Tag Archives: Chicago

My take: Jussie Smollett made it all up

goodmorningsmollett1

Actor Jussie Smollett cried during his first television interview after allegedly having been the victim of a hate crime on January 29. Meh. He very most likely was crying wolf. (He appears to me to be acting — fairly poorly — in that interview, by the way.)

I’ve been quiet on the alleged hate crime against TV show “Empire” star Jussie Smollett on January 29 in Chicago.

My inclination is to believe the victim, or at least to give the alleged victim the benefit of the doubt, anyway, but Smollett’s story was a bit over the top from the get-go: two male attackers, he claimed, poured bleach on him and put a noose around his neck and yelled, “This is MAGA country!” as well as racist and homophobic slurs.

Smollett initially reported that his attackers wore ski masks, but presumably they were white, since allegedly they had perpetrated a race-based hate crime against him and yelled “This is MAGA country!” (Indeed, in the TV interview mentioned above, by elimination he pretty much claims that his attackers were indeed white, which he apparently could see even though they were wearing ski masks.)

The details of the alleged hate crime against Smollett and its subsequent investigation are convoluted and go back and forth, with ample yes-but-no-but-no-but-yes. (You can read them here and here and in many other places on the Internet.) I won’t rehash all of them here.

But CNN reports today:

Two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the investigation tell CNN that Chicago Police believe actor Jussie Smollett paid two men to orchestrate an assault on him that he reported late last month.

The men, who are brothers, were arrested Wednesday but released without charges Friday after Chicago police cited the discovery of “new evidence.

“The sources told CNN the two men are now cooperating fully with law enforcement.

Smollett told authorities he was attacked early January 29 by two men who were “yelling out racial and homophobic slurs.” He said one attacker put a rope around his neck and poured an unknown chemical substance on him.

The sources told CNN there are records that show the two brothers purchased the rope found around Smollett’s neck at a hardware store in Chicago.

CNN’s attempts Saturday to reach both Smollett’s representative and attorney were unsuccessful.

Smollett identifies as gay and since 2015 has played the gay character of Jamal on the Fox TV drama “Empire.”

According to Chicago Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi, the actor told detectives he was attacked by two men near the lower entrance of a Loews hotel in Chicago. Police were told the two men yelled “‘Empire’ fa***t” and “‘Empire’ n***er'” while striking him.

The day after the incident, police released surveillance images that showed two silhouetted individuals walking down a sidewalk, and police said they were wanted for questioning.

The two men were arrested Wednesday. Police on Friday said the men were being viewed as “potential suspects” and that detectives had “probable cause that they may have been involved in an alleged crime.” [Note that that crime was not specified…]

But by Friday night they had been released, Guglielmi said, “due to new evidence as a result of today’s investigations.”

“And detectives have additional investigative work to complete,” he added.

One of the men has appeared on “Empire,” Guglielmi said. A police source also told CNN on Friday night that the men had a previous affiliation with Smollett, but did not provide additional details. …

It was reported that Smollett might have made up the attack because he feared that he was about to be written out of “Empire” — and presumably, the show-runners then would be hesitant to do so after he’d been attacked in a hate crime — but the show-runners have denied that Smollett’s role ever was in jeopardy. (Of course, for public relations reasons — to keep their target audience — they could be lying about that…)

In any event, if I had to put money on it, for whatever reason, I surmise, Smollett indeed made the whole thing up.

Not only was his initial report over the top — it would be rare for hate-crime attackers, who don’t tend to be all that smart or creative, to do all of the things that he alleged — and certainly they would have had to have been stalking him already, since they allegedly came prepared with props (bleach and a noose). And further, somehow they knew exactly when to bring those props with them: when the “Empire” star just happened to be going to Subway for food around 2 a.m.

Really?

Also, would real attackers really call Smollett “‘Empire’ faggot” and “‘Empire’ nigger”? Plain-old “faggot” and/or “nigger” I could see, but I rather doubt that they would mention the show in which he stars. Again: over the top. It’s bad writing because it beggars belief.

If Smollett actually is found to not have made the whole thing up, then I’d be the first to say so (and update this post accordingly) and offer and apology, but yeah, I very much doubt that Smollett’s story, in the end, will be corroborated.

