Tag Archives: dictatorship

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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RIP, Fidel; if you were a monster, the United States of America created you

Image result for fidel castro

Fidel Castro, the “dictator” next door to the United States for decades, died yesterday. If Castro was a monster — and like almost all human beings are, he was, of course, neither a devil nor an angel but a mixed bag — then the United States of America created him.

As I’ve written before, love him or hate him, Cuban leader Fidel Castro was a survivor. He made it to 90 years before he died yesterday.

Within the United States, Castro very mostly was a bogeyman — but rarely have we Americans been given much, if any, detail as to why we’re supposed to hate him blindly obediently. (At most, we’re told simplistically that he’s a “bad” man, a “Commie,” a “dictator,” a “tyrant” who “hates the United States of America,” “hates freedom,” etc., etc.* Even to question this knee-jerk, right-wing narrative is to risk being called anti-American.)

All of that is because intellectually and ethically honest detail would reveal how the United States of America has meddled anti-democratically in Latin American affairs for decades, having imperialistically and anti-democratically considered the entire Western hemisphere subject to its own jurisdiction at least since the Monroe Doctrine was issued in 1823.

There were so many attempts by the United States to assassinate or otherwise topple Castro — we’re talking not just the Bay of Pigs (the miserably failed U.S.-backed attempt to overthrow Castro in April 1961), but also numerous unsuccessful assassination attempts that were perpetrated by the Central Intelligence Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. State Department — as well as by the American Mafia — that it’s no fucking wonder that over the years Castro became more autocratic.

You’re not paranoid if they really are trying to kill you or oust you, and had Castro not ruled Cuba with an iron fist, no doubt his greedy, self-serving detractors would have done their damnedest to turn the sovereign nation of Cuba into an American colony for corporate profiteering once again.

We saw the dynamic with Fidel Castro repeated with the late socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez; a U.S.-backed anti-democratic coup attempt against Chavez in April 2002 failed (Chavez was only briefly deposed and replaced with an unelected right-wing oil magnate before the people of Venezuela took to the streets and demanded Chavez’s return), and that failed anti-democratic coup attempt (which was a bit like a Bay of Pigs 2.0) no doubt made Chavez more autocratic, and of course Chavez’s detractors conveniently acted thereafter as though the failed 2002 coup attempt by anti-democratic right-wingers had never happened at all.

The United States made Chavez, and before him it had made Castro.

If a Latin American nation wants a left-of-center, truly democratic government that, entirely unlike the U.S. government, actually does its job — which is to serve the needs and wishes of its people instead of the greed of American and transnational corporations and the treasonous plutocrats and kleptocrats who own them and profiteer from them — then it must protect itself from anti-democratic, toxic capitalist infiltration from abroad.

American wingnuts criticize Latin America for simply defending itself from foreign invasion and infiltration, although of course the United States always reserves the right to protect itself from such. Latin America is to disarm unilaterally, you see, and just allow American and other corporate robber barons to destroy it.

Fidel Castro stood up to the foreign anti-democratic and capitalist invasion and infiltration of his nation for decades. He was so hated because he was so successful; he was so hated because he refused to simply hand over his nation’s resources and well-being to the American and transnational corporations in exchange for for his own selfish, treasonous enrichment, like a “good” Latin American leader “should.”*

None of this is to simply and wholly overlook Castro’s wrongdoings.

Amnesty International’s nutshell on Cuba is this:

Government critics continue to be imprisoned; many report that they were beaten during arrest. Restrictions on freedom of expression is widespread. The government curtails freedom of association and assembly. The U.S. embargo against Cuba remains, despite increasing opposition to it within and outside the U.S.A.

Human Rights Watch’s nutshell on Cuba is similar:

The Cuban government continues to repress dissent and discourage public criticism. It now relies less on long-term prison sentences to punish its critics, but short-term arbitrary arrests of human rights defenders, independent journalists, and others have increased dramatically in recent years. Other repressive tactics employed by the government include beatings, public acts of shaming, and the termination of employment.

