Tag Archives: France

Distraction barely accomplished in Syria

Image result for mission accomplished

Former “President” George W. Bush and current “President” Pussygrabber have a lot in common: Both are baby boomers who were born into wealth, both evaded the Vietnam War, both lost the popular vote and thus had and have no democratic legitimacy, and both believed and believe in using military action to fascistically help themselves politically, knowing fully well that, as has been the case their entire over-privileged lives, they themselves won’t bear any of the pain and suffering caused by their own actions and inaction.

“Mission Accomplished!” “President” Pussygrabber incredibly stupidly proclaimed (via Twitter, of course) after U.S., British and French forces struck what they said were the Syrian government’s chemical weapons sites.

Syria is no 9/11 or post/11 Iraq, but Reuters does remind us that

Trump’s message [of “Mission Accomplished!”] echoed the words of a banner that hung behind former President George W. Bush when he gave a speech in 2003 from the USS Abraham Lincoln during the Iraq War.

That visual dogged Bush’s presidency as the war dragged out, with worsening American casualties, for the remainder of his two terms in office.

Again, “President” Gee Dubya had proclaimed “mission accomplished” way too early. The U.S. had illegally, immorally, unjustly and unprovokedly invaded Iraq on March 20, 2003; on May 1, 2003, Gee Dubya gave his incredibly laughable “mission accomplished” speech (Wikipedia even has a stand-alone entry titled “Mission Accomplished speech”) — replete in a “Top Gun”-like flight suit (just like Pussygrabber, Gee Dubya himself never saw war, of course, his daddy very apparently having saved him from Vietnam by getting him into the Texas Air National Guard).

But U.S. involvement in the wholly bogus Vietraq War that the unelected* Bush regime had created didn’t officially end until December 2011.

There was plenty more death and destruction and pain and suffering to follow in Iraq after May 1, 2003, including the carnage in Fallujah in 2003 and 2004 and the wholly inexcusable Abu Ghraib House of Horrors that was exposed in 2004.

In October 2005, the Washington Post reported that 2,000 U.S. troops had been killed in the Vietraq War, more than 90 percent of them after the mission supposedly had been accomplished by May 1, 2003. Wikipedia similarly notes that “The vast majority of casualties [in the Vietraq War], both military and civilian, occurred after the [“mission accomplished”] speech.”

The unelected Bush regime had strong-armed only two European nations, Britain and Poland, into supporting its launch of the Vietraq War, and the French wisely refused involvement, for which the U.S. right wing ruthlessly excoriated the nation (even branding French fries as “freedom fries,” because we Americans are always mature and high-minded).

Germany and Russia, as well as Canada and Latin America, also refused their support of the launch of the Vietraq War, but for some reason these wise nations for the very most part escaped the excoriation that France received.

Again, Syria is no Iraq, of course; “President” Pussygrabber has had no 9/11-like event to try to use to justify the invasion of another nation, like the treasonous Bush regime had 9/11 to use to justify the invasion of Iraq even though none of the 9/11 hijackers was from Iraq and even though no connection between Iraq and 9/11 ever was found.

Attacks on U.S. soil and war against other nations (especially following the quite-rare attacks on U.S. soil) are great for presidential ratings. Here is Gallup’s graph of Gee Dubya’s approval ratings throughout his disastrous eight-year occupation of the White House:

George W. Bush's Job Approval Ratings Trend

Note the spike that Gee Dubya got because of 9/11, the biggest spike he ever got, and note that his second, much smaller spike came in and around March 2003, after he launched his bogus Vietraq War.

The trend was downhill from there — Gallup notes that Gee Dubya’s average approval rating in his first term was 62 percent and in his second term was 37 percent — but Gee Dubya managed to leverage the ongoing Vietraq War to get a second term, albeit narrowly (he got 50.7 percent to John Kerry’s 48.3 percent of the popular vote).

Can Pussygrabber do what Gee Dubya did — use bogus warfare to get a second term?

I don’t think so, not absent another 9/11-level event, which I highly doubt is going to happen.

And with an approval rating stubbornly stuck around only 40 percent, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have the level of support that he would need to launch a bogus war like Gee Dubya did.

But mostly, probably, Pussygrabber really would need 9/11 redux. (The American sheeple supported the Vietraq War because they just wanted what felt to them to be revenge for 9/11; they didn’t care that the unelected Bush regime was planning to invade the wrong nation. Some Arabs [albeit no Iraqis] had attacked us on 9/11, so we were going to attack an Arab nation, so help us God!)

So what the fresh strike on Syria has accomplished politically for “President” Pussygrabber is about zero. I expect his approval ratings to remain stuck around 40 percent for the foreseeable future. We Americans know “our” “president” well by now, and I see only tiny movement, if any, from the anti-Pussygrabber camp or even the somehow-still-neutral camp to the pro-Pussygrabber camp.

And Syria never struck the U.S., and so most Americans don’t give a shit about Syria, which the vast majority of them couldn’t find on a good map.

The unelected* Pussygrabber regime still has a litany of scandals and political problems, including the fact that the feds are investigating Pussygrabber’s personal lawyer, special prosecutor Robert Mueller’s investigation into the treasonous Pussygrabber regime’s treasonous ties to Russia is ongoing, Stormy Daniels just won’t go away, and one day (maybe even soon) that long-rumored pee tape just might emerge.**

Pussygrabber probably won’t get a second term***, and even if he does, impeachment in a second term, by which time the Democrats might control both houses of Congress, ever looms. (After all, Bill Clinton was a fucking Boy Scout compared to Pussygrabber.)

In the face of all of that, lobbing some missiles at Syria — and tweeting “Mission Accomplished!” — is as nothing.

P.S. Don’t get me wrong; absent an attack on U.S. soil by another nation, Pussygrabber began to brazenly falsely demonize the denizens of Latin America as a serious and growing “threat” to the U.S. even before he was “elected.”

Fascists always must have their scapegoats, from within and/or from without, to divert attention from their own treason and other criminality.

*Again, in my book, if you didn’t win the popular vote, as was the case with both Gee Dubya and Pussygrabber, you aren’t the legitimate president of the United States of America. And, of course, if you never legitimately were elected in the first place, your “re”-election is bullshit, too.