If he lied — and he wouldn’t be the first to have lied about having been the victim of a hate crime — of course he has made it worse for those who come after him who actually are the victims of hate crimes, and of course he should be prosecuted for having lied to the police.

And I’ll come out and say it: the black community hasn’t been big on defending gay people, to put it quite mildly and charitably, so it seems to me that in this case they have responded more to the alleged racist hate crime against Smollett than to the alleged homophobic hate crime against him.

Just sayin’: The Smollett case apparently not only says a lot about Smollett and what apparent bullshit story he believed would fly in this age of toxic identity politics, but says a lot about those who were so quick to claim that he had to be telling the truth — before the details of the investigation ever even came out. It’s been quite the Rorschach test. (See: confirmation bias.)

P.S. Smollett apparently even fooled “President” Pussygrabber, who called that the alleged attack on Smollett “horrible,” adding, “It doesn’t get worse.” Actually, it does get worse, sometimes a lot worse; Smollett had only superficial (self-inflicted?) skin wounds, no broken bones, no damage to any organs, and he’s still very much alive.

On that note, Kamala Harris rather dramatically called Smollett’s account “an attempted modern day lynching.”

Again, two words: confirmation bias. Harris desperately wants that black base, I know, but she might show some, um, presidential caution before commenting next time. There has been no evidence presented thus far that anyone actually was trying to lynch Smollett, for fuck’s sake.

This woman was a prosecutor? Scary…

P.P.S. Cory Booker also called the Smollett account “an attempted modern-day lynching.” Of course. Jesus fuck.

I’m not sure who tweeted that bullshit first, Harris or Booker (tweets are given time stamps, but from which time zone[s]?), but it’s hard to believe that both would use the exact same phrase without knowledge that the other had done so first.

And, again, to stoke interracial strife before the facts of an alleged incident are even established — again, hardly what I would call presidential.

P.P.P.S. It’s being reported that Smollett has hired Michael Cohen’s criminal defense attorney.

To be abundantly fair, hiring a criminal defense attorney doesn’t necessarily mean that you are guilty of a crime, but, um…

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Let’s not allow the racial brush fires to become a racial conflagration

Four young black adults, aged 18 to 24, shown in the police booking photos above, have been charged with hate crimes in the kidnapping and torture of an 18-year-old mentally disabled white man in Chicago. Images of their victim, which they incredibly intelligently live-streamed via Facebook, are below. As visceral as such images in the media can be, let’s not let the stupid, cruel actions of the few make the rest of us also act in ways that are stupid and cruel.

The victim was made to drink from a toilet bowl and had a gag placed over his mouth

White supremacists must be thrilled to hear the news of four black young adults who have been arrested and charged with hate crimes in their kidnapping and hours-long torture of an 18-year-old mentally disabled white man, voicing their hatred of white people and of Donald Trump while they tortured him.

Reports The Associated Press today:

Chicago — Four black people were charged with hate crimes [today] in connection with a video broadcast live on Facebook that showed a mentally disabled white man being beaten and taunted, threatened with a knife and forced to drink from a toilet.

The assault went on for hours, until Chicago police found the disoriented victim walking along a street, authorities said.

The suspects, who were jailed, can be heard on the video using profanities against white people and President-elect Donald Trump.

Police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said investigators initially concluded that the 18-year-old man was singled out because he has “special needs,” not because he was white. But authorities later said the charges resulted from both the suspects’ use of racial slurs and their references to the victim’s disability.

It’s also possible that the suspects were trying to extort something from the victim’s family, police said. The man’s parents reported their son missing Monday and told authorities they later received text messages from people who claimed to be holding him captive.

The victim was a classmate of one of the attackers and initially went with that person voluntarily, police said.

“He’s traumatized by the incident, and it’s very tough to communicate with him at this point,” police Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said.

Excerpts of the video posted by Chicago media outlets show the victim with his mouth taped shut and slumped in a corner of a room. At least two assailants are seen cutting off his sweatshirt, and others taunt him off camera. The video shows a wound on the top of the man’s head. One person pushes the man’s head with his or her foot.

A red band also appears to be around the victim’s hands. He was tied up for four to five hours, authorities said.

