Tag Archives: 1984

It’s easy to join The Resistance

AFP/Getty Images photo

In a brilliant protest, members of Greenpeace suspended a large banner reading “RESIST” near the White House early this morning. From The New York Times’ coverage of the banner, apparently the banner was up at least from around 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.*

Not all of us can participate in the scale of protest that members of Greenpeace orchestrated early this morning when they apparently spent hours scaling a crane near the White House in order to hang a wonderful banner. But all of us who oppose fascism can do something.

I’m way too chicken and out of shape to climb a crane, but I can and probably will give a donation to Greenpeace. I believe in rewarding and encouraging things like Greenpeace did this morning.

I routinely give to organizations whose work I like and want to see continue. I’ve given to the American Civil Liberties Union and to Planned Parenthood, for instance, as well to environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club (and to Greenpeace in the past), and to humanitarian groups, such as Mercy Corps.

I blog.

I talk about politics to those within my sphere of influence. (As I’ve noted here many times over the past year-plus, I supported Bernie Sanders, and those within my close sphere of influence voted for him in the California primary.)

I do what I can, given my time, energy and funds.

I suspect that many of us do nothing because we think that if we can’t do something big and brilliant — along the lines of what some brave members of Greenpeace did this morning — then our contribution won’t matter.

But our contributions do matter. They add up.

Fascism thrives where complicity thrives. “President” Pussygrabber and his fascist, neo-Nazi supporters will thrive only if we allow them an environment in which to thrive. We can fairly shut them down right now if enough of us choose to do so. (The fascists, being anti-democratic by definition, are famously stubborn to public outcry, however, so yes, this is probably going to take some time, and hopefully not, but perhaps, some bloodshed. [As the right wing loves to say, freedom isn’t free.])

Impeachment and removal from office aren’t the only tool to cripple a presidency (and they are far from certain to work); ask the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who did everything in their power to cripple Barack Obama’s presidency.**

Payback is a bitch, and we who oppose Pussygrabber should encourage our elected officials to be just as obstructive as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been obstructive over the past several years. (Most of what “President” Pussygrabber & Co. propose and do are and are going to be destructive, and so most of what they propose and do should be obstructed as much as possible.)

Even if one or more of your elected officials is a Repugnican, enough outcry from his or her constituents can make even a Repugnican elected official back away from the train wreck on crack that is “President” Pussygrabber. The vast majority of elected officials, after all, want to remain elected officials.

Yes, contacting your elected officials matters. Most people never contact their elected officials, thinking that it won’t matter, so your contact is magnified. I routinely e-mail my elected officials. (Sometimes I send them snail mails, especially on the issues that most concern me, but usually I e-mail them.) If you can visit your elected officials’ offices, including participating in protests at their offices, that’s even better. That does get their attention. (I’m not into calling my elected officials’ offices, as I prefer written communication, but if that is your thing, go for it.)

Organizations that are suing the Pussygrabber administration (such as the ACLU) — and there will be many federal lawsuits against the Pussygrabber administration — could probably use your donation, as lawsuits aren’t cheap.

I surmise that federal lawsuits are going to prove to be the No. 1 weapon against the unelected Pussygrabber administration’s fascist, unconstitutional and anti-American actions. Indeed, we have three branches of government in order to keep any one branch from getting out of control.

Pussygrabber is a modern-day Caligula, but unlike Caligula was, he is not an emperor. He will find that while it has been one thing to be the king of a business empire, the American empire is another thing entirely.

Pussygrabber is not a legitimate U.S. president, and so we should point out his illegitimacy at every opportunity.

The No. 1 thing in resisting the Pussygrabber administration, I think, is not to keep quiet. The Germans in Nazi Germany kept quiet and we know the consequences of their silence.

So speak up. Don’t be afraid; the unelected Pussygrabber regime can’t imprison or torture or kill all of us, and as soon as its treasonous members start to imprison or torture or kill any of us, it’s all over for them in short order anyway.

Be as effective as you can within your own sphere of influence. Most of us who oppose “President” Pussygrabber and all that he stands for effectively have our own cell, and millions of cells together make a difference.

Besides, think of the advantage that we of The Resistance already have: Despite his treasonous, anti-democratic lies to the contrary — and kudos to The New York Times for this week having flat-out called Pussygrabber’s lie a lie — about 3 million more of us voted for Billary Clinton than for Pussygrabber, and his approval ratings right now are historically low for a new “president.”

Pussygrabber is weak — and he knows it. He is scared — and he should be.

For more ideas of how to resist, you might consider reading the newly released book The Trump Survival Guide. Soon I’m going to buy the great political writer Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

Revisiting some classics can be useful, too. George Orwell’s anti-fascist 1984 (which is No. 1 on amazon.com as I type this sentence [and a different edition of the novel right now is at No. 6]) is a great read, and I’m planning to purchase Sinclair Lewis’ anti-fascist It Can’t Happen Here (which is No. 7 on amazon.com as I type this sentence).

You don’t even have to read a book. You simply can Google ideas. Hell, you don’t even have to type anything into Google’s search bar; I’ve done that for you, so just click here.

The main thing is to do something.

That’s always better than doing nothing.

