Monthly Archives: December 2016

We’re all Putin’s little bitches now

Image result for Putin Trump Saturday Night Live elf on shelf

In a recent sketch on “Saturday Night Live,” Vladimir Putin (Beck Bennett) gives Donald Trump (Alec Baldwin) a very special elf on the shelf as a Christmas present. It’s a funny sketch, but if “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber indeed has sold his soul — and the United States of America — to fellow gangster Putin, it’s not very fucking funny.

Admittedly, when Team Billary this past summer wanted us to focus on its allegation that Russia leaked the damning Democratic National Committee e-mails to WikiLeaks, I viewed it as the Billarybots’ lame attempt to distract us from the content of the revealing e-mails and instead focus on the source of them. (This is, in fact, a common tactic used on the right: to ignore the message and to shoot the messenger.)

As a “Bernie bro” — that term certainly didn’t make us male supporters of Bernie Sanders want to support Billary any more than we already didn’t, by the way — I didn’t give a rat’s ass as to the source of the DNC e-mails. I was much more interested in what the e-mails revealed about the “neutrality” of the DNC in the race between Billary Clinton and Sanders.

Apparently, though, as craven as they are, the Billarybots were on to something.

The very public stroke jobs that “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber and his fellow gangster Vladimir Putin are giving each other aren’t just creepy, but on Pussygrabber’s part, they’re fucking treasonous.

Love him or hate him, but Barack Obama was the first Democratic president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt to win two terms with a majority of the vote.

So when Obama imposed sanctions on Russia this past week, he had the backing of the majority of the American people — those who put him in the White House in 2008 and who decided to keep him there in 2012. They — we — gave him the power to deal with foreign friends and foes.

So when Pussygrabber sides with enemy-state Russia over the duly-twice-elected Obama administration, he is, quite simply, committing treason.

Reports Reuters today:

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Friday praised Russian President Vladimir Putin for refraining from retaliation in a dispute over spying and cyberattacks, in another sign that the Republican plans to patch up badly frayed relations with Moscow.

Putin earlier on Friday said he would not hit back for the U.S. expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies by President Barack Obama, at least until Trump takes office on Jan. 20.

“Great move on delay (by V. Putin) – I always knew he was very smart!” Trump wrote on Twitter from Florida, where he is on vacation.

Obama on Thursday ordered the expulsion of the Russians and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence agencies over their involvement in hacking political groups in the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.

“We will not expel anyone,” Putin said in a statement, adding that Russia reserved the right to retaliate.

“Further steps towards the restoration of Russian-American relations will be built on the basis of the policy which the administration of President D. Trump will carry out,” he said.

In a separate development, a code associated with the Russian hacking operation dubbed Grizzly Steppe by the Obama administration has been detected within the system of a Vermont electric utility, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing unnamed U.S. officials. …*

No, that’s not a “separate development.” The two are very closely linked. The Cold War is over, but Russia remains an enemy state — it went from a Communist state to a thugocracy — and “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber can’t suck Vladimir Putin’s penis furiously enough.

It is mind-blowing that Putin makes public proclamations to the effect that Repugnican U.S. “President”-“elect” Donald J. Trump already is in his pocket (and vice-versa).

If a Democratic president or president-elect had such a cozy relationship with Russia or any other nation with which the United States historically has had animosity, the Repugnican Teatards would throw a shit fit. But very apparently such treason is A-OK as long as the “president” is a Repugnican.

Many are analyzing the surreal, fascistic bromance between Pussygrabber and Putin, but the reason that they’re so much in love with each other seems to be that both are democracy-hating, power-grabbing thugs. And because for all of their bravado thugs actually are weak pieces of shit, Putin and Pussygrabber apparently need and want each other in order to bolster each other.

I mean, here is El Trumpo, only the third “president”-“elect” in U.S. history who had not first been the governor of a state, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative, U.S. vice president or a U.S. Army general, so stunningly unprepared and unfit for the job of U.S. president — and entering the White House with an American approval rating of only in the 40s (Obama entered the White House with an approval rating in the 60s) — that he feels the need to lean on the likes of Vladimir Putin.

We’ll see how long the love affair between “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber and Russian Thug in Chief Vladimir Putin lasts and how far Pussygrabber will be able to go with it until we, the American people, finally reel him back in and remind him exactly to whom he is supposed to be loyal.

P.S. I like Matt Taibbi’s take on the whole Putin-Pussygrabber love affair. He writes, in part:

… Did the Russians do it? Very possibly, in which case it should be reported to the max. But the press right now is flying blind. Plowing ahead with credulous accounts is problematic because so many different feasible scenarios are in play.

On one end of the spectrum, America could have just been the victim of a virtual coup d’etat engineered by a combination of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, which would be among the most serious things to ever happen to our democracy.

But this could also just be a cynical ass-covering campaign, by a Democratic Party that has seemed keen to deflect attention from its own electoral failures.

The outgoing Democrats could just be using an over-interpreted intelligence “assessment” to delegitimize the incoming Trump administration and force Trump into an embarrassing political situation: Does he ease up on Russia and look like a patsy, or escalate even further with a nuclear-armed power?

It could also be something in between. Perhaps the FSB didn’t commission the hack, but merely enabled it somehow. Or maybe the Russians did hack the DNC, but the WikiLeaks material actually came from someone else? There is even a published report to that effect, with a former British ambassador as a source, not that it’s any more believable than anything else here.