The victim does not appear to make any attempt to defend himself or to escape his attackers. He is a suburban Chicago resident described by Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson as having “mental health challenges.”

“There was never a question whether or not this incident qualified as being investigated as a hate crime,” Johnson said. But “we need to base the investigation on facts and not emotion.”

The case heighted political tensions on social media, with some conservatives suggesting it was linked to the Black Lives Matter movement. Police said there was no indication of any connection.

The incident began Dec. 31, when the victim and one of the suspects, 18-year-old Jordan Hill, met at a suburban McDonald’s to begin what both the victim and his parents believed would be a sleepover, police said.

Instead, Hill drove the victim around in a stolen van for a couple of days, ending up at a home in Chicago, where two of the other suspects lived, detective Cmdr. Kevin Duffin said.

The victim told police what began as playful fighting escalated, and he was bound, beaten and taunted with racial slurs and disparaging comments about his mental capacity.

A downstairs neighbor who heard noises threatened to call police. When two of the suspects left and kicked down the neighbor’s door, the victim escaped. A police officer later spotted the obviously disoriented man wandering down a street.

The man was bloodied and wearing a tank top that was inside-out and backward. He had on jean shorts and sandals, despite freezing weather, officer Michael Donnelly said.

Most hate crimes are connected to the victim’s race, but hate-crime charges can be sought in Illinois if a victim’s mental disability sparked an attack, though it is rare.

In addition to hate crimes, the four were charged with kidnapping, aggravated battery and aggravated unlawful restraint. Three were also charged with burglary. It was unclear whether any of the suspects had attorneys. They were to appear in court Friday. …

Cook County prosecutors identified the suspects as Brittany Covington and Tesfaye Cooper, both of Chicago, and Hill, of suburban Carpentersville. All are 18. A fourth suspect was identified as 24-year-old Tanishia Covington, also of Chicago. …

Before any white people get all indignant and high and mighty over this unfortunate case, we must remind ourselves that also in the news is the ongoing trial of 22-year-old white supremacist Dylann Storm Roof, who shot and killed nine black church members in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015.

Just as Roof is not representative of all white people, the four young black people who appropriately have been charged with hate crimes against the mentally disabled young white man (yes, black-on-white crime can be a hate crime, even though there are plenty of assholes and idiots who would claim otherwise) are not representative of all black people.

A minority of the members of all races are capable of inhumanity to other human beings, ranging from verbal abuse to torture to murder.

It’s ridiculous for the right or the left or for any member of any race to use incidents of race-related crimes to indict all or most of the members of an entire race.

These ugly race-related crimes come crashing into our national consciousness via the media, and the media should report them, but we shouldn’t take the incidents out of context, assert that they represent a larger pattern that they don’t represent, or try to selfishly use the incidents to reinforce our own pre-existing, narrow racial-political worldviews and agendas — or, worst, try to use the incidents as an excuse to commit our own crimes against other human beings, feeling “justified” in doing so.

As far as the mindset of the four young black people who kidnapped and tortured the young white man is concerned, I’m not sure whether they truly have a deep-seated hatred of white people or whether they just thought that it was cool to kidnap and torture a whitey, apparently especially in the aftermath of the “election” of Trump as president.

In any event, because they used racial epithets, the hate-crime charges against them appear to be quite appropriate. You don’t get to use hate speech while committing a crime against someone and then later claim that you didn’t really mean it. You said it; there is evidence that you said it. That’s enough to establish your state of mind. Words having meaning. Let’s not pretend that they don’t.

And, of course, just as Roof was cowardly enough to shoot to death nine defenseless, unarmed people, these four attackers apparently were too cowardly to pick on anyone other than a mentally disabled person, whom they outnumbered.

What I hope doesn’t happen is that some white supremacists “retaliate” against some random black person or persons, incorrectly feeling that the entire white race was just kidnapped and tortured by the entire black race, and that it doesn’t devolve into a fucking all-out race war.

In the current poisonous, Trump-filled atmosphere, that could happen, and while it would cause plenty more pain and suffering, it would solve exactly nothing.