Welcome to The Resistance, where every contribution matters.

The people, united, will never be defeated.

*The Times reports:

… Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy organization for which the activists were volunteering, said the protesters were there “to resist the environmental, economic and racial injustice that Trump and his administration have already laid out and put into practice.”

In his first week in office, Mr. Trump’s administration instructed officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze grants and contracts, and, according to Reuters, ordered the agency to remove the climate change page from its website.

Mr. Trump has also resurrected the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects that have been the subject of virulent protests by environmental activists. …

**I have had my problems with the-not-nearly-progressive-or-aggressive-enough Obama, and have written about them here over the years, but I recognize that he was the twice-duly-elected president of the United States of America. In 2008 and in 2012 he won both the popular vote and the Electoral College — and, unlike George W. Bush and “President” Pussygrabber, not only did he win the popular vote, the only vote that really matters in an actual democracy, but he didn’t get an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court or from an enemy nation.

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(50 million to) 80 million Americans vanish without a trace!

Generational Leapfrog

An August 2000 editorial cartoon by progressive Gen Xer Ted Rall. (Another, even earlier toon by Rall on this topic is here.)

When I saw a little while ago that the new book The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown, which I (probably stupidly) since bought via amazon.com (I just opened the package today), very apparently pretends that those of us of Generation X don’t even fucking exist, I thought of my fellow progressive Gen Xer Ted Rall and his quite correct labeling of us Xers as victims of “generational leapfrog.”

Prompted by what I had read of The Next America on amazon.com, I was going to blog on my thoughts on my generation’s exclusion from the national discussion as though Winston Smith, working at the Ministry of Truth, had simply erased all mention of us, but now, I see, Rall (thankfully) has written a column on the topic, so, at the risk of violating copyright law, I am posting Rall’s column in full at the end of this post (I don’t think that he would mind), because he echoes my thoughts and feelings.

Not only does the title of this latest book about generations of Americans, which sits at No. 239 on amazon.com as I compose this sentence, exclude my generation entirely, but in the preface of the book — in which the author (shockingly!) identifies himself as a baby boomer — my generation is ignored. In the preface, the baby-boomer author, one Paul Taylor, proclaims:

… This book … pays particular attention to our two outsize generations — the Baby Boomers, fifty- and sixty-somethings having trouble coming to terms with getting old, and the Millennials, twenty-somethings having trouble finding the road map to adulthood. It looks at their competing interests in the big showdown over entitlement reform that our politicians, much as they might try, won’t be able to put off for much longer. …

So why has baby boomer (yeah, I don’t capitalize the term, since that might imply respect, which in this case is undeserved) Taylor disappeared (as Ted Rall accurately put it in his latest column) my entire generation?

And let me first interrupt myself to tell you that my generation actually isn’t all that tiny, with an estimated more than 80 million Americans being Xers, for fuck’s sake, while the figure for the number of baby boomers who were born apparently is around 76 million, and it is estimated that about 80 million Americans are members of Generation Y (a.k.a. Millennials).

Yes, there was a baby boom when the boomers were belched from the bowels of hell and into the world from the mid-1940s to the mid-1960s (yes, Barack Obama is a [late] baby boomer; we’ve yet to have a Gen-X president [and we very well might not ever have one]), but American population (despite advances in birth control) has climbed steadily since the boomers made their unfortunate entrance, which, I surmise, would explain why all three generations actually have been roughly the same in size, despite Taylor’s assertion that only his generation and the Millennials are worth discussing because they are “outsize.”

(The cover of the book says that it is authored by “Paul Taylor and the Pew Research Center.” Wow. You’d think the folks at the Pew Research Center would have caught the mistake or even the lie that we Gen Xers are so tiny a cohort that we’re not worth discussing. Seriously — this “oversight” has harmed Pew Research Center’s reputation, in my mind.)

Back to what I was saying: So why would baby boomer Paul Taylor exclude my generation almost entirely from his book that is supposed to be a part of the national discussion?

Well, of course it’s easier to discuss only two generations instead of three. So yes, some laziness definitely might have been involved.

But the larger part of it, I believe, is that the baby boomers in general — and we very apparently cannot exclude Taylor from that cohort, based not only upon his age but also based upon his brand of inter-generational politics — long have treated us Xers as though we didn’t exist.

Indeed, one of Ted Rall’s most successful books is his 1998 Revenge of the Latchkey Kids, one of the first, if not the first, Gen-X manifesto.

I was born to boomers and I certainly was a latchkey kid. I won’t go into detail that only will make others (especially boomers) accuse me of being a whiner who blames everything on his parents (for the record, I blame much on them, but not everything on them), but yeah, while the boomers were the cherished children of the American men who had survived World War II and come home to inseminate their wives and while the Millennials were the cherished children (largely if not mostly of boomers) replete with “Baby on Board” signs, we X’ers were, to put it mildly, not cherished. There were no “Baby on Board” signs, no car seats for us. Our parents were not, for the very most part, “helicopter parents.” No, they were more like invisible parents. As Rall stated correctly many years ago, we Xers, overall, were latchkey kids. We were largely left to raise ourselves.

