Monthly Archives: July 2020

Susan Rice for vice president

File:Susan Rice official photo.jpg

Susan Rice would be my pick for vice president. Presumptive 2020 Democratic Party presidential nominee Joe Biden already pledged in March that his vice-presidential pick will be a woman, and he is expected to announce his pick for running mate soon.

I noted back in May that, if we’re going to go with identity politics*, my No. 1 pick for Hidin’ Joe Biden’s running mate would be U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, the first Latina ever elected to the U.S. Senate.

Too many of us act as though race were binary, literally only black or white, but while we’ve already had a black U.S. president, we’ve yet to have a Latino or Latina president or vice president — while Latinos comprise the largest non-white racial/ethnic group in the United States.

Cortez Masto removed herself from the running since I endorsed her in May, however, and of those candidates most discussed for Biden’s veep now, my favorite is Susan Rice, who first was the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under President Barack Obama and then was Obama’s national security adviser.

As others have noted, for President Biden, Vice President Rice ably could handle foreign affairs while Biden focused on domestic issues, and boy, do our domestic issues need some attention after the wrecking ball that has been the unelected Pussygrabber regime.

Rice has gravitas that her apparent chief rival for the No. 2 spot on the ticket, Kamala Harris, lacks. I can see Rice becoming president and doing a good job if something happened to the 77-year-old Biden; I cannot see Harris as president, probably not ever.

Rice was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and knows the nation’s capital’s politics like the back of her hand.

Harris, by contrast, has been a U.S. senator since only January 2017 — she hasn’t been in D.C. for even four years yet. Harris might want to learn how to do her current job — hell, I’ll go out on a limb and say that it sure would be nice if she’d finish even one, six-year term as U.S. senator — before seeking to climb to the highest rung on the ladder.

Indeed, so focused only on advancing up the pecking order, as a presidential candidate Harris never clearly and convincingly articulated why she and no one else should be president. (She had one job…) The primary voters rejected Harris for good reason.

Nor do I want to see Elizabeth Warren as vice president — not because she isn’t a person of color (again, if we’re going to play identity politics*), but because of the way that she conducted herself during the primary contest.

Warren revealed herself to be a real fucking snake; when push comes to shove, she’ll toss truth and ethics and principle right out of the fucking window as she deems politically convenient and advantageous. She lost my trust and my respect and she’ll probably never regain it.

Susan Rice accompanying Joe Biden on the ballot would make me feel a little bit better about Biden being at the top of the ticket.

If Rice is selected and does a kick-ass job as a vice presidential candidate, as I think she would, I might even hold my nose and vote for the milquetoast centrist and corporatist Biden, even though he’s going to win my state of California and all of its 55 electoral votes no matter how I vote.**

We’ll see.

*Don’t get me wrong; while identity politics can get toxic (by “identity politics” I pretty much mean “toxic identity politics”), I believe in representative government, which means that demographic groups actually are represented.

So I’m fine with Biden’s decision to pick a woman as his running mate, as, of course, we’ve yet to have a woman as U.S. president or vice president.

I reject the common assertion that Biden’s running mate must be a black woman.

Again, other racial groups (Latinos, Asians, Native Americans, et. al.) have yet to be represented in the presidency or vice presidency, and black Americans shame themselves when they selfishly and tribalistically would disallow members of other races representation in our so-called democracy.

I like Susan Rice overall, as a human being, and my choice of her is not due to her race. That she’s a person of color just sweetens the deal.

**I can’t see myself voting for Biden if Harris or Warren is his running mate.

Again, Biden is 77 years old. There’s a good chance he wouldn’t/couldn’t run for a second term (or even finish his first term), and I wouldn’t want to see Harris or Warren automatically ascend to the presidency as vice president or even have a leg up on a 2024 or 2028 presidential run as the sitting vice president.

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100 days to stop fascism here at home

Bad Hombres cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz

This 2016 cartoon by Lalo Alcaraz is spot-on. It’s imperative that Americans, especially those in the states* that will determine the winner of the Electoral College, vote on November 3 (or beforehand, preferably, by mail or by voting early in person).