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Prognosticating for Tuesday: Bernie will win at least three states out of five

Updated below (on Tuesday, March 15, 2016)

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders clasps hands with Hawaii Representative Tulsi Gabbard at the start of a campaign rally in Raleigh

Above, Bernie Sanders joins hands with U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, who last month resigned her position of vice chair of the corrupt Democratic National Committee and endorsed Bernie, at a campaign rally in Raleigh, North Carolina, on Friday, and below, he hugs former Ohio state Sen. Nina Turner at a rally in Columbus, Ohio, today. Bernie, I surmise, needs to win at least three of the five states that vote on Tuesday in order to maintain his momentum and quite possibly become the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nominee.

U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders embraces former state senator for Ohio's 25th district Nina Turner during a rally at the Schottenstein Center at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio

Reuters photos

So I stand by my recent prediction that Bernie Sanders will win at least three out of five states on Tuesday, and that those three states will come out of the four states of Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina and Ohio. (I still see Florida as a considerably unlikely win for Bernie, but should he actually win Florida, then, it seems to me, Billary is toast.)

Real Clear Politics’ averages of the polling in Tuesday’s states are:

  • Florida: Billary up by 30.9 percent
  • Illinois: Billary up by 13.7 percent
  • Missouri: Billary up by 7 percent
  • North Carolina: Billary up by 21.5 percent
  • Ohio: Billary up by 17.8 percent

Now, Missouri isn’t even an average of two or more polls — it’s one poll, taken last week, but it’s the only recent poll of Missouri that I’m aware of. (It’s not a good idea to go on one poll, but it’s all that I have to work with.)

Keep in mind, again, that RCP’s average of Michigan polls right before Bernie won Michigan last week was Billary with a 21.4 percent lead over Bernie, yet he won the state (by a small margin, but he still won).

Therefore, I see Bernie probably winning Missouri and lllinois, since RCP gives Billary a lead of only 7 percent and 13.7 percent in those two states, respectively.

Also, Missouri and Illinois nestle in nicely with the states that Bernie already has won (his wins are in green and Billary’s are in gold):

File:Democratic Party presidential primaries results, 2016.svg

Wikipedia graphic (link)

I mean, clearly, Bernie and Billary have regional appeal, with Bernie taking the Northern states and Billary taking the Southern. (Again, note that Iowa was a virtual tie, and that Billary won Massachusetts by 1.4 percent, which is why you see those two Northern states in gold. Also, Billary won/“won” those two states before Bernie could gather momentum. Were those two states to vote again today, I think that Bernie would win both of them.)

And the backlash against Der Fuehrer Donald Trump (trying to) bringing his fascism to the diverse campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago on Friday will, I believe, help the Bernie Sanders campaign in Illinois on Tuesday.

I mean, you had Bernie supporters, not Billary supporters, being vocal in the diverse group of protesters who shut down the KKK/neo-Nazi/Trump rally. It was symbolic of the Berners taking on — and shutting down — Der Fuehrer Trump while the Billarybots were nowhere to be seen (or at least they weren’t heard). I think that pretty much blows away the myth that Team Billary is so fucking great on the issue of diversity.

The fact that the Berners were prominent but that the Billarybots were missing in action on Friday in Chicago will, I have to surmise, resonate with the voters of Illinois (and elsewhere) on Tuesday.

Bernie might win North Carolina, since he won Michigan when Billary supposedly had a 21.4 percent lead there, but as North Carolina is in the South, Queen Billary’s fortress, I can see Bernie losing North Carolina.

And it would take a miracle, I think, for Bernie to win Florida. He could, of course, but I think it’s unlikely.

If we guess, from the recent example of Michigan, as I do, that Bernie could take a state on Tuesday even if polls show Billary leading him there by around 20 points, then I can see him taking Missouri, Illinois and Ohio, but then there is North Carolina right on that edge of around 20 percent, but I just can’t see Bernie taking Florida when RCP’s polling average for that state is Billary up by 30.9 percent.

In case you don’t trust Real Clear Politics (most pundits do and they cite RCP frequently), here is the Huffington Post’s averages of Tuesday state polling:

Again, note that Missouri isn’t an average of polls, but is just one poll taken recently in that state.

RCP and HuffPo are pretty much on the same page, with the rather stunning difference in the state of Illinois, which HuffPo has Bernie winning.

