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Thank Goddess for the ‘alt-left’

What Is Antifa? Anti-Fascist Protesters Draw Attention After Charlottesville

Getty Images news photo

Anti-fascists showed up on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, to counter the neo-Nazis who ostensibly wanted to protest the removal of a statue of traitor Robert E. Lee but who in reality are just domestic terrorists. I love these guys, whose hearts are in the right place if I don’t always agree with their tactics.

Today “President” Pussygrabber, doubling down on his false equivalence between the neo-Nazis who are part of his base and the anti-fascists/anti-neo-Nazis, coined the term “alt-left.”

“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’ [in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday]? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Pussygrabber said at an impromptu news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, Politico reports.

Part of me might recommend that we on the left embrace the term “alt-left,” except that the neo-Nazis already have come to give “alt-” the connotation if not the denotation of white supremacism and white nationalism, and thus have pretty much ruined the prefix “alt-.”

And, of course, usually it’s best not to allow your enemy to name you, but to name yourself. (On that note, Pussygrabber said, “as you say, the ‘alt-right,’” but “alt-right” is the name that the fucking neo-Nazis have given themselves.)

And the “alt-left” already has named itself: Antifa, for anti-fascist, and it doesn’t need a new name.

And I say thank Goddess for the Antifa.

No, I don’t condone every action and every word that everyone who might call him- or herself a member of Antifa might commit, but on the whole, I’m quite happy that there is an active opposition to the neo-Nazis. (As I have written, I reject the term “alt-right” as unnecessary because we already have the term neo-Nazi.)

Fact is, as so many have observed and reported, the police often do little to nothing when there are clashes between the neo-Nazis and the Antifa (and/or other anti-neo-Nazis). That’s because many if not most cops are right-wingers (if not also actually white nationalists/white supremacists) themselves, I surmise, and therefore they aren’t all that enthusiastic about protecting us, the people, from the neo-Nazis. To a large degree, we have to do it ourselves.

I’m sure that there are some who fairly fairly could be called thugs among those who call themselves Antifa — that is, some individuals who are looking for a fight at least as much as they care about a sociopolitical cause. Of course, there probably are far more such individuals among the neo-Nazis.

While both groups routinely show up with weaponry (homegrown and professional) when they expect a confrontation, when there are casualties, they usually are on the left, not on the right, such as the case of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday when a neo-Nazi cowardly ran her down in his car.

And to my knowledge, Heyer was not a member of the Antifa (or, to Pussygrabber, the “alt-left”), but was just a citizen who had shown up to demonstrate her opposition to neo-Nazism, which she had the right to do (even though I question, for safety reasons, the wisdom of showing up anywhere where there are neo-Nazis).

While I have no personal interest in having a physical confrontation with a neo-Nazi, not seeing what ultimate good it would do, and while I hate to think of any good-hearted (if misguided) member of Antifa (or anyone else) being harmed or even killed by a neo-Nazi, I just can’t bring myself to condemn the Antifa, because I don’t know how far the neo-Nazis would take it if they knew that they faced no opposition in our streets.

The neo-Nazis need to know that should they get too big for their khakis (and thanks for ruining khakis for the rest of us, assholes!) and start harming people on the streets, they’re going to face pushback.

As a gay man, an atheist and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, one day I just might need protection from neo-Nazis myself, and so I’m not going to condemn the Antifa and the overall important sociopolitical role that they play in these, um, interesting times.

I would only ask the members of Antifa and all of those who oppose the neo-Nazis, as I do, to pick their battles and to put their personal safety first.

The pathetic neo-Nazi losers aren’t worth it.

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Anarchists and skinheads clash again in Sacramento — this time with stabbings

Updated below (on Monday, June 27, 2016)

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) walk onto west steps of the State Capitol as they stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Sacbee.com photos

Above: Anarchists and other anti-fascists demonstrated against neo-Nazis at the California state Capitol in Sacramento today. I love the sign with the swastika with the dagger plunged into it, and I’m on board with stopping fascism, but we must spell correctly… Below: In a melee that was quite predictable but not prevented by law enforcement, five people (three of them shown here) were stabbed during the confrontation between the two groups at the state Capitol today. From what I can tell, most or all of those stabbed were anarchists or other anti-fascists stabbed by the neo-Nazis, and at least two of them were black.

Sean Moore, 23, of Sacramento waits for medics with a friends after being stabbed by neo-Nazi protesters at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016. Medics later said it was a three inch incision.

A protestor is comforted after stabbed during a clash between members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) against theTraditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

A victim is attended to by counter protesters after he was stabbed during a neo-Nazi rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016.

Sacbee.com photos

So there was quite a ruckus here in Sacramento today.

Anarchists reportedly crashed a rally of white supremacists before the neo-Nazis could even begin their little pageant, and in the melee at least five people were stabbed.

We’ve had at least one anarchist-on-neo-Nazi clash at the state Capitol before; I wrote about it in February 2012, when it last happened, but at that time there weren’t any stabbings. Just anarchists (incorrectly identified not as anarchists but as members of the Occupy movement) throwing things at the retreating neo-Nazis.

More details of today’s melee will come out, at least in the local media, but have we really come to stabbings? Shootings can’t be far behind, can they?