Yesterday via Netflix I watched the 2018 documentary “The Silence of Others,” about the victims and the relatives of victims of the fascist Franco dictatorship in Spain seeking justice today, and of course I was struck by what could come to pass here in the United States if we continue this anti-democratic, fascist trajectory under the unelected tinpot despot Donald J. Trump.

I have interest in the Spanish Civil War because of the political parallels between Spain (and other nations) and the United States. The dynamics between the left and the right of different nations and of different decades often are strikingly similar.

The run-up to the Spanish Civil War, which was fought between 1936 and 1939, was long and messy, but in a nutshell, right-wing members of the nation’s military (redundant) opposed the left being in charge of the nation’s government after a still-disputed 1936 election, and the fascist General Francisco Franco rose to power after a military coup.

Military coups are a lot easier to pull off when there is pre-existing chaos, so why not create some chaos if necessary, such as by, oh, say, sending unmarked stormtroopers to Portland and other left-leaning cities to attack civilians?

Indeed, The New York Times reports today that “Weeks of violent clashes between federal agents and protesters in Portland, Ore., galvanized thousands of people to march through the streets of American cities [yesterday], injecting new life into protests that had largely waned in recent weeks.”

The “law-and-order” fascist dictator Franco, made from the same mold as Hitler and Mussolini (who wholeheartedly supported him), autocratically ruled Spain from 1936 to 1975, killing an estimated 15,000 to 50,000 of his political detractors in his first decade of anti-democratic rule in addition to the 175,000 estimated to have died in the civil war trying to fend off the anti-democratic, right-wing coup.

For the four decades of Franco’s autocratic, fascist rule, Spanish citizens on the wrong side of Franco’s political ideology were, among other things, arrested, incarcerated, tortured, killed and “disappeared”; watching “The Silence of Others” made me think of the stormtroopers illegally grabbing citizens off of the streets in Portland, which is just a dry run for what “President” Pussygrabber would do if he could get away with it — if we let him.

Indeed, Pussygrabber already repeatedly has “joked” about being “president for life,” a la Franco.

A reason that so many Americans aren’t familiar with the Spanish Civil War is that Spain itself has tried, institutionally, and with much success, to bury it, just like Franco’s many, many victims; Wikipedia notes that

The Pact of Forgetting (Spanish: Pacto del olvido) is the Spanish political decision (by both the leftist and rightist parties) to avoid dealing with the legacy of Francoism after the 1975 death of Francisco Franco, who had remained in power since the Spanish Civil War in 1936-1939. The Pact of Forgetting was an attempt to put the past behind them and concentrate on the future of Spain. …

Spain also incredibly stupidly passed the Spanish 1977 Amnesty Law, which, per Wikipedia

… is a law promulgated by the Parliament of Spain in 1977, two years after [dictator] Francisco Franco’s death. The law freed political prisoners and permitted those exiled to return to Spain, but guaranteed impunity for those who participated in crimes under the Civil War and Francoist Spain. The law is still in force, and has been used as a reason for not investigating and prosecuting Francoist human rights violations. …

This is appalling, as “The Silence of Others” makes clear. War crimes and crimes against humanity (committed by those on the right or on the left, although the vast majority are committed by the right, and I’d argue that if you are committing such crimes, you are not actually on the left) never should be forgiven, and are so grave that should any nation like Spain refuse to prosecute them, a world court system should do so and do so aggressively.** Universal human rights mean nothing if any nation has the option of simply ignoring them.

And history, no matter how ugly, never should be forgotten, as is the official policy of Spain.

When we forget history, history repeats itself.

It doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to see the Francoist-like Trumpists do all in their power to provoke violent backlash in our cities, such as by sending in stormtrooper-thugs against the wishes of the duly, democratically elected governments of the states, and then blame the wholly predictable backlash on the “inherent,” “unprovoked” violence of those who oppose the unelected Pussygrabber regime — and proclaim that “law and order” now must be restored; you start the fire and then you proclaim yourself to be a “hero” for fighting to put it out.

This is the very stuff of which civil wars are made.

Just ask the Spanish (even though their official policy is to forget).