We just don’t know, which is the problem.

We ought to have learned from the Judith Miller episode. Not only do governments lie, they won’t hesitate to burn news agencies. In a desperate moment, they’ll use any sucker they can find to get a point across.

I have no problem believing that Vladimir Putin tried to influence the American election. He’s gangster-spook-scum of the lowest order and capable of anything. And Donald Trump, too, was swine enough during the campaign to publicly hope the Russians would disclose Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. So a lot of this is very believable.

But we’ve been burned before in stories like this, to disastrous effect. Which makes it surprising we’re not trying harder to avoid getting fooled again.

Agreed, we shouldn’t froth too much at the mouth over Russia, but “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s many statements and actions apparently protecting Russia (and his own ties to Russia) certainly give the appearance that he has something to hide.

If Pussygrabber was so sure that he won the Rust Belt states fairly and squarely, then why did his team try to block the recount effort in those states? Why does Pussygrabber think that he can pull a Jedi mindfuck on the American people, proclaiming of the allegations of Russian interference in U.S. operations that are tantamount to a declaration of war, “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things”?

Most of all, why are Pussygrabber and Putin so publicly supportive of each other, including both of them ganging up on the twice-duly-elected president of the United States of America?

“On one end of the spectrum, America could have just been the victim of a virtual coup d’etat engineered by a combination of Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin, which would be among the most serious things to ever happen to our democracy,” Taibbi notes.

The safest thing to do for American security is to assume that America indeed has been the victim of such a coup de’etat by Putin and Pussygrabber.

If we turn out to be wrong about that, then we turn out to be wrong about that.

But if our minds are so far open that our brains fall out, and the Pussygrabber-Putin coup de’etat indeed is as real as it appears to be now, we jeopardize our nation by waiting until we have overwhelming evidence that the unthinkable — that we “elected” a real-life Manchurian candidate — indeed has taken place.

*More of the Reuters article:

… The Russians did not actively use the code to disrupt operations of the utility, the officials told the Post, but penetration of the nation’s electrical grid is significant because it represents a potentially serious vulnerability.

Trump has repeatedly praised Putin and nominated people seen as friendly toward Moscow to senior administration posts, but it is unclear whether he would seek to roll back Obama’s actions, which mark a post-Cold War low in U.S.-Russian ties.

Trump has brushed aside allegations from the CIA and other intelligence agencies that Russia was behind the cyber attacks. “It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things,” Trump said on Thursday, though he said he would meet with intelligence officials next week.

U.S. intelligence agencies say Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Party organizations and operatives before the presidential election. Moscow denies this. U.S. intelligence officials say the Russian cyber attacks aimed to help Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton.

Russian officials have portrayed the sanctions as a last act of a lame-duck president and suggested Trump could reverse them when he takes over from Obama, a Democrat.

A senior U.S. official on Thursday said that Trump could reverse Obama’s executive order, but doing so would be inadvisable.

Russian Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova called the Obama administration “a group of embittered and dimwitted foreign policy losers.”

Should Trump seek to heal the rift with Russia, he might encounter opposition in Congress, including from fellow Republicans.

Republican John McCain, chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said on Friday that Russia must face a penalty for the cyber attacks.

“When you attack a country, it’s an act of war,” McCain said in an interview with the Ukrainian TV channel “1+1” while on a visit to Kiev.

“And so we have to make sure that there is a price to pay, so that we can perhaps persuade the Russians to stop these kind of attacks on our very fundamentals of democracy,” added McCain, who has scheduled a hearing for Thursday on foreign cyber threats.

Other senior Republicans, as well as Democrats, have urged a tough response to Moscow. …

Trump will find it very difficult to reverse the expulsions and lift the sanctions given that they were based on a unanimous conclusion by U.S. intelligence agencies, said Eugene Rumer, who was the top U.S. intelligence analyst for Russia from 2010 until 2014. …

Obama had promised consequences after U.S. intelligence officials blamed Russia for hacks intended to influence the 2016 election. Officials accused Putin of personally directing the efforts and primarily targeting Democrats. …

I never thought that there ever would be a use for the likes of the dynamic duo of John McCain and Lindsay Ladybird Graham, but the Cold Warriors just might actually remove the stench of Moscow from D.C.

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Why I am not a white supremacist

Shit like this blows my mind: The Washington Post reports that these fliers were found at a campus of the University of Maryland this week:

Washington Post images

Reports the Post:

Fliers linked to a white supremacist group were found this week on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, authorities said, part of what appears to be a new effort targeting colleges in several states.

The fliers featured the logo of American Vanguard, a group associated with white supremacy. One read “We have a right to exist” and another read “Defending your people is a social duty not an anti-social crime.”

“We hear it every day: ‘Whiteness’ is evil, and must be destroyed,” the group said in a statement on its website. “Our religion, our traditions, and our identity are dragged through the mud by the globalist establishment while millions of nonwhites flood our nation every year. If current trends continue, White Americans will be a minority by 2044. It’s time to take a stand.”

As first reported in the school’s Diamondback newspaper, University of Maryland police responded to Marie Mount Hall at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday for a report of vandalism and discovered several fliers posted at the main entrance and the south entrance. Another set of fliers was discovered posted to pillars at Tydings Hall at around 10 a.m. Monday, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police said, and the fliers at both locations were removed.