I suspect that this is why we are ignored by the dominant generation, the boomers (almost all seats of power in the U.S. still are filled by boomers, who hold on to their seats of power with death grips, like U.S. Supreme Court justices): they always have ignored us, so why begin to acknowledge our inconvenient existence now?

Also, if any of the boomers are actually even capable of feeling anything remotely like guilt, maybe they have at least a dim awareness that they failed us Xers, their children, miserably, that they are the first generation in the history of the United States to have had it better themselves than their children have had it, and therefore, in order to avoid feeling guilty — because boomers were raised by the so-called “greatest generation” to believe that they are entitled to feel only great about themselves all of the fucking time (a “value” that the boomers seemed to have imparted to many if not most of the Millennials) — they do their best not to think about us Xers at all.

All of my legitimate generational grievances aside, there is no way that you can write a responsibly comprehensive book about the problems that loom over the United States of America without discussing an entire generation of Americans. (OK, to be fair, there are some entries for “Generation X” in the index of The Next America, which I have not read because I just opened the package today, but very apparently the book glosses over Gen X for a much more detailed discussion about the boomers and the Millennials.)

We Xers care about, we are affected by and we affect Social Security, Medicare, retirement security, income inequality, climate change, human rights, social justice, politics, overpopulation, etc., etc., and while millions want to simply ignore us (and so do simply ignore us) because to do so fits their own selfish political agendas, we Gen Xers are right fucking here, tens of millions of us — whether the generation that precedes us and the generation that follows us (and, tragically, they have so many characteristics in common) wish to see us or not.

Now: Here is Rall’s column, with my comments inserted in [brackets]:

I’ve been disappeared.

Erased from history.

Dropped down the memory hole.

(bye)

If you were born between 1961 and 1976, you no longer exist. [Exact definitions of Gen X vary. In my book, Gen X begins around 1962 to 1964. 1961 is a bit early, in my book. And I would extend Gen X at least to those born in 1980.]

Generation X has been disappeared.

The Soviets altered photos to excise the images of leaders who had fallen out of favor, but communist censors went after individuals.

America’s corporate media is more ambitious. They’re turning 50 million people into unpersons. [Again, I see figures that put Gen X at least at 80 million, but even only 50 million people, if Rall’s figure indeed is closer to the actual figure, still is a large chunk of the national population of more than 317 million.]

The disappearing of Gen X began about a year ago, when major news outlets began reducing living Americans to two generations: the Baby Boomers (born 1946-1960) and their children, the Millennials (born approximately 1977-2004).

[I would include 1945, and perhaps also 1944, for the boomers, and I probably wouldn’t start the Millennials earlier than 1980. Again, these generational demarcations vary from person to person. To me, personal characteristics and worldview are important, too, not strictly the year in which one was born, perhaps especially in those generationally cuspy situations. (My husband, for instance, born in 1962, while on the cusp of the boomers and the Xers, has more Xer characteristics than boomer characteristics; otherwise, he wouldn’t be my husband…)]

(Generational birth years are controversial. Many classify the Boom years between 1946 and 1964, but I agree with the demographers William Strauss and Neil Howe’s assessment — and the novelist Douglas Coupland, who defined the term “Generation X” — that people like me, born from ’61 to ’64, called “the most dysfunctional cohort of the century,” identify with the culture and economic fortunes of Xers, not the Boom.)

The unpersoning of X takes full bloom in “Wooing a New Generation of Museum Patrons,” a March 19, 2014, piece in The New York Times about how museums like the Guggenheim are soliciting money from “a select group of young donors already contributing at a high level.”

Take your gum/joint/food out of your mouth before reading further, lest you gag: “Several hundred Millennials mingled under the soaring atrium of the Guggenheim Museum on Fifth Avenue one recent frigid February night. Weaving around them were black-clad servers bearing silver trays piled high with doughnuts, while a pixieish D.J. spun Daft Punk remixes.”

According to the Times’ David Gelles (playing the role of Winston Smith): “Across the country, museums large and small are preparing for the eventual passing of the baton from the Baby Boom generation, which for decades has been the lifeblood not only of individual giving but of boardroom leadership. Yet it is far from clear whether the children of Baby Boomers are prepared to replicate the efforts of their parents.”

Gelles’ piece doesn’t contain any reference to Generation X.

Really? Museums don’t give a crap about would-be philanthropists among the millionaires born between 1961 and 1976?

By the way, Xers were into Daft Punk before Millennials were even done being born.

Boomer/Millennial articles that ignore the existence of Xers have become commonplace. Again in The New York TimesEmily Esfahani Smith and Jennifer L. Aaker perform the neat trick of disappearing one-sixth of the country. Their November 30, 2013, op/ed about “Millennial Searchers” for the meaning of life asks about Millennials: “Do we have a lost generation on our hands?”

Substitute “1991” for “2008” and everything Smith and Aaker write could be, and was written about Gen X: “Yet since the Great Recession of 2008, they have been having a hard time. They are facing one of the worst job markets in decades. They are in debt. Many of them are unemployed. The income gap between old and young Americans is widening.”

Even in an essay about humanity’s search for meaning — and about the downward mobility that defines Gen X — there is only room for Boomers and Millennials.