Thing is, two of my co-workers had told me about the planned crashing of the white supremacist gathering by anarchists around two weeks ago. (No, these two co-workers aren’t anarchists, to my knowledge, but apparently are anarchist sympathizers, as I am, for the most part.*)

So the word was out there that the anarchists would confront the neo-Nazis at the Capitol today, and I knew immediately upon hearing that that would be a combustible mix, yet the state police (the California Highway Patrol) seemed ill-prepared for today’s violence.

I have to wonder if that’s because they’re OK with it.

Seriously — the one thing that the ne0-Nazis and the anarchists do have in common is that they tend to be younger and poorer and quite disgruntled over the sorry state of affairs here in the United States of America; they are quite anti-establishment (and, of course, law-enforcement officers are quite pro-establishment).

Of course, that’s where the similarities between the anarchists and the neo-Nazis end; the neo-Nazis blame all of the wrong people (non-whites, Jews and Muslims and other non-“Christians,” feminists, non-heterosexuals, socialists, et. al.) for all of our nation’s and world’s ills while the anarchists correctly identify our enemy: the plutocrats and the corporatocrats — and yes, the members of the right wing, including the neo-Nazis, who treasonously aid and abet the treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats. (Indeed, the plutocrats and corporatocrats couldn’t commit their evil without the help of the right wing.)

Unshockingly, the neo-Nazis visited Sacramento today at least in part to show their support for Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and indeed, the opposing camps of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are much like the opposing camps of the neo-Nazis and the anarchists: Both camps are comprised of justifiably disgruntled individuals, but, again, while the neo-Nazis and Trumpites have incredibly misidentified our true enemies, the Berners and the anarchists have identified them correctly.

Having been a Berner who refuses to cast a vote for pro-establishment sellout Billary Clinton, it’s difficult for me to criticize what the anarchists did today, although I do find it to be a bit disturbing that multiple stabbings occurred at the state Capitol today, where I have attended several protests myself (sans any stabbings) and which is within two blocks of my workplace.

(No, I was nowhere near the Capitol today, and nor would I have been, not with our triple-digit weather, which, I surmise, contributed to today’s heated tempers.)

I am of two minds on the recent spate of violence that we have seen between those on the left (anarchists, Berners and others) and those on the right (Trump supporters and other assorted neo-Nazis): Had the budding Nazis in Germany faced significant violent pushback from good Germans (were there any good Germans?), Nazi Germany might never have risen.

I don’t see why history couldn’t repeat itself today in the United States of America. If the American neo-Nazis of today didn’t get violent pushback, how far would they go? Are they not dipping their white-supremacist toes in the water to see how far they can go?

We just might have the anarchists to thank for keeping the treasonous skinheads in check.

On the other hand, I don’t know how much political power the neo-Nazis actually have and thus what actual threat they pose. For my entire life they haven’t had much power, not nationally, anyway — most Americans consider (correctly) the neo-Nazis to be maladjusted social fucktards, like Trekkies and fantasy gamers (although, of course, generally more armed and thus potentially dangerous) — and so I don’t know how important it was for the anarchists to confront them today.

Thing is, where it comes to fascism and the rise of Nazi Germany 2.0 here in the United States of America in the present, I would rather overestimate than underestimate the risk.

And I have the sentiment that it’s too bad that some young anarchists today were knifed by a domestic enemy that too many of the rest of us “good” Americans won’t significantly confront.

P.S. At this point I’d be fine with a ban on neo-Nazis appearing at the state Capitol, now that we’ve had stabbings, most or all of which appear to have been perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

This isn’t free fucking speech anymore. This is just hate speech, and hate speech predictably ends up in violence — as I noted, today’s violence in Sacramento was completely predictable and thus probably preventable — and therefore, in my book, hate speech, which exists in order to deprive others of their constitutional rights, is not protected by the First Amendment.

And, of course, I hope that they catch the cowardly skinheads who stabbed the true patriots today and throw the scumbags into prison, where they belong — behind bars, like the animals that they are.

Update (Monday, June 27, 2016): The Los Angeles Times reports that seven people were stabbed during yesterday’s melee in Sacramento, and The Sacramento Bee reports today:

Protesters on both sides of [yesterday’s] bloody riot at the state Capitol say police intentionally held back from intervening as a planned neo-Nazi rally spun out of control and left 10 people injured, including at least five who were stabbed.

The claims come despite statements by Sacramento police and the California Highway Patrol that officers knew in advance of the potential for a confrontation and that more than 100 police and CHP officers were standing watch on the perimeter of the Capitol grounds.

The flurry of violence began before the scheduled start of the noon rally organized by the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, which had fewer than 30 members set to hold their event on the west steps of the Capitol. Confrontations between the two groups began before the event. More than 350 anti-fascist protesters descended on the Capitol grounds, vastly outnumbering the others and police.

Sacramento police say at least 10 people were injured in a series of melees. A bystander later turned in a loaded pistol found on the Capitol grounds.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening and no arrests have been made. …

Again, I wasn’t there, but as I noted yesterday, I have to wonder how quickly the cops intervened and how well they were prepared; after all, the probable combustibility of the situation indeed had been known well in advance.
That said, while I agree with the anarchists on much, such as their anti-fascist and anti-rascist philosophies, I can’t say that I condone all of their actions, and it seems pretty clear that at least some of them went to the neo-Nazis’ little public appearance wanting a fight.
Admittedly, the line between fighting (literally) for social justice and just thuggery can be thin and/or blurry.