American Vanguard, based in California, has posted fliers on other U.S. campuses, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Its posters were found at Purdue University in Indiana, the University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and Emerson College in Massachusetts in recent weeks, the ADL said.

Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s center on extremism, said he has been seeing a proliferation of white supremacist, alt-right messaging at college campuses around the country in recent weeks. “It seems to be an extension of this effort by the alt-right and their supporters to try to reach younger audiences,” he said.

Segal also said some white supremacists have perceived Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election as a victory for their cause, leading to hate incidents around the country. “I feel like the alt-right in general thinks this is the time to pounce,” he said. …

Wow. It disappoints me that “American Vanguard” is based in my state.

Speaking of my state, according to at least one source, California was the 48th whitest state in 2004 (with only Mississippi, the District and Columbia and Hawaii having a smaller percentage of whites). That source puts California’s white-alone population in 2004 at 63 percent of the state’s total population.

The U.S. Census Bureau now puts California’s white-alone population at only 38 percent, its Latino population at 38.8 percent, its Asian population at 14.7 percent, and its black population at 6.5 percent.

Yes, a little while ago Latinos surpassed whites here in California, so that now more Californians are Latino than of any other race. And Latinos in California and elsewhere throughout the United States will continue to outgrow whites.

Indeed, apparently the projection is that by 2044 or 2045, white Americans no longer will be the majority of Americans.

Do I feel like my “whiteness” is under threat? (I do have blue eyes, light skin and brown hair, and I did genetic testing some years ago that put my genetic ancestry most likely with the dominant genetic populations of Britain and/or Germany.)

No, I don’t.

Not only are the racial demographics in the United States changing over time, giving us plenty of time to adjust to the changes, but it doesn’t matter what race an American is. An American, to use the definition of a denizen of one of the 50 states, used to be a Native American; then to be an American meant that you probably are or were white; in the future, to be an American might mean that you probably are Latino or mixed.

Nothing is so precious about the white culture, if there is a monolithic white culture (there is not), that it would be an irretrievable loss to humankind should we see fewer and fewer blond-haired-and-blue-eyed human beings born upon the planet. White culture — hopefully only the best parts of it — will be absorbed into the overall culture anyway; it won’t be lost altogether.

As far as changing demographics in my home state of California go, no one is forcing me to learn Spanish (although I’ve been brushing up on my Spanish on my own for a while now), no one is forcing me to change my name to Roberto, no one is even forcing his or her Catholicism down my throat. (I love Mexican food, so if someone wanted to force that down my throat, I’d probably be OK with that.)

I don’t at all feel threatened that Latinos now outnumber the members of my own race in my state. For the very most part, Latinos and whites co-exist in California just fine.

I find white culture to be a bit stiff and boring, and so the injection of other cultures into white American culture is a benefit, not a threat. Other cultures show us still-dominant-in-the-U.S. whites (white-alones still are 61.6 percent of all Americans) other ways of seeing, of believing, of thinking, of living.

And we Americans get to pick and choose. I like the Spanish language. I like Mexican food. I like Cuban music. (I’d love to visit Cuba before I die.) I like the leftist politics that we’ve seen throughout Latin America throughout time. (Yes, I’ve been a fan of both the late Hugo Chavez and the late Fidel Castro — no, I’m not in agreement with everything that they did, but I like that they stood up to the evil empire in the north instead of selling their people out to the plutocratic plunderers of the north.)

But I remain free to hate any or all of those things if I choose. The only thing about the Latino culture that I’m not crazy about is its rampant Catholicism, but, again, no one is forcing me to become a Catholic. (It would take something like the Spanish Inquisition 2.0 for me to “convert” to that oppressive, patriarchal and misogynist, fairly racist [or at the very least Eurocentric], homophobic, backasswards, toxic institutionalized religion.)

In terms of religion, when I’m not feeling atheist-y, I gravitate toward the Eastern religions, especially Buddhism. I’m not a practicing Buddhist, but I’m fairly familiar with Buddhism, and while I wouldn’t swallow, hook, line and sinker all of its teachings any more than I would any other religion’s, Buddhism is the major world religion that makes more sense to me than does any of the others, especially Judaism, what passes for Christianity, and Islam.

I admire Asians, perhaps especially the Vietnamese, whose food I love. My best friend in junior high school and high school was half-Vietnamese; born in Vietnam, as a child he had come to the United States with his Vietnamese mother. He had a bit of a mischievous streak about him, but he was very bright and was a good friend.

Black culture is infused into the culture of the United States to the point that many if not most blacks often complain that elements of their culture have been stolen by whites. Hey, black Americans, we bland white Americans need that spice. Without it, you’d be blinded by our whiteness, too. (Melting pot, baby!)

One of my favorite books is an old one, La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race), by the late prominent Mexican José Vasconcelos. Published in 1925, in his treatise Vasconcelos did assert some things that today we’d find racially stereotypical at best, but his overall theme — that the mixing of the races is beneficial, not harmful, to humankind — was forward-thinking for its time and holds true for today.

Wikipedia notes of La Raza Cósmica:

Published in 1925, La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race) is an essay written by late Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos to express the ideology of a future “fifth race” in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to color or number to erect a new civilization: Universópolis.