So if I had to whittle it down to just two states that I see Bernie winning on Tuesday, it would be Illinois and Missouri, since he is polling best in those states (even though there unfortunately is only one recent poll in Missouri from which I can prognosticate). Adding a third state to Bernie’s column, my bet is on Ohio.

North Carolina voters might surprise us and go for Bernie, but if Billary wins North Carolina I won’t be surprised at all.

And, again, should Bernie manage to pull out a win in Florida — which I see as very unlikely, but not impossible — then Billary probably can wrap it up.

I mean, it seems to me that if Bernie manages to win Florida, then he’ll probably have won at least four of the five states on Tuesday, and I don’t see Billary recovering from such a blow.

Out of her desperation she’d act like an even bigger harpy, and she would even ramp up her pathological lying (the Koch brothers love Bernie Sanders, Bernie Sanders supported the “Minutemen,” Bernie Sanders has supported the human rights violations in Cuba, Bernie Sanders opposed rescuing the automobile manufacturing industry, etc., etc.).

As a result of that, Billary’s unlikeability (her favorability ratings already are under water) would increase and Bernie’s likeability (his favorability ratings already are on the plus side by double digits) would increase.

Big wins for Bernie on Tuesday (his winning at least three states*) would harm Billary not because of the delegate math, but because of how she reacts when she’s losing or widely perceived as losing (something like this), as we saw in 2008.

P.S. I have just seen a mention of another poll of Missouri, this one taken last week, and it gives Billary a lead of only 4 percent. So indeed, Missouri appears to be the closest state (with the possible exception of Illinois, of course; I’m not sure why there is the considerable discrepancy between RCP and HuffPo on Illinois).

Update (Tuesday, March 15, 2016): Real Clear Politics today shows a considerably tightened race in the “Rust Belt” states of Illinois and Ohio. Right now RCP’s average of polls is showing:

  • Illinois: Billary up by 2.3 percent
  • Ohio: Billary up by 8 percent
  • North Carolina: Billary up by 24 percent
  • Florida: Billary up by 28.9 percent

RCP reports two Missouri polls, one giving Bernie a lead of 1 percent and another giving Billary a lead of 7 percent. And I’ve seen another Missouri poll giving Billary a lead of 4 percent, so my best guess is that Billary has averaged around a 3-percent to 4-percent lead in Missouri.

So I surmise I’ll be up late tonight, watching the results roll in.

Again, I think that Bernie needs to win Illinois, Missouri and Ohio in order to maintain his momentum. Wins in North Carolina and Florida apparently can be expected for Billary, which is in line with her being the Queen of the South.

Bernie could win North Carolina, but I doubt that he will, and I’d be incredibly shocked were he to win Florida. (My understanding is that in these past few to several days Bernie Sanders hasn’t even visited Florida; my guess is that he deemed it as unwinnable and thus decided to strategically spend his time elsewhere, where he can win).

*Conversely, should Bernie win only two states on Tuesday, that probably would be a real blow to his momentum. (Again, his actually winning four states would be great and most likely is the best that he can be expected to do.)

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KKK/Neo-Nazi/Trump rally in Chicago shut down by true American patriots

A demonstrator is removed by Chicago police during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the University of Illinois at Chicago Pavilion in Chicago on Friday, March 11, 2016. Trump canceled one of his signature rallies on Friday, calling off the event in Chicago due to safety concerns after protesters packed into the arena where it was to take place. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune via AP)

Analysis: Chicago chaos tests Trump promises of unity

Associated Press photos

In the top news photo, police remove a protester (the black guy in what appears to be a dark-green hoodie, I’m guessing) from the audience gathered yesterday for a rally for Der Fuehrer Donald Trump on the campus of the University of Illinois-Chicago, where the KKK rally was called off by the Trump campaign because of the anti-fascist protesters who had thronged to it. In the bottom news photo, an anti-fascist protester holds up a sign reading “Derail Trump!” (I quite concur) on the university campus while police officers keep the peace after the KKK rally was canceled.

The fascists who support Donald Trump, and Der Fuehrer Donald himself, claim that their First Amendment rights were violated when anti-fascist protesters shut down one of their KKK rallies in Chicago yesterday.

Oh, boo fucking hoo!

