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Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Getty images

It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The Amazon.com series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?

Really?

How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

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‘Brüno’ is (mostly) good for gays

Gay fashionista Brüno (a.k.a. Sacha Baron Cohen), of Vienna, poses with adopted son O.J., whom he obtained in exchange for a limited-edition iPod.

So the Internet buzz is that the movie “Brüno” is bad for gays.

Oh, puhfucklinglease.

The only camps of people who truly could believe that are self-homo-hating gays and the members of the heterosexual politically correct crowd who want to be offended on behalf of us queers in order to burnish their PC credentials.

Any actual damage that comic genius Sacha Baron Cohen’s “Brüno” might cause the gay community (if there is such a thing [and there isn’t]) most likely is offset considerably by the pervasive homo-hatred that Cohen brings to light in “Brüno.”

Only fucktards could believe in all of the gay stereotypes that Cohen uses liberally in “Brüno,” but even dullards should come away from “Brüno” with a better sense of what hatred — and consequent danger — there is for gays throughout the United States of America, land of the free (well, free for stupid, white, presumably straight, “Christian” males, anyway). 

In at least one scene it appears that Cohen-as-Brüno nearly was hit by a large object thrown at him by a homo-hater that could have caused him serious injury had it made contact with him (I won’t give it away by giving the details), and in another scene, what appears to be an angry mob of Orthodox Jews seriously chasing him in what appears to be Israel gives us a hint as to how “civilized” our partner in war crimes and crimes against humanity, Israel, is (which is about as “civilized” as the United States is). 

Not only was Cohen’s physical safety apparently jeopardized by homo-hatred and anti-homo violence in his quest to get footage for “Brüno,” but even when his physical safety was not jeopardized, with his antics as the gay Austrian fashionista Brüno he still reveals homo-hatred aplenty. (Salon.com’s often-lame reviewer and even the New York Times’ lame reviewer both seem to think that this isn’t such a big deal — homo-hatred is pretty much expected of the red states, which pretty much makes it OK, right? — which strikes me as rather homo-hateful itself.)    

Perhaps most revealing is the segment in which Cohen-as-Brüno appears before an all- or mostly black television talk-show audience in Dallas; the segment showcases how homo-hating many, if not most, black Americans are. Don’t you dare to discriminate against them based upon race, but they feel perfectly fine discriminating against non-heterosexuals. Gay indeed is the new black, with even the historically oppressed blacks shitting and pissing upon gays.

One stupid white man (at a gun show, I believe it is) tells Cohen-as-Brüno apparently quite seriously that if Brüno refers to him as gay one more time, he will inflict upon Brüno serious bodily injury. (I mean, think of that: This man believes that being gay is so awful, is such a stigma, that he is justified in even doing serious bodily injury to someone who calls him gay.) And I was surprised to see that Cohen-as-Brüno apparently did not get a gunned pulled on him when he went out with a group of redneck hunters and proceeded to get rather Brokeback on them after nightfall.

“Brüno” also exposes Ron Paul (whom Bruno claims [hilariously, I thought] he had thought was RuPaul) as quite a homo-hater; Cohen-as-Brüno has Ron Paul using, on camera, the epithet “queer” quite seriously and quite liberally — even though the effete Paul strikes me as quite possibly non-heterosexual himself.

(A long time ago I passed a Ron Paul table near the California State Capitol. Knowing that Paul is a right-winger masquerading as a moderate and/or as an “independent,” I kept walking past the Paul propaganda table when one of the Paul zombies stopped me. I told him that I cannot support a homophobe.

The young male zombie informed me that he is gay yet he was following Paul. Whether he was telling the truth or was lying in order to try to gain a convert to his little cult I’m not sure, but when I saw Paul using the word “queer” in “Brüno” today, I felt pretty fucking vindicated. [Yes, Cohen-as-Brüno certainly eggs Paul on, but Paul’s reaction is quite homo-hateful and there is no excuse for that hatred. It’s OK to fault a person for his or her wrong actions, but not for whom he or she is.])

“Brüno” is crude, of course, and as with “Borat,” sometimes this works as comedy and sometimes it doesn’t. Cohen-as-Brüno employs about every gay sexual stereotype imaginable. There are dildos aplenty and Brüno’s pygmy boyfriend (yes, pygmy boyfriend) proves to be quite, um, capacious as well as portable. Cohen employed a lot of homo-related gags in “Borat,” and the character of Borat is heterosexual, so you can imagine what “Brüno” is like. 

If you hated “Borat,” you probably will hate “Brüno,” too, and if you loved “Borat,” as I did, you probably will find “Brüno” funny but a little less funny than “Borat,” as I did.

On its own, “Brüno” holds up to “Borat,” but we saw “Borat” before we saw “Brüno,” so Cohen’s shtick of filming the spontaneous reactions of bigoted dupes to his antics in character isn’t brand-new to us anymore.