It’s like our crappy economy and low wages and student loan debt never even happened. [Infuckingdeed. As I’ve noted here before, it’s incredibly interesting that our Gen Xers’ crippling student-loan debt and lack of decent jobs never were considered to be newsworthy at all, but that those problems sure the fuck are today, now that they are affecting the precious “Baby-on-Board” crowd.]

“No one’s talkin’ ’bout my generation,” notes columnist M.J. Fine, a Generation Xer. “It’s hard to think of an era in which people ages 34-49 had less social currency.”

Remember the great coming clash over Social Security between Boomers and Xers? We’ve vanished from that narrative too, not just in a thousand words but over the course of a full-length book: The Next America: Boomers, Millennials, and the Looming Generational Showdown.

It’s not just the Times. In Sonya Stinson’s frivolous “What Gen Y Can Teach Boomers About Financial Planning” in Forbes, Gen X neither learns nor teaches. Gen X doesn’t exist.

Poof!

I saved the worst for last. Courtesy of a sharp-eyed reader, check out PBS’ Judy Woodruff, defining the generations for a NewsHour interview with the author of The Next America:

I just want to remind everybody what those age groups are, the Millennials, 18 to 33 years old today, Gen X, 34 to 39 [years old] today, the Boomers, 50 — the big group — 50 to 68 [years old], and the Silent [Generation], 69 to 86 [years old].

In PBS World, Gen X has shrunk. If you’re in your forties, you no longer have a generational home.

Life begins at 40?

[To be fair, I listened to the PBS clip, and in it Woodruff clearly says “Gen X, 34 to 49″ years old. The transcript, however, reads “34 to 39” years old, an apparent typo.]

More like the empty void of generational purgatory, as far as the Boomer-controlled media is concerned.

Indeed, the No. 1 reason that we Gen Xers have been so successfully disappeared is that the boomers have controlled the media, and thus the national discussion, for most of our lives. The powers that be want us to be non-existent, and the powers that be mostly still are boomers and they still mostly control the media, and thus they still mostly monopolize the national discussion.

But actually, as much as I have complained about the unfairness and the insanity of it, I think that I would take my “generational purgatory” (an apt description of Gen X) over the unearned and undeserved attention and rewards that the boomers and the Millennials have received.

Having been left to raise ourselves to such a degree and having been systematically and even institutionally ignored and passed over — and, indeed, having been shit and pissed upon — our entire fucking lives, we Gen Xers have, out of necessity, developed strength, resilience and self-reliance that most members of the pretty fucking awful, overprivileged generations that immediately precede us and immediately follow us never will possess.*

And who wants to be a member of a generation whose collective personality is like that of Nellie Olesen? (OK, the boomers and the Millennials do, but that was a rhetorical question.)

Gen X still rules — not literally, not sociopolitically, but where it really counts — which is why we’re so widely ignored by the two generations that don’t hold a candle to us.

*That said, while the boomers have been a lost fucking cause for a long, long time, and will take their generational assholery with them to their graves and urns, I suppose that the Millennials still have enough time to not become just like their baby-boomer examples.

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Since when have we been at war with Dagestan? (Or, Orwell was right)

Updated below

No doubt, justice needs to be done in the Boston Marathon bombing.

Branding and then handling 19-year-old American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev as an “enemy combatant,” however, would not serve justice. Quite the opposite.

It is the idea of the Gang of the Three — U.S. Sen. John McCainosaurus of Arizona, closet case U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, and newbie fascist U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire — along with brazen Islamophobe U.S. Rep. Peter King of New York, who also is a fucking joke of a statesman — that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be treated as an “enemy combatant”Guantanamo style.

This isn’t about Dzhokhar Tsarnaev or the victims of the Boston bombing, of course. This is about the opportunity for self-serving Repugnican Tea Party traitors to once again use the occasion of a national tragedy to grandstand and try to concentrate their personal and political power.

Because, as both George Orwell and George W. Bush (and, I will add, Adolf Hitler, even though we’re never to mention him anymore because it’s always hyperbolic to do so, right?) taught us very well, there’s nothing like exploiting a nation’s fear in order to create hatred with which to fascistically consolidate your political power.

John McCainosaurus still wants us Americans to know what a huge “mistake” we made when we overwhelmingly elected Barack Obama over him in 2008 (McCainosaurus won only 45.7 percent of the popular vote and only 173 electoral votes to Obama’s 52.9 percent of the popular vote and 365 electoral votes).

McCainosaurus, our self-appointed shadow president, still is raging that the much younger, uppity black guy who didn’t have Vietnam-era POW status to shamelessly exploit for political gain (“I was a POW, so I deserve [fill in the blank]”) won the White House that McCainosaurus deserved. It was McCainosaurus’! He was robbed!

And McCainosaurus also wants to remain politically relevant in the increasingly insanely right-wing state of Arizona, the South Africa of the Southwest.

Speaking of racists, Lindsey Graham hails from the first state that seceded from the Union before abolitionist Abraham Lincoln even was inaugurated.

