Tag Archives: dictator

Why the United States should keep its fucking hands off of Venezuela

Two peas in a pod, really. Both have disturbing autocratic tendencies, including their mistreatment of the press, and if Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro wasn’t duly elected, U.S. “President” Pussygrabber certainly wasn’t, either; he lost the popular vote by almost 3 million.

I like and I respect Mexican-American telejournalist Jorge Ramos of Univision. A passionate advocate for Latin Americans seeking a better life, he has reported on their plight and has written several books about it as well.

I believe Ramos’ report of what happened to him and his crew when he recently tried to report on Venezuela. Ramos wrote for The New York Times:

I was expelled from Venezuela on Tuesday [yesterday] after a contentious interview with Nicolás Maduro, the country’s strongman. He stood up in the middle of our conversation and his security agents confiscated our television cameras, the memory cards and our cellphones. Yes, Mr. Maduro stole the interview so nobody could watch it.

We got the interview the old fashioned way: by making a phone call and requesting it. A producer from Univision — the television network where I’ve worked since 1984 — contacted the government’s communications minister, Jorge Rodríguez, and asked if Mr. Maduro wanted to do the interview. The leader said: “Come to Caracas.” And so we did, with official entry papers in hand.

The interview started on Monday evening, three hours late, at the Miraflores Palace. Mr. Maduro had spoken a few minutes before with Tom Llamas of ABC News, and he seemed to be in a good mood. The humanitarian aid that the political opposition — with the help of an international coalition — had tried to get into the country over the Colombian and Brazilian borders had been largely stopped, and Mr. Maduro felt emboldened. This was supposed to be a good day.

But it wasn’t. The first question I asked Mr. Maduro was whether I should call him “Presidente” or “Dictador,” as many Venezuelans do. I confronted him about human rights violations and cases of torture that have been reported by Human Rights Watch, and with the existence of political prisoners. I questioned his claim that he had won the 2013 and the 2018 presidential elections without fraud and, most important, his assurances that Venezuela was not experiencing a humanitarian crisis. That’s when I opened up my iPad.

The day before I had recorded on my cellphone three young men looking for food on the back of a garbage truck in a poor neighborhood minutes away from the presidential palace. I showed those images to Mr. Maduro. Each frame contradicted his narrative of a prosperous and progressive Venezuela 20 years after the revolution. That’s when he broke.

About 17 minutes into the interview, Mr. Maduro stood up, comically tried to block the images on my iPad and declared that the interview was over. “That’s what dictators do,” I told him. …

I also heard Ramos give this account on NPR. Again, I believe Ramos; he is credible.

I don’t dispute such assertions as that Maduro is an authoritarian (if not technically a dictator, since there was at least the semblance of some election that at least initially put Maduro in power) or that many Venezuelans are so desperate that they’re combing through garbage for sustenance.

These reports are so widespread that I little doubt their veracity, although I’m always leery of the right wing shamelessly lying and exaggerating for political gain.

The problem, though, is how to solve the problems that plague Venezuela and who should solve them.

It should not be the psychopathic, fascist likes of “President” Pussygrabber or “Vice President” Mike Pence — who didn’t win their own fucking election, for fuck’s sake (Billary Clinton won by about 3 more million votes) — to deal with Maduro. (It’s always stupid white men, too; John “I Am the Walrus” Bolton — an abject wingnut who of course is “President” Pussygrabber’s “national security adviser” — also is a Venezuela hawk, of course.)

The people of the sovereign nation of Venezuela should deal with Maduro.

The claims of the illegitimate Pussygrabber regime and its jackbooted supporters that they care so much about Venezuela’s humanitarian problems are beyond laughable.

The Pussygrabber regime and its aiders and abettors don’t give a flying fuck about the American citizens in the American territory of Puerto Rico, which still is reeling from the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, which struck in September 2017, for fuck’s sake, so for them to claim to care so much about the plight of the Venezuelans is incredibly incredible.

No, the right-wing, unelected Pussygrabber regime and its supporters want two things from Venezuela, not necessarily in this order: (1) its vast oil wealth (like Iraq’s, which was the No. 1 reason for the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War) and (2) to install a right-wing government in Venezuela that will do corporate America’s bidding, especially in terms of just handing over the nation’s natural resources like a good Latin American nation should.

Did I mention Venezuela’s vast oil wealth? It has the largest oil reserves in the world.

Venezuela is not a democratic socialist nation. Its current government started off with socialist aspirations, but now it has an autocrat, not a democratic socialist, at the helm. (To be fair, this autocracy began under the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but further to be fair, the Venezuelan right wing, with the full support of the unelected, illegitimate, right-wing second Bush regime, did try to overthrow Chavez after his democratic election — spectacularly unsuccessfully — in April 2002, which probably accounts for Chavez’s turn toward autocracy; I mean, you’re not paranoid if they really are out to get you!)