I don’t defend all of this, but at the same time it’s not ethically or intellectually honest to strip Cuba from its historical, sociopolitical context, including having the world’s most imperialist nation ever-lurking and ever-looming just to its north.

If Castro had governed Cuba with a laissez-faire philosophy, as the capitalists always have claimed that he should have, how long would Cuba have been free from foreign corporate domination?

Um, yeah.

We Americans can hate Fidel Castro all that we want, but we can’t deny that we created him.

Cuba’s first struggle was to free itself from imperialist Spain; then its struggle was to free itself from the imperialist United States of America.

And Cuba still struggles to be free, because the “freedom” that the United States would impose upon it — and yes, the United States ironically and hypocritically believes in imposing “freedom” — would only once again make it a slave to the United States.

P.S. I would be remiss of me not to note Cuba’s world-class education and health-care systems.

Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent and high-school graduation rate of 94 percent is higher than the United States’ official literacy rate of 99 percent (which some believe is quite inflated) and high-school graduation rate of 82 percent, and Cuba’s life expectancy of 79.1 years puts it just behind the United States’ life expectancy of 79.3 years.

Castro’s Cuba achieved this despite the United States’ having tried to destroy it (again, in the name of “freedom,” ironically and hypocritically) — and having desired to turn it back into a subservient slave state — for decades.

*And let’s fucking face it: Whether the American right wing calls you a “dictator” or a “tyrant” or the like depends not upon whether you were democratically elected, but depends entirely upon whether you have done the bidding of the American right wing.

Brutal Chilean dictator Augosto Pinochet, for instance, was a mass murderer and torturer who most definitely was not elected but who — with the help of the U.S. government (surprise, surprise!) — overthrew the actually democratically elected socialist Chilean President Salvador Allende in 1973 and ruled Chile until 1990.

However, the American right wing (as well as the fascist Margaret Thatcher) loved Pinochet because he did their bidding.

The right wing hated Castro because unlike Pinochet did, Castro refused to be their lapdog.

May the sovereign nation of Cuba continue to resist colonization by the rapacious, imperialist United States of America — and work on improving human rights while preserving the gains of the Cuban Revolution.

P.S. I didn’t even need to mention Pinochet, although he’s a textbook example of a U.S.-backed dictator in Latin America. I could have stayed within Cuba itself.

Most “news” write-ups of Fidel Castro’s death conveniently ignore the fact that Castro overthrew the U.S.-backed dictator Fulgencio Batista, who ruled Cuba in the 1950s while unelected.

Wikipedia notes of Batista’s reign (links are Wikipedia’s):

… Back in power, and receiving financial, military, and logistical support from the United States government, Batista suspended the 1940 Constitution and revoked most political liberties, including the right to strike. He then aligned with the wealthiest landowners who owned the largest sugar plantations, and presided over a stagnating economy that widened the gap between rich and poor Cubans.

Eventually it reached the point where most of the sugar industry was in U.S. hands, and foreigners owned 70 percent of the arable land. As such, Batista’s increasingly corrupt and repressive government then began to systematically profit from the exploitation of Cuba’s commercial interests, by negotiating lucrative relationships with both the American Mafia, who controlled the drug, gambling, and prostitution businesses in Havana, and with large U.S.-based multinational companies who were awarded lucrative contracts.

To quell the growing discontent among the populace — which was subsequently displayed through frequent student riots and demonstrations — Batista established tighter censorship of the media, while also utilizing his Bureau for the Repression of Communist Activities secret police to carry out wide-scale violence, torture and public executions; ultimately killing anywhere from hundreds to 20,000 people. …

Again: In the right-wing United States of America, drunk on toxic capitalism, a dictator is called a dictator only if he isn’t a right-wing dictator and doesn’t do what the American right wing wants him to do. Treasonously selling out his own nation to American profiteers makes him a “good” dictator (only, of course, in that event, we don’t even call him a dictator).