The First Amendment is indeed important — especially when it’s the stronger who are trying to oppress the weaker by suppressing their freedom of expression — but had the good people in Germany manned (and womaned!) up and shut down Adolf Hitler and his Nazi Party early on, then millions of innocent people wouldn’t have been persecuted, tortured and mass-murdered as a result of the Germans’ inaction.

American fascists don’t get to hide behind the First Amendment while they try to reinstate Nazi Germany here in the United States of America.

The prevention of the quite predictable grave harm that these far-right, nationalistic, jingoistic, xenophobic, white supremacist, misogynist, homophobic, theocratic, ironically treasonous pieces of shit who support Donald Trump (and other fascists within the Repugnican Tea Party) would cause to millions of people, should they successfully grab power, is far, far more important than are the First Amendment rights of these evil pieces of shit.

The welfare of the many outweighs the welfare of the few, especially the few who are trying to jeopardize the welfare of the many.

Of course, Der Fuehrer Donald himself, never one to take any responsibility for anything himself, being a fucking sociopath and one of the most evil “human beings” walking the planet — a billionaire, perhaps, but a human-sized walking, blathering piece of shit nonetheless — has blamed yesterday’s fracas in Chicago on — wait for it — Bernie Sanders.

Reuters reports:

… Trump, who has rallies in Ohio and Missouri [today] canceled [his] Chicago event [yesterday] after it turned chaotic, with scuffles breaking out between protesters and backers of the real estate magnate.

The clashes follow a slew of recent incidents of violence at Trump rallies, in which protesters and journalists have been punched, tackled and hustled out of venues, raising concerns about degrading security leading into the November 8 election.

“All of a sudden a planned attack just came out of nowhere,” Trump said at a rally in Dayton, Ohio, [this] morning, calling the protest leaders “professional people.”

He said his own fans “were taunted, they were harassed by these other people, these other people by the way, some represented Bernie, our communist friend.”

“Now really Bernie should tell his people … he should really get up and say to his people, ‘Stop, stop,'” he said.

A spokesman for Sanders, a self-described democratic socialist, did not immediately respond to a request for comment. …

Let’s see. How about the stupid, old, racist, fascist white man — a Trump supporter, of course — who quite offensively rather than anything like self-defensively punched a young black man (a protester) in the face at a Trump/KKK rally in Fayetteville, North Carolina, this past week?

None of Trump’s Brownshirts was punched in the face in Chicago yesterday, to my knowledge; to my knowledge there weren’t even any arrests.

The stupid old pro-Trump white man who punched the young black man in the face this past week, however, has been arrested (probably only because his crime was captured on video).

When is Der Fuehrer Trump going to get up and say to his (goose-stepping) people, “Stop, stop”?

And of course the probably-too-pacifistic Bernie Sanders did not organize any sort of anti-Trump protest in Chicago yesterday (although I would be fine with it if he had). Bernie Sanders is just one of millions and millions of Americans who share his values and beliefs, and non-fascist Americans are free to act as they — we — will. We don’t have to wait and we won’t wait until we get the pretty-please permission of Bernie Sanders or anyone else to fight the real and present danger of domestic fascism, and yesterday we proved that.

Trump knows all of this, of course; it was just an opportunity for the neo-Nazi leader to blame Bernie Sanders — to blame someone, anyone else — for the fact that his fascist, neo-Nazi campaign for the White House stirs up violence, and it was an opportunity for grand propagandist (as well as Grand Wizard) Trump to brand Bernie Sanders a “communist.”

(Nothing like reaching back to the 1950s and before for some scare tactics! It’s as woefully outdated as it is wholly inaccurate, but our audience is comprised of nothing but abject, retrograde morons who are easily lied to and who are moved easily by fear and scare tactics, so no matter!)

Actually, now we Bernie Sanders supporters are, I believe, more likely than we were before yesterday to disrupt Trump’s KKK rallies, now that he has taken to attacking Bernie Sanders in trying to blame Sanders for the violence for which he is solely responsible, and now that he is employing Red-Scare-era slurs against Sanders.

For the record, I don’t see Billary Clinton’s supporters as being anything remotely resembling effective in fighting the likes of Der Fuehrer Trump and his jackbooted lemmings, since the Billarybots accept an awful lot of evil in a leader, as long as he or she just says nice things, as evidenced by their support of Billary, whose entire political career has been comprised of panderingly saying one nice thing but doing another, evil thing.