It’s easy to criticize the Venezuelan government (the real one, not the fake one that the wingnuts so badly wish to install, as they tried to do in April 2002 [they tried to impose a right-wing oil magnate on the people of Venezuela as their new, wholly unelected “president”]), but look at the United States of America: The only reason that “President” Pussygrabber isn’t acting just like Maduro right now, perhaps especially in regards to the treatment of the press, is that the American system (thus far, anyway) has reined the “president” in.

Jorge Ramos again is a great example. Then-“presidential” candidate Pussygrabber infamously kicked Ramos out of a news conference in August 2015, telling him to “Go back to Univision” and motioning to one of his thugs to eject Ramos from the room. One of Pussygrabber’s jackbooted thugs (yet another stupid white man, of course) in the hallway to which Ramos had been ejected was more direct; he told Ramos, who is an American citizen, for fuck’s sake, “Get out of my country!”

Americans who act like Pussygrabber — who as I type this sentence is palling around with North Korean dictator (yup, wholly unelected and dynastic) Kim Jong Un, who treats his people far worse than Maduro treats his, replete with gulags — is better at heart than is Maduro are deluded or liars or deluded liars, and they’re huge fucking hypocrites.

Again, Maduro is simply doing what Pussygrabber would do if Pussygrabber could. (Totally unrestrained, my bet is that Pussygrabber would do far worse than anything that Maduro has done thus far.)

Therefore, the United States of America, as long as it remains occupied by the unelected, illegitimate, fascist Pussygrabber regime, should keep its fucking hands off of Venezuela.

The United States of America right now could only make things in Venezuela worse, not better. The “aid” that the wingnuts wish to bring to the people of Venezuela is just a Trojan horse, because the wingnuts’ ultimate aim is the subjugation of Venezuela — not its betterment.

This is obvious to anyone who is honest, sane and who has been paying attention to the ugly history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and elsewhere in the world.

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How many more whacks can the Pussygrabber piñata sustain?

A woman hits a pinata of Donald Trump during a protest in Mexico City, on October 12, 2016 (AFP Photo/RONALDO SCHEMIDT)

AFP photo

A woman takes a hit at an effigial piñata of Pussygrabber during a protest in Mexico City in October 2016, before our long national nightmare officially began in January 2017.

For better or for worse — now, for worse — the United States presidency was built to be durable. The president, whether actually elected by the majority of the voters or not (tellingly, neither of our last two Repugnican “presidents” were), gets a fairly long term of four years, plenty of time with which to do plenty of damage, and it’s incredibly difficult to remove a sitting president.

Unless the president obviously, unarguably is incapacitated, such as through coma or death, he gets to remain in office, and sure, you can impeach him with a simple majority vote of the U.S. House of Representatives, but to actually remove him from office then would take at least 67 votes in the U.S. Senate. That’s never happened in our nation’s history. (I generally am against super-majorities, especially super-majorities of two-thirds. If we must have a super-majority, to me it shouldn’t have to be higher than 60 percent.*)

When we have a shitty president, our options aren’t many. Ensuring that his party doesn’t control both houses of Congress helps, and I am confident that the Democrats will take back the House in November. (Fivethirtyeight.com right now gives them a 78.2 percent chance of doing so.) That will be yet another significant blow to the Pussygrabber piñata, which has taken many hits so far.

Not that Pussygrabber would flinch all that much (at least publicly) after losing the House; he’s never understood or respected the U.S. Constitution, so he’ll still try to be a dictator. He’ll try; he’ll be slapped down by the checks and balances that the nation’s founders wisely and presciently built into our system of governance.

But, as I have noted before, Pussygrabber does make the cockroach jealous in terms of his ability to survive what should have killed him.

The pussy-grabbing tape publicly revealed in October 2016, for fuck’s sake, should have ended him.

And it’s been nothing but a parade of books about the Pussygrabber White House, first Michael Wolff’s best-selling Fire and Fury, then White House insider Omarosa Manigalt Newman’s Unhinged (which, whatever we think of her, still sits at No. 60 on Amazon.com’s top-100 selling books list as I type this sentence), and now, Bob Woodward’s Fear: Trump in the White Housewhich because of pre-orders right now is No. 1 on Amazon.com’s best-seller list (it officially come outs on Tuesday, which is September 11…).