*Wikipedia notes that

… If current trends from the 2012 and 2016 elections continue, the closest results in 2020 will occur in Arizona, Florida, Maine, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska’s second congressional district, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, with Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin constituting the “Big Four” most likely to decide the electoral college.

Other potential swing states include Colorado, Georgia, Iowa, New Mexico, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia, all of which came within a 10-point margin of victory in the 2016 Election. …

I’d say that if you live in any of the states listed above, you really, really need to vote in the November presidential election.

Thankfully, right now Hidin’ Joe Biden is polling significantly better than is Pussygrabber in the “Big Four” states of Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin — Biden right now is polling ahead of Pussygrabber by six or more percentage points in each of those four states — but we can’t take a Biden victory for granted, not when we fully can expect Pussygrabber to abuse his office however he deems necessary in order to “win” “re”-election.

**No, I of course I don’t exempt the United States; for example, George W. Bush and the others who prosecuted his illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked war on the nation of Iraq in 2003 and in the years that followed should be tried as the war criminals that they are. They don’t deserve to remain free among us, and I don’t rule out the death penalty in the most egregious cases of war crimes and other crimes against humanity.

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Long live The Lincoln Project

A video ad released by The Lincoln Project in late May features red, white and blue body bags making up a mosaic of the U.S. flag, which, when shown completely, looks like this:

Note that the U.S. body count from the novel coronavirus pandemic is now almost 133,000.

Is the enemy of my enemy my friend? And is the Democratic Party more anti-democratic than even the Repugnican Party?

The existence of The Lincoln Project — and its video ads, some of which are pretty fucking good and probably at least somewhat devastating to “President” Pussygrabber’s “re”-election chances, at least among independents and soft Repugnicans — makes me ask these questions.

The Lincoln Project, per Wikipedia, “is an American political action committee formed in late 2019 by several prominent Republicans and former Republicans. The goal of the committee is to prevent the reelection of Donald Trump in the 2020 presidential election. In April 2020, the committee announced their endorsement of Joe Biden, a Democrat, after Biden became the presumptive Democratic nominee.”

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not giddy that any Repugnican Lite (that is, moderate Repugnican) should support Repugnican Lite Hidin’ Joe Biden. That this is the case only demonstrates that Biden is far from being a progressive, but is another fucking DINO; indeed, if you’re as acceptable to so many Repugnicans as Biden is, you’re no fucking Democrat if by “Democrat” we’re talking about someone who actually is left of center.

I won’t be voting for Biden in November, although he’ll win all 55 of my state’s electoral votes anyway.

What I find surprising about The Lincoln Project is that here on the supposed left, it’s fairly verboten to criticize Biden, even though Biden is pretty fucking conservative and frequently publicly states his love for the Repugnicans.

We progressives are supposed to sit down and shut the fuck up unless we want another four years of Pussygrabber, you see. The Democratic Party — the center-right, sellout version of the party that we’ve seen at least since Bill Clinton was president — often isn’t democratic. And moreover, it’s often incredibly shitty at taking on its so-called Repugnican opponents.

By contrast, here is The Lincoln Project, a group of moderate Repugnicans, brazenly attacking the sitting Repugnican “president.” Take a look at some of The Lincoln Project’s video ads on YouTube here. (I could describe some of them, but you should see for yourself.)

As of right now, over the past six months, The Lincoln Project has produced more than 50 anti-Pussygrabber and anti-Repugnican-Party video ads. Seriously, The Lincoln Project is doing a much better job of taking down Pussygrabber and his fascist enablers (if you’re complicit in fascism, you’re still a fascist, in my book) than is the pathetic, afraid-of-its-own-fucking-shadow Democratic Party, “led” by Hidin’ Joe Biden. (Indeed, Biden’s “leadership” is so fucking great that the entire fucking party is as invisible as he is these days.)

