Chief Injustice John Roberts: On the Wrong Side of History

C:UsersGenesis BooksPictures5269.jpgIn 1967, after a unanimous (9-0) decision to forbid states from restricting marriage among people of different races, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren wrote: “Under our Constitution, the freedom to marry, or not marry, a person of another race resides with the individual, and cannot be infringed by the State.”

In 2015, in a shamefully close, but completely predictable 5-4 vote, U.S. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts wrote in dissent against the Court’s legalization of gay marriage, “Whether same-sex [interracial] marriage is a good idea should be of no concern to us.” Fortunately, the 1967 Court hearing Loving v Virginia and the 5 Justices who voted for equal rights in 2015 thought it should very much be of concern to the Court. Chief Injustice Roberts went on to write, “Today, five lawyers have ordered every state to change their definition of marriage,” Roberts said. “Just who do we think we are?”

We, sir, hoped that you thought yourselves to be the moral bellwether of the United States government. We thought you believed yourselves to be that great compass that guides us not to the strict foundational words of our founding (white, male) fathers, but toward the great ideals that our nation purports to be founded upon. We hoped you thought yourselves not to be 9 lawyers, but the few, brave souls who would stand up to injustice and say, “The line must be drawn here! This far; no further!

But, alas, that was merely a fiction. You, sir, are no Jean-Luc Picard, and this is not science fiction. You are merely a lawyer who is content to dwell through all time on the wrong side of history.

Since you lack the moral decency to be ashamed, allow us, the American people, to be ashamed on your behalf. Love, sir, always wins. Had you watched more movies, perhaps you would have known that.

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“I knew Earl Warren. Earl Warren was a friend of mine. You, sir, are no Earl Warren,” said everybody, everywhere.

Ajay Rogers and the Vampire Bunnies, Part 2

Experimentation Log – 26 October – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Just a Kid

First of all, it’s not my fault. I was just trying to make the rabbits tamer. It’s not my fault I can understand what they’re thinking. So, when Charlie first started catching the rabbits, I thought if I mixed them with normal old earth white rabbits, it would make them nicer. It did. That part of the experiment was a success. How was I supposed to know it would make them like being around people? And then imitate them. I even had to google César Chávez.

Note: Make sure the TV remote is nowhere near where Kayotae can reach it. That little bunny’s got issues. Whoever heard of bunny’s rights? What the heck is she talking about?

Double Note: Look up Che Guevara. On second thought: don’t. I liked them better when they were just sneaking out and hunting dogs. I feel bad about Aunt Charlotte’s little Chihuahua.

 

***

 

Experimentation Log – 28 October – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Screwed

I’ve been staring at this stupid computer screen for fifteen minutes. I don’t know how to write this so it doesn’t sound like I’m making it up. The rabbits seem to be planning some kind of revolt. A Coo-Day-Ta (sp?).

I had the bunnies in the backyard playing, and this little brown bunny comes hopping up like he lives here. So Rocky walks over, and the bunny bows to him. It. Flipping. Bowed! To. Him.

What the Heck? Over.

Then they get all whispery, and they’re looking back at me every so often. So I get suspicious and I walk closer to them. Suddenly Kayotae hops over to me, and starts acting friendly. And, get this … she looks up at me and says, “You love me.” I like to died laughing. I told her to go away, ‘cause I’m not Charlie, and that stuff won’t work on me. She got really mad, and started chasing me all over the yard. The little monster bit through my sneaks and made me drop my hat! Then she took the hat over to Buzz. Buzz ate my hat! My grandpa gave me that hat.

So anyway, I still could overhear the rabbits a little. The little brown one was asking, “Bunny swarm now?” He doesn’t talk so good.

Rocky told him no, then looked at me and said, “Need more bunnies.”

I think I might be in big trouble.

Oh yeah, and the stupid dragons’ laughing keeps me up half the night. I don’t know what is so danged funny about hunting raccoons. Stupid dragons.