Graham, a “bachelor” who obviously is gay (I’m gay, but unlike the evil loser Graham, I’m not in the fucking closet), obviously is overcompensating with the right-wing fascism thing because he doesn’t want his homophobic, backasswards state’s attention turned to his sexual orientation, which would be disastrous for his next election. It’s a psychology-textbook case.

Kelly Ayotte, who usually is just window dressing at McCainosaurus’ and Graham’s public pronouncements — three U.S. senators supposedly in agreement with each other looks better than two, and perhaps the addition of the junior senator from the blue state of New Hampshire is meant to offset the fact that McCainosaurus and Little Gay Boy Graham come from two of our reddest states — is only in her third year in the Senate, but apparently she believes that her association with the crusty McCainosaurus and the mincing Graham will pay off in her political future.

Peter King, a real piece of shit, is most known for his blatant support of the terrorist Irish Republican Army — because he’s of Irish descent, and so of course they can’t be terrorists — while he alleges that it’s the Muslims who are the real terrorists.

His repeated attacks on Muslims, culminating in his 2011 “hearings” on Exactly How Evil and Dangerous Muslims in the United States Are — I use quotation marks because an Islamophobe conducting a “hearing” on anything Islam-related isn’t there to hear anything, but is only there to pontificate the conclusions that he drew long before the “hearing” began — did nothing for “national security,” but only inflamed relations between Muslims and non-Muslims in the United States.

Which is what King and his piece-of-shit ilk want, of course. They create the very same hatred that quite predictably results in terrorist attacks and at the very same time proclaim that they are going to keep us safe from terrorist attacks. They want to perpetuate the problem that they claim they are the best ones to solve.

They call themselves patriots. I call them traitors, because their insatiable quest for more and more personal and political power only gets more and more Americans killed, and the only good traitor is an executed traitor.

I start off with the Gang of Three and the piece of shit Peter King because, as I said, it’s all about the Gang of Three and the piece of shit King.

For U.S. senators (and at least one U.S. representative) to actually publicly proclaim that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev should be treated as an “enemy combatant” already is creating an unfair and hostile environment in which the young man is to be tried for Monday’s twin bombings in Boston. His defense attorneys already can show that there is a threat to a fair trial for him.

Of course, it’s not a fair trial that the fascists of the Repugnican Tea Party want (after all, it’s someone else; why care about whether someone else gets a fair trial?). No, it’s more political power that they want.

Expanding the definition of an “enemy combatant” is a slippery slope to hell.

First, you twist and warp and pervert the definition of the word “war.” “War” no longer is a formally declared battle between two nations that will use their military forces to duke it out in a combat that presumedly will result in a “winner” and a “loser.” No, “war,” in Orwellian style, is whatever the fuck you say it is.

The Gang of Three and their ilk claim that We’re still at war! They love that shit. They have loved that 9/11 (which always was, is and always will be a terrorist attack and not part of any real or actual “war”) happened. It gave them, in their minds, a perma-enemy that they could milk for personal and political gain for infinity.

About a quarter of the human beings on the planet identify themselves as Muslims, and they are spread all over the world. If we are “at war” with these people, then obviously that “war,” very conveniently for the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and other assorted war-mongering fascists, never will fucking end.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is an American citizen who identifies himself as a Muslim. It is the religion that he was born into. You most likely would identify as a Muslim, too, if you also were born into a Muslim family and Muslim environment.

It’s true that Dzhokhar Tsarnaev hasn’t been a U.S. citizen for even a full year, having become a citizen on September 11, 2012. (I don’t know if he chose that date for its symbolism or if those who put on the naturalization ceremony chose it for its symbolism or if it was coincidence or what.)

But even if he became a citizen just a week before Monday’s twin bomb attacks on the Boston Marathon, the fucking fact of the matter is that as an American citizen, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is protected by the Constitution of the United States of America.

And that means that he gets a fair fucking trial.

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev and his now-dead older brother, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, apparently grew up in Dagestan (which is next door to Chechnya, and like Chechnya, is a part of Russia) and in Kyrgyzstan (a central Asian nation that once was part of Russia but that now is independent, and that, like Chechnya and Dagestan, has a Muslim majority) before they came to the United States about a decade ago.

Their parents left the United States and returned to live Dagestan, where Tamerlan Tsarnaev reportedly visited (visiting one’s parents is not, um, an uncommon thing for a son or daughter to do) before he later apparently masterminded Monday’s bombing of the Boston Marathon. (I still surmise that the 26-year-old Tamerlan Tsarnaev dragged his impressionable younger brother into his plot.)

Tamerlan Tsarnaev wasn’t yet a U.S. citizen but reportedly had hoped to become one. But calling even him an “enemy combatant” (were he still alive) is utter bullshit, since we’re not at war with Dagestan (or with any other nation we know he visited after his family moved him to the United States), for fuck’s sake.

To call anyone (like Dzhokhar Tsarnaev) who has been living in the United States for a fucking decade (or even longer) and who is a U.S. citizen an “enemy combatant” after he or she has been accused of having committed a crime here (yes, even an egregious crime) when the United States is not actually at war with any other nation also sends the message that No matter how long you’ve been here, you’re not a real American — even if you have gained American citizenship.