As he explains in his literary work, armies of people would then go forth around the world professing their knowledge. Vasconcelos continues to say that the people of the Iberian regions of the Americas (that is to say, the parts of the continent colonized by Portugal and Spain*) have the territorial, racial, and spiritual factors necessary to initiate the “universal era of humanity.”

Claiming that the Darwinist ideologies are “scientific” theories only created to validate, explain, and justify ethnic superiority and to repress others, Vasconcelos attempts to refute these theories and goes on to recognize his words as being an ideological effort to improve the cultural morale of a “depressed race” by offering his optimistic theory of the future development of a cosmic race. …

Any biologist will tell you that a species that never gets any genetic variation introduced into its gene pool (usually because of isolation) is at risk for extinction because its genetic code never gets any updates, so to speak.

This is true not only for the human animal on the biological level — think of the common results of inbreeding — but it is true for the human animal on the cultural level.

Cultural isolation leads to cultural stagnation, and cultural stagnation often leads to cultural extinction.

White supremacists speak endlessly of strength, but ironically, the genetic and cultural isolationism that they espouse (whites must only reproduce with other whites and the white culture must be “defended” and all other cultures rejected) is a fucking recipe for literal and cultural extinction.

That which does not bend will break in the wind. White supremacists do their fellow whites no favor by advocating staunch rigidity when the changes that we have been experiencing on many levels call instead, loudly and clearly, for flexibility and adaptability.

To be clear, just as there are white supremacists, there are Latino supremacists, Asian supremacists, black supremacists, et. al., people who believe that their race is the best, or, at least, the only race that really matters.

Racial supremacism of any kind is an unfortunate, harmful disease, but in the United States of America of course white supremacism has been the most prevalent and most harmful racial supremacism, but even with that historical fact, no one is really saying that whites don’t have the right to exist, as the flier pictured above alleges.

The supposed war on whites is as bogus as is the supposed war on Christmas (the “war on Christmas,” of course, is just an aspect of the “war on whites”; often, if not even usually, in fact, it’s just code for “war on whites”).

No one, with the exception of a crazy, relative very few, has called for the extermination of white Americans. Very most often it’s white Americans calling for the extermination of other races, or, if not their extermination, then at least their banishment, as is the case with how millions of white, Trump-loving Americans believe that brown-skinned and/or Spanish-speaking individuals all should be banished to the south of the Great White Wall that Der Fuhrer Trump has promised to erect. (After all, these brown-skinned hordes are threatening what it means to be an American — which is to be white!)

So it’s always interesting to see white supremacists claim that whites actually are the victims. Fucking losers.

This is not to say that it’s OK to shit and piss on a white person primarily or even solely because he or she is white. That’s called racism. And you don’t correct racial injustice by committing even more racial injustice yourself.

Nor do you get to punish the son for the sins of the father, so to speak. Because a person is white doesn’t mean that he or she is the descendant of a white slaveholder any more than it means that a person who is a black is a descendant of black slaves. (Barack Obama, for instance, is not. And there are plenty of whites who immigrated to the U.S. after slavery was abolished. And most Southerners didn’t hold slaves during the years of slavery; you had to be pretty rich to hold a lot of slaves.) But even if someone were proven to be the descendant of a slaveholder, do you really get to punish him or her for something that happened when he or she was not even alive?

Slavery was a colossal sin that never should have happened and that can’t be undone. It never should be minimized, but it also shouldn’t keep blacks and whites hating each other in perpetuity. It is the national wound that won’t heal, and even then there are plenty of other wounds, such as the decimation of the Native Americans, who rarely are mentioned in discussions of race; the internment of the Japanese and other mistreatment of Asians throughout U.S. history; and the ongoing prejudice against Latinos, against whom we are told by our pussy-grabbing “president”-“elect” that we must built a huge wall — you know, in order to “make America great again.”

In regards to the second white-supremacist flier shown above, I fully agree that “defending [my] people is [my] social duty.” It’s that I define “my people” very differently than do the white supremacists.

While I don’t at all call myself a Christian, as I reject institutionalized Christianity and don’t believe in bullshit like virgin births and resurrections, there is a quote of Jesus that I find interesting. Three of the four gospels give some version of it. Here it is in Matthew 12:46-50:

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

I always have interpreted this to mean that Jesus (at least the Jesus of the New Testament as he is written about in the New Testament, whether there actually was a historical Jesus or not) did not believe that mere genetic closeness was real closeness; real closeness comes only with a shared worldview, a shared philosophy, a shared love that is not racially or otherwise exclusive, but is universal, all-encompassing.

I extend the definition of genetic closeness beyond the genetic closeness that one sees in his or her nuclear and extended family to the genetic closeness within one’s own race; having said that, again, I maintain that mere genetic closeness does not confer real closeness, and that perhaps is where the white supremacists err the most.

That another person is white doesn’t mean that he or she and I automatically have this bond. We don’t. I don’t care what’s in your genetic code; I care what’s in your heart and mind.

All human beings have the right to exist. White supremacists and other racial supremacists, however, care only about the welfare of the members of their own race. Tragic.

Defending our people indeed is our social duty, but our definition of “our people” had better include all human beings.

*It’s true that Vasconcelos is partial to the Iberian Peninsula, probably especially to Spain, but it’s also true that the Spanish conquerors did something that the white, non-Hispanic European conquerors were loathe to do: they routinely interbred with the peoples they conquered.