When people independently are reporting the same things, um, yeah…

There have been plenty of other whacks on the Pussygrabber piñata, of course, including the indictments and convictions and guilty pleas of Pussygrabber associates, most notably of former Pussygrabber “presidential” campaign chairman Paul Manafort and former Pussygrabber personal attorney Michael Cohen (which didn’t happen even a full month ago), and plenty of wholly self-inflicted hits, such as Pussygrabber’s disastrous meeting with Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin in Finland in July, during which he surreally casually treasonously threw the United States of America under the bus.

Old-school Repugnican John McCain got in a postmortem dig by barring Pussygrabber from attending his recent funeral, which was attended by Barack Obama and George W. Bush, as well as by Joe Biden and former U.S. Sens. Russ Feingold and Gary Hart and current U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, all Democrats.

The New York Times last week released that interesting, anonymously-penned op-ed titled “I Am Part of the Resistance Inside the Trump Administration” and tag-lined “I work for the president but like-minded colleagues and I have vowed to thwart parts of his agenda and his worst inclinations.”

The op-ed didn’t tell us much that we didn’t already know, wasn’t much new, except that it purportedly was written by someone still working within the Pussygrabber regime (my best guess is that it was lodestar-loving Mike Pence, who would personally benefit immediately upon Pussygrabber’s exit), and of course Pussygrabber made the situation even worse by tweeting:

Does the so-called “Senior Administration Official” really exist, or is it just the Failing New York Times with another phony source? If the GUTLESS anonymous person does indeed exist, the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!

Wow. Let’s unpack that: Saying or reporting anything that “President” Pussygrabber doesn’t want you to is tantamount to threatening “National Security.” Wow. No First-Amendment or whistle-blowing protections for us peasants where it comes to Mad King George!

To equate yourself with the nation (and your ego with the nation’s security) itself is beyond insane. Pussygrabber is not the United States of America; he is an aberration and an abomination. We know this now; indeed, we have known this for some time now, and we don’t need to wait for the historians inevitably to record his “presidency” as such.

And The New York Times is not “failing.” In fact, this never has been true during Pussygrabber’s “presidency,” and Pussygrabber will lie pathologically about anything, will spew even lies that easily are thoroughly debunked.

Forbes reported back in July 2017 of the Times that “the paper enjoys 2.3 million paid digital subscriptions, up 63.4 percent from a year earlier. Its stock is currently trading at a nine-year high, hovering around $20 per share and giving the company a market capitalization of about $3.2 billion.”**

Forbes added: “Like most traditional media organizations, the Times has weathered setbacks thank to falling print subscriptions and ad revenues. But Trump’s presidency appears to have breathed new life into the organization. Since the election, the Times has made itself a must-read, trading political scoops with The Washington Post on an almost daily basis.”

The Times reported 2.9 million online subscriptions last month and published this graphic:

Indeed, I renewed my online subscription to the Times after years of dormancy because I value the Times’ and The Washington Post’s fairly relentless coverage of “our” illegitimate, dangerous “president” (I subscribe to both online, and yes, their current success has a lot to do with the unelected maniac in the Oval Office).

But back to that “presidential” tweet: Most chilling about it, of course, is Pussygrabber’s dictatorial assertion that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her [the writer of the anonymous op-ed] over to government at once!”

Who the fuck does Pussygrabber think he is — Vladimir Putin? (That was [mostly] rhetorical, but feel free to answer it literally.) Although Pussygrabber has done his best to be a human wrecking ball of our republic, in the end, although sometimes slow, such as the Mueller investigation, in the United States of America the rule of law still applies.***

The Times legally does not have to divulge its sources, and the specious “National Security” argument won’t work. Further, at least one federal former prosecutor says that the author of the anonymous op-ed has broken no law at all, either by having provided the piece for publication or by having admitted to any illegal activity within the piece itself.

Another whack to the Pussygrabber piñata is planned to come later this month, when Michael Moore releases his new film on the unelected Pussygrabber regime, “Fahrenheit 11/9,” a twist on the title of his 2004 film about the unelected Bush regime, “Fahrenheit 9/11,” which remains the highest-grossing documentary of all time.

Here is the poster for “Fahrenheit 11/9”:

Fahrenheit 11/9 (2018)

Pussygrabber’s “win” of the White House was announced on November 9, 2016, and thus “Fahrenheit 11/9.”

True, “Fahrenheit 9/11” was meant to help to deny “President” Bush a second term in the 2004 presidential election and failed to do so, but I’ll take just about any new movie by Moore, and, again, it should be yet another whack on the Pussygrabber  piñata, followed by the Repugnicans’ loss of the U.S. House of Representatives later this fall.