Not that we supporters of Bernie Sanders need the worthless, brainless, spineless, ineffectual followers of Billary Clinton in the fight against fascism here at home; indeed, we Berners have outnumbered Trump’s Brownshirts for a long time now.

In any event, preventing the rise of a new Nazi Germany here in the United States of America under Der Fuehrer Donald is something to be proud of. (If you are heterosexual, it would be something to proudly tell your grandchildren.)

The shame would be in just allowing yet another fascist demagogue to rise again and to, with his henchfascists, persecute and murder millions of people. Let the eternal shame of the German people in their colossal dereliction of duty to derail Adolf Hitler and his henchmen, their eternal shame for their unconscionable failure to nip that one in the bud, be our guide now.

Preventing that level of evil is worth dying for, and we, the good Americans, the real Americans, must stand up to Der Fuehrer Trump and his Brownshirts and say, loudly: Over our dead bodies!

And if we need to employ violence against the neo-Nazis, then so be it. They need to know that we, the true patriotic Americans, will not take that off of the table, that we can speak their language too, only even better than they can, and that if they want a rematch of the Civil War, we are ready to hand their own sorry asses to them again.

P.S. You’ve probably seen this already, but in case not:

P.P.S. Apparently many counter-Trump protesters were shouting “Bernie! Bernie! Bernie!” in the university arena in Chicago yesterday, and at least one protester had a Bernie campaign sign:

The Latest: Cruz says Trump bears some responsibility

Associated Press photo

Two things on this:

One, it’s nothing to disavow; to the contrary, it’s something to be proud of. (Unsurprisingly and tellingly, I’ve yet to see any report that any of the anti-fascist protesters were shouting, “Hillary! Hillary!” or displayed one of her campaign signs.)

Two, even if it were something to disavow, which it is not, neither Bernie Sanders nor his campaign has control over its supporters, who number in the millions.

And nor should a candidate or his or her campaign have any such control. Campaigns for elected office exist for the people; the people do not exist for campaigns for elected office. (This is, of course, the opposite philosophy of the jackbooted, goose-stepping Trumpians, who obediently give Der Fuehrer Trump their familiar one-armed pledge of allegiance.)

Finally, I just stumbled across this news photo from the fracas in Chicago yesterday and I love it. It’s one of the most iconic news photos that I’ve seen in ages:

Trump protesters cheer after GOP front-runner cancels rally

Associated Press photo

Seriously. Kudos to this young man for standing up like he did (and kudos to all of the many others, too, of course), and the photographer deserves a photojournalism award.

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It’s NOT all about U.S. — really

The American reaction to the news that the International Olympic Committee picked Rio de Janeiro instead of Chicago for the 2016 Olympic games demonstrates how we Americans think that it’s all about U.S. — er, us.

U.S.-centrism is so ingrained within us Americans that we can’t even see it. It’s like the water that engulfs fish: we never examine or question it, but just take it for granted.

These paragraphs from an Associated Press story demonstrates how blind to globalism Americans are:

Chicago’s early exit from finalist balloting represented a personal setback for [President Barack] Obama and a painful defeat for Chicago, America’s most prominent Midwestern city. The president put his personal prestige and political capital at risk when he decided late in the competition to go to Copenhagen and make a personal appeal.

and

In making his pitch, the president had said that a nation shaped by the people of the world “wants a chance to inspire it once more.” Never before had a U.S. president made such an in-person appeal, and Obama’s critics will doubtlessly see the vote as a sign of his political shortcomings.

Since when are the Olympics, an international affair, all about the United States of America or Chicago or Barack Obama?

We Americans act this provincially and then wonder why the rest of the world hates us.

I’m glad that Rio de Janeiro got the 2016 Olympics. It’s the first nation in South America that ever has been picked to host the quadrennial summer games.

“The United States has hosted four summer and four winter Olympics, more than any other nation,” notes Wikipedia, listing St. Louis (in 1904), Los Angeles (in 1932 and again in 1984) and Atlanta (in 1996) as the summer games hosted by the United States.

