his campaign spokesman, Andrew Bates, reaffirmed on Sunday in a statement to The Times. But a review of hundreds of pages of congressional records, as well as interviews with education experts and Biden contemporaries in Wilmington and Washington, suggests that his opposition to busing was far more sweeping than he has led voters to believe.
“I don’t know whether he’s just reconstructed this history in his own mind, but he’s factually untruthful, that’s for sure,” said Gary Orfield, a California professor who has written extensively about school desegregation, including in Wilmington, and who testified before Mr. Biden in 1981. He said that for politicians like Mr. Biden, the busing question was “a real test of conscience and courage. I think he failed.”
Mr. Biden also, more than any other Northern Democrat, adopted the language of conservatives on the issue, using terms like “forced busing” when his fellow liberals would emphasize desegregation, not transportation. Civil rights advocates note that students had, of course, been riding buses to school for decades; opponents of court-ordered busing never raised a ruckus when black children were forced to ride buses miles away from their homes to attend “colored-only” schools.
“I oppose busing,” Mr. Biden said in a lengthy television interviewentered into the Congressional Record in 1975. “It’s an asinine concept, the utility of which has never been proven to me.”
From 1975 until 1982, Mr. Biden — often in partnership with his fellow Delawarean, Senator William Roth, a Republican — promoted nearly a dozen pieces of legislation aimed at placing strict limits on the authority of federal agencies and the courts to mandate busing to achieve racial integration in schools. At a time when busing controversies were provoking racial unrest in cities like Boston, Mr. Biden argued that housing integration — which would take much longer to implement than a busing plan — was a far better way to desegregate public schools.
“The new integration plans being offered are really just quota-systems to assure a certain number of blacks, Chicanos, or whatever in each school,” Mr. Biden told the television interviewer.

Repeating, this election is about real issues.  And the notion that anyone should have to hold anything back about Joe Biden after he's had two weeks of using surrogates -- even his own wife -- to attack Kamala Harris?  No, the gloves need to be off and Joe needs to stop hiding behind women's skirts.

The never-ending wars continue -- despite Joe refusing to even mention Iraq in his 'major foreign policy address' last week.  These aren't games.  People are dying.  If you don't care about the people of Iraq and Afghanistan who continue to die, maybe you can care that another American has died in these forever wars?

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This is Sgt. Maj. James G. Sartor. He was killed by small-arms fire in Afghanistan on Saturday, July 13 while deployed with 10th Special Forces Group. Between Iraq and Afghanistan, Sartor was deployed in 2002, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2010, 2017 and 2019. RIP.

We'll note this.

Iraq denies arrival of new batch of U.S. soldiers at military base

So Iraq's government is denying the rumor that more US troops are present.  Are they?  A working press might actually explore that.

They might also rebuke those Iraqi officials who've repeatedly sold the lie that residents of Mosul have willing returned in large numbers and that rebuilding is taking place.

No, it's really not.

That’s why for 2 years nothing has been done to help Old ‘s residents to rebuild their homes & businesses. The Governor and unidentified investors want to create a "new city" with gleaming high rises, and large supermarket & restaurant chains

Let's wind down with this reality.

Iraq's penal code allows husbands to 'discipline their wives', and there is currently no law criminalising domestic violence

Before Joe sold and supported the war on Iraq, Iraqi women had more legal rights than women in any other Middle Eastern country.  Thanks to Joe, that's no longer true.  This despite all the money US taxpayers has provided Iraq (and its corrupt rulers).

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