It doesn’t matter in and of itself if a dictator suspends his nation’s constitution, revokes his nation’s citizens’ rights, tortures and kills his political dissidents, refuses to stand for election, etc.; all that matters is whether or not he does the bidding of the hypocritical assholes of the United States of America.

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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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Make Moobie’s death wish come true

An effigy of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak ...

Protesters react in Tahrir Square to Egyptian ...

Associated Press and Reuters photos

Egyptian protesters hang dictator Hosni Mubarak in effigy in Cairo today. To me these don’t look like people who want Mubarak to hang around for another several months.

Embattled Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak proclaims that he’s going to hold on to his post until elections in September, that he isn’t going anywhere, that he’s going to die on Egyptian soil.

While it’s their choice what to do — something that way too many Americans and Israel-firsters don’t or won’t get — I hope that the people of Egypt give Mubarak his wish to die on Eyptian soil sooner rather than later if he makes it necessary.

The Egyptian people have given Mubarak the opportunity — indeed, the mandate — to leave office. If he refuses, then the consequences of his refusal to follow the popular demand are on him. The people have offered him a bloodless solution, so if it comes to pass that there are bloody hands, they can only be Mubarak’s.

The people of Egypt are demanding Mubarak’s immediate departure — they have made their wishes clear. An opportunity for Mubarak to empower his cronies over the next several months to essentially extend his rule even past his eventual departure is not what the people of Egypt want. What they want is a fresh start, a new start — not a continuation of the past three decades of bogus emergency rule. 

And new rule: If you’re a Zionist/Israel-firster, or if you are a politician who takes big bucks from the Zionist/Israel-first lobby, you should shut the fuck up about Egypt because you can’t even begin to be anywhere near impartial where Egypt is concerned, since all the fuck that you care about is Israel, as though Israel were the whole fucking universe. It ain’t. So get the fuck over it.

If the majority of the people of Egypt want an Islamic government, that’s their fucking choice. Once we rid the U.S. government of its so-called Christians and the government of Israel is stripped of its Jews, then perhaps we can make the assertion that Egypt should have only a secular government. Otherwise, we’re just preferring our own religion over another and are being fucking Islamophobes.

Democracy is about the will of the majority of the people — it’s not democracy only when the majority of the people make the choice that we want them to make.

We Americans had better first learn what the fuck freedom and democracy actually are before we ever expect to export them to other nations.

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Only thing stopping a free Egypt is U.S.

Responses to my optimistic post of yesterday on the future of Egypt have been pessimistic.

It is true that real democracy is never assured. It is difficult to attain and perhaps even harder to maintain.

But American pessimism on Egypt’s future seems to stem from at least three things that have nothing to do with the abilities and talents and intelligence and resourcefulness of the Egyptian people.

One of these things is the belief, held even by so-called liberals, that other nations can do nothing without American aid, because Americans are superior and other peoples of the world are inferior. (Indeed, the vast majority of Americans need to be reminded that, in the words of anthropologist Wade Davis, “The world in which you were born is just one model of reality. Other cultures are not failed attempts at being you. They are unique manifestations of the human spirit.”)

The “white man’s burden” began with the British empire, and this chauvinistic mentality was transplanted to the British colonies that became the United States of America.

A corollary of this phenomenon is that the U.S. government, through its military and its Central Intelligence Agency and other thuggish apparatuses, has a long history of making sure that real democracy never takes root in other nations whose leaders look out for the best interests of their nations’ peoples instead of for the best interests of the American capitalist system and the U.S. military-industrial complex.

The U.S. government and the U.S. ruling elites do their very best to cripple certain nations whose leaders refuse to submit to Washington — like Cuba — and then proclaim that these nations are struggling or failing not because of U.S. attempts to make them fail, because of their supposed inherent inferiority.

Leaders of other nations who actually look after their people’s best interests instead of the U.S. government’s and U.S. ruling elites’ best interests are called “dictators.” Like Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez (whom the CIA tried but failed to overthrow in 2002). Even though Chavez has been democratically elected repeatedly, with international observers (including Jimmy Carter) certifying that the elections were on the up and up, because of the center-right propaganda happily trumpeted by the “free” mass media owned and operated by corporations that allow only pro-corporate speech, most thoroughly corporately brainwashed Americans incorrectly go along with the label of Chavez as a “dictator.”