And “Brüno” mimicks “Borat” in some plot aspects, such as in that both Borat and Brüno find themselves leaving their native nations and making pilgrimages in the United States. And Borat has his sidekick in the blubbery Azamat, while Brüno’s sidekick is Lutz, his fawning “assistant’s assistant” (although Lutz plays a smaller role in “Bruno” than Azamat does in “Borat”). And in both “Borat” and “Brüno,” the title character has a spat with his sidekick that forces a separation, only to have the sidekick return later at a critical junction in the title character’s unfolding story.

Hopefully, Sacha Baron Cohen will use a different formula for his next film, but “Brüno” had me laughing hysterically throughout, so much so that in the theater my boyfriend asked me several times to keep it down, so Cohen succeeded in his main goal for “Brüno,” which was to be funny.

As a gay man, the only scene of “Brüno” that made me uncomfortable is the scene in which Cohen-as-Brüno shows apparently faked photographs of him and his adopted toddler O.J. partying in a hot tub with his naked gay friends. The myth of gay men as pedophiles doesn’t need to be reinforced.

But probably Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants have more reason to be offended by “Brüno” than do gay men. How Cohen-as-Brüno actually got Paula Abdul to sit atop a Mexican(-American) guy serving as a piece of furniture in order to do a serious interview about the importance of humanitarianism I don’t know. But even with that, Cohen’s intent, it seems, was to show us how Mexican Americans and Mexican immigrants are treated in the United States; of course Cohen doesn’t believe that such treatment is acceptable.

“Brüno” also contains plenty of Nazi jokes, such as how Brüno quite seriously reflects that he is the second great man from Austria.

But Cohen can get away with his jokes about Nazis and Jews because we know where he stands; he’s Jewish, so he’s hardly an anti-Semite.

And it was in an interview with NPR after the release of “Borat” that Cohen stated that of the characters he has played, duping people, he has most been concerned for his physical safety while playing the gay character of Brüno — a testament, he stated, as to the severity of the problem of homo-hatred and anti-homo violence.

Sacha Baron Cohen is on our gay men’s side. Those gay men who claim otherwise because they find “Brüno” to be offensive should examine their own deepest beliefs about homosexuality and being gay, and those straight self-appointed members of the PC Police who want to be offended on my behalf should find another group on whose behalf to be offended.

My grade: A-

P.S. I’m really not getting the “argument” that I’m seeing everywhere that it was just too easy for Cohen to evoke homo-hateful words and deeds from homo-haters.

“Ridiculing American rubes is like shooting dead, motionless fish in a barrel filled with Jell-O,” notes one pretentious writer who tells us, rather explicitly, that he’s above and beyond it all (as do the rest of his ilk).

OK, so then you see news stories like this one from The Associated Press from today:

Salt Lake City – A gay couple say they were detained by security guards on a plaza owned by the Mormon church and later cited by police, claiming it stemmed from a kiss on the cheek.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints said that the men became argumentative and refused to leave after being asked to stop their “inappropriate behavior.” The men say they were targeted because they are gay.

Matt Aune said he and his partner, Derek Jones, were walking home from a concert nearby on Thursday night, cutting through the plaza near the Salt Lake City Mormon temple.

Aune, 28, said he gave Jones, 25, a hug and kiss and that the two were then approached by a security guard, who asked them to leave, telling them they were being inappropriate and that public displays of affection aren’t allowed on the property. He said other guards arrived and the men were handcuffed.

“We asked what we were doing wrong,” Aune told The Associated Press.

Church spokeswoman Kim Farah said in a statement Friday that the men were “politely asked to stop engaging in inappropriate behavior — just as any other couple would have been.”

“They became argumentative and used profanity and refused to leave the property,” she said. The church did not immediately respond to a request for more comment.

Police later arrived and both men were cited with misdemeanor trespassing, Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robin Snyder said.

“It doesn’t matter what they were asked to leave for,” Snyder said. “If they are asked to leave and don’t they are … trespassing.”

The church has been the target of protests over its support of a ban on gay marriage in California.

I find it hard to believe that a heterosexual couple would have been handcuffed for a kiss on the cheek, and I find the “trespassing” “issue” to be a smokescreen for the Mormon cult’s homo-hatred.

To those who claim, explicitly or implicitly, that homo-hatred isn’t a problem or that it’s such old hat that Cohen shouldn’t have even bothered to make a film about it, I say to you heartily and wholeheartedly: FUCK YOU!

No one would claim in an article posted on a supposedly reputable website that racist hate speech and racist acts of violence are acceptable or even tolerable.

Why the fuck, then, is it still wide open season on gays? Even by pretentious, supposedly enlightened, above-and-beyond-it-all writers?

P.P.S. Just thought I’d note that my favorite film critic, Roger Ebert, loved “Brüno” too.

“The needle on my internal laugh meter went haywire, bouncing among hilarity, appreciation, shock, admiration, disgust, disbelief and appalled incredulity,” Ebert wrote in his review of “Brüno,” adding, “Here is a film that is 82 minutes long and doesn’t contain 30 boring seconds.”

I should have noted that “Brüno” was directed by Larry Charles, who also directed “Borat” and “Religulous” with Bill Maher. I love Charles’ direction — I’ve reviewed both “Borat” (here) and “Religulous” (here) — and I look forward to his next film.

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