Note: Give things another couple of weeks, then maybe tell Robin. She’ll keep Auntie Charlotte from killing me.

I’m so dead.

 ***

Experimentation Log – 18 November – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Rabbit Herder

Well, some bunnies staged some kind of rescue at the Bunny World Rabbit Sanctuary in Suffolk. At first, I didn’t pay it any attention. But then Robin read how over a hundred rabbits were stolen, even though the place was still locked. All they found was a hole in the wire fence near the ground, and rabbit tracks. The police think someone who used to work there stole some keys, and let the rabbits out by cutting the hole in the fence.

That’s what we thought too.

But Kayotae let it slip that she was in love with the bunny who lead the “rescue mission.” That rabbit cannot keep a secret. Anyway, so we grilled Kayotae until she talked. I found an old high chair in the attic and we strapped Kayotae in it and shone a light on her. She’s a tough little bunny. It took almost an hour to get her to talk. (Well, an hour and a piece of carrot cake.)

Apparently, Rocky had been working with other small rabbit groups in the area. They managed to sneak five or six bunnies on a UPS truck that took them to Suffolk. Those crazy bunnies even left a box for UPS to take to the bunny sanctuary. UPS picked it up, and all they had to do is follow the box. You’d think the UPS people would have noticed half a dozen brown rabbits hopping around.

Anyway, they got to Suffolk, found the rabbits, and set them free.

Kay said they were all chanting “Amandla Awethu.” We have google that later. I don’t know if I spelled that right – rabbits spell funny.

So now, Robin said, “Miss Kayotae and Mr. Rocky are on double restriction.” No more outdoor trips for those guys.

We’ve found out there are hundreds of these little bunny groups all over Virginia, North Carolina, and Maryland. Rocky and Kay won’t talk, but we have cake, and we have Buzz. I think we’ll have a nice little map laid out by morning. Buzz told us they were trying to start a bunny group in Washington, DC, but the rats kept killing them.

Robin said, “Sheesh, who’re you supposed to root for in this war?”

I don’t know what she means by that. I like rats much better than rabbits.

Anyhow, now we have to figure out how to tell Aunt Charlotte. Robin says I have to do it. Man, I hate rabbits.

Ajay Rogers and the Vampire Bunnies

Ajay solo

Experimentation Log – 6 October – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Chief Scientist

These stupid vampire bunnies are freaking me out a little. So, like, Rocky has always been kind of weird. Robin says he acts more like a coyote than a rabbit. I think he’s more like a little grizzly bear. He’s not afraid of anything. Last week, he escaped from the basement den. (Okay, I may have left a door open, but that’s not the point.) Anyway, when I found him (before Mrs. Patterson came home – thank God) he was chasing a Pitt Bull down the street. Just little Rocky, hopping like crazy. The stupid dog almost knocked me down. He had a bite mark on the side of his neck, and his stupid dog eyes were about to pop out of his stupid dog head. If I hadn’t shown up when I did, that dog would have been bunny kibble.

I’m getting tired of cleaning up their messes. I’m just a nine-year-old kid. I shouldn’t have to deal with this stuff. Kayotae is teaching herself to read. How is a baby rabbit that escaped from one of my nightmares learning to read??? Aunt Charlotte is gonna kill me. Then, she’ll bring me back to life, like Frankenstein. Then, she’ll probably kill me again.

Oh, and Buzz ate Charlie’s left sneaker.

 ***

 Experimentation Log – 21 October – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Head of Genetic Research

Yikes! Please, please, please don’t let Auntie Charlotte find out!!! God, you’re reading this, right? Holy crap!

Sorry God. I meant Holy … something else.