And, of course, Pussygrabber’s approval ratings remain stubbornly stuck around the low 40s, which not only doesn’t bode well for the mid-term elections in November — widely considered to be a referendum on Pussygrabber — but doesn’t bode well for his “re”-“election.”

Pussygrabber’s average approval ratings have been historically low, which is like a constant hitting of the Pussygrabber piñata, weakening it even further and further, if only slowly.

Will there be a final, spectacular, perhaps inevitable blow to the Pussygrabber piñata? And who will strike it? Robert Mueller at any time? The Democratic-controlled House finding its spine and impeaching him? Bernie Sanders beating him in November 2020?

We’ll see, but in the meantime, this will, methinks, remain a fairly slow-moving train wreck.

We’ll probably finally see that piñata spew its contents all over the ground one day, but by the time that comes, we might be too exhausted from our long national nightmare to be able to derive all that much pleasure from it.

*On that note, the threshold for a new U.S. Supreme Court “justice” to be put on the bench used to be a vote of 60 or more in the U.S. Senate, until Yertle McConnell changed the Senate rules in 2017 to require only a simple-majority vote for Supreme Court “justices” in order to get Pussygrabber’s picks seated on the court.

The only way for loser Pussygrabber to “win,” once again, was to cheat.

**Forbes does note that maybe Pussygrabber, who is no wordsmith, means that The New York Times is “failing” in its coverage of him and his “presidency,” but most often when Pussygrabber criticizes a company, his criticism is that it is not doing well financially, even though he’s had six bankruptcies.

***It is because there are so many competing different interests within the United States, I surmise, that no one group of people can have power indefinitely, as it is the case in the thugocracy of Russia, which Pussygrabber wants to replicate here in the U.S.

(In March, Pussygrabber remarked that it’s great that China now has a president for life, and that maybe the U.S. will have that too someday. Maybe Pussygrabber was joking, but “jokes” like that aren’t funny. It wasn’t funny when George W. Bush “quipped” in December 2000, “If this were a dictatorship, it’d be a heck of a lot easier, just so long as I’m the dictator.”)

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Hugo Chavez, rest in peace

File photo of Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez blowing a kiss as he arrives at a rally with supporters in Caracas

Reuters photo

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, who democratically was elected as his nation’s leader four times in a row, died today of cancer at age 58. (He is pictured above in February 2012.) I fell in love with Chavez some years ago after I watched the excellent documentary “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised,” which is about the blatantly anti-democratic, treasonous — and, thankfully, short-lived — attempt by fascistic right-wingers in Venezuela to forcibly replace the popularly elected Chavez with an unelected corporatocrat and plutocrat in 2002 — much the way that the fascistic, treasonous right-wingers here at home stole the White House in 2000 against the wishes of the majority of the American voters.

Only plutocrats and fascists have cause to celebrate the death of democratic socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, but, unfortunately, most of those in the United States who celebrate his death are poor to middle-class right-wing fucktards who actually would benefit greatly from Chavez-like socioeconomic policies here at home. (No, the corporate-cash-loving-and-corporate-ass-licking U.S. President Barack Obama is no “socialist.”)

Hugo Chavez became widely known as a “dictator” after the unelected Bush regime relentlessly repeatedly called him such even though Chavez repeatedly had been democratically elected by clear majorities of the people of Venezuela (who didn’t vote the way that they were supposed to vote, which is the way that a right-wing American would vote, you see).

Ironically, since George W. Bush never was democratically elected — Al Gore won more than a half-million more votes than Bush did in 2000, and it was the right-wing U.S. Supreme Court, not the majority of the American voters, who put Bush in the White House — Bush was the actual dictator, one who took power without first having earned the majority of the votes of the people.

Hugo Chavez wasn’t perfect — no leader of a nation is — but “dictator” Chavez’s biggest “crime” was that he actually did his job, which was to look out for the interests of the majority of the people of Venezuela and not for the interests of the plutocratic and corporatocratic few — you know, the way that a “good” Latin American leader “should”: sell out his people for whatever it is that the rich and powerful, especially in the U.S., want him or her to (in this case, oil, especially).

Hugo Chavez is dead, but the revolution in Latin America that he has inspired lives on.

The people’s revolution against their — our — anti-democratic, fascistic, treasonous, plutocratic overlords cannot be about one man or woman anyway.

¡Que viva la revolución!

And let’s hope that the Latin American revolution for the people over the plutocratic few spreads north so that we have a truly democratic nation — a nation governed by those who have the interests of the majority of the people at heart, and not the interests of only the comparatively tiny already-super-rich and already-super-powerful minority — here in the U.S. one day.

May Venezuela be the first domino that topples, spreading democratic socialism to even the notoriously anti-democratic, imperialistic United States of America.