**If there were no pee tape, Pussygrabber wouldn’t have nagged former FBI chief James Comey to look into the matter. (I believe the imperfect Comey on this.) I mean, you don’t worry about the public emergence of something that doesn’t even fucking exist, do you?

***As I type this sentence, PredictIt.org has 57 cents on a Democrat winning the White House in 2020 and 43 cents on a Repugnican. That seems about right to me. I put Pussygrabber’s chance of being “re”-elected at about 40 percent, the same as his approval rating has been for months now.

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Will the Paris attacks bring back the ‘war on terror’? (The right hopes so!)

Hollande: Several dozen dead in attacks around Paris

Associated Press photo

ISIS claimed responsibility for an attack on a Paris Starbucks yesterday because the Starbucks’ cups were not sufficiently religious. (Kidding! That’s called political satire. The caption for this news photo is: “Victims lay on the pavement outside a Paris restaurant, Friday, November 13, 2015. Police officials in France on Friday report multiple terror incidents, leaving many dead. It was unclear at this stage if the events are linked.” [It is fairly clear now that they were linked.])

I hate ISIS. Always have, always will, and my general feeling toward the members of ISIS long has been pound them into the sand.

It’s not that the members of ISIS call themselves Muslim; it’s that they oppress and slaughter those who do not share their insane religious beliefs — you know, they do what the “Christo”fascists here at home would do if they could. It’s not the specific religion of the members of ISIS that bothers me; it’s their theofascism, their insane, self-righteous, yes, evil belief that their insane religious beliefs give them the right to treat others any way that they please, in the name of a non-existent “God.”

That said, it’s important not to reduce it to black and white, good vs. evil. It’s important to try to view the entire context.

France, along with Britain and the United States (and Spain and some other European nations), has a long history of colonization and of meddling in the affairs of other nations, including in the Middle East. It’s much more complicated than that the members of ISIS are just “evil” and want to strike out at us “good” (that is, “Christian”) Westerners, because that’s just what “evil” people do: strike out at “good” people. No, it isn’t just that “they hate our freedoms.”

Yes, I bring up the ghost of Gee Dubya because I’ll be frank: The United States of America has been rotting from within for many, many years now. This domestic rot started no later than during the Reagan era. “Democrat” Bill Clinton did little to nothing to reverse this rot and decline, and then we had eight long, ruinous years of another George Bush, and now we’re still in another eight years of the Clintonesque/do-nothing/Democratic-in-name-only Barack Obama era.

Thus far in the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign, the main focus, quite appropriately, has been on domestic issues.

Then ISIS goes and attacks Paris, killing at least 127 people. (ISIS has claimed responsibility for the attacks of yesterday, anyway.)

The French seem prepared to strike back, which is quite human and is understandable, but which quite possibly will start a back-and-forth blood bath that will drag on.

Which will mean that very quickly, the focus in the United States of America no longer will be trying to reverse our domestic rot, but once again will turn toward “terrorism,” because we Americans, first and foremost, don’t want to be bombed or riddled with bullets when we’re out and about shopping for overpriced shit that we don’t need in our mega-malls, drinking our caffeinated hot beverages from our not-Christmas-enough Starbucks cups, or watching the latest Hollywood blockbuster or Oscar bait at a cineplex.

Our chance of being slaughtered by a fellow “Christian” citizen is much higher than is our chance of ever being cut down by an “Islamofascist” “terrorist” (or by an “illegal”), but no matter; we Americans never have been good at calculating actual risks vs. vastly over-inflated risks. (After all, They hate our freedoms!)

I am sorry that dozens of human beings were slaughtered in Paris yesterday. I don’t believe in killing innocents* in order to try to score political points, whether those innocents are killed by “Islamofascist” “terrorists” or by the U.S. military (funny how when the United States government kills innocent people in order to make political gains, which it does routinely, that’s never called “terrorism” [nor is the mass-murderous Israel even capable of “terrorism,” because, like the United States, Israel is “good”]).

While I understand the stance of ISIS and other Islamic fundamentalists that France and other Western nations are evil because they long have participated in the colonization of and military attacks upon predominantly Muslim nations in the Middle East, the “Islamofascists” apparently also dislike the Western nations more or less equally because the Western nations aren’t backasswards like the Islamic fundamentalists are, such as with their misogyny, their homophobia, their sexual repression and their religious intolerance (including severe but awfully selective scriptural enforcement) to the point of routine violence against “apostates.”

I mean, in its online statement claiming responsibility for the attacks on Paris yesterday, ISIS referred to Paris as a/the “capital of adultery and vice.”

ISIS further declared, “The stench of death will not leave their noses as long as they remain at the forefront of the Crusaders’ campaign, dare to curse our prophet, boast of a war on Islam in France, and strike Muslims in the lands of the caliphate with warplanes that were of no use to them in the streets and rotten alleys of Paris.”

ISIS also proclaimed that France “will remain at the top of the list of targets of the Islamic State.”

My impression is that France is at “the top of the list” for several reasons: One, it has more Muslim inhabitants (percentage-wise) than does any other Western nation; two, apparently there long has been widespread mistreatment of and discrimination against Muslims in “innocent” France; and, of course, France is much geographically closer to the Middle East than are other Western nations (especially the United States, of course), making France, logistically, an easier target for terrorist attacks.

My hope is that things calm down in France quickly, that tit-for-tat bloodshed doesn’t occur, and that the United States of America continues to focus on its domestic crises instead of returning to the days of the unelected, fascistic George W. Bush regime when the “war on terror” eclipsed everything, while the filthy rich continued to get even richer from stealing even more from us, the distracted-by-the-“war-on-terror” masses, and while things here at home continued to deteriorate while we focused on the “terrorists” abroad (yes, the billions and billions of our dollars that went to the war machine — mostly, to the treasonous war profiteers [a.k.a. “contractors”], such as the folks at Dick Cheney’s Halliburton — were billions and billions of our dollars that never went to our public schools, to our streets and other public infrastructure, to our health-care needs, to food, to shelter, to environmental protection, to job creation, etc.).

The Repugnican Tea Party would love for the national discussion to pivot from its current, rare focus on domestic issues and to return instead to the “war on terror.” Because that’s where the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are most comfortable, are most in their fear-based element: spooking the masses by some “enemy” “threat,” be it the often-brown-skinned “illegals” from south of the border or be it the often-brown-skinned “Islamofascist” “terrorists” from abroad come to kill us because “they hate our freedoms.”