*I wrote back in February 2012:

… I have nothing against the anarchists. Anyone who goes after white supremacists who dare to spew forth their filth in the public square is fine with me, and the imagery of a bunch of supposedly bad-ass white supremacists fleeing from a mob of Occupy/“Occupy” protesters (most if not all of them actually anarchists) — the way that blacks have had to flee from mobs of white supremacists — is gratifyingly amusing.

And who knows? When/if the shit really hits the fan, I might join the anarchists’ ranks. (Black is slimming anyway…) …

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Anarchists attack white supremacists. Hell, yeah!

Updated below (on February 29, 2012)

CHP officers hurt by Occupy protestors

Sacramento Bee/sacbee.com photo

Members of the apparent white supremacist group “South Africa Project” arrive at the California State Capitol today. The group very apparently is using real and/or fabricated killings of whites by blacks in South Africa as a cover to push a white supremacist agenda. The sign with the apparently PhotoShopped image of the injured little white girl reads, “Genocide cannot be justified” — something that is awfully interesting to hear a group of white people proclaim. But today, it’s white people who are the victims, you see.

I work near the California State Capitol building here in Sacramento, and I noticed during my lunch break today that there was a decent-sized group of people demonstrating on the Capitol grounds. This is common at the Capitol; protests, demonstrations and gatherings there are so common there that they’re easy to ignore. California is, after all, the nation’s most populous state and there are a million causes and issues, and throngs of people often travel to the Capitol for their causes.

A co-worker of mine told me as I was returning from my lunch break that members of the Occupy movement were protesting some white supremacists at the Capitol. I should go check it out, he said. My lunch break was over, so I couldn’t, but all the same, where there are white supremacists gathered it’s probably volatile and therefore your safety might be put in jeopardy, so even if I’d had the time to check it out, there is a good chance that I wouldn’t have.

But I read the headlines afterward.

Reportedly, some members of the Occupy movement threw bottles and other objects at the white supremacists as the white supremacists were leaving the Capitol grounds. (Unfortunately, I missed all of this.) Reports The Associated Press today (text in bold is my own emphasis):

Sacramento, Calif. — At least two law enforcement officers were injured [today] during a clash with members of the Occupy movement who were at the state Capitol to counter a rally by a group protesting violence by blacks against whites in South Africa.

The clash erupted in the afternoon as California Highway Patrol and Sacramento police officers were escorting about 35 members of the South Africa Project to a parking garage after their protest outside the Capitol building.

About 50 members of Occupy Oakland began throwing cans and bottles at the South Africa group and at the officers. The Occupy members then clashed with the officers as people with the pro-whites group hurried into the parking garage.

“It was the activists across the street engaging the officers,” said CHP officer Sean Kennedy.

Two officers suffered minor injuries and were taken to a hospital. CHP Capt. Andy Menard said one officer who was struck in the face by an object was released from the hospital. The second officer was getting X-rays after apprehending a person suspected of throwing objects, Menard said.

Kennedy said the officer who was struck by an object was showing signs of possibly being affected by some type of chemical or pepper spray.

The CHP arrested three members of the Occupy group on suspicion of disobeying an officer.

The violence abated after a large contingent of law enforcement arrived at the scene, about a block from the Capitol.

The clash followed a tense afternoon during which peace officers kept the two groups separated outside the Capitol.

Members of the South Africa Project were trying to draw attention to what they said is black-on-white violence in that country. Organizers said similar demonstrations were planned in other states and elsewhere in California.

The group was mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.

Many of the Occupy protesters, some wearing hoods or masks, said they came from the San Francisco Bay area to counter what they called a racist group affiliated with former Louisiana Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke.

Occupy protesters had been cursing at the South Africa Project rally and at officers keeping the two sides apart.

Ryan Stark, 26, who said he is part of Occupy Sacramento, said he joined the protesters challenging the South Africa Project protesters because there needed to be a showdown.

“I didn’t throw anything … but these sorts of demonstrations need to happen,” he said, referring to the counter protest. “They do have the right to say what they want, but we’re not going to let it fly.” …

“South Africa Project” apparently is new. There is no entry for it in Wikipedia, and Wikipedia has an entry for fucking everything. However, the group’s shitty website gives me the impression that the group indeed is a white supremacist group that is using the real and/or fabricated killings of white South Africans by black South Africans (because white South Africans never have killed or otherwise oppressed any black South Africans) not only as a cover for pushing white supremacism, but as a tactic to stir up hatred — and probably violence — against blacks by whites here in the United States.

And The Associated Press’ description of the “South Africa Project’s” demonstrators — “mostly male and white, some with shaved heads and prominent tattoos.” Hmmm. Does that sound like anyone we already know and love?

(Hey, if you think I’m being inaccurate or unfair, look at the group’s own pictures of its little dog and pony show at the California State Capitol today on its own bad website and then draw your own conclusions.)

That is not free speech, the incitement of race-based violence, even if such incitement is communicated in code (as the white supremacists, including Repugnican Tea Party presidential contenders, like to communicate these days).

Therefore, in my book, white supremacists who are trying to spread their disease of race-based hatred in public don’t deserve personal protection in public.

The cops who got mildly hurt today got hurt because they were protecting, shielding — dare I say, thus even aiding and abetting — the white supremacist scumbags. (And if the cops now are being pepper-sprayed back, as the AP news story seems to suggest, well, maybe that’s what you call karma…)

Also, let’s be clear: The description of the Occupy/“Occupy” protesters who threw the objects — “some wearing hoods or masks” — sounds to me like a description of anarchists, who are a group that is distinct from the Occupy movement, and a group that pre-dates the Occupy movement by years.