This dark path is diametrically opposed to the path that we should take, which is to give Dzhokhar Tsarnaev a fair criminal trial. (Under the Obama administration, that probably will happen, but with Obama’s frequent pandering to the right wing and his frequent blatant, Bush-regime-like disregard for the U.S. Constitution, of course we cannot take that for granted.)

We didn’t declare domestic terrorist Timothy McVeigh an “enemy combatant” and then strip him of his constitutional rights, even though he slaughtered and injured far more people in Oklahoma City than the Tsarnaev brothers are accused of having slaughtered and injured in Boston. No, we gave McVeigh a fair fucking trial.

True, McVeigh’s 1995 crime preceded 9/11 and the post-9/11 hysteria, but the fact of the matter is that the label “enemy combatant” chiefly is to apply to those who aren’t Anglo and who weren’t born on American soil and to those who predominantly identify themselves as Muslims, and that’s some fucked-up shit, to have one system of “justice” for the Good Old Boys, the so-called “Christian” whiteys who were born here, and another system of “justice” for the rest of us, the so-called “enemy combatants.”

Once we can call even one American citizen an “enemy combatant” when that citizen is not actually an operative for an enemy nation during an actual war, then we can call any American citizen an “enemy combatant.”

Any American citizen who expresses any view and/or commits any act that those in power at the time don’t like can be deemed by the powers that be an “enemy combatant” with whom they then can do as they please in the sacrosanct names of “national security” and the “war” on “terror.”

Killer drones, of course, will make the elimination of such so-called “enemy combatants” as easy as playing a video game.

Today, American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is proclaimed an “enemy combatant” who is stripped of his constitutional right to a fair trial and shipped off to Guantanamo or some other shrouded location, where God knows what will be done to him.

And you’re perfectly OK with that, because Hey, I saw the horrific images of the Boston bombing and I don’t ever want to get bombed! And Besides, you say, if you’re not guilty, then what do you have to be afraid of?

But tomorrow, like something out of George Orwell’s 1984, you say something to a fellow citizen that he or she perceives as unpatriotic. He or she dutifully reports you to the authorities as he or she repeatedly has been instructed to do by the authorities, and then the drones or the thugs come for you, you “enemy combatant,” and you are, as they say, disappeared.

Then, if you still are alive, as you sit in your tiny cell that is located God knows where, you kick the holy living shit out of yourself because  in 2013 you had had no problem whatsoever with American citizen Dzhokhar Tsarnaev being called an “enemy combatant” and stripped of his constitutional rights.

Update (Monday, April, 22, 2013):

NBC News reports today:

The hospitalized Boston Marathon bombing suspect, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, was charged [today] with using a weapon of mass destruction – and the White House said he will be tried in a civilian court.

“He will not be treated as an enemy combatant. We will prosecute this terrorist through our civilian system of justice,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said.

“Under U.S. law, United States citizens cannot be tried in military commissions. And it is important to remember that since 9/11 we have used the federal court system to convict and incarcerate hundreds of terrorists.” …

Contrary to the wishes of the wingnuts, the U.S. Constitution prevails.

But of course the Obama White House just can’t resist pandering to the right — God forbid should Barack Obama be called weak. on. TERROR! — with the White House press secretary already proclaiming the suspect to be guilty by referring to him as “this terrorist” and heavily suggesting that “this terrorist,” too, will be convicted and incarcerated, has have “hundreds of [other] terrorists.”

Gee, in my Civics 101 class, I was taught that it is the job of the judicial branch, not the executive branch, to determine someone’s innocence or guilt.

This is why I couldn’t vote again for Barack Obama in November — he’s George W. Bush Lite.

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Dumbfuck Nation

The recent “National Tea Party Convention” has inspired me to pick up again Susan Jacoby’s book The Age of American Unreason, which is about the threat that rampant intentional ignorance and anti-intellectualism poses to the continued existence of our democracy and our nation. I started to read Jacoby’s book when it came out in 2008 but then I put it down. I’ve picked it up again, as now it seems timelier than ever.

I liken our national situation to this: A horribly incompetent surgeon seriously botched our surgery. So we pick a new surgeon. However, the damage that the first surgeon caused is so serious that the second surgeon can’t fix it overnight. Impatient and frustrated, we think that it’s a swell idea to return to the first surgeon. After all, a whole year has passed since we last saw him!

That is how bright it is for us to turn the reins of power back to the Repugnican Party, which “Tea Party” Queen Sarah Palin-Quayle tells us we should do. (It’s funny how she states that the “tea party” isn’t about any one person, when clearly she would love to be their leader.)

I understand that people are frustrated, angry and confused. But it is precisely when we are frustrated, angry and confused that we need to think, and to not act stupidly — because acting stupidly in a time of crisis will only worsen our crisis.

This excerpt from a Los Angeles Times article on the recent “tea party” convention in Nashville, Tenn., sums up the “tea party” crowd pretty well, I think:

Ask Gail Hathaway, a warm 61-year-old retired nurse from Vonore, Tenn., what she wants out of the “tea party” movement, and she returns the quizzical look of someone worried she’s been asked a trick question.