Thus, today’s populations of Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, et. al., have Spanish blood in them, as the population of Brazil has Portuguese blood in it.

The willingness to mix racially is laudable, even necessary for the long-term survival of humankind, as I have established, but it’s also important not to feel that one’s own race is superior or supreme… And one could argue that Vasconcelos in his La Raza Cósmica at times at least verges on that.

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‘Rogue One’ gives me a new hope

Updated below (on Thursday, January 5, 2017)

Right about now we all could use a new “Star Wars” movie that doesn’t suck. “Rogue One’s” diverse cast of heroic characters (see the movie’s publicity image below) has the white supremacists in a frothy lather, which is yet another good reason to see it.

Image result for Rogue One cast

With Darth Donald furiously filling his administration with hell’s best and brightest — and our only hope rebel electors who halt the construction of the Death Star and thus save the republic when they meet in the state capitals on Monday — it’s great that we have a new “Star Wars” movie to look to.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first live-action “Star Wars” film that isn’t part of the ongoing nine-film series (which has hits and misses), opens on Friday, and it looks like it’s going to be a worthy “Star Wars” movie, unlike last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

I like that “Force Awakens” features a heroine instead of a hero (British actress Daisy Ridley as Rey did a great job), and that it is somewhat diverse, with black British actor John Boyega as rebel stormtrooper Finn and Latino Oscar Isaac as rebel pilot Poe Dameron. (Boyega and Isaac also did a great job, and, like many, many others, I’ve always had something for Isaac…)

But “Force Awakens,” although acted well enough and technically sound, of course, given its big budget, suffers significantly from being a brazen rehash of the “Star Wars” movies that came before it, replete with a third Death Star (well, OK, it’s a weaponized planet, but in essence it’s a third Death Star), another climactic light-saber duel, and, of course, the climactic destruction of that third Death Star.

“Force Awakens” also features a geriatric Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as a geriatric Princess Leia and Han Solo, which didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy sense of nostalgia as much as it gave me the sense that the fucking baby boomers just won’t get off of the stage, no matter how long it has been since they wore out their welcome. (At least Han Solo dies in the movie…)

Perhaps most sinfully, “Force Awakens'” “villain,” Darth Vader descendant Kylo Ren (the son of Han Solo and Leia, he is played by Adam Driver), isn’t actually bad-ass at all, but is a whiny little bitch (much like Darth Donald). And that Kylo Ren is just a bad Darth Vader knock-off only emphasizes the fact that “Force Awakens” is just a bad “Star Wars” knock-off…

Oh, sure, it’s great to watch Rey kick Kylo Ren’s ass, but the whole fucking premise that Leia and Han Solo had a son who grew up to try to emulate Granddad Vader is just stupid. As is that third Death Star.

“Rogue One,” though, looks promising. It’s a more immediate prequel to 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope”* than was 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which is the best of the first-three-numbered “Star Wars” episodes of 1999, 2002 and 2005 that were made after the first three released “Star Wars” episodes of 1977, 1980 and 1983. (Indeed, “Sith” is the only of those three proactive episodes worth watching, really.)

We already pretty much know the plot of “Rogue One”: Rebels to the Empire manage to steal the (first) Death Star plans so that the rebels then can destroy it. But while that back story was mentioned** in “A New Hope,” it never was fleshed out (recall that “A New Hope” begins with Princess Leia safeguarding the Death Star plans with the [an]droid R2-D2, who/which then jettisons in an escape pod with sidekick C-3PO), and very apparently “Rogue One” fleshes out that back story.

That “Rogue One” takes on fresher (albeit pre-established) material rather than simply rehashing old material, as “Force Awakens” did, is a big draw to me, as is the fact that I was a “Star Wars” fan at nine or 10 years old, replete with action figures and plastic toy replicas of the vehicles. (The fact that my mother cavalierly bought me a regular TIE fighter instead of the Darth Vader TIE fighter that I’d very specifically and repeatedly requested for one Christmas [a true story, unfortunately] probably contributed to the person that I am today [including my being fairly used to deep disappointment].)

While I grew up as a “Star Wars” fan — not only was finally seeing the very first “Star Wars” film a major event for me (I was taken to see it by an uncle who felt pity for my brother and me that our lazy, selfish, baby-boomer parents had yet to take us to it [another unfortunately true story]), but “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” also were big events for me, even though “Jedi,” with its second Death Star (and its inevitable destruction), largely is a rehash of “New Hope,” just with a bigger budget and on a larger scale — I still expect a new “Star Wars” movie to bring fresh elements to the table, and “Rogue One” appears to do that.

And I didn’t need another reason to see “Rogue One,” but the fact that the Trump-loving white supremacists/neo-Nazis are boycotting “Rogue One” because it’s just too damned diverse (and thus apparently is anti-white, you see) is yet another significant reason for me to see it.

You would think that these “alt-right” losers would have boycotted “Force Awakens,” because in it, the heroine Rey kicks the ass of the bad-ass wannabe Kylo Ren, who reminds me a lot of the neo-Nazis: He very much wants to be a bad-ass, and is trying to mimic an actual bad-ass who came before him, but he’s just a pathetic, petty terrorist; oh, sure, he can cause plenty of harm to others, but at heart, he’s a weak fucking coward — who gets his sorry ass kicked by a girl.