This use of trumped-up/Trumped-up fear allows the home-grown, right-wing traitors (and yes, terrorists) right here among us at home to, even literally, get away with murder, to run rampant with their treasonous, right-wing crimes in a nation whose masses are distracted from wildly overblown concerns of harm from without, when the real harm, as almost always, actually is from within.

We truly patriotic Americans allow our nation to return to the right-wing mindset of a “war on terror” at our own peril.

We can stop it.

We simply do what we did not do last time: We stand up and we say: Oh, hell no!

*Yes, I get it that there are gradations of innocence.

One could argue, as the “Islamofascists” do argue, that merely to be a citizen of a Western nation that militarily attacks in the Middle East is to be guilty by complacency (if not merely by association), that is, the citizens of the Western nations, this line of thought goes, allow their nation’s military forces to strike the Middle East, and therefore, they aren’t innocent, but do have blood on their hands.

However, when it comes to revenge, I don’t believe in group revenge. If an individual grievously harms another individual, I can see revenge being taken upon the individual who actually perpetrated the harm him- or herself. But to hold an entire group of people accountable for harm done to other people whom they’ve never even encountered — harm that was perpetrated by other people whom they’ve never even encountered — is bullshit. It’s not justice. At best, it’s very, very sloppy revenge.

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With Ireland, yet another pink domino topples; next up, the United States

. Dublin (Ireland), 23/05/2015.- People reacting to results coming in from constituencies around Ireland suggesting an overwhelming majority in favour of the referendum on same-sex marriage, in Dublin, Ireland, 23 May 2015. The first results were declared in Ireland's historic vote on same-sex marriage, with every indication that the Yes side has won, as opponents of the measure conceded defeat. Sligo-North Leitrim in the north-west was the first of 43 constituencies to declare with a 53.6-per-cent vote in favour, followed by Waterford in the south-east with 60.3 per cent voting Yes. (Irlanda) EFE/EPA/AIDAN CRAWLEY

EFE/EPA/Aidan Crawley photo

People in Dublin celebrate the passage of same-sex marriage in the widely-considered conservative nation of Ireland yesterday by more than 60 percent of the vote. Of course, this isn’t all about the Catholick church; it’s about human rights and freedom.

The news story headline from today “Church reels after Ireland’s huge ‘Yes’ to gay marriage” made me giddily happy, but the news story misses so much. It begins:

Dublin (AFP) — The once-dominant Catholic Church in Ireland was trying to come to terms [today] with an overwhelming vote in favour of gay marriage, saying it needed a “new language” with which to speak to people.

As jubilant “Yes” supporters nursed their hangovers after partying late into the night following [yesterday’s] referendum result, the faithful attended mass to hear their priests reflect on the new social landscape in Ireland.

“The Church has to find a new language which will be understood and heard by people,” Archbishop Diarmuid Martin of Dublin, one of the Church’s most senior figures, told reporters after mass at the city’s St. Mary’s Pro Cathedral.

“We have to see how is it that the Church’s teaching on marriage and family is not being received even within its own flock.”

He added: “There’s a growing gap between Irish young people and the Church and there’s a growing gap between the culture of Ireland that’s developing and the Church.”

The majority of Irish people still identify themselves as Catholic but the Church’s influence has waned in recent years amid growing secularisation [gotta love the British spelling] and after a wave of clerical child sex abuse scandals.

During the campaign, bishops spoke against changing the law, while older and rural voters were thought to have accounted for much of the “No” vote.

Final results showed 62 percent in favour and 38 percent against introducing gay marriage in a country where being homosexual was a crime until 1993. …

Many things strike me. Where to begin?

As much as I’d love to celebrate the death of the Catholick church, it’s not dead yet. For decades Europeans, Americans, Latin Americans and others throughout the world have been calling themselves Catholicks but have doing what they want to do anyway. They disagree with the church on many issues, such as birth control, abortion and same-sex relationships, but go about living their lives as they wish to live them anyway, but still giving at least lip service to having some fealty to the Catholick church. They have been living compartmentalized lives, and this doesn’t seem to bother them much, if they even think about it much at all.

This phenomenon of compartmentalization (in order to avoid cognitive dissonance, apparently) is quite old, and while of course Ireland being the first nation in the world to establish same-sex marriage at the ballot box (rather via a legislature or court of law) is a milestone in equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals — probably especially because Ireland is considered to be a conservative nation — the Catholick church will continue to sputter on until its eventual demise.

Remember that 10 years ago in the heavily Catholick nation of  Spain, the parliament passed same-sex marriage, which was favored by more than 60 percent of the nation’s people10 years ago. (“The ratification of [same-sex marriage in Spain] was not devoid of conflict, despite support from 66 percent of the population,” notes Wikipedia, adding, “Roman Catholic authorities in particular were adamantly opposed, criticizing what they regarded as the weakening of the meaning of marriage.“)

Spain was the third nation to legalize same-sex marriage, after the Netherlands and Belgium, and was quickly followed by Canada, which became the fourth nation to adopt same-sex marriage.

Since Canada, South Africa, Norway, Sweden, Portugal, Iceland, Argentina and parts of the very heavily Catholic Mexico — Mexico City and the Mexican states of  of Quintana Roo and Coahuila — have followed with same-sex marriage. (And it’s important to note that any same-sex marriage that legally was performed anywhere in Mexico must be recognized throughout the nation’s 31 states.)

And following Mexico with same-sex marriage have been Denmark, Brazil, France, Uruguay, New Zealand, Luxembourg, Slovenia, Finland, England, Scotland and Wales, and now, Ireland.

A lot of Catholicks in the Western world live in jurisdictions where same-sex marriage is legal. Wikipedia, for instance, puts the populations of Ireland, Mexico and Portugal all at more than 80 percent Catholick, Argentina at more than 75 percent, Spain and Luxembourg at around 70 percent, Brazil and France at more than 60 percent, Belgium approaching 60 percent, and Slovenia and Uruguay around 50 percent.

So Ireland’s having joined the same-sex marriage fold yesterday can’t have been a huge shock; it’s not like it was unprecedented.