Hey, if you don’t trust me, here is photographic evidence of the Occupy/“Occupy” protesters who counter-protested the white supremacists at the Capitol State Capitol today:

CHP officers hurt by Occupy protestors

Sacramento Bee/sacbee.com photo

“WHITE POWER IS HORSE SHIT.” I love that sign. Anyway, with the exception of a few, including Captain America, which is a hoot (really — I think that someone wore that costume to counter-protest white supremacists is pretty fucking funny), those “Occupy” protesters are wearing black and they have their faces covered, which is the garb of the typical anarchist — and not the garb of the typical Occupy protester.

Anarchists often infiltrate left-leaning gatherings and raise hell. That’s their thing; peaceful protests that don’t change anyfuckingthing because they don’t threaten the status quo are not the anarchists’ cup of tea.

I can’t say that I blame them for not demonstrating “nicely,” in a way that does not offend the powers that be — and thus in a way that is utterly ineffectual. We claim that we have free speech in the United States, but such “free” speech in reality often if not usually means only speech that cannot jolt the status quo. And the status quo sure the fuck needs jolting.

I have nothing against the anarchists. Anyone who goes after white supremacists who dare to spew forth their filth in the public square is fine with me, and the imagery of a bunch of supposedly bad-ass white supremacists fleeing from a mob of Occupy/“Occupy” protesters (most if not all of them actually anarchists) — the way that blacks have had to flee from mobs of white supremacists — is gratifyingly amusing.

And who knows? When/if the shit really hits the fan, I might join the anarchists’ ranks. (Black is slimming anyway…)

But, for the time being, it’s unfair and inaccurate that the corporately owned and controlled mainstream media continue to refer to fairly obvious anarchists as members of the Occupy movement when, in fact, these anarchists might not claim the Occupy movement and/or the Occupy movement might not claim them.

Your typical member of the Occupy movement does not pelt plutocrats or white supremacists or their witting or unwitting protectors, cops (many of whom are white supremacist themselves, or who at least protect and serve the white power structure), with objects.

Not yet, anyway.

P.S. Does any of this remind anyone of the American Civil War? Is this what we are headed toward — a rematch of the Civil War? Might we be presented with the opportunity to crush the white supremacists once and for all?

Update (February 29, 2012): “South Africa Project’s” home page has been updated since I first wrote about it. Now, there is a video that prominently features notorious white supremacist David Duke on the hate group’s home page. (I guess that they’re not bothering to pretend anymore.) The hate group’s home page also now features an image of a little white girl praying, accompanied by this text: “Dear Lord, please protect my big brother and my daddy and my uncles and my oupa [grandfather?] from those savages that are raping and murdering us.”

Wingnuts, not known for their subtlety, are fine with exploiting children to try to advance their ignorance and hatred — this little girl never asked to be exploited like this, and could not agree to such use of her image, since she is too young to consent, is too young to understand racism and white supremacism, but is at the total mercy of adults — and it strikes me that a child in the Middle East certainly might pray to God that the killings and maimings and other violent abuses and the wrongful incarcerations of their family members by white occupiers comes to an end. (Ditto for Palestinian children…)

At any rate, after Apartheid* in South Africa, I just can’t feel sorry for the white people there. Anything that might be happening there now that disfavors whites probably would be what you call karma, and karma is always just.

*Wikipedia notes of Apartheid:

Apartheid was a system of racial segregation enforced by the National Party governments of South Africa between 1948 and 1994, under which the rights of the majority non-white inhabitants of South Africa were curtailed and white supremacy and Afrikaner minority rule was maintained. Apartheid was developed after World War II by the Afrikaner-dominated National Party and Broederbond organizations and was practiced also in South West Africa, which was administered by South Africa under a League of Nations mandate (revoked in 1966), until it gained independence as Namibia in 1990.

Racial segregation in South Africa began in colonial times. However, apartheid as an official policy was introduced following the general election of 1948. New legislation classified inhabitants into four racial groups (“native”, “white”, “coloured“, and “Asian”), and residential areas were segregated, sometimes by means of forced removals. Non-white political representation was completely abolished in 1970, and starting in that year black people were deprived of their citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans, four of which became nominally independent states. The government segregated education, medical care, beaches, and other public services, and provided black people with services inferior to those of white people.

Apartheid sparked significant internal resistance and violence as well as a long trade embargo against South Africa. Since the 1950s, a series of popular uprisings and protests were met with the banning of opposition and imprisoning of anti-apartheid leaders. As unrest spread and became more violent, state organisations responded with increasing repression and state-sponsored violence.

Reforms to apartheid in the 1980s failed to quell the mounting opposition, and in 1990 President Frederik Willem de Klerk began negotiations to end apartheid, culminating in multi-racial democratic elections in 1994, which were won by the African National Congress under Nelson Mandela. The vestiges of apartheid still shape South African politics and society.

So: According to the hate group “South Africa Project,” we are to feel sorry for whites in South Africa today, despite their long history of depriving black South Africans of their equal human and civil rights, based upon their race. We’re to cry in our beer for these white supremacists. We are to focus on their more recent woes and totally ignore the crimes against humanity that they perpetrated upon others over a very long period of time.

Again, one word comes to mind:

Karma.

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Assorted shit Sunday!

Updated below

Oakland is burning!