I love it that as with “Force Awakens,” “Rogue One’s” main hero is a heroine, Jyn Erso (played by British actress Felicity Jones), a rebel who apparently is aided in her cause against the Empire by fellow rebels played by Mexican actor Diego Luna, black American actor Forest Whitaker, Chinese actor Donnie Yen, and Riz Ahmed, who is a Brit of Pakistani heritage.

I’ve enjoyed the work of Luna, Whitaker, Yen and the adorable, doe-eyed Ahmed, and I’m happy to be able to see all of them in one movie.

And that ass-kicking droid in “Rogue One” (named K-2SO, apparently an Imperial droid that/who is droidnapped and reprogrammed to work for the rebels) strikes me as pretty fucking cool — like a C-3PO who/that finally grew a pair.

Movies do a lot of things. They are escapism, for sure, and right about now we Americans — and those who live in nations that are affected by what we Americans allow our government actors to do (and what we don’t allow them to do) — sure could use some escapism.

But movies also are a deep part of American and global culture, and it’s not a one-way street; movies not only reflect the culture at large, but they help to shape the culture.

Even the dimwitted, cowardly members of the “alt-right” and other neo-Nazis know this, and that’s why they hate to see images of racial and gender equality in our mainstream movies; they want only straight, white, conservative men to be the sole heroes in our movies in perpetuity.

But “Star Wars” has been, at least in its own way, subversive from Day One. Even in 1977’s retroactively titled “A New Hope,” it’s clear that the evil Empire, with its legions of stormtroopers and military hierarchy and massive weaponry, is much like the short-lived Nazi German empire.

And “Star Wars'” heroes have not been its villains (although no doubt many have fetishized its villains to the point of not really even viewing them as villains); “Star Wars'” heroes always have been the little guys and gals who have stood up to the big, fascist bullies against all odds.

“Star Wars” has been anti-neo-Nazi since its birth in 1977; the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, neo-Nazi mega-losers of today boycott it way too late.

And I’m incredibly fine, when I go to see “Rogue One” — taking a break from the news of the stunningly awful team that is being assembled in Washington, D.C., to “make America great again” by bringing it to the brink of its destruction — knowing that at least there shouldn’t be any neo-Nazis in the theater with me because of their pissy little boycott.

Update (Thursday, January 5, 2017): I finally saw “Rogue One” in IMAX on Monday.

While not a perfect movie, it probably is the best “Star Wars” movie to be released since “The Empire Strikes Back.” It certainly has the look and the feel of the 1977 “Star Wars.”

Like every “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One” has some characters (humans and non-humans) that are rather dumb, to be frank, but in “Rogue One” the strong characters thankfully cancel out the others. Droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) steals the show as a C-3PO with balls, and Felicity Jones as reluctant Rebel Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Rebel leader Cassian Andor are a strong heroine and hero team.

Riz Ahmed seems underused as Imperial turncoat Bodhi Rook, a character that is rather undeveloped, as are the characters of blind warrior Chirrut Imwe (who is reduced to babbling a mantra about the Force, which many viewers are going to find more tiresome and annoying than anything else), played by Donnie Yen, and radical Rebel offshoot Saw Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker, whose importance seems diminished by a deficient back story.

The CGI of the long-dead Peter Cushing as Governor Tarkin is rather obviously CGI, and it’s surprising how much of the CGI Peter Cushing is in “Rogue One.” I’ll leave aside the discussion as to whether or not we even should be resurrecting dead actors via CGI, and just say that the CGI in “Rogue One” is lacking. We’ve come a long way from the creepy CGI of “The Polar Express,” but in “Rogue One,” it’s not far enough.

For all of it flaws, again, “Rogue One” succeeds in bringing back the look and feel and spirit of the 1977 “Star Wars” without entirely rehashing old story lines, as “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” did.

Yes, like “Revenge of the Sith,” “Rogue One” fleshes out events that already were alluded to in the earlier films, but still, it’s a masterful fleshing out.

And it’s rather exhilarating, in fact, if you are an old “Star Wars” fan like I am, to watch “Rogue One” take you right to where the 1977 “Star Wars” begins.

I give “Rogue One” at least an “A-“. It misses primarily in some lacking character development. And I still don’t know about that CGI.

“Rogue One” must be given points for its diverse cast — it’s so refreshing when the hero isn’t yet another straight white guy — and for its rather bold ending, which I’d talk about except that it would be a major spoiler to tell you the fate of the main characters.

*I was nine years old when that movie came out, and it wasn’t subtitled “A New Hope” until 1981, when the movie was re-released.

**The iconic opening crawl of “A New Hope” reads:

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…

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Trump, the Muscovite Candidate, probably won’t last very long

Der Fuhrer Donald Trump actually isn’t president of the United States of America until and unless the members of the Electoral College vote him in on December 19, but even if he survives that test, Trump, the Muscovite Candidate who lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, will be a one-term “president” at best.

I haven’t written all that much about Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and I hope that some haven’t taken that as any sort of admiration of or acceptance of him on my part.

It’s that The Donald is so fucking bizarre, such an anomaly, such a “presidential” fucking freak, that it’s difficult for me to even know where to begin in discussing him.

Let’s see: During the campaign he routinely uncreatively called Billary Clinton “corrupt Hillary” yet he recently settled his Trump University fraud lawsuit for $25 million, to name just one, recent instance of his own mega-corruption.