But I’ll take this latest win for love and for freedom, the freedom to live one’s life the way he or she wishes to, as long as he or she does not harm others — and no, violating some tyrannical, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging theofascist’s backasswards beliefs on how we, the rest of us, may and may not live our lives (whether we even believe in a “God” or not) is not harming anyone else. Quite to the contrary, it’s the theofascists who always have been causing the harm (in the names of “God” and “Jesus” and “love”), to which the masses have been waking up and realizing, and thus the march of same-sex marriage rights continues throughout the globe. (A lot of work remains to be done, especially in the African, Middle Eastern, Asian and Muslim nations, as well as in Russia.)

Speaking of which, I find it interesting that it’s reported that the final tally from the vote in Ireland yesterday is expected to exceed 60 percent, since earlier this month the polling organization Gallup reported that a record number of Americans polled — 60 percent — now support same-sex marriage. That’s fairly fast growth, considering that Americans didn’t reach the 50-percent mark in Gallup’s polling on same-sex marriage until 2011.

True, not even a full quarter of Americans call themselves Catholick (thank God), and of course we can’t blame only the Catholicks for their opposition to same-sex marriage in the United States, since there are plenty of other hateful, ignorant, right-wing “Christian” churches in the United States, such as the Southern Baptists, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, Methodists, and, of course, the Pentacostalists, who probably are the scariest of the theofascist “Christians” (whom I commonly call “Christofascists,” after “Islamofascists,” as though the fundamentalist Muslims had a monopoly on “God”-based fascism).

And, of course, the Catholicks aren’t monolithic; many if not even most of them personally are OK with same-sex marriage, despite the church’s official stance on the matter. Still, though, I can’t understand how anyone can support such an evil, harmful institution, even peripherally, such as by even still calling oneself a “Catholic,” knowing the damage that the Catholick Church has been wreaking upon humanity for centuries. (Ditto for the Protestant churches, too; even the more liberal Protestant churches still push a belief in “God,” which to me is only a Santa Claus on crack. [He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good, so be good for goodness sake!] The opiate of the masses, indeed.)

Of course, of what the Catholick Church and other “Christian” churches are most terrified is continuing to lose their grip on the masses’ minds, genitalia and wallets and pocketbooks. Virtually all organized religions, small or huge, are all about those in the upper echelons of the hierarchy, be they the petty pastors of puny Pentecostal churches or Il Papa himself.

These theofascist tyrants never have cared about anyone’s true freedom — only about their own power and wealth, the sustenance of which requires that others be enthralled to them through ignorance and fear, via “God,” “Jesus,” “heaven,” “hell,” “sin,” “eternal damnation,” etc.

The gaining of equal human and civil rights for non-heterosexual and non-gender-conforming individuals is only one front in the continuing throwing off of the theofascists’ centuries-long tyranny. Science, technology (including, of course, the communications revolution that the Internet has been), logic, reason, true democracy (which necessitates secularism) — in a word, modernity — is what poses the largest threat to the continued existence of the infantilezed organized religions that refuse to let go of their desire to infantilize and enthrall all of us.

Next up, I expect the U.S. Supreme Court to rule next month that no state in the U.S. may prohibit same-sex marriage, as such a prohibition violates the equal human and civil rights guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

The about-40 percent of Americans who still oppose same-sex marriage will, of course, quite predictably whine that a pro-same-sex marriage ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court is an anti-democratic fiat by “activists” judges (of course, if the U.S. Supreme Court actually were to rule against same-sex marriage [which I find unlikely], to the wingnuts this would be wholly democratic and the judges would not be “activist” at all, but simply would have done their job to protect and defend the U.S. Constitution, you see).

Of course, in the United States we never have had any national referenda, such as Ireland just did on the topic of same-sex marriage. In the U.S. there is no mechanism in place for the entire nation to vote on any matter other than who will be U.S. president and U.S. vice president, and given that the members of the U.S. Supreme Court are appointed by the president and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, we Americans, who elect the president and our U.S. senators, of course have some voice in the make-up of the U.S. Supreme Court, so to call the court’s rulings (the ones that we disagree with, mostly) entirely anti-democratic is, of course, largely if not mostly bullshit.

And I’m quite confident that were same-sex marriage put to a national referendum in the U.S., it would pass.

Gallup polling this month found 60 percent support for same-sex marriage in the U.S., but a CBS News/New York Times poll taken just before the Gallup poll found 57 percent support, and an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll taken right before that one found 58 percent support. A Quinnipiac University poll taken right before that one also found 58 percent support, and an ABC News/Washington Post poll taken at the same time as the Quinnipiac University poll found 61 percent support.

So Gallup’s finding of 60 percent seems to be no more than within a percentage point of two of the actual level of support for same-sex marriage within the United States. (The average of the five nationwide polls cited above, which were taken this month and last month, is 58.8 percent.)

Again, were same-sex marriage put to a national referendum in the United States of America, it would pass. It’s safe for the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging haters to argue otherwise, since we never have national referenda here in the U.S., but the timid, behind-the-curve, right-of-center U.S. Supreme Court (which did, after all, decide the 2000 presidential election even though Al Gore had won more than a half-million more votes than did George W. Bush and decide that bazillionaires may have unlimited spending in elections) would not rule in favor of same-sex marriage if it weren’t confident that a solid majority of Americans are on board with it.

Because a solid majority of Americans are on board with same-sex marriage, the U.S. Supreme Court, perhaps further emboldened by the latest example of Ireland, most likely will rule in favor of same-sex marriage throughout the land.

And the land will not erupt in chaos and violent upheaval, as the theofascist terrorists warn us will happen (it’s just yet another terrorist threat meant to get them their way over the majority, even though they are in the solid minority), because where same-sex marriage is concerned, the U.S. democracy, such as it is, and as slow as it always has been to bring about equal human and civil rights for all, at least in the area of the constitutional right to same-sex marriage, is working.

Not quickly enough, but it is working, and next month we truly freedom-loving and love-loving Americans most likely will be celebrating in the streets like they have been celebrating in the streets of Ireland this weekend.

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Contexte est tout

On Oct. 1, 2014, the magazine featured Muhammed again.