“What do I want? Well, I want it all to stop,” she said late Thursday night from the floor of the National Tea Party Convention, an event billed as the first major conference for the conservative movement currently reshaping America’s political landscape. “Our way of life is under attack. I truly believe they are trying to destroy this country. It’s just hard to say who ‘they’ is.”

That is it, in a nutshell: The world is changing rapidly, and the “tea party” crowd wants it to stop. The United States as a whole no longer resembles the cozy little lily-white town of Mayberry, N.C. (if it ever really did), and the “tea party” crowd wants to bring Mayberry back.

Only you can’t bring Mayberry back, even if doing so were a good idea (which it isn’t), and no one is “trying to destroy this country.” Not even the “Islamofascists,” who just want the United States to get the fuck out of the Middle East and who want to be left the fuck alone, which sounds fairly reasonable to me, as we wouldn’t want a Middle Eastern military presence in our nation, would we?

Not even the home-grown wingnuts — with the exception of the rapturous “end-timers,” I suppose, who want World War III to occur because they are “saved” — are “trying to destroy this country.” It is true that the wingnuts’ fucktardation, unchecked, would result in the destruction of the nation — already the wingnuts’ fucktardation has brought the United States to the brink of extinction, when their usurper “war” “president” ran the show for eight endless years — but do I think that they want to destroy the nation?

Probably not, although it seems clear that Sarah Palin-Quayle wants WW III to happen. She suggested today that President Barack Obama could win re-election in 2012 if he were to declare war on Iran. (Hey, she was the running mate of John “Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb, Bomb Iran” McCainosaurus, after all.)

Now, never mind that just yesterday at the Wingnut Super Bowl in Nashville, Palin-Quayle accused the Obama administration of “generational theft” by running the federal budget deficit up even more than the BushCheneyCorp did; today, Palin-Quayle suggests that we launch a war on Iran.

Because that would not be “generational theft,” to launch another major war in the Middle East when you are still reeling from the record federal budget deficit that the previous Repugnican “president” left you and when things have been crumbling here at home for some years now.

As I’ve said before, the wingnuts are fine with running up a deficit as long as we are using that money to kill innocent people in the Middle East in their “Christian” crusade against Islam; but if we want to spend any money on Americans here at home, that is “socialist” “generational theft.”

How would Jesus budget? Would he prioritize things like health care? Education? Food? Shelter? Environmental protection? 

No! He would launch a war on Iran!

“Our way of life is under attack. I truly believe they are trying to destroy this country,” the “tea bagger” told the L.A. Times, admitting that she couldn’t even identify “they.”

No, it’s that things are changing. Rapidly. Science and the Internet, the free flow of information, haven’t been very kind to the ignorant and fear-based “Christianity,” the brand of “Christianity” that the wingnuts follow.

Because the wingnuts feel like they are under attack doesn’t mean that anyone is actually attacking them. It’s what you call “paranoia.”

Millions and millions of other Americans don’t look, believe and act just like the wingnuts do. In their insecurity, if everyone is not on the same page with them, the wingnuts become unhinged and unglued. Rather than examine their own ignorance and their own misguided beliefs, the wingnuts lash out at those others who aren’t carbon copies of themselves. And rather than change with the times, the wingnuts would rather destroy those whose differ from them, and that is a long hit list: non-whites, feminists, non-“Christians,” non-heterosexuals, non-right-wingers, foreigners, et. al., et. al.

If I want to marry my boyfriend of two-plus years here in Northern California, it’s because I want to marry my boyfriend. (I take the American principles of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” and “liberty and justice for all” seriously, you see, and unlike the wingnuts believe, I don’t believe that these things are for only those who look like me and who agree with me.)

If I want to marry my boyfriend, it’s not because I am “attacking” the “way of life” of some “tea-bagging” “Christo”fascist wingnut in Idaho who opposes same-sex marriage. If I want to marry my boyfriend, it has nothing to do with the wingnuts, whom history is leaving behind. (Funny that they should rally around a wingnutty book series called Left Behind when they are the ones who are being left behind, like the dinosaurs that they don’t believe in were left behind.)

The root of fear is ignorance, but the wingnuts embrace their ignorance.

In her rant at the Wingnut Super Bowl yesterday, “Tea Party” Queen Sarah Palin-Quayle said that “we need a commander in chief, not a professor of law standing at the lectern.”

That “clever” line is to meant to glorify stupidity and brute force and to denigrate intelligence. George W. “Mission Accomplished” Bush was a great commander in chief? Yeah, I want a dumbfuck in charge of the nuclear codes. I want my nation’s leader to be as dumb as humanly possible.

Palin-Quayle panders to the dumbfucks. She assures them that their dumbfuckery is not only OK, but that their dumbfuckery is a sign that they’re great Christians and that they’re great patriots. She has the “tea party” set worshipping a fucktarded golden calf.

We sane Americans underestimate, I believe, how dangerous individuals like Sarah Palin-Quayle and her “tea-partying” ilk are. In the last decade alone, they stole at least one presidential election, oversaw the largest terrorist attack ever on our nation’s soil, launched at least one bogus war, just allowed one of the nation’s worst natural disasters ever to kill thousands of Americans, and in all of this created a record federal budget deficit — but they blame the current state of the nation on Barack Hussein Obama.