Occupy Oakland protestors burn an American flag found inside Oakland City Hall during an Occupy Oakland protest on the steps of City Hall, Saturday, January 28, 2012, in Oakland, Calif.  (AP Photo/Beck Diefenbach)

Associated Press photo

So hundreds of people were arrested in Oakland yesterday and last night, a night during which some individuals reportedly broke into Oakland City Hall, snatched an American flag, and burned it in protest.

The responses to this incident are interesting.

Stealing a presidential electionthat’s perfectly OK. Starting bogus wars in the Middle East that result in the deaths of thousands and thousands and thousands of innocent people and loot the U.S. Treasury of trillions of the people’s tax dollars via the military-industrial complex — that’s perfectly OK. Wall Street weasels causing the nation an economic meltdown that’s perfectly OK. The housing bubble, the student-loan shark industry, rampant unemployment, global warming caused by corporate greed — all of that is perfectly OK.

But some “thugs” burned an American flag? Intolerable!

One of my favorite sayings of Jesus Christ’s is one of his many slams of the hypocritical religious authorities (the Pharisees) of his day (today we call these hypocrites “Christians”) — in this slam, he tells them, “You strain out a gnat but you swallow a camel.”

An American flag burned: that would be a gnat. The egregious shit that I listed above, the blatant acts of treason against the American people: that would be a camel. And the staple of the American diet is the camel.

The plutocratic traitors and the traitors who aid and abet the plutocrats are damned fucking lucky that the only price that they’ve had to pay for their treason thus far is some relatively petty vandalism.

And for the record, the individuals pictured above look like anarchists to me, and while I’m not slamming the anarchists, I know from personal experience that if you hold a protest, anyone can show up, and that you cannot control everything that might happen at a protest, and that your presence at a protest does not, of course, mean that you personally endorse every sign, every message, every person, every act that might, in the end, make up that protest.

It’s easy (and maybe even fun) to generalize a group of people, but it’s inaccurate and it’s intellectually dishonest to do so.

I mean, the caption for the news photo above reads, “Occupy Oakland protestors burn an American flag found inside Oakland City Hall during an Occupy Oakland protest on the steps of City Hall, Saturday, January 28, 2012, in Oakland, Calif.”

“Occupy Oakland protestors”? How do we know whether these individuals consider themselves to be part of the Occupy movement? Or whether Oakland’s Occupy movement claims them? How do we know that they are not opportunists (anarchists, usually) who showed up at the protest in hopes of doing what they did? How do we know that they aren’t even right-wing plants attempting to discredit the Occupy Wall Street movement?

The right wing would love to make this kind of thing the face of the Occupy Wall Street movement, but that’s propagandistic bullshit. For better or for worse (I lean toward it being for the worse), the majority of OWS’ers are nonviolent.

Of course, the right wing isn’t nonviolent. The right wing and the plutocrats whom the wingnuts support love death and destruction on a massive scale — witness Vietraq, Afghanistan, and other parts of the Middle East — that our tax dollars fund.

Massive death and destruction perpetrated by the right wing is perfectly fine, but some relatively petty vandalism perpetrated in protest against the right wingthat’s absofuckinglutely intolerable.

And for the wingnuts to assert that President Barack Obama and the rest of the establishment Democrats fully support OWS — that’s another load of propagandistic right-wing bullshit. Obama took more money from the Wall Street weasels for his 2008 presidential campaign than John McCainosaurus did.

The establishment Dems might be careful not to alienate some of those OWS’ers whose votes (and maybe even campaign contributions) they still might get, but there has been no robust show of support for OWS from the Obama White House, which has been as missing in action in regards to OWS and OWS’ cause as it has been in the fight in Wisconsin to prevent the right-wing traitors there from destroying what’s left of our labor unions.

Oakland is one of our nation’s poorer cities, and at some point in the midst of such egregious income disparity, something has to give. I’m just surprised that what we’ve seen thus far has been all that we’ve seen thus far.

Multi-millionaire Mitt cannot feel your pain

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney returns a baby to his mother in the audience at a campaign rally at Eastern Shipbuilding Group in Panama City

Reuters photo

Mitt Romney campaigns in Florida yesterday. Gee, maybe the kid’s crying because he can see his future: In November the do-nothing President Hopey-Changey will be re-elected, or Mitt Romney, who is estimated to be 50 times richer than Barack Obama, will be elected to preside over the American economy, which in the Repugnican Tea Party’s book has left way too many millionaires and billionaires behind. 

You should read this little Associated Press article on how Mitt Romney, should he become president, would be one of the Wealthiest. U.S. Presidents. Ever. It begins:

Just how rich is Mitt Romney? Add up the wealth of the last eight presidents, from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama. Then double that number. Now you’re in Romney territory.

He would be among the richest presidents in American history if elected — probably in the top four.

He couldn’t top George Washington who, with nearly 60,000 acres and more than 300 slaves, is considered the big daddy of presidential wealth. After that, it gets complicated, depending how you rate Thomas Jefferson’s plantation, Herbert Hoover’s millions from mining or John F. Kennedy’s share of the vast family fortune, as well as the finer points of factors like inflation adjustment.

But it’s safe to say the Roosevelts had nothing on Romney, and the Bushes are nowhere close.

The former Massachusetts governor has disclosed only the broad outlines of his wealth, putting it somewhere from $190 million to $250 million. That easily could make him 50 times richer than Obama, who falls in the still-impressive-to-most-of-us range of $2.2 million to $7.5 million. …

This, very apparently, is the right wing’s answer to the nation’s main problem of insane wealth disparity: more of the same. Who could better feel the socioeconomic pain of the average American than the man whom the experts say would be one of the top four wealthiest U.S. presidents ever?