P.S. I know that this is the United States of Amnesia, but Chavez-bashers should remind themselves of history: In April 2002, when the democratically elected and very popular Chavez was briefly overthrown by right-wing traitors, the unelected Bush regime at that time immediately recognized the anti-democratic, right-wing usurpers as the legitimate new government of Venezuela — which was not surprising, given that the members of the treasonous Bush regime had had no problem with the fact that Bush wasn’t elected, either. (The members of the right wing support and respect democracy only when elections go their way, and they feel so absolutely correct and superior in their ideology that they are untroubled with stealing office if they can’t win office legitimately, which they often can’t.)

Moreover, the CIA, at the behest of the White House, has had a long history of deposing left-leaning, pro-their-nation’s-own-people, democratically elected leaders in Latin America — and anti-democratically replacing them with unelected, right-wing usurpers who agree to do anything that the power elite of the U.S. ask them to do.

Chile’s Salvador Allende immediately comes to mind; his usurper was the U.S.-backed mass murderer and true dictator Augosto Pinochet, who should have been executed and not allowed to die a natural death. (It was the Nixon White House, natch, that used the CIA to remove Allende from power and install the murderous dictator Pinochet.)

It is likely that the Bush regime similarly had a hand in the 2002 coup attempt in Venezuela.

Even if the Bush regime didn’t (but it probably did), the fact that the Bush regime wasted no time in recognizing the illegal and unelected “new” “government” of Venezuela by itself was plenty of reason for Hugo Chavez to feel animosity toward the U.S. government at least throughout Bush’s unelected and thus illegitimate tenure.

(And there is a big distinction between the U.S. government and the people of the United States; Chavez’s problem was with the members of the Washington establishment who believe that Latin America exists solely to do the U.S.’s bidding. He never attacked the American people as a whole, although the wingnuts [who still call him a “dictator” after he won four presidential elections in a row with international elections observers present] worked hard to paint Chavez as an enemy of every American, and their propaganda campaign worked to an impressive degree on the bleating American sheeple.)

One of Chavez’s most (in)famous acts was in September 2006, when he remarked of George W. Bush, who had appeared at the same podium before the United Nations General Assembly in New York City the day before: “The devil came here yesterday. And it smells of sulfur still today.”

Bush indeed is one of the most evil entities still stalking the planet, a mass-murdering war criminal who still goes wholly unpunished for his crimes against humanity. (Chavez, despite being called a murdering dictator by the wingnuts, wholly unlike Pinochet and other U.S.-backed actual dictators, never had any of his political opponents killed. In fact, I know of not one confirmed murder or even one confirmed case of torture that Chavez as president of Venezuela was responsible for, when Bush was responsible for the confirmed murder and the confirmed torture of thousands and thousands of human beings.)

Chavez said something else at the UN that day in September 2006, something that strikes me as prophetic: “The Soviet Union collapsed. The United States empire is on the way down and it will be finished in the near future, for the good of all mankind.” (Note that he’s criticizing the idea of empire, of one highly militarized nation calling all of the shots for the entire globe. Also during his September 2006 UN appearance, Chavez correctly stated that the UN headquarters should be moved to another nation. It seems to me that for fairness, UN headquarters should move to different nations around the globe, say, once every decade. It’s fucked up for it to permanently be anchored in the U.S.)

You know, if Hugo Chavez had been just flat-out wrong, I think that Americans would have just ignored him. But they haven’t. A good chunk of them have hated his guts intensely, which, to me, is evidence of two things: (1) that right-wing politicians’ relentless pro-plutocratic propaganda (aided and abetted by the corporately owned and controlled media, the bosses of which certainly disagree with Chavez’s business model of nationalizing the media) can be very effective; and (2) that Chavez’s biggest “crime” was being right and being vocal about it, which certainly are two big no-nos here at home, where telling certain awful (but obvious) truths is considered to be a much larger crime than telling even the biggest lies.

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Partial book review: ‘Wingnuts’

This book sucks ass, as does its author. I did my best, but I was able to get only to page 18.

Trying to buck the criticism that those of us on the left never expose ourselves to views on the right (and vice-versa), I recently bought a copy of John Avlon’s Wingnuts: How the Lunatic Fringe Is Hijacking America.

I like and I often use the term “wingnut” myself, and I bought Avlon’s book even though he (incorrectly) redefines the term “wingnut” to include those on either far side of the political ideology spectrum. (Actually, the commonly accepted meaning of the term “wingnut” is an individual who is to the far right, and the term “moonbat” would be applied to one on the far left.)