Actual dictators, on the other hand, like Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, who has kept his grip on power for more than three decades, get a free fucking pass as long as they kiss U.S. ass, as Mubarak always has done.

The second source of the pessimistic belief of so many Americans that Egypt can’t get it together democratically stems, I believe, from the fact that Americans can’t get it together democratically, and therefore, they don’t want anyone else to. Call it democratic jealousy.

Americans just sat on their asses while two presidential elections in a row were stolen and bogus wars in the Middle East were launched in their name. Americans have just allowed corporations to render our democratic system meaningless, because decisions in Washington are made not by our elected officials, but by the highest bidders via our bribed elected officials. (And speaking of elections, way too many elections are won by the highest bidder.)

Speaking of our elected officials, “Whose side is Obama on anyway?” asks a piece on Salon.com today, noting:

The Egyptian people are fighting, not only to end the 30-year reign of dictator Mubarak, but for democracy. So far, our government has continued its de facto support for the Mubarak regime by paying lip service to the need for “reform” at the same time that it lauds Mubarak as an ally and source of “stability” in the Middle East.

President Obama and his spokespeople have carefully avoided the fundamental issue. The Egyptian people are not asking their government to reform itself. They are demanding an end to the entire autocratic and kleptocratic regime they have endured for even longer than Mubarak’s rule. They want democracy.

The answer to the question of whose side Obama is on is a fucking no-brainer: Obama is on the side of the Israel-first lobby, which wants Egypt to remain under the thumb of a U.S.-controlled dictator. Israel doesn’t want Egyptians to have self-determination, and because the Israel-first lobbyists’ hands are so far up the asses of the elected officials in Washington, what Israel wants it usually gets from its meat puppets in D.C.

Obama isn’t concerned about democracy in Egypt — or anywhere else. He’s concerned about his political survival (and his hollow slogans, which he very apparently views as his vehicle to continued political success [hey, they worked for him in November 2008!]).

Not that Egypt needs the spineless, slimy, slippery, ethics-free Obama and his regime of Clinton-era leftovers. What Egypt needs for democracy to take root there is for the United States of America to leave Egypt the fuck alone. Only without U.S. interference can true democracy take root anywhere. What’s been happening in Latin America for the past several years — because the gaze of the Eye of Sauron, which sits upon the White House, has been focused upon the Middle East instead of upon Latin America since late 2001 — is proof of that.

A third reason for pessimism over Egypt’s future, I surmise, is that the relatively few Americans who aren’t drunk on the jingoistic Kool-Aid know all too well how much their own government historically has prevented actual democracy from taking root elsewhere in the world, and they expect this pattern to be repeated in Egypt.

But this pessimism overlooks the fact that fortunately, the American empire is so weak from the military and economic overextension of the reign of the unelected Bush regime (um, yeah, there were actual consequences of the fact that Americans just allowed the Bush regime to steal the White House in late 2000) that its ability to quash democracy elsewhere now is limited.

But most Americans are drunk on the Kool-Aid, and they are so adverse to actual democracy taking root elsewhere on the planet that even while a new Egyptian leader already clearly has emerged in Nobel-Peace-Prize-winning Egyptian opposition leader Mohamed ElBaradei, these intoxicated Americans are wringing their hands, wailing, “But whooooo will lead Egypt?”

What the fuck?

ElBaradei appears to be the Egyptian people’s choice, but Americans are largely fucking ignoring that.

Is it that Americans don’t want the Egyptian people to choose their next leader? Are Americans that addicted to their governmental elites choosing the leaders of other nations, especially those in the Middle East, such as the current leaders of Iraq and Afghanistan?

That was a rhetorical question, but I’ll answer it anyway: Yes, they are. They’re that brainwashed, that ethnocentric. To most Americans, all that is important about Egypt is that Egypt continue to serve the wishes of the government in Washington, D.C., and the U.S. government’s pimp, the Israel-first lobby — the Egyptian people be damned.