If you truly don’t know why they’re tearing up Oakland these days, you need to have your head surgically removed from your ass.

Prick Perry’s getting no love at home

Republicans Debate

Associated Press photo

Rick Perry refers to his crib sheets during a Repugnican Tea Party presidential primary debate.

I’d thought that Texans are so fucking stupid that Rick Perry wouldn’t suffer politically there from his disastrous run for the presidency, but apparently Perry hasn’t received a warm homecoming. Reports Reuters:

Austin, Texas — Gov. Rick Perry has gotten a rocky welcome home to Texas, facing low poll numbers and criticism over state expenses related to his failed campaign for the Republican presidential nomination.

Travel for Perry’s security team cost the state nearly $800,000 between September and November, according to a new report from the state Department of Public Safety.

The money paid for airfare, food and hotels for the governor’s protective detail during trips both in Texas and to out-of-state locations such as Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Manchester, New Hampshire.

The longest-serving governor in Texas history was briefly the frontrunner among Republican presidential contenders, but he stumbled with poor debate performances and gaffes — including his memorable “oops” when he couldn’t recall the third federal agency he wanted to eliminate. He dropped out of the race last week.

His campaign paid many expenses, but the state provides security for the governor and first lady. That’s been the policy in Texas for decades, gubernatorial spokeswoman Lucy Nashed said.

“Governor Perry is governor no matter where he goes,” Nashed told Reuters in an e-mail. “It’s unfortunate that we live in a day and age where security is an issue.”

Democrats say he should repay that money.

“Unnecessary government spending is not just morally wrong, it is criminal,” state House Democratic Leader Jessica Farrar wrote Perry in a letter this week asking him to give the Texas comptroller a check for expenses related to out-of-state campaigning.

A poll of Texas adults released this week by the state’s major daily newspapers showed Perry’s job approval rating at 40 percent, the lowest level in 10 years. Forty percent said they disapproved of how Perry was doing as governor.

Still, Perry has proved politically resilient over the years. Until he launched his presidential bid, he’d never lost an election.

It’s time for Perry to step aside, methinks, and let someone else run the show. (I’m not alone; a recent poll of Texans shows that more than half of them believe that he shouldn’t run for re-election in 2014.) I have to wonder if Perry’s quixotic run for the White House indicates that he is burned out as the red state’s longest-serving governor.

Still, it seems to me, that if he wants to run for re-election again, the Texans will keep him.

I’m perfectly fine with Prick Perry being kept there, too.

Is it a choice? Does it fucking matter?

Alan Meeks, left, and Robert Domenico celebrate with a kiss during a reception inside Orlando City Hall after officially registering as a domestic couple during the launch of the city's new domestic partner registry in Orlando, Fla., Thursday, Jan. 12, 2012.  The registry gives non-married couples, both gay and heterosexual, some of the same rights as married couples in matters such as hospital visitation and healthcare decisions. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)

Associated Press photo

A same-sex couple kisses in Orlando, Florida, earlier this month after they registered as domestic partners there. The question is not whether these men could have chosen heterosexuality. The question is why any two consenting adults in the United States of America don’t have equal human and civil rights — and why we allow separate-but-not-equal substitutions for marriage, such as domestic partnerships, instead of full marriage rights for all Americans.

So apparently actress Cynthia Nixon (whose work I don’t believe I’ve ever seen) has come under fire for having proclaimed that she has chosen to be a lesbian.

Reports The Associated Press:

Cynthia Nixon learned the hard way this week that when it comes to gay civil rights, the personal is always political. Very political.

The actress best known for portraying fiery lawyer Miranda Hobbes on “Sex and the City” is up to her perfectly arched eyebrows in controversy since The New York Times Magazine published a profile in which she was quoted as saying that for her, being gay was a conscious choice. Nixon is engaged to a woman with whom she has been in a relationship for eight years. Before that, she spent 15 years and had two children with a man.

“I understand that for many people it’s not, but for me it’s a choice, and you don’t get to define my gayness for me,” Nixon said while recounting some of the flak gay rights activists previously had given her for treading in similar territory. “A certain section of our community is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice, because if it’s a choice, then we could opt out.

“I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here and we are one group and let us stop trying to make a litmus test for who is considered gay and who is not.”

To say that a certain segment of the gay community “is very concerned that it not be seen as a choice” is an understatement. Gay rights activists have worked hard to combat the idea that people decide to be physically attracted to same-sex partners any more than they choose to be attracted to opposite-sex ones because the question, so far unanswered by science, is often used by religious conservatives, including [Repugnican Tea Party] presidential candidate Rick Santorum and former candidate Michelle Bachman, to argue that homosexuality is immoral behavior, not an inherent trait.

Among the activists most horrified by Nixon’s comments was Truth Wins Out founder Wayne Besen, whose organization monitors and tries to debunk programs that claim to cure people of same-sex attractions with therapy. Besen said he found the actress’ analysis irresponsible and flippant, despite her ample caveats.