 ***

 Experimentation Log – 23 October – Rabbit Study, Ajay Rogers, Head of Genetic Research

I think I may be okay. (Thanks, God.) A truck ran over the last of the squirrel-rabbits. They are fast like squirrels, but the vampire bunny part makes them too stubborn to move out of the way of cars. The one that got into the attic got chased away by Kayotae. Boy, she can be scary when she wants to. I sure hope for Charlie’s sake that Robin isn’t spooky like Kayotae, or he’s gonna be one unhappy guy.

The rabbits act like the people they spend the most time with. I’ve figured out that’s how they are learning to talk so well. At first, it was me, right? But I stopped when I saw Kayotae reading that old Hop on Pop book by Dr. Seuss. She thought it was the funniest thing ever. I guess if you’re a rabbit, hopping on folks is a hoot. She’s always with Robin, and that girl always has her face stuck in a book.

I KNEW books were a bad idea!!

Anyway, I stopped teaching them stuff, but they learn anyway. Turns out all the baby talk was just because they were babies. Not anymore.

Rocky acts just like Charlie. He hops back and forth when he’s mad, and scrunches his face up a lot. We think it’s hilarious, but nobody will tell Charlie. Kayotae is a furry little Robin, always cheerful and bouncy. But she’s the smartest one too, just like Robin.

Charlie thinks I have a crush on Robin, but I don’t. She’s 17 and I’m only 10. So, that’s stupid. I just think she’s smart and pretty.

(To be continued)

Surviving a Lousy Childhood

I published a version of this on this blog before, but it’s been 3 years and most of the people who read my blog probably never saw it. So here’s a reprise.

Billy '66 3My childhood sucked.

Now I will grant you that many people believe their childhoods were miserable; however, few of us born in the industrialized world truly know the definition of childhood misery. My life would hardly have been fodder for a 20th-century version of David Copperfield. I always had a home, never wanted for food, and was no more abused than any other kid born in the late 1950s. I got beatings, although probably far fewer than I earned.

Life took its first sidewards turn in 1960, when my sister Lynn Marie died. I was two, and she was only months old, but she was the light of my mother’s life. When SIDS claimed Lynn Marie, it took my mother’s joy with it. Mom was only 24, had two children under four and a dead baby. She also had a husband with the emotional capacity of a wayward moth. Needless to say, the corners in which she found herself sitting were not conducive to energizing a shy two-year-old who needed attention.

I had been odd, as babies go. I, according to mom, skipped that whole baby talking, learning to speak phase. By age two, I had not spoken a word (to others). Finally, with my mother convinced that her only son was mentally deficient (which in 1960’s Southern vernacular was called retarded), she asked, weeping, “Why won’t you talk?” It must have been hard for her to deal with, as my mother began talking in 1937 and hasn’t stopped yet. According to mom, I looked at her and answered, “Because, I don’t have anything to say.” These were the first words she heard me utter.

Now, this of itself is not odd. What is odd is that I remembered that conversation for most of my life, and was shocked to learn, in adulthood, it happened when I was two. Yes, I do have memories from this age, though it is spotty, to say the least. My real memories start at age 3. Mainly, I remember sitting by myself or keeping my mother company. She was still reeling from the death of her daughter, and I decided I would be her rock. Of course, at age 3, I didn’t know what a rock was, but I did know that neither hell nor high water would get me to leave my 25-year-old mother all alone.

Bill and Kathy
My sister and I smile at the camera in typical fashion.

 

So we grew up that way, together, my mom and me. Thankfully, my mother divorced my biological father when I was four before retreating to small-town Virginia. We moved to my grandparents’ house, living amongst seven or eight of my closest relatives. I barely spoke to any of them. As was true when I was a toddler, I knew how to talk, I just choose not to. There still was nothing to say.

I didn’t go to daycare, or pre-school, or Kindergarten. In those days, it just wasn’t done. Instead, I stayed at home in Granddaddy’s house, and discovered his library at the top of the stairs. There was just one obstacle. I was four, and no one would teach me to read. So, I asked my mom what the letters were, and how to pronounce them, and taught my damn self. I think it took two days. That was something else I never told anyone. I used to be really, really smart. My sister would come home from Kindergarten, and “read” to me. She grew up thinking she had taught me to read. I would never have told her otherwise. I didn’t talk about myself in those days.