Second to the United States in the number of times of hosting the quadrennial summer games is London, which hosted in 1908 and 1948 and is to host again in 2012.

So the Olympics, which are supposed to be international, have been dominated by the American and British empires since the modern Olympics began in 1896 in Athens. (Even Athens, the birthplace of the Olympics, has hosted the quadrennail summer games only twice, in 1896 and in 2004.)

I don’t see the awarding of the 2016 Olympics to Rio de Janeiro as a slam against Chicago or Barack Obama — or as some sign that the world doesn’t like Barack Obama, as the American wingnuts are asserting (it’s only “treason” when progressives oppose a wingnut in the White House, you see). I see it as an issue of fairness, a concept that eludes the wingnuts, and the awarding of the 2016 games to Rio is in line with what is supposed to be the international, global spirit of the Olympics.

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Why didn’t he just put it on eBay?

You know, I’m against the death penalty, but in cases such as this, it might help the gene pool to remove such incredibly retarded individuals from it.

Reports The Associated Press today:

CHICAGO – Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich was arrested [today] on charges that he brazenly conspired to sell or trade the U.S. Senate seat left vacant by President-elect Barack Obama to the highest bidder.

Blagojevich also was charged with illegally threatening to withhold state assistance to Tribune Co., the owner of the Chicago Tribune, in the sale of Wrigley Field, according to a federal criminal complaint. In return for state assistance, Blagojevich allegedly wanted members of the paper’s editorial board who had been critical of him fired.

A 76-page FBI affidavit said the 51-year-old Democratic governor was intercepted on court-authorized wiretaps over the last month conspiring to sell or trade the vacant Senate seat for personal benefits for himself and his wife, Patti.

Otherwise, Blagojevich considered appointing himself. The affidavit said that as late as Nov. 3, he told his deputy governor that if “they’re not going to offer me anything of value I might as well take it.”

“I’m going to keep this Senate option for me a real possibility, you know, and therefore I can drive a hard bargain,” Blagojevich allegedly said later that day, according to the affidavit, which also quoted him as saying in a remark punctuated by profanity that the seat was “a valuable thing — you just don’t give it away for nothing.”

… U.S. Attorney Patrick J. Fitzgerald said in a statement that “the breadth of corruption laid out in these charges is staggering.”

“They allege that Blagojevich put a for sale sign on the naming of a United States senator,” Fitzgerald said….

Nothing in the court papers suggested Obama had any part in the discussion. In fact, Blagojevich allegedly said in the same conversation that Obama most likely would not appoint him as secretary of health and human services or to an ambassadorship because of the negative publicity that has surrounded the governor for three years….

Corruption in the Blagojevich administration has been the focus of a federal investigation involving an alleged $7 million scheme aimed at squeezing kickbacks out of companies seeking business from the state. Federal prosecutors have acknowledged they’re also investigating “serious allegations of endemic hiring fraud” under Blagojevich….

Federal prosecutors said Blagojevich and the chairman of his campaign committee have been speeding up corrupt fundraising activities in the last month to get as much money as possible before the end of the year when a new law would curtail his ability to raise contributions from companies with state contracts worth more than $50,000.

According to the affidavit, agents learned Blagojevich was seeking $2.5 million in campaign contributions by the end of the year, with a large part allegedly to come from companies and individuals who have gotten state contracts or appointments….

Blagojevich took the chief executive’s office in 2003 as a reformer promising to clean up former Gov. George Ryan’s mess.

Ryan, a Republican, is serving a 6-year prison sentence after being convicted on racketeering and fraud charges. A decade-long investigation began with the sale of driver’s licenses for bribes and led to the conviction of dozens of people who worked for Ryan when he was secretary of state and governor….

I’ve heard about the corruption in Chicago, but damn was Blagojevich brazen, and damn if he isn’t the poster boy for the fact that neither of the duopolistic political parties is a stranger to corruption.

Illinis probably look forward to having a governor whose name they can actually pronounce and spell, and while they’re at it, hopefully they’ll get a better-looking governor, too:

In this April 18, 2007 file photo, Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich ...

Associated  Press photo

I wouldn’t do him…

And hopefully the Illinis’ next governor will manage to keep himself (or herself, but doesn’t it always seem to be men?) out of prison.

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