Don’t get me wrong; I’m not about to become a moderate Repugnican, even though I’ve given The Lincoln Project a small donation because I love their work and certainly don’t mind helping the Repugnican snakes (redundant) to eat their own tails. Infighting among the Repugnicans is great fun, and I meant it when I just stated that thus far The Lincoln Project is doing a much better job of trying to take down Pussygrabber than is the beyond-pathetic Democratic Party. (I wouldn’t give the Democratic Party a fucking penny, by the way. Political donations must be actually earned.)

Politico recently ran a worthwhile piece on The Lincoln Project that includes this money shot:

… How has one renegade super PAC managed to trigger Trump and his allies so thoroughly? Part of it is surely frustration that a group of Republicans would issue a full-throated endorsement of Joe Biden. Part of it is skill: The Lincoln Project ads are slick, quick and filled with damning quotes and unflattering photos. But part of it might just be that Republicans are better at this than Democrats. Trump may sense that these ads are especially dangerous because they pack an emotional punch, using imagery designed to provoke anxiety, anger and fear — aimed at the very voters who were driven to him by those same feelings in 2016. And history, even science, suggests that might in fact be the case — that Republicans have a knack for scaring the hell out of people, and that makes for some potent ads. …

Yup. The Repugnicans indeed are much better at this — I’d say that the Democrats are too “nice,” but really, they’re just too clueless and testicle-free (and center-right themselves, just like so many Repugnicans) — so when that weapon of the Repugnicans is turned on one of the Repugnicans’ own (ostensibly, anyway), look out.

P.S. I didn’t really drive this point home, so I’ll do that now: Look at how freely The Lincoln Project goes against the incumbent “president” of its own fucking party (as well as other prominent members of its own party).

I do believe that The Lincoln Project has more freedom to do this than would any group that was equally critical of a sitting Democratic president and/or the Democratic Party as a whole.

So which party is more democratic? Which party allows dissent more than the other?

Not that I’ll ever become a Repugnican, but I’ll most likely never be a registered Democrat again, either.

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Goodbye, Columbus, et. al. (and good riddance!)

r/Sacramento - With the statue of Christopher Columbus being removed from the state Capitol, I think it’s a good time to start a discussion about removing Junipero Serra from Capitol park. Thoughts?

This photo of a statue of Junipero Serra located at Capitol Park in Sacramento accompanies a Reddit discussion started four days ago as to whether the statue should remain. Protesters didn’t wait for a committee to decide the statue’s fate, however, and brought it down themselves last night.

I had passed that infernal statue a million times — the statue of Spanish Roman Catholic Priest Junipero Serra, who in the latter half of the 1700s was instrumental in colonizing for Spain what is now California — in Capitol Park, the grounds that surround the California Capitol in Sacramento.

The monument to Serra and the Spanish mission system had a statue of Serra lording over a map of the state of California and its Spanish missions that Serra helped establish. The statue and its accompanying map of the missions clearly was a monument to the European colonization of the “new” world.

While to European colonizers the Spanish missions were a great thing, to the Native Americans who languished under the Spanish mission system — and who died from the diseases that the Spanish and other European colonizers brought with them, decimating their populations — the Spanish missions were something else.

I found the continued existence of the Serra statue and monument in Capitol Park — which was erected in 1965 — to be offensive, and I’m a white man.

So I was delighted to read today that the statue was toppled by protesters last night. (Had I known how easy it apparently was to topple the fucking thing, I might have given it a few kicks myself…)

I guess that this local act was part of what “President” Pussygrabber on the eve of the Fourth of July called “a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values and indoctrinate our children.”

That fascist rhetoric is just meant to cover up the actual dynamics at work here, which include the fact that the baby boomers, of which the “president” is one, failed miserably to bring about the fair and just society that, as flower children, they had said they would.

No, instead, the baby boomers, as a generation, have brought nothing new to the American table. Indeed, they’re just parasites. They simply adopted, with little to no question, the “patriotic,” white nationalist claptrap handed down to them by their parents, “the greatest generation” — even if that meant venerating the obviously evil colonization of other peoples by white Europeans. (This was “God’s will” or something like that, you see.)

The boomers always have been nothing but sponges; first they sponged off of the supposed greatness of the generation before them, and now they sponge off of the generations that follow them, ensuring that they wipe out the nation’s wealth (largely if not mostly simply handed down to them by their parents) on such frivolities as cruises, McMansions and plastic surgeries instead of passing the nation’s wealth down to the next generations.