Despite the fact that I disagree with Avlon’s retooling of the vernacular to suit his own purposes, and despite the fact that his book puts Keith Olbermann on its cover with Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin — a strikingly false equivalency — I bought his book at full cover price.

Can you say “buyer’s remorse”?

After several pages of reading Avlon’s false equivalencies — for instance, he implies that what he calls “Bush Derangement Syndrome” was/is anything like what he calls “Obama Derangement Syndrome,” which we have been witnessing for some time now* — I finally had to literally toss Avlon’s book aside when, on page 18, I read Avlon refer to the democratically elected Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez as “Venezuelan dictator Hugo Chavez.”

I mean, as U.S. Sen. Al Franken has put it, you are entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts.

Hugo Chavez has been elected and re-elected by a strong majority of Venezuela’s voters and he has the support of a strong majority of the people of Venezuela.

Chavez has been clamping down on his right-wing political opposition (who did, after all, illegally and treasonously attempt to overthrow him in 2002),  and Venezuela needs to be monitored for human rights abuses (just as every nation does, and nothing has gone on in Venezuela under Chavez’s watch that has even approached what happened at the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors or at the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp during the eight long nightmarish years of rule by the unelected Bush regime).

But Hugo Chavez is far away from having earned the title of “dictator.” To call Chavez a “dictator” isn’t just against my belief that a nation’s government should work for the benefit of the most number of the nation’s people instead of for the benefit of the minority plutocrats and corporatocrats, as Chavez believes, but it is blatantly factually incorrect, and I can’t handle “non-fiction” books containing such glaring factual errors.

Nor does Avlon bother to explain why he uses the term “dictator” — he just throws it out there for no other apparent reason than that the members of the Bush regime (and George W. Bush, never having been legitimately elected, having started a bogus war that has cost thousands upon thousands of lives and billions upon billions of dollars, having shit and pissed all over the U.S. Constitution, and having left the nation in much, much worse shape than he got it, certainly comes closer to the dictionary definition of “dictator” than does Chavez ) and their allies at FOX “News” falsely called Chavez a “dictator” for several years. (To the right wing you are a “dictator,” you see, if you refuse to kiss U.S. corporate ass and refuse to surrender your nation’s natural resources and other wealth to U.S. corporations; that you have been democratically elected by your people is irrelevant to the democracy-hating, election-stealing right wing.)

But Avlon already demonstrates, before he calls Hugo Chavez a “dictator,” that he’s no more than a smug pretty boy who is posing as an expert on politics.

About all that he points to, in the 18 pages that I was able to stomach, in order to exemplify the far left or the far right are some examples of some political figure, usually George W. Bush or Barack Obama, being compared to Adolf Hitler. Ooooo! Insightful!

However, while skimming through his book, I noted that apparently anti-war activist Cindy Sheehan is a “wingnut”** for having stood up against the Bush regime’s bogus Vietraq War that killed her son — a war that the majority of Americans now acknowledge, fucking finally, was a bogus war.

Hmmm… A woman’s young son is killed for non-existent weapons of mass destruction, Dick Cheney’s Halliburton profits obscenely in that bogus war (as do the BushCheneyCorp’s other oily subsidiaries), and because she has the gall to protest her son’s pointless death, that makes Sheehan a “wingnut,” according to Avlon, who, I take it, hasn’t had a loved one killed in the Vietraq War or ever even been in harm’s way himself. 

Overall, Avlon reminds me of a lazy, mediocre parent or teacher who witnesses two children fighting, and, because he doesn’t want to bother to try to figure out what they’re fighting about — and whether one child might actually be in the right and the other child might actually be in the wrong — he labels both fighting children as equally guilty. There. Done with it. Why bother to unravel the facts? And why take sides?

Except that the real world is so much more complex than that, and our crumbling democracy didn’t really need another book put out there to tell people that instead of closely examining the facts and taking a principled stand on important issues based upon the facts, they need to just join the mushy middle, because obviously there’s no difference between the impassioned right and the impassioned left (or, as Avlon calls everyone who isn’t a milquetoast, apolitical, apathetic sleepwalker, the “wingnuts”).

To give just one of many possible demonstrations of how Avlon shills a false equivalency between the right and the left, right now, as I type this sentence, a book incredibly titled The Manchurian President: Barack Obama’s Ties to Communists, Socialists and Other Anti-American Extremists incredibly is No. 13 — thirteen — on amazon.com’s top 100-selling books list.

When does a moonbat title like that ever get that far on any of the mainstream best-selling books lists?