I’m semi-fluent in Spanish, but know only a handful of words in French. (I’m perfectly OK with that…) So I went to babelfish.com and typed in “Context is everything,” translating it into French. The result, which may or may not be accurate, is the title of this piece.

As I’ve noted, I don’t know much about France, and I’m not a huge Francophile. For every positive thing that we can say about the French, there seems to be an equally off-putting thing that we could say about them. So I have mixed feelings toward the Frenchies, frankly.

Speaking of which, already we’re seeing starkly different depictions of what life is like in France for Muslims, and to be able to comment intelligently on the Charlie Hebdo killings of the past week, we need to understand the context in which they have occurred.

Salon.com’s Andrew O’Hehir, who should know better, essentially white-mansplains in his latest column that Charlie Hebdo was attacked because the “terrorists” hate France for its freedoms! This is the rosy portrait that O’Hehir paints of France:

… Amid its evident difficulties, France remains a peaceful, prosperous and culturally vibrant nation with a relatively well integrated and increasingly secular Muslim minority. (As has been widely reported, one of the police officers killed on Wednesday was a Muslim.) That model of democracy — or perhaps we should say that possibility — is exactly what came under attack from the Charlie Hebdo gunmen. Their aim was to pry open that model at a tender spot, expose its contradictions and undermine its stability. …

Again, this is analogous to the post-9/11 bullshit American claims of “They [those “evil” Muslims, of course] hate us because of our freedoms!”

In contrast to O’Hehir’s belle (again: babelfish.com…) portrait of France, left-wing editorial cartoonist and columnist/commentator Ted Rall, who has dual American and French citizenship because his mother is French, and who has spent a lot of time with Muslims in Afghanistan (about which he has written books), writes this of Muslims in France (I present it in whole, because I think it’s important information; emphases in bold are mine [and links are Rall’s]):

This week’s terrorist attacks at the Paris offices of the Charlie Hebdo satirical magazine, leaving 12 dead at the scene and four others killed during the assassins’ attempt to flee two days later has prompted a political crisis in France centered around that country’s Muslim population, and whether it has been successfully assimilated into French society.

To most American news consumers, even those who follow developments in Europe closely, the debate over Muslim assimilation in France is difficult to dissect. This is because the situation there is significantly unlike the “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West that Americans have been dealing with in the post-9/11 era.

The first thing that you need to know is that, in France even more than in the United States, assimilation is something of a national religion.

“A French government report has proposed a radical overhaul of the ‘assimilation’ model which requires immigrants to abandon their culture for that of France, including ending the ban on Muslim headscarves in schools and naming streets and squares after notables of foreign origin,” the UK Telegraph reported back in 2013.

“But it has drawn a furious reaction from the country’s conservative opposition, which said it amounted to an abandonment of French culture and secular values. ‘It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others,’ Jean-François Copé, leader of the UMP main opposition party, said.”

For now, assimilationism stands.

In France as in the U.S., ethnic and religious minorities congregate in certain cities and neighborhoods. In France, however, these ethnic enclaves are viewed less as charming places to grab a meal than as a failure of the state. This is because, when foreigners are granted French citizenship, they are expected – not just culturally, but explicitly told by government officials – to become fully French in a traditional, pre-mass immigration kind of way.

Those who speak foreign languages are pressured to refrain from speaking them in public as much as possible, and to learn French not just enough to get by, but fluently in writing as well as in speech. This attitude isn’t not quite as attenuated as it was 75 years ago, when children who spoke internal non-French French languages like Basque and Breton were beaten by their teachers, but it’s still an expectation shared by both the political left and the political right.

Even today, when the government offers an immigrant French citizenship, he or she is even encouraged to “Francify” their name to a more traditionally sounding French name. So Mohammed might become Michel.

The second thing you need to understand is that France does not offer birthright citizenship, i.e. automatic full benefits as a citizen simply for being born on French territory. Americans take birthright citizenship for granted, though there has been criticism on the right over the possibility that some foreign-born parents might travel illegally to the United States in order to have so-called “anchor babies.”

Perversely, considering how important assimilation is to the French, the country’s lack of full birthright citizenship rights for everyone born in France, or full right of jus soli, has done more to breed alienation, systemic poverty and distrust than just about any other policy. Although I was able to obtain French citizenship (while keeping my U.S. citizenship) merely because my mother is French, there are millions of second- and third-generation illegal immigrants – people who were born in [France], and who may even have French foreign parents, but who have never been naturalized because their grandparents arrived in the country as undocumented workers.

Many of these people live in impoverished suburbs outside major cities which, not coincidentally, have on occasion been the site of violent uprisings. Don’t be surprised if the perpetrators of Wednesday’s horrific mass murder at Charlie Hebdo have their roots in the banlieue (suburbs).

Finally, France has accepted between 3.5 and 5.0 million Muslim immigrants in recent years, amounting to between 5 percent and 10 percent of the population. (This liberal immigration policy recognizes France’s history as colonial rulers of countries like Algeria and Morocco.)

Obviously, the overwhelming majority of these people are like everyone else, just trying to get ahead and make better lives for themselves and their children. But their presence — different clothes, different languages, different food — is jarring for “traditional” (i.e., white, Catholic) Frenchmen and Frenchwomen who yearn for the France of wine, coffee and baguettes. This is the constituency that France’s far-right political parties, like the National Front, are capitalizing upon.

Rall, himself an editorial cartoonist, of course does not support the slaughter of fellow cartoonists, and he has used the occasion of the Charlie Hebdo massacres to point out the plight of editorial cartoonists in the American media (such as here and here).

I give kudos to Rall, not only for telling the ugly truth about France’s other-culture-crushing assimilationism and nationalism — and its resultant Muslim ghettos — but also apparently for pointing out that the “Je suis Charlie” crowd don’t actually give a fuck about editorial cartoonists* as much as they are just using the deaths of the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists as a vehicle with which to bash those “evil” Muslims, the perennial “bad guys” against whom the “freedom-” and “democracy-loving” Westerners can compare themselves in order to feel much better about their own hypocrisy, their own deep sins (such as the fact that in modern history the U.S. and its Western partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity, including Israel, the United Kingdom and France, have slaughtered far more Muslims than vice-versa).