Because the baby boomers didn’t correct the wrongs of the past — in no small part because, as most of the baby boomers are white, they have benefitted richly from the United States’ long and ugly history of colonization — today’s younger people have picked up the mantle and are doing that work. More power to them.

By toppling statues of colonizers and fascists, no one is trying to “wipe out our history.” You don’t see statues of Adolf Hitler in American public spaces, yet Hitler hardly has been lost to history. We don’t need statues of and monuments for evil people in public places in order to preserve history. We have a plethora of books, films, recordings, documents, museums, libraries, universities, etc. in which history is being well preserved.

When “President” Pussygrabber says that our youthful protesters are “defaming our heroes,” which “heroes” are those, exactly? Are Confederate leaders “heroes”? They were pro-slavery and they blatantly committed treason after the abolitionist President Abraham Lincoln was duly elected by seceding from the Union before Lincoln was even inaugurated. Are those who abused, exploited, enslaved, raped and murdered — and, again, decimated — Native Americans, such as Junipero Serra and Christopher Columbus, “heroes”?

When our youthful protesters seek to “erase our values,” which values, exactly, are those? Do we still value the colonization of other peoples? How would we modern Americans like to be taken over by a more powerful group of people, told by our colonizers that it’s for our own benefit when clearly it is only for the benefit of our colonizers? Is Pussygrabber talking about the “value” of preserving slavery? Should that “value” be preserved by preserving statues, monuments and other public displays that venerate the Confederacy?

And let’s please talk about “indoctrinating our children.” Funny how the fascists among us — and fascists by definition are right-wing; there is no such fucking thing as “far-left fascism,” as Pussygrabber recently declared in front of Mount Rushmore, on which his fat fascist face never will be carved — act as though they have no wish to indoctrinate our children.

Oh, please. The school textbook wars alone demonstrate that the right wing very much is interested in indoctrinating our children — in their evil. Among other things, they want to shove backasswards fundamental “Christianity,” wage-slave capitalism, anti-intellectualism (which includes antipathy to science and to environmentalism), white supremacy and heterosexism down our children’s throats. These “Christo”fascists don’t want our children to even know that there is any alternative to the hellish worldview that they present to them as their only option.

True, it’s at least arguably better to remove offensive statues, monuments and other public displays in a manner that follows the so-called democratic system.

For example, a white marble statue of Christopher Columbus that inexplicably has been in the California Capitol for more than a century is going to be removed, Democratic state lawmakers — whose power was invested in them by a majority of the state’s voters — have decided.

I have seen that statue a million times, too, and always fucking wondered why a statue of Columbus, who never set foot in what is now California, is venerated in the state Capitol, unless we’re to venerate the brutal colonization of the continent that he helped start for the benefit of the monarchy of Spain. (Indeed, Junipero Serra and many others like him continued Columbus’ “work.”)

It’s nice that the statue of Columbus in the state Capitol is being removed by the system. But the system doesn’t always work. No doubt the Catholic church, for instance, would have opposed the removal of the Serra monument in Capitol Park.

After all, as Wikipedia notes, “Amid denunciations from Native American tribes who accused Serra of presiding over a brutal colonial enslavement, Pope Francis canonized Serra on September 23, 2015, at the Basilica of the National Shrine of the Immaculate Conception in Washington, D.C., during his first visit to the United States.”

If the Catholics think that patently evil men like Junipero Serra are so fucking great, they can keep the statues of them in the fucking Vatican.

Members of the American public, meanwhile, shouldn’t be assaulted by this right-wing propaganda — and blatant evil — which is given validity when it is enshrined in statues, monuments and other public displays.

P.S. Here is what the monument to Junipero Serra in Capitol Park looks like now:

Sacramento Bee news photo

Yes, according to the photo’s caption, apparently that’s a deluded, brainwashed Catholic (redundant) mourning the “loss” of the monument to “Saint” Serra, apparently wholly disregarding the evil that he and those like him perpetrated upon others.

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