The “tea party” “movement’s” Cult of Dumbfuckery appeals to the millions of Americans who never read books (except perhaps for Glenn Beck’s) and who get their “news” from FOX. The “tea party” “movement” tells people that it’s not only OK to be ignorant, but that it’s good to be ignorant.

This is some pretty fucking scary shit, folks.

If anyone bothered to read books anymore, they might recall the ruling totalitarian party’s credo in George Orwell’s chilling novel 1984:

WAR IS PEACE

FREEDOM IS SLAVERY

IGNORANCE IS STRENGTH

That is Sarah Palin-Quayle’s and the “tea party” “movement’s” “vision” statement in a nutshell.

If we allow their “vision” to rule the nation again, we won’t have a nation any longer.

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The harpies are still harping

Alaska Governor and former Republican vice-presidential candidate ...

AFP photo

Someone please inform these two peas in a pod that the Democrats now control Washington because the American voters have rejected the Repugnican Party.

Talk about timing.

Repugnican Sarah Palin-Quayle — um, didn’t she just lose an election? Doesn’t that mean that she goes the fuck away now? — is whining again that she’s a victim of the media. Reports The Associated Press today:

ANCHORAGE, Alaska – Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin is going on the offensive against news organizations and bloggers she says are perpetuating malicious gossip about her and her children. But political observers say the former Republican vice presidential candidate can’t have it both ways: trotting out the children to showcase her family values, then trying to shield them from scrutiny.

Palin’s criticism also raises questions about her motivations because she has said she is open to a presidential run in 2012.

“I think she’s positioning herself. She’s attacking the media as a way to generate support among a base she hopes will support her,” said Leonard Steinhorn, a professor of communications at American University in Washington and an expert on the presidency.

Palin shied away from interviews during the campaign, although her children often accompanied her on her travels, including her oldest daughter, Bristol, who was pregnant at the time.

But in recent weeks, she has personally reached out to media outlets such as People magazine and The Associated Press to complain about information she claimed is wrong.

She slammed reports that 18-year-old Bristol Palin and the teen’s fiance are high school dropouts. The governor insists the two are not dropouts because they enrolled in correspondence courses.

The couple last month had a son — the governor’s first grandchild.

The governor said she is speaking out to set the record straight, not because of any political aspirations.

“It’s all about the family,” she said. “I’m wired in a way that I can take the criticism. I can take the shots. But any mother would want to protect their children from lies and scandalous reporting.” …

[Palin’s] decision to strike back at news organizations seems to contradict the governor’s earlier statements on how politicians should respond to media coverage.

Months before she was named John McCain‘s running mate, Palin attended a leadership forum in Los Angeles and was asked her opinion on then-Sen. Hillary Clinton‘s allegations that she was being unfairly treated by the media during the primaries.

Palin said Clinton did herself a disservice to even mention it. The governor said it bothered her to hear Clinton “bring that attention to herself on that level.” …

Gee, what a fucking shock that Palin-Quayle essentially called Billary Clinton a whiner but then whines about supposed mistreatment by the media herself.

I personally could give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family, and I haven’t heard all of these alleged rumors about her family members because I don’t think that the vast majority of my fellow Americans really give a fuck about Palin-Quayle’s family any more than I do(n’t).

My problem with Palin-Quayle is that she is a dumbfuck wingnut and that should John Fossil Fool McCainosaurus have keeled over while president, she would have been president.

It’s pretty clear that Palin-Quayle is trying to position herself for another run for high political office.

She’s trying to divert the attention from her own staggering incompetence to supposed attacks on her family.

And she’s trying to get support by first getting dumbfucks, most of them in the red states, to identify with her, to make them believe that she’s one of them, and then, by extension, make her dumbfuck supporters believe that supposed attacks upon her and/or her family members are actually attacks upon them.

Actual attacks are great, but, a la 1984, attacks will be fabricated in order to try to stir up the base if there have been no actual attacks. 

Palin-Quayle is, in two words, playing victim.

So now we also have wingnut Ann Cunter out with a new book (its cover is shown above) whose central thesis, apparently, is the claim that liberals always claim to be the victims.

This is the wingnuts’ surreal new tactic (although I guess it really isn’t new for them): to claim that they are the true victims while claiming that their opponents falsely claim to be victims.*

And claiming victimhood is bad, you see — except when the wingnuts do it.

Of course, when you think about it, it’s rather heartening to see that the Repugnican Party has been reduced to having Ann Cunter and Sarah Palin-Quayle as its spokescunts.

*The proponents of the Proposition 8, which stripped same-sex California couples of their equal civil and human rights that the California Supreme Court had ruled belong to same-sex couples, have claimed victimhood because we gay men and lesbians have fought back. We were supposed to just take it, you see, like “good” little faggots and dykes “should.”

The pro-Prop 8 fascists struck first at us gay men and lesbians, who only want to enjoy the same life, liberty and pursuit of happiness that are the unalienable rights of all Americans, yet, they maintain, they aren’t the victimizers; we gay men and lesbians are the “victimizers” simply because we are fighting back to protect our equal human and civil rights.

Orwellian. 

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