“Cynthia did not put adequate thought into the ramifications of her words, and it is going to be used when some kid comes out and their parents force them into some ex-gay camp while she’s off drinking cocktails at fancy parties,” Besen said. “When people say it’s a choice, they are green-lighting an enormous amount of abuse because if it’s a choice, people will try to influence and guide young people to what they perceive as the right choice.” …

While the broader gay rights movement recognizes that human sexuality exists on a spectrum, and has found common cause with transgender and bisexual people, Nixon may have unwittingly given aid and comfort to those who want to deny same-sex couples the right to marry, adopt children and secure equal spousal benefits, said Jennifer Pizer, legal director of the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and the Law, a pro-gay think tank based at the University of California, Los Angeles.

One of the factors courts consider in determining if a law is unconstitutional is whether members of the minority group it targets share an unchangeable or “immutable” trait, Pizer noted. Although the definition of how fixed a characteristic has to be to qualify as immutable still is evolving — religious affiliation, for example, is recognized as grounds for equal protection — the U.S. Supreme Court still has not included sexual orientation among the traits “so integral to personhood it’s not something the government should require people to change,” she said.

“If gay people in this country had more confidence that their individual freedom was going to be respected, then the temperature would lower a bit on the immutability question because the idea of it being a choice wouldn’t seem to stack the deck against their rights,” Pizer said. …

Although science has not identified either a purely biological or sociological basis for sexual orientation, University of California, Davis psychologist Gregory Herek, an expert on anti-gay prejudice, said Nixon’s experience is consistent with research showing that women have an easier time moving between opposite and same-sex partners.

A survey Herek conducted of gay men, lesbians and bisexuals of both genders bore this out. Sixteen percent of the lesbians surveyed reported they felt they had had a fair amount of choice in their sexual orientations, while only five percent of the gay men did. …

Wow. Why are we even having a discussion as to whether or not same-sex orientation is a choice?

Why should it fucking matter whether or not it is a choice?

What any two consenting adults do with each other is their own fucking business. We claim that we are the “home of the free” — that should settle it.

However, since we’re on the topic, my feeling, from decades of observation and from my own experience, is that for some individuals, homosexuality is quite hard-wired into who and what they are. Homosexuality does not at all strike me as a choice for those male and female individuals who, since they were pre-pubescent, showed signs of latent homosexuality, such as non-gender conformity.

For other individuals, it seems to me, more choice indeed is involved, and it does seem to me that it’s a choice for more women than it is for men, as research indicates. (There has been a lot of research lately on female “sexual fluidity,” and this research indicates that females are more “sexually fluid” than are males.)

Perhaps these individuals for whom homosexuality apparently is not hard-wired have had satisfying-enough homosexual fantasies and/or sexual encounters, and so they stick with members of the same sex, whereas if their early sexual fantasies and experiences had been heterosexual, they might have developed into well-adjusted heterosexuals as well.

Who knows? And again, who cares?

I wholeheartedly agree with Nixon’s assertion, “I say it doesn’t matter if we flew here or we swam here, it matters that we are here.”

Those who steadfastly argue that homosexuality could not possibly be a choice for anyone basically are arguing that homosexuality is a birth defect otherwise, why have to defend it?

I, for one, am not OK with essentially equating homosexuality (or bisexuality) as a fucking birth defect.

We should be arguing for our personal freedom to do what we want to do and to be with whom we want to befor our equal human and civil rights — and not whether or not homosexuality is “immutable,” which presumes that heterosexuality is the only OK way to be.

Update (Sunday, January 29, 2011, 9:00 p.m.): Via the Los Angeles Times’ website, I just saw this news photo of the exterior of Oakland City Hall that was taken today:

Occupy Oakland

Associated Press photo

Note that anarchists, with their spray-painted symbol, took credit for their handiwork.

The anarchists and the Occupy Wall Street movement are two different groups. True, some of their beliefs and values overlap, but their sanctioned tactics are quite different.

Again, not that I’m bashing the anarchists. They’ve yet to kill anyone, that I’m aware of, and property damage is not the same as violence against human beings. (That and, as I have pointed out, the right wing believes in mass murder, only mostly in other nations, so I certainly am not going to condemn the anarchists, who [thus far, anyway] only commit property damage, while the right wing perpetrates the worst crimes of all, war crimes and crimes against humanity.)

I like that the anarchists have balls (if they lack a certain amount of direction), and they might prove to be great allies against the right wing should all-out revolution ever break out.

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Cunter: ‘tea-partiers’ ‘cheerful,’ liberals ‘violent’

I wasn’t going to blog anymore tonight. Then I read Ann Cunter’s latest lie fest.

Cunter tries to make the case that liberals are violent racists.

It’s funny. In a sick and twisted way. Does she believe her own shit or does she have full awareness that she’s lying through her venom-dripping fangs?

Cunter begins with:

While engaging in astonishing viciousness, vulgarity and violence toward Republicans, liberals accuse cheerful, law-abiding Tea Party activists of being violent racists.

Oh, fuck, I wish that we liberals were violent! (And that the “tea party” fascists truly were “cheerful” instead of hating upon everyone who isn’t a conservative straight white person who identifies as a Christian — you know, the way our tea-bagging founding fathers wanted it to be.)

We liberals should have killed someone when George W. Bush blatantly treasonously stole the White House in late 200o after having lost the popular vote and the state of Florida, of which his brother just coinky-dinkily was governor (and of which the chief elections official just coinky-dinkily also had sat on his election campaign committee). When the unelected Bush regime launched its bogus Vietraq War for Big Oil and for Uncle Dick’s Halliburton, we liberals should have gone on a murderous fucking rampage.

But we didn’t.