Further, I know that many of us on the left had at least some fear of possible retribution for our outspokenness against the unelected, mass-murdering Bush regime — the Bush regime was, after all, engaging in the illegal surveillance of American citizens in the name of “national security,” and the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors and the Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp certainly demonstrated for us where the Bush regime stood on human rights — yet here is a book out calling President Obama a “Manchurian president,” and I don’t sense that the wingnuts (the right-wing kind) have any real fear of retribution from the Obama administration for their publishing, promoting or purchasing a book thus titled.

And that’s because historically, dictators and tyrants — the kind who, unlike Hugo Chavez, actually steal elections, rule against the wishes of the majority of the ruled, and who actually torture and murder their political opponents — predominantly have been right-wingers, not left-wingers. (The right-wing Chilean Augusto Pinochet, for example, was a dictator.)

The wingnuts (my definition of the term, not Avlon’s) attack Obama unreservedly because they know that those on the left only rarely use what I might call, a la Dick Cheney, the “enhanced” tactics used by those on the right against their political opponents. Paradoxically, if Obama truly were the tyrant the wingnuts say he is, they probably wouldn’t be calling him a “tyrant” or a “Manchurian president” or the like — because if he truly were that, he just might retaliate against them.

As far as “Obama Derangement Syndrome” is concerned, it’s far more virulent and widespread than “Bush Derangement Syndrome” ever was. Not only did anti-Bush books not sell nearly as well as anti-Obama books sell today, but there was no “tea-party”-like “movement” formed by the left in response to Bush. The closest thing to the left’s “tea party” that I can think of is MoveOn.org, which, compared to the den of vipers that comprise the tea party, is a den of garter snakes.  

And while the minimum that we factually can say about the 2000 presidential election is that George W. Bush was made president in late 2000 under circumstances that were shady at best, and that in November 2000 he captured only 47.9 percent of the popular vote to Democrat Al Gore’s 48.4 percent, and that he was “re”-elected by only 50.7 percent of the popular vote in 2004, Barack Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote in November 2008, a better showing at the polls than “President” Bush ever had, yet far more people have questioned Obama’s presidential legitimacy than questioned Bush’s, even though Bush’s presidential legitimacy was much, much more questionable than Obama’s ever has been.

If you are a right-wing white guy from an oily, rich family, you can “win” the White House without having won the most number of votes (by “winning” the pivotal state of which your brother conveniently is governor, with a little help from that state’s top elections official who also sat on that state’s committee to elect you, and with a lot of help from the recount-quashing U.S. Supreme Court). And that kind of shit is perfectly OK.

But if you’re a black guy, you’re considered illegitimate even if you did better in your presidential election than the last white guy did in his two presidential elections. (But nooooo, racism is dead in the United States of Amnesia!)

For Avlon to make the false equivalency between the far left and the far right — to lump everyone who feels strongly about politics together as “wingnuts” — isn’t only grossly inaccurate, but it’s dangerous to our already endangered, dumbed-down democracy.

If you want to read a real book that’s worth your money, read Susan Jacoby’s The Age of American Unreason, now available in paperback.

Pay close attention to her chapter on “junk thought” — a term that describes John Avlon’s book to a “T”.

*Avlon defines “Obama Derangement Syndrome” as “Pathological hatred of President Obama, posing as patriotism,” and “Bush Derangement Syndrome” more or less as a visceral aversion to George W. Bush, of which I myself have been afflicted.

**On page 189, Avlon quotes Sheehan as — gasp! — having called George W. Bush a “bigger terrorist than Osama bin Laden.” Actually, it’s a fucking fact that Bush is reponsible for the unnecessary deaths of tens of thousands of people, including tens of thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians and more than 4,000 of our troops, in his bogus Vietraq War — which is far more people than Osama bin Laden is responsible for having slaughtered on September 11, 2001, which was fewer than 3,000 people. And if we can call bin Laden a terrorist for having masterminded the slaughter of so many innocents, why can’t we call Bush & Co. terrorists for having masterminded the slaughter of so many more innocents? Why the fucking double standard?

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I’ll miss the first Stepford lady — NOT

US First Lady Laura Bush, pictured here in September 2008, said ...

AFP photo

Stepford wife Laura Bush (shown above in September) was in a tizz that her husband had to duck a pair of shoes, but has no apparent problem whatsofuckingever that her unelected husband is responsible for the wholly unnecessary deaths of at least tens of thousands of people, including more than 4,200 members of the U.S. military in Vietraq.

Laura Bush today stated that the throwing of a pair of shoes at her mass-murdering dictator of a husband at a press conference in Baghdad earlier this month constitutes an act of assault.

Well, she’s right, of course; legally speaking, throwing an object at someone, especially an object that could harm its target should it make contact with its target, constitutes assault. (It would have been battery had one of the two shoes thrown at him by the righteously enraged Iraqi actually hit the “president.”)