Another inconvenient, unflattering fact is that “corrupt Hillary” thus far leads Der Fuhrer Trump by 2.8 million votes in the popular vote.

Despite Trump’s wholly unsubstantiated — and treasonous — bold-faced lie that “millions” of people voted illegally for Billary, the fact remains that Trump lost the election by millions of votes; he did not earn the popular vote of the American people, and therefore he is an illegitimate president-“elect,” in my eyes.

Trump’s presidential illegitimacy is different than was George W. Bush’s — and here I never have written “President Bush” but only “‘President’ Bush,” because Bush always was and always will be a quite illegitimate president. (He lost the popular vote in 2000 by more than a half-million votes and was installed in the White House by his then-Florida-governor brother Jeb!, by then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, and by the five Repugnican members of the U.S. Supreme Court who stopped the recount in Florida, the pivotal state for Gee Dubya that his brother very conveniently governed, and who thus, with the other conspirators, decided the presidential election for us commoners.)

In that thus far he has lost the popular vote by a significantly larger margin than Gee Dubya did — if we think that it’s at all important that in a democracy the candidate who actually earns the highest number of votes of the people actually is the one who takes office — Trump is even more illegitimate than George W. Bush was, but Bush’s illegitimacy was worsened with the blatantly partisan — and treasonously anti-democratic — involvement of his brother, Florida elections chief Katherine Harris and the wingnutty members of the U.S. Supreme Court.

That said, it still has yet to be determined exhaustively how and how much Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election to try to get Trump rather than Billary into the big chair in the Oval Office. Arguably, Trump’s having had the help of a foreign government to win the White House is even more treasonous than anything that Team Bush ever did to steal the presidency.

The Washington Post has been all over Trump’s ties to Moscow, with recent news stories such as these:

A rather clear pattern has emerged, and it’s pretty fucking funny (in a sick and fucking twisted way, not in a humorous way) that the American right wing, which for decades was opposed to the “evil empire,” very apparently has as its “president” a treasonous piece of shit who has colluded with that “evil empire” in order to win the presidency — with the “evil empire’s” full expectation, of course, that in return, “President” Trump will do its bidding (in Syria and elsewhere).

True, Trump’s die-hard, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging supporters don’t care even if he’s in bed with Vladimir Putin, perhaps even literally, but these self-defeating dipshits are only a minority of Americans. The majority of us Americans — not just Democrats and Democratic leaners, but also old-school, non-Trumpist Repugicans, too, as well as most so-called independents — take a U.S. “president”-“elect” colluding with a foreign government very, very seriously.

Indeed, The Angel of Political Death looms over “President”-“elect” Donald Trump, its scythe at the ready for swift use at any moment.

If he makes it that far, I don’t see Trump finishing even one term, especially once his ties to Russia are fully investigated and publicized. (Unfortunately, however, even for such blatant treason, billionaires only very rarely are ever put behind bars in our two-tiered “justice” system; only we commoners ever are to be punished, even for petty fucking crimes.)

Even if it weren’t for Russia, our Muscovite Candidate always has done whatever the fuck he pleases — clearly, he’s inside of that billionaire’s gilded bubble from which only a prison cell (perhaps) can release him* — and if it wasn’t his collusion with Russia, it always was going to be something else, some other act of corruption and/or treason, that was going to make his time in the White House short.

There is a reason that Donald J. Trump is only the third person “elected” to the presidency who had not first been at least a governor of a state, U.S. vice president, a U.S. senator, a U.S. representative or an Army general. (Before Trump, William Howard Taft and Herbert Hoover were the only exceptions to that list of five previous jobs that I see. Uncoincidentally, methinks, both Taft and Hoover were one-termers…)

That reason that Trump is the first to have broken these historical norms for the presidency during my lifetime (Lyndon B. Johnson was president when I was born) is that he is uniquely unqualified for the presidency, and the American system more or less has been set up to prevent such an unqualified person from ascending to the White House — which is probably why Trump apparently had an awful lot of help from Russia to “win.”

I’m with Michael Moore on this; it’s possible that Trump won’t even be sworn in next month, perhaps especially with the apparently substantiated-enough allegations that he’s a Muscovite Candidate** swirling about him.

That taint of treason might, just might, be enough to induce the members of the Electoral College to do the right thing on December 19, when they meet for the official election of the next president.***

If not, I expect Trump to hang himself with his gilded rope. If he makes it to Inauguration Day 2017, I don’t see him making it to Inauguration Day 2021.

P.S. Michael Moore, back in July, predicted that Trump would win the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. In an e-mail to his supporters dated July 23 (I still have this e-mail), he wrote (this is a copy and paste from that e-mail, with only slight edits for style and correctness):

… Midwest Math, or Welcome to Our Rust-Belt Brexit. I believe Trump is going to focus much of his attention on the four blue states in the Rust Belt of the upper Great Lakes — Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. Four traditionally Democratic states -– but each of them have elected a Republican governor since 2010 (only Pennsylvania has now finally elected a Democrat).

In the Michigan primary in March, more Michiganders came out to vote for the Republicans (1.32 million) than the Democrats (1.19 million). Trump is ahead of Hillary in the latest polls in Pennsylvania and tied with her in Ohio. Tied? How can the race be this close after everything Trump has said and done?

Well maybe it’s because he’s said (correctly) that the Clintons’ support of NAFTA helped to destroy the industrial states of the upper Midwest. Trump is going to hammer Clinton on this and her support of TPP and other trade policies that have royally screwed the people of these four states.