My hope is that democracy takes root in an Egypt unmolested by the U.S. government and spreads elsewhere in the Middle East. The United States of America never could transplant true democracy to the Middle East or anywhere else on the planet because the USA only ever has its own greedy interests in mind.

My hope is that in my lifetime democracy spreads throughout the world, like a domino effect, to the extent that democracy is established in the United States of America before I die.

Perversely ironically, it seems to me that the United States of America will be the last domino to topple to the spread of actual democracy.

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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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Hugo Chavez: ‘Dictator for life’?

Updated Tuesday, February 17, 2009 (see below)

A photo released by the Venezuelan Presidential press office ...

AFP photo

Seeing red: Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez celebrates his win at the polls yesterday that will allow him to seek re-election in 2012.

Socialist Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez yesterday won a vote that by amending the nation’s constitution scraps term limits for all elected officials in Venezuela.

Anti-Chavistas are saying that Chavez wants to be a “dictator for life.” Some of Chavez’s detractors are recognizing the fact that dictators — like George W. Bush was not elected by a majority of the people in 2000 (and thus could not legitimately have won “re”-election in 2004) — by definition are not actually elected, but that Chavez has been democratically elected fairly and squarely by the long-oppressed and impoverished people of Venezuela time and again, and therefore they are saying, at least a little more correctly, that Chavez wants to be “president for life.”

But since Chavez won yesterday’s vote that scraps term limits, it seems to me that the majority of the Venezuelan people, at least for now, are OK with Chavez being “president for life,” if it comes to that.

That this obvious fact is being overlooked (mostly by the Western corporately owned and controlled media and those who are mind slaves to these media) demonstrates the long-standing problem for Venezuela: Western nations, especially the United States of America, have long ignored the wishes of the people of Venezuela and have seen Venezuela only for what they can get from Venezuela, most notably, of course, oil.

The majority of the people of Venezuela have shown, time and again at the voting booth — under international elections surveillance — that they want Chavez, who has redistributed Venezuela’s wealth from the plutocratic thieves who used to run the nation of Venezuela to the people of Venezuela, to whom the nation’s wealth belongs.

It’s those who think that Venezuela exists only for the benefit of the richer nations and who don’t give a flying fuck about the poverty that their excesses create for others who oppose Chavez, who does care above the poverty of his people, as a president of a nation is supposed to do.

On that note: The number of homeless people whom I see in my neighborhood has increased every single fucking year since I moved into my current apartment in Sacramento in 2001, which was George W. Bush’s first year in office, and I was amused to note that 65 historians recently ranked Abraham Lincoln as the United States’ best president and ranked George W. Bush at No. 36 out of 42 presidents. (I’m surprised that King George II ranked that highly…)

Fuck; I wish that Hugo Chavez were my president. Surely over the past several years I’d have seen a decrease, rather than an increase, in homelessness. And at least Chavez always has been fairly democratically elected and re-elected, whereas although George W. Bush blatantly stole office in late 2000, the members of the Bush regime — master right-wing propagandists — routinely insanely hypocritically referred to Chavez as a “dictator.”

Hugo Chavez has not committed any atrocities such as the Vietraq War, which has resulted in the deaths of thousands upon thousands of innocent Iraqi civilians; the Abu Ghraib House of Horrors; or even a Guantanamo Bay Concentration Camp.

He has been democratically elected over and over again by the majority of the Venezuelan people.

Yet he is the “dictator.”

No, Hugo Chavez’s only “crime” — aside from refusing to kiss U.S. ass, like a “good” Latin American leader “should” — is fighting the rich, whose riches come at the expense of the common Venezuelan.

It is the rich — and the dupes of the rich, such as those who consume the right-wing propaganda that is financed by the rich — who call the democratically elected Chavez a “dictator” while they support actual mass-murdering dictators, such as George W. Bush.

I hope that Chavez’s revolution one day comes to my nation.