Books, all kinds of books, were my salvation. My grandfather was a career Army officer, having made Captain by WWII. He had learned the power of education in Negroes’ lives, and made certain his children learned it too. We had at least 3 encyclopedia sets, volumes of history, art, literature, science, and, of course, the National Geographic (for pictures of boobs). I read everything there was to read. By first grade, I was two years ahead of the other kids in school. So they did what any respectful school did in those days: they ignored me.

I made my first friend at age six, in the first grade. He was hit by a car while walking to school. The car was not totaled; he was. I was the only kid who didn’t go to his funeral. I didn’t try to make another friend until I was eight. I didn’t ask a friend to come to my house until I was ten years old. I was painfully shy and dreadfully lonely.

By age eight, when we’d moved to Oakland, I was even further ahead. See, Oakland was ghetto, and even a segregated southern school beat an integrated ghetto one. By third grade, I was three years ahead of the other kids in school. I helped a cool Mexican kid I met with his work. They pulled him out of third grade and placed him in the 4th grade. I went nowhere. Years later, I learned that they had asked to place me in the sixth grade, but mom said no. As you can imagine, by then I was even more shy than before.

I had no friends, was bullied relentlessly, and there was no hope in sight. Then I discovered the public library and the Catholic Church. I took myself to the library and would walk the 8-10 blocks to get there, alone. I’d check out 5 Dr. Doolittle books, read them, and 3 weeks later, I’d return. The librarians would smile, and then I’d check out Silas Marner, David Copperfield, and Treasure Island. They would counsel me those books were too advanced. I’d read them faster, just to piss the librarians off. Being Catholic meant I got pulled out of school once a week to attend catechism. I didn’t like the priests, or God forbid, the nuns, but I loved not being in school.

I doubt anyone had an idea I read. The only time I really did so was in school, when teachers were teaching the other kids whatever the hell they taught in those days. Some days, I didn’t want to read, so I’d color in my coloring books. I never did get much out of school. But books, I learned, meant I could still teach myself. I’d love to say the remainder of my childhood improved. It did, in some ways. My mom remarried, and my stepdad was, and is awesome. Something else good happened, though I can’t remember it at the moment. It must have, as I have a photograph of me smiling at age 13. It was the first time I’d ever smiled in a photo.

Age 15
Age 15. I’m smiling.

But I got from my childhood exactly what God wanted me to get. I received an understanding of childhood that few adults will ever have. I learned that no amount of torment can bend a strong will, if there is but a single person who stands behind you. I learned that for me, God was enough. So was my mom. I was bullied, but not always. I used what I’d learned to help other kids. Being helpful kept most of them from kicking my ass.

For the rest of them, I learned that at some point, they would get tired of hitting me. When they did, I’d beat the living shit out of them. (The moral of this story is: God helps those who help themselves.)

Life is like that. Some things we endure. We are strengthened by the trials. We learn to survive and take with us bits and pieces to form the person we need to be. School was never of much use to me. I had ADD, I was different. I was alone and ignored, but everything I ever needed I could find in a book. And, with books at my disposal, my mom at my back, and God in my corner, I never stopped believing I had the world outnumbered.

 

 

Raining Love

He’d changed from the khaki pants and crisply creased button-down shirt he’d worn before and instead, wore a pair of jeans, the only other clothing he had since his beautiful suit had been ruined. Atop his deep, chocolate, rippling chest with the small dragon tattoo, he wore what I called a white vest, but which he referred to by the horrid name of a wife beater. Ça alors! Quelle romance.

“Come with me,” he said, taking my hand. As soon as I passed through the doorway, he stopped, bent, and removed my shoes. “Sorry, I didn’t have time to find rose petals for you to walk on.”