So yes, it was an assault.

But an infinitely worse assault was the assault on the entire fucking American democracy when her husband stole office in late 2000 despite having lost not only the popular vote to Al Gore by more than a half-million votes, but also despite having lost the pivotal state of Florida, which “President” Bush “won” by fewer than 550 votes but whose recount the Repugnican-dominated U.S. Supreme Court halted.

It was, in fact, the largest assault on the American democracy of my lifetime.

Then there was the infinitely worse assault on the Iraqi people, whom the unelected Bush regime made pay for the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, although 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were from Saudi Arabia, the ruling class of which the Bush crime family is buddy-buddy, and not a single of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq, and to this day there is not a shred of evidence that Iraq nor a single Iraqi had had anything whatsofuckingever to do with 9/11. Tens of thousands of Iraqis have died in the Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unprovoked and unjust Vietraq War.

Because you know, the best way to prevent another terrorist attack upon the United States by angry Arabs is to slaughter tens of thousands of completely innocent Arabs! Yes, the Bush regime’s “war on terror” guarantees that we’ll have terror to combat for generations to come! (Not that that is treason or anything!) 

And there has been the infinitely worse assault on the more than 4,200 members of the U.S. military who have died pointlessly in Iraq. They didn’t die protecting their country because Iraq never posed a threat to their country. They died for nothing. No, wait — they did die for the billions of dollars that were stolen from the U.S. treasury and handed over to Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp via the bogus war in Vietraq.

But Laura Bush is really pissed off that her poor, poor husband had to duck a pair of shoes.

Can you imagine what it must be like to be Laura Bush? (If you’re not a wingnut or a Repugnican, I mean?)

To be able to ignore the fact that your husband is a mass-murdering dictator but to be able to have a tizzy about the fact that your mass-murdering dictator of a husband had to duck a pair of shoes?

Laura Bush might miss the White House, but after she finally dies, she can become the first lady of hell. Better to reign in hell than to serve in heaven anyway, right?

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Iraqi journalist hurls both shoes at ‘President’ Bush; misses, unfortunately

In this image from APTN video, a man, centre throws a shoe at ...

In this image from APTN video, a man, centre throws a shoe at ...

Video frame grab of U.S. President George W. Bush (L) ducking ...

In this image from APTN video, US President George W. Bush, ...

Iraq's Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki tries to block US President ...

Associated Press, Reuters and AFP video grabs

An Iraqi journalist threw both of his shoes at “President” Bush during a press conference in Iraq today. Bush successfully ducked both shoes. “In Iraqi culture, throwing shoes at someone is a sign of contempt,” The Associated Press notes. The AP also reports that the Iraqi journalist had shouted to Bush in Arabic, “This is a farewell kiss, you dog!”  before he tossed his shoes, adding, “This is from the widows, the orphans and those who were killed in Iraq!” (Reuters quotes the journalist as having said in Arabic, “This is a goodbye kiss from the Iraqi people, dog!”) In Islamic culture, dogs are considered to be dirty. I’m a dog lover, so I think of Bush as a swine, which also is considered dirty in Islamic culture, although swine are believed to be pretty smart, so that comparison doesn’t completely fit Bush, either…

So why didn’t something like this (must-see video clip) happen years ago?

Oh, well; better late than never, and anyway, this has made my day.

“President” Bush dared to show his face in Iraq, the nation that his unelected war-mongering and war-profiteering regime raped, pillaged and plundered, causing the deaths of at least tens of thousands of Iraqis. (Oh, did I mention the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors?)

Bush is damned fucking lucky that having had to duck flying shoes is all that happened to him in Iraq.

For his treason (stealing a presidential election and starting a bogus war for the war profits* of Dick Cheney’s Halliburton and the other war-profiteering subsidiaries of BushCheneyCorp certainly qualify as treason in my book) and his crimes against humanity — he is responsible for the wholly unnecessary deaths of more than 4,200 members of the U.S. military in Vietraq as well as the deaths of at least tens of thousands of Iraqis — Bush deserves to be pelted to death with a whole fucking lot of shoes.

They hanged Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein for his mass murder, and in Bush’s home state of Texas, if you kill just one person you are likely to be executed for murder, especially if you aren’t white.

But if you’re a white mass-murdering dictator from Texas, you’re going to get off scot-free.

*The illegal, immoral, unjust and wholly unnecessary Vietraq War has cost American taxpayers more than $575 billion. Meanwhile, our schools and infrastructure continue to crumble, millions have inadequate health care, and our economy continues to tank. The unelected Bush regime has done far more damage to our nation that our enemies, real or fabricated, ever could have done.

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