Update (Tuesday, February 17, 2009): This interesting short news article from The Associated Press today speaks volumes:

WASHINGTON – The Obama administration says the referendum that cleared the way for Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez to run for re-election was democratic. It was rare praise for a U.S. antagonist after years of criticism from the Bush administration.

U.S. State Department spokesman Gordon Duguid noted “troubling reports of intimidation.” But he added [today] that “for the most part this was a process that was fully consistent with democratic process.”

Chavez captured more than 54 percent of the vote, according to preliminary tallies of 94 percent of results. The win allows him to run for a third term.

Asked whether that was a result the United States welcomes, Duguid said the issue “was a matter for the Venezuelan people [to decide].”

What a huge difference a change in White House administration from unelected Repugnican to duly elected Democrat makes, at least in terms of U.S. relations with Venezuela!

Just last month, according to the Bush-occupied White House, Hugo Chavez was a “dictator.”

Today, the White House, now in sane(r) hands that were actually fucking elected, acknowledges the reality that Chavez, who calls himself a democratic socialist, actually is democratic.

“Reports of intimidation” in Venezuela may be accurate or may be right-wing fabrications or a mixture of both. But even if they are accurate, you can’t fairly hold Chavez accountable for the actions of all of his supporters, many if not most of whom are quite passionate about maintaining the populist change that Chavez initiated in Venezuela after years of rule by aristocratic right-wing kleptocrats.

And it’s not like the United States, after the presidential election debacles of 2000 and 2004, is in the moral position to lecture any other nation about up-and-up elections in the first fucking place. The fact alone that in 2000 George W. Bush “won” the pivotal state of Florida while Florida’s chief elections officer, fellow Repugnican Katherine Harris, had sat on the state’s committee to elect Bush, and that in 2004 Bush “won” “re”-election by “winning” the pivotal state of Ohio while Ohio’s chief elections officer, fellow Repugnican Kenneth Blackwell, had sat on the state’s committee to “re”-elect Bush — fuck, if that doesn’t have “banana republic” written all over it, I don’t know what does.

But it’s never “election fraud” or “terrorism” when a stupid white man commits it.

But I digress…

Again, it’s nice to see the White House finally fucking acknowledge that the rule of Venezuela is actually up to the people of Venezuela and not up to the stupid white men (such as George W. Bush and Dick Cheney) who have been trying to run the entire fucking planet for their own benefit at the expense of the majority of the planet’s population — or up to the stupid rich white men’s millions of dumbfuck dupes who actually believe that these stupid rich white men have the common person’s interests at heart.

Still, just as pro-Israel  propaganda is so ubiquitous that the majority of Americans (who are blindly pro-Israel) don’t even realize that they’ve been brainwashed, anti-Chavez propaganda is so ubiquitous within the U.S. that even the members of the press, who are supposed to remain neutral, use such loaded terms as “a U.S. antagonist” to describe Chavez. (“Firebrand,” with its implications of insanity and/or anger-control problems, is another loaded term that I’ve seen the mainstream media use to describe Chavez.)

Hugo Chavez is the democratically elected president of Venezuela. That is his role in the world. But, as is typical for an apparently American news writer, the writer can see Chavez only though the lens of U.S. interests, so Chavez becomes “a U.S. antagonist,” as though the only way to describe or define Chavez (or any other nation’s leader) would be as “pro-” or “anti-” U.S. (Wasn’t it George W. Bush who used to scoff imperialistically: “You are with us or you are against us”?)

We Americans have this blind, knee-jerk imperialist tendency to see other nations only in terms of whether they kiss our ass and do what we say or whether they actually — gasp! — stand up for their sovereignty, as Hugo Chavez has had the gall to do for his people and for which he has been falsely branded a “dictator.” (And plenty of Americans still believe the “dictator Chavez” lie, just as they still believe the other lie propagated by the treasonous Bush regime, that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction and that Iraq had something to do with 9/11 — and thus, the Vietraq War.)

And then we fat, lazy and ignorant Americans scratch our heads and ask ourselves why they hate us.

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