Actually, the “tea party” dipshits aren’t widely accused of violence, even though Cunter goes on to beat the “tea-party” spittle story to death. They are, however, accurately widely accused of being racist.

Look at how many non-whites attend “tea party” gatherings. Why, if the “tea party” is a such a big tent, is that tent filled almost exclusively with white people?

And the New York Times reports that less than 1.5 percent of the audience of Faux “News” (which we might as well call the Tea Party Channel) is comprised of black viewers, while around 20 percent of CNN’s and MSNBC’s viewership is black. Why, do you suppose, that is? (Oh, yeah: because blacks are racist. Andrew Breitbart says so.)

Cunter also proclaims:

We also have evidence of liberals’ proclivity for violence in the form of mountains of arrest records. Liberal protesters at the 2008 Republican National Convention were arrested for smashing police cars, slashing tires, breaking store windows, and for possessing Molotov cocktails, napalm bombs and assorted firearms. (If only they could muster up that kind of fighting spirit on foreign battlefields.)

There were no arrests of conservatives at the Democratic National Convention.

Hmmm. My understanding is that the vast majority of those who actually smash police cars, slash tires, break store windows, etc., are anarchists, not liberals, and while I don’t know much about the anarchists, my understanding is that by definition they don’t like liberals, considering liberals to be part of the broken political system that they despise. Actually, I think that they hate any and all political systems, broken or otherwise. (Any anarchists there, feel free to correct me in the comments section if I’m wrong.)

But that aside, again, I only WISH that liberals actually would wreak havoc like Cunter claims they (we) do. Instead, they tend to be notoriously pussy, usually not even fighting back when they are physically attacked. Fucking peaceniks. (And, as Cunter points out, liberals don’t even like to slaughter Muslim babies for the profits of Big Oil in the names of freedom and democracy and God and Jesus and puppies and kittens and fluffy little bunnies and butterflies and marshmallows and cotton candy. Fucking treasonous liberals!)

And if there were no arrests of conservatives at the Democratic National Convention, well, since conservatives tend to be overly comfortable, overprivileged rich fucks, since they tend to sit at the top of the hierarchy, shitting and pissing upon others, what, exactly, do they have to protest? (Oh, yeah: taxes, which the rich fucks’ corporations — which are people just like you and me, don’t you know — don’t even pay anyway. [Oh — and the black guy won the 2008 presidential election over the old white guy by 7 percentage points, when U.S. history clearly has demonstrated that only white men should ever be president.])

But wait. Cunter’s not done.

“It was a good day when George Bush was merely burned in effigy, compared to Hitler or, most innocuously, compared to a monkey,” she whines.

OK, so go to Google images — images.google.com — and look up “Obama monkey” and “Obama Hitler.” You’ll see lovely images like these:

(You can Google “Obama burned in effigy” on your own. And you know, you’re no one until you’re burned in effigy. Just sayin’.)

It seems to me that blacks are much more often compared to monkeys or other non-human primates than are whites, and that whites comparing blacks to monkeys is quite different from mostly whites comparing a white guy to a monkey*, and really, I don’t think that the right or the left has a monopoly on the trite Hitler comparison, although if Barack Hussein Hitler truly wants to round up and exterminate six million “tea-partying” wingnuts, hey, I’m down with that. (But that will never happen, the FEMA concentration-camp conspiracy stories notwithstanding, because, as I said, liberals are pussies.)

Cunter even manages to scrape together some names of Democratic politicians who have made racist or racist-sounding statements in the past, and, of course, she has to mention that the late Democratic Sen. Robert Byrd in his youth used to be a member of the KKK, which he spent the rest of his life regretting and denouncing. (Well, she doesn’t remind us that he was young and that he regretted it the rest of his life. An oversight, I’m sure.)

Cunter neglects to mention Repugnican racist politicians like Strom “Baby Daddy” Thurmond, Trent Lott (whose political career imploded when he stated that segregationist Thurmond should have been elected president in 1948), George “Macaca” Allen, Jeff(erson) Sessions, John Ashcroft, George Bush I (remember the Willie Horton ad?) and George Bush II (remember the robo-calls that John McCain had fathered a black child, which had Karl Rove’s greasy fingerprints all over them? And how helpful Bush II was to the black victims of Hurricane Katrina?), Katherine Harris (and her purging of black voters from Florida’s voter rolls so that Bush II could “win” Florida), and, of course, David Duke. (Cunter actually writes that we liberals “have zero examples of conservative racism.” Uh, smoking dope isn’t legal yet, Ann.)

And these “incidents”/incidents of liberal-on-conservative violence/“violence” that Cunter recounts are, as violence goes, pretty tame. And quite anecdotal — hardly a fucking national pandemic, unfortunately. The worst of them she recounts is that a guy at a MoveOn.org event bit off a portion of a wingnut’s finger.

Again, cool shit like that doesn’t happen nearly enough.

I wonder what one of Cunter’s fingers tastes like. Careful, though, my fellow violent liberals. I’m guessing that she has acid for blood.

*I used to love the comparisons of George W. Bush to a chimpanzee, although the comparisons were an insult to the intelligence of our closest living cousins.

The comparisons of Bush to chimps was a statement on his lack of intelligence, however. The prime aim of comparisons of blacks to non-human primates, however, is to suggest that they are subhuman — and thus, that it’s justified to treat them as such. 

Big difference. But just another innocent oversight on Cunter’s part, I’m certain.

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