I took a step but he swept me from my feet and into his strong arms. I laughed. “Why did you take off my shoes if you weren’t going to let me walk?”

“I like your feet,” he said, giving me a sly smile.

We went up the steps, past the small bedroom in which I always slept, and past the larger one that I had assigned to him in order to avoid questions from curious sisters and children. Similarly, my emotions were on a path as well, traveling past excitement, then past disappointment, and now only at curiosity. Before I could ask him where we were going, he turned into the guest bathroom. Jette’s home is a real French farmhouse, exactly as Grand-père built it. The bath was little more than a wood-paneled room, well-lit from natural light, with a small sink, toilet, mirror, a bench for dressing and applying makeup, and in the center, a large, steel, oval tub with overhead shower and a detachable wand for washing by hand. Around the tub, on the bench, and on the counter were candles., Curling rivulets of steam rose to the ceiling, fogging the skylight and further muting the light. It was perfect.

Foss set me down.

“I thought if the cigarette smell is my problem, then I should be the one to fix it.”

“It wasn’t you. I know you don’t like smoking. I shouldn’t have.”

He shook his head. “You are a grown woman, and my job isn’t to tell you what to do.” He came closer and I thought he would kiss me. I closed my eyes, but instead, he reached around and pushed shut the door.

“We’re alone here,” I said. I felt my cheeks pull into a broad smile.

“I know, but it’s going to get chilly in a second.”

I frowned, not understanding what he meant, but before I could even move, he reached to my waist, and with a single motion, pulled my blouse over my head.

“You have beautiful breasts.” He was looking not at my chest, but into my eyes.

“You can’t even see them. I’m wearing a bra.”

“I’ve seen them before.” He nodded ever so slowly. “Trust me, I have them memorized.”

My breathing hastened.

In contrast to the swift removal of my top, he took forever to remove my jeans. First, he unlatched my belt, then unfastened the top button. He bent to me, gave me his tongue and tasted mine. And while they reconnected and fell there, lovingly, slowly, deliberately, he unzipped my pants as if I were a ripe banana to be unpeeled. I pulled back, gasping for air. It had been a long time, too long. I was still panting when I felt cool air against my exposed legs. My knees buckled.

“Are you hurting?” he asked.

“Oh, oui, I am. I have been hurting since the day we met.” I pulled his wife beater and together, our tongues entwined, we beat the hell out of that wife until I was spent, breathless, and gasping for more lips, tongue, love, always. I could see colors dancing before us and between us that would intensify whenever we touched. There was a vague buzzing, like electricity,that I’d never heard before, but I knew instantly that it was our connection finally being closed.

Foster kissed my cheek, my shoulder, slid off the strap, kissed the other, repeated the gesture, kissed my breastbone and reached around, unlatching the bra so that it fell silently to the floor. Precisely as my nipple was freed and hardened against the cool air, he slipped his warm mouth over it, tasting me for the first time and warming my breast and heart. My eyes glued closed but still I could see the purple flare of him. He fell to his knees, somehow still erect there before me like a knight waiting to be crowned. He waited until I met his eyes and then slowly, painfully, teasingly, removed my panties—inch by inch.

By inch.

By inch.

I tried to step out but he stopped me. “From now on, all the work is mine, love.” It was the first time he said that word since we met, and it stopped me. After five seconds, I remembered to exhale.

“Do you love me, Foss?”

He stood, meeting my gaze with intense, brown eyes. “Baby, I love you rivers, love you heaven and stars and all the galaxies beyond. I love that the sun waits to rise until you smile and refuses to set until he sees you’re safe. I love the day you were born and when your mama was born and grandma was born and when the first woman was born, all of them proud, knowing one day they’d evolve into you. Honey, I loved you the moment we met and every crazy minute since, and I promise you, when we’re done here on earth and it’s time to rejoin the heavens, I’ll still be loving you.”