Even a Charlie Hebdo cartoonist (who wasn’t present during the massacre at the publication’s offices) himself has called bullshit on the public outpouring of support for Charlie Hebdo. Reports the UK’s DailyMail.com:

One of the surviving Charlie Hebdo cartoonists has scoffed at the surge in support for the satirical magazine after the attack, which killed eight of his colleagues and four other victims.

Bernard Holtrop, who was not in the office during the massacre on Wednesday, admitted the publication’s new-found fame was “laughable” and comes from people who have “never seen it.”

The Dutch-born artist reportedly said the provocative weekly had unexpected “new friends” including the pope, Queen Elizabeth and Vladimir Putin.

He told Dutch newspaper Volkskrant: “We vomit on all these people who suddenly say they are our friends,” and added that most of the support has come from people who have “never seen Charlie Hebdo.”

“It really makes me laugh,” he added. “A few years ago, thousands of people took to the streets in Pakistan to demonstrate against Charlie Hebdo. They didn’t know what it was. Now it’s the opposite.” …

Bernard Holtrop is at least one Frenchman I guess I can like, even though that might be because he was born in Holland…

P.S. If I understand the Charlie Hebdo cover above correctly (French is somewhat similar to Spanish), it is positing that were Mohammed to return today, some jihadist would behead him as an infidel. Admittedly, this is in line with my position that were Jesus to return today, those who claim to be his followers would (mostly metaphorically speaking) crucify him as a heretic.

However, again, contexte est tout, and the Charlie Hebdo cover above is much more offensive to your average Muslim than would be a similar depiction of modern-day “Christians” crucifying a returning Jesus, methinks. Also, so-called “Christians” already are in the majority in the West, and so they have a lot of political power, so such a cartoon would not feel as personally threatening to them as the Charlie Hebdo cover above would feel to France’s Muslim minority (which, again, is estimated at 5 percent to 10 percent of the nation’s population).

*Frankly, I don’t know that I’m willing to call Charlie Hebdo’s cartoonists “editorial cartoonists,” because the word “editorial” elevates them to a level of discourse that I just haven’t seen in most of their cartoons thus far. Similarly, just as I can’t call Charlie Hebdo a “newspaper” (I call it simply a “publication”), I can’t call what Charlie Hebdo does to be “satire” or to be “satirical,” because to me, satire requires intelligence (in the form of wit), and to me, satire’s ultimate goal is to uplift the body politic. I don’t see that Charlie Hebdo is witty or uplifting.

Charlie Hebdo still has free-speech rights, of course, but, as I’ve noted, after having seen some of its content I’m not going to align myself with Charlie Hebdo. The Ku Klux Klan and the so-called “Tea Party” have their free-speech rights, too, and I’m not on board with them either.

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I am NOT Charlie Hebdo

This 2010 cover of the French publication Charlie Hebdo depicts a Muslim woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass. I, for one, wouldn’t publish such unnecessarily offensive material. Because you can doesn’t mean you should. There is an awful lot that we are free to do that we probably should not do.

First, the obligatory (but sincere) opening paragraph in which I proclaim that I support free speech on every square centimeter of the globe and that of course I do not condone the slaughter of human beings over the publication of things that some (or many or even most) have found to be offensive.

I’m sure that I’ve offended many people over the years, and I sure would prefer not to be shot to death because I’ve offended some fucktard’s precious sensibilities.

But missing in the discussion that I’ve heard and read regarding yesterday’s massacre of 12 people in Paris at or near the offices of the weekly French publication Charlie Hebdo is that the publication apparently has a frat-boy mentality (I dunno: is that a French thing?), the mentality in which other groups of human beings who differ from our own group exist only as fodder for our belittling attacks against them.

I don’t see that Charlie Hebdo’s many covers apparently meant to offend and provoke Muslims in France do anything to uplift the public debate. These covers seem to be meant to provoke and offend above all else, to shock, to scandalize, and to enrage Muslims, or, at the very least, to not give a shit if Muslims become enraged (because hey, they’re Muslims!).

“Charlie Hebdo insults all religions,” the ubiquitous Charlie-Hebdo-defending mantra goes.

Really?

Here in the United States, the equivalent cartoons, if they were about Jews, would be considered to be virulently anti-Semitic.

Why, in the West, is anti-Semitism widely condemned (and so much that isn’t actually anti-Semitic nonetheless is deemed to be “anti-Semitic”), but virulent Islamophobia so often in so many places is perfectly A-OK? (That was a rhetorical question, mostly, but I’ll answer it anyway: because in the West, Christianity and Judaism get preferential treatment. They always have.)

I don’t believe in God, so I have no dog in this race. Muslims, Jews, Christians, all (the fundamentalists among them, anyway) believe in things that I think are utter bullshit, such as ridiculous dietary restrictions (well, at least the Jews and the Muslims), creationism and other anti-scientific and anti-intellectual stances and hocus-pocus bullshit (“miracles,” virgin births, resurrections, being God’s specially chosen stenographer, etc.), patriarchy, misogyny, homophobia, xenophobia and talking to a non-existent deity (a.k.a. “praying”).

Those who believe in God (as adults who should know better) more often that not are only going along to get along with the tribe that they were born into and/or want pat answers to all of the universe’s questions (and their religion gives them the veneer of having all of those answers) and/or they find the world to be a terrifying place to be and they find God to be the ultimate security blanket.

I disagree with them, and when theofascists piss and shit on my human rights, civil rights and equal rights (such as they did with Proposition H8) I will speak out, but, in general, I don’t see what good would come of my going out of my way to offend and provoke those who hold religious beliefs that I find to be ridiculous. For the most part, as long as the theists leave me (and my rights) alone, I can leave them alone.

Charlie Hebdo’s raison d’être, on the other hand, seems not to be to enlighten and to unify, but to offend and to provoke, especially Muslims, yet when the dog that it’s been stabbing with sharpened sticks for years now finally — and fairly fucking predictably — bites back in a big way, the rest of the world is supposed to feel sorry for Charlie Hebdo? Really?

I’m sorry that people were massacred over Charlie Hebdo’s low-brow, frat-boy content that, in my estimation, certainly wasn’t worth dying for. But it was preventable. The free speech that these people died for wasn’t very valuable speech, was it? A woman with a burqa stuffed up her ass? Mohammed thusly depicted:

Charlie Hebdo Muhammad cartoon

?