When Trump stood in the shadow of a Ford Motor factory during the Michigan primary, he threatened the corporation that if they did indeed go ahead with their planned closure of that factory and move it to Mexico, he would slap a 35 percent tariff on any Mexican-built cars shipped back to the United States.

It was sweet, sweet music to the ears of the working class of Michigan, and when he tossed in his threat to Apple that he would force them to stop making their iPhones in China and build them here in America, well, hearts swooned and Trump walked away with a big victory that should have gone to the governor next door, John Kasich.

From Green Bay to Pittsburgh, this, my friends, is the middle of England — broken, depressed, struggling, the smokestacks strewn across the countryside with the carcass of what we use to call the middle class. Angry, embittered working (and non-working) people who were lied to by the trickle-down of Reagan and abandoned by Democrats who still try to talk a good line but are really just looking forward to rub one out with a lobbyist from Goldman Sachs who’ll write them nice big check before leaving the room.

What happened in the UK with Brexit is going to happen here. …

And this is where the math comes in. In 2012, Mitt Romney lost by 64 electoral votes. Add up the electoral votes cast by Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. It’s 64. All Trump needs to do to win is to carry, as he’s expected to do, the swath of traditional red states from Idaho to Georgia (states that’ll never vote for Hillary Clinton), and then he just needs these four Rust-Belt states. He doesn’t need Florida. He doesn’t need Colorado or Virginia. Just Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin. And that will put him over the top. This is how it will happen in November. …

Prescient.

But even if Trump did win Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin fairly and squarely — but the fact that Trump & Co. have sued to prevent recounts and any other audits in the Rust-Belt states that they’re supposedly so certain that they won makes me have to wonder if Russia indeed was involved in the presidential election, quite intimately — Trump still lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, which is the largest gap between the Electoral College and the popular vote in U.S. history.

That indeed is politically damaging, which is why Trump lied that “millions” of votes were cast illegally for Billary Clinton.

Finally, I want to make it clear that I’m no fan of Billary Clinton. I supported Bernie Sanders, the actual Democrat in the Democratic Party presidential primary, and for president I voted for Green Party candidate Jill Stein (whose recounts of three states I have supported wholeheartedly, even though I don’t think they’re going to go anywhere).

Billary Clinton indeed is corrupt, but her corruption pales by comparison to Trump’s, whose ties to Russia very much appear to have crossed the line from garden-variety political corruption into treason territory.

Everything with Trump leads back to Russia, including his recent twofer pick of Exxon Mobil Corp chief executive Rex Tillerson for U.S. secretary of state — a twofer because it’s yet another corporate weasel guarding the hen house and because Tillerson’s breath, like Trump’s, smells like Vladimir Putin’s penis.

*That’s yet another example of Trump’s projection onto Billary Clinton: not only is she “corrupt” but he isn’t, to hear him tell it, but she belongs in a prison cell but he doesn’t.

Indeed, Trump very apparently believes, in typical wingnut fashion, that if he simply accuses others of his own brand of wrongdoing, then that alone magically lets him off the hook.

**For anyone who doesn’t get the reference — shut the fuck up, because there will be some who don’t get it — I’ve morphed Manchurian Candidate (with this definition of that term in mind) into “Muscovite Candidate,” as “Muscovite” is what you call someone from Moscow.

***As Wikipedia notes (links are Wikipedia’s):

The United States presidential election is the indirect election in which citizens of the United States who are registered to vote in one of the 50 U.S. states or the District of Columbia cast ballots for members of the Electoral College, known as electors.

These electors then in turn cast direct votes, known as electoral votes, in their respective state capitals for president and vice president of the United States. Each of the states casts as many electoral votes as the total number of its senators and representatives in Congress, while Washington, D.C., casts the same number of electoral votes as the least-represented state, which is three.

Once the voting for the presidential election has concluded and all the votes for each state have been accounted for, the electors are then advised as to what candidate won the majority in their state. The electors of that state then will cast the vote of that candidate to represent the people of their regions’ majority decision.

However, “Twenty-one states do not have provisions that are fairly specific in directing the electors to vote for the presidential and vice-presidential candidates of their party.” This means that an elector could possibly vote against the majority decision of the state due to there being no law that binds electors otherwise in those states.

In modern times, almost all electors vote for a particular presidential candidate that their states’ majority decided upon; thus, the results of the election can generally be determined based on the state-by-state popular vote.

The candidate who receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president or vice president (currently, at least 270 out of a total of 538) is then projected to be elected to that office.

If no candidate receives an absolute majority of electoral votes for president, the House of Representatives chooses the president; if no candidate receives an absolute majority for vice president, the senate chooses the vice president. …

I remain of the strong opinion that the Electoral College needs to be scrapped altogether. There is no compelling reason not to go with the popular vote alone, especially since we call ourselves a democracy, and since the Electoral College has failed us twice in my lifetime of not even 50 years, awarding the White House to the candidate who fucking lost the popular vote.

(Well, the Electoral College has yet to confirm a president for January 2017, and while it’s possible that the Electoral College on December 19 will not pick Trump, it strikes me as an outside chance that the Electoral College will deny Trump the victory. Most people tend to fall in line rather than do the right thing, even if the right thing is staring them right in the face.)

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