It began to rain outside with the droplets’ tapping on the clay roof tiles making a perfect percussive accompaniment to my tears and to my Foss, who lifted me, placed me upright in the tub, and began washing me. He explored my curves, starting at my neck, and then to my shoulders, back, and bottom. He washed my breasts, gentle with them, saying nothing and not meeting my eyes, but focused on the soft cloth and my skin. When I was lathered, my curves sudsy and my secret places clean, he took a steel pot that sat nearby, and instead of using the shower’s wand, he rinsed me by hand, slowly, sensually, tenderly. I remember thinking, even now, that until that moment, that magical night with Foss, I had never been washed before. When I was clean and rinsed, he sat me in the tub. The water was no longer hot, but still warm and soothing. He lifted my right leg, held my ankle, washed my foot. On the left, he repeated the process, but carefully, minding my hip.

“Lean back,” he said, and I did.

He washed my hair, using only my shampoo and his strong hands, and to my dismay, I had my first orgasm there, just then, as he held me with one arm around my chest and the other rinsing shampoo from my hair. I had heard stories of women who could climax with a kiss or a touch, but never from a good shampoo. I was like a silly schoolgirl, wishing for longer locks so that the washing, and my orgasm, would last. When we were done, he sat me on the side of the tub and toweled me dry with one of the enormous red flannels that Jette loved so much. I wrapped it around myself like a cocoon.

“You look great in red,” he said. “You should wear it more often.”

“I will if you wear jeans more often,” I said.

“It’s a deal.” He sighed and sank to the floor.

“Tired?” I asked.

“Uh-uh. Just content, for the first time in … ever.”

“Then, I guess you wouldn’t want to risk spoiling it by making love to me,” I said. I had been waiting for him since the day we met. I will never understand shy American men.

“Oh darling, I plan on spoiling it all night.”

“Good. I haven’t made love in years.”

“Me either.”

I laughed and hit him. “Liar!” It was sweet, but seeing how women were drawn to him, I knew it wasn’t possible. Besides, he had a fiancée when we met.

“No, I mean it. Remember, you said, ‘love.’ ”

“Love, oui.”

He kissed me—then, later, all night long.

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Days of Art #39: I Cannot Dizzle upon Mah Toes

Originally posted on Just Art:

I cannot dizzle upon mah Toes
by Emily Cold-Ass Dickinson and Gizzoogle.net

I cannot dizzle upon mah Toes–
No Man instructed mah crazy ass–
But oftentimes, among mah mind,
A Glee possesseth me,
That had I Ballet knowledge–
Would put itself abroad
In Pirouette ta blanch a Troupe–
Or lay a Prima, mad,
And though I had no Gown of Gauze–
No Ringlet, ta mah Hair,
Nor hopped ta Audiences — like Birds,
One Claw upon tha Air,
Nor tossed mah shape up in Eider Balls,
Nor rolled on wheelz of snow
Till I was outta sight, up in sound,
Da Doggy Den encore me so —
Nor any know I know tha Art
I mention — easy as fuck — Here —
Nor any Placard boast me —
It’s full as Opera —

This is a brief poem, from a previous post, as translated by Gizoogle. I encourage you…

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Days of Art #42: “We Wear the Mask

Originally posted on Just Art:

Dunbar1-001

We Wear the Mask” by Paul Laurence Dunbar

We wear the mask that grins and lies,
It hides our cheeks and shades our eyes,–
This debt we pay to human guile;
With torn and bleeding hearts we smile,
And mouth with myriad subtleties.

Why should the world be overwise,
In counting all our tears and sighs?
Nay, let them only see us, while
We wear the mask.

We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries
To thee from tortured souls arise.
We sing, but oh the clay is vile
Beneath our feet, and long the mile;
But let the world dream otherwise,
We wear the mask!

1-Chinatown HDR 12-001

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