I won’t say “Je sui Charlie” (French for “I am Charlie”) because if I owned a weekly publication, I wouldn’t print shit like this, shit that causes more harm than good.

As an atheist on the outside looking in, I can proclaim that in the West, Muslims get the shitty end of the stick almost every time. The same individuals who preach about how we should respect their precious religious beliefs have no problem disrespecting Islam, and the Charlie Hebdo cartoons that I’ve seen of the pope and of Jews aren’t, in my estimation, likely to be nearly as offensive to Catholics and Jews as are the publication’s cartoons depicting Mohammed or Muslims to Muslims. (And, from what I can tell, the publication’s cartoons lampooning Islam are more numerous than its cartoons lampooning Christianity or Judaism.)

Charlie Hebdo repeatedly has poked the critter of Islam with a sharpened stick. In 2011, the publication’s (yeah, I just have a hard time calling it a “newspaper”) headquarters were firebombed, for fuck’s sake (the day after it published an issue calling itself “Charia Hebdo” and portraying Mohammed as a clown with a red nose).

What happened in Paris yesterday was predictable and preventable. And what was it for? For “free speech,” so many people proclaim, but no, ultimately it was for the freedom to continue to shit and piss on Muslims, including the freedom to offend them deeply in ways that are universally known to deeply offend them.

That is not a freedom that I believe is worth dying for. Defending against the spread of theofascism, whether the theofascists be abroad (such as the wonderful folks of “ISIS” [or whatever we’re calling them this week]) or at home (such as those who bomb abortion clinics and those who violate the U.S. Constitution and human, civil and equal rights when they do their damnedest to stop same-sex marriage), is worth dying for, but making unprovoked attacks upon others for their religious beliefs, no matter how ridiculous they might be? That’s not a defensive posture, that’s an offensive posture.

And yes, intentionally offending Muslims in the West is worse than is intentionally offending Christians or Jews in the West, because — duh — in the West Christians and Jews have greater numbers and greater power than do Muslims. Picking on the majority is not — not — the same as picking on an already-highly-picked-upon minority group. It takes a special kind of asshole to kick someone who’s already down.

I am not Charlie Hebdo, no matter how fashionable being Charlie Hebdo might be in the West right now.

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Barack Obama to attack Syria himself in Air Force One

The way that it’s going, if U.S. President Barack Obama wants to bomb Syria, he’s going to have to drop the bombs himself from Air Force One. But he won’t be lonely on his trip; he’ll have “embedded” “journalists” along with him for the ride. And maybe the French will provide some wine and cheese for the mission.

Seriously: The British Parliament’s very wise decision yesterday not to join the U.S. in another boondoggle in the Middle East is a blow to Obama (as well as to Conservative Party British Prime Minister David Cameron).*

Now all that Obama has, pretty much, is the conspicuous silence of most of his fellow Democrats (in name only), most of whom are party hacks who don’t want to buck the Obama White House but who also know that the majority of Americans don’t want a military attack upon Syria — and, of course, the corporately owned and controlled “news” media.

The New York Times on Monday declared in an editorial:

… [President] Obama put his credibility on the line when he declared last August that [Syrian leader Bashar al-Assad’s] use of chemical weapons would constitute a “red line” that would compel an American response. After the first attacks, earlier this year, killed between 100 and 150 people, the administration promised weapons for the rebels but delayed in delivering them.

This time the use of chemicals was more brazen and the casualties were much greater, suggesting that Mr. Assad did not take Mr. Obama seriously. Presidents should not make a habit of drawing red lines in public, but if they do, they had best follow through. Many countries (including Iran, which Mr. Obama has often said won’t be permitted to have a nuclear weapon) will be watching. …

Wow. The Times widely is considered to be the thinking person’s media organization, and is widely to be considered “liberal.”**

Yet the Times’ central “argument” is that once you threaten to do something, you must go through with it — or risk being deemed “weak.” That’s a wise, high-minded stance? Even if something is a really bad fucking idea, you should go through with it anyway — to save face?

My own city’s main “news” organization, the Sacramento Bee, like the Times, also widely is considered to be center-left, yet in an editorial today the Bee proclaims that “The president has previously said there would be consequences if Syria crossed the ‘red line’ of chemical warfare. His reputation – and U.S. standing in the world – will suffer if that turns out to be an empty threat” (apparently the Bee’s editorial writers read the Times…) and “If it can be convincingly demonstrated that the recent massacre in Syria was the result of chemical weapons, and that Syrian forces were responsible for it, Obama will have to act, hopefully with a few allies.”

I’m guessing that that editorial was penned before the British Parliament yesterday voted against joining the U.S. in its latest boondoggle in the Middle East even if it definitively is demonstrated that the Syrian government used chemical weapons as charged.

AFP notes that “It is believed to be the first time since 1782 that a British government has lost a vote about military action,” which to me is a measure of what an incredibly fucking shitty idea it is to militarily attack Syria right now.***

So why are our corporately owned and operated “news” organizations gung-ho on an attack on Syria?

“Corporately owned and operated” is the key.

Corporations love war and the profiteering that goes along with it. Corporations not only benefit nicely in their war-related contracts (as well as in their ongoing regular military contracts) with the federal government, but the U.S. military often opens up other sovereign nations’ natural resources — like Iraq’s oil — to corporations for their free and unfettered exploitation.

War is bad for individual human beings, but great for corporations.

Also, of course, war is great for “news” “coverage.”

This is not new.

The Spanish-American War of 1898, Wikipedia states, “is considered to be both a turning point in the history of propaganda and the beginning of the practice of yellow journalism. It was the first conflict in which military action was precipitated by media involvement.”

Wikipedia goes on to note that “William [Randolph] Hearst, the owner of the New York Journal, was involved in a circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World and saw the conflict as a way to sell papers.”

I remember how the corporately owned and controlled “news” organizations handled the Vietraq War. First, they (including, of course, the New York Times’ infamous Judith Miller) for the most part uncritically repeated the Bush White House’s lies about the “reasons” to invade Iraq. Like the cowards in Congress, these “journalists” cowed to the post-9/11 hysteria and hyper-jingoism and for the most part dared not question the ever-changing “arguments” for war that the members of the Bush regime were spewing.

Then, when the invasion of Iraq that they’d wanted and pushed for actually came, they treated it like a fucking sports event, like the fucking Super Bowl.

It even had its own slogan: Shock and awe! (Actually, now that I think of it further, it probably was much more like a “professional” wrestling event…)

The “journalists” were “embedded!” in Iraq, they couldn’t tell us enough.

“Embedded,” of course, meant in bed with the White House and the Pentagon.

Sure, the Pentagon allowed the corporate media weasel-whores to feel special, rubbing shoulders with high-ranking military officials while they dutifully acted as public-relations stenographers, not as journalists.

The price for remaining “embedded,” of course, was that the “journalist” never reported anything that the Pentagon or the White House didn’t want him or her to report.

So: Our “journalists” gained some “access” but at the price of being censored. So what good was that “access” for which they had to sell themselves out? When the powers that be are tightly controlling and regulating the “access,” how meaningful can that “access” possibly be?

At this point, Barack Obama’s strongest supporters for a military attack upon Syria, apparently, are France and the American corporate media weasel-whores who want to jump into bed with him.

Former “President” George W. Bush, recall, in the post-9/11 political environment had the majority of Americans, the U.S. Congress, the British government and the corporate media weasel-whores behind him, which allowed him to launch the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War even against the wishes of the United Nations Security Council.

In this political climate, thank Goddess, I don’t see Obama pulling off any significant military attack on Syria.

If he does so anyway, it will be, I think, a Richard-Nixon-level political mistake that he and his party will regret.

*I heard former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld — a war criminal who already should have been executed for his participation in war crimes and crimes against humanity in Iraq — blathering on news radio this morning that if only Obama had defined the mission in Syria better, and had not “led from behind,” Britain would have jumped right on board.

Never fucking mind that maybe, just maybe, the larger issue is that after the Brits were punk’d big time with the Vietraq War and Iraq’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction, they didn’t feel like being punk’d by the U.S. government again and so soon after the last time, and so this time, they ignored the White House’s cry of “wolf!”

As much as I’m not a fan of Obama and as much as I oppose his sketchy proposal to attack Syria, we can’t blame this, too, on him; the lion’s share of the blame for it rests squarely on the members of the unelected Bush regime, including Rumsfeld, of course, who lost the trust of the British over the bogus Vietraq War.

**Well, since being “liberal” these days mostly means being a Democrat in name only, a center-right sellout who changes his or her stance on important issues based upon the party affiliation of who is supporting and who is opposing those issues today, the Times actually indeed is “liberal.”

***One who is progressive and sane (which, to me, are one and the same) hopes that the majority of the citizens of the Western world finally are turning against military action as a way to resolve international (and intranational) conflicts and see that militarism almost always only benefits our plutocratic overlords, not us commoners.

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Give me socialism or give me death!

The more things change, the more they stay the same. The right wing’s witch hunts during the Cold War and the McCarthy Era involved Communists and homosexuals. Must! Root! Out! The! Enemy!

Today, it’s “socialism!” instead of “Communism!” that the right wing bandies about, and we non-heterosexuals (along with immigrants from Latin America and Muslims and other historically less powerful minorities) remain scapegoats for all of the nation’s ills.

It’s interesting that for all of the wingnuts’ blather about “freedom,” serious discussion of alternative economic systems is so fucking taboo. Here in the United States of America, land of the free only to support capitalism, socialism isn’t an economic system; it’s an epithet meant to shut down any actual serious discussion of socialism.

It’s a pretty powerful way for the capitalistic plutocrats to maintain control, to make the masses think that any other way of doing things isn’t even possible.

If capitalism were so strong and so self-evidently the only feasible economic system, then why does the right wing do its best to stifle any serious discussion about alternative economic systems by branding those of us who wish to have such a discussion as traitors? Um, yeah.

Of course, it’s the millionaires and billionaires, like Rupert Murdoch and his little bitch boy Glenn Beck, who keep stoking the pro-capitalistic propagandistic fires, since Hey, capitalism sure has been good to them! (to the rest of us, um, not so much…).

Capitalism has, in the minds of millions of American sheeple, been equated with patriotism and Christianity — and all kinds of other things, such as militarism, and yes, colonialism (um, why wouldn’t Barack Obama or any other at least semi-sane and moral individual oppose colonialism, Dinesh Dikshit, since colonialism by definition is about the exploitation of the weaker by the more powerful, you fucking moron?).

The right wing, of course, for all of its talk about “looking forward, not backward,” equates socialism and (little-“c”) communism with tyranny and the like, as though we humankind are doomed only to repeat the mistakes of the past, as though we cannot create something new.

Democratic socialism could work quite well in the United States of America, and, if the nation survives the right wing’s attempt to destroy it in an Armageddon that it creates only through its wish for such an Armageddon, probably democratic socialism — which is about what’s best for the most number of individuals (in contrast to how capitalism is about what’s best for only a small number of individuals, at the expense of the majority) — is the only thing that’s going to save the nation.

This news story from the French (socialist!) news organization AFP, though, highlights the propagandistic obstacles created by the plutocratic propagandists that we Americans who want a better future and a better present for ourselves and those who follow us have to overcome:

New Castle, Delaware — Stephen Knotts, a blond, blue-eyed member of the conservative Tea Party movement, is deeply concerned about where he sees the United States heading.

“We are pushing towards European values. Socialism, that’s a European value,” he warns. “Everybody’s kind of zombified over there.” [Gee, has he even been “over there,” I wonder?]

Knotts is one of a crowd gathered at a Delaware shooting club, awaiting an address by Senate candidate and Tea Party superstar Christine O’Donnell.

He is one of many Americans who fear their country is lurching dangerously towards higher taxes and bigger government and cites with fear the experience of France and Germany.

“Sixty percent of what they earn goes for taxes,” he tells a reporter, though the actual figure is closer to 40 percent.

Paul Lamanna, a member of the shooting club who describes himself as a first generation Italian immigrant, is similarly concerned about what he sees as a turn towards European policies in the United States.

“They have communism, they have fascism, they have socialism, even today. I’m not interested in any of that. I’m interested in democracy,” he says.

In neighboring Newark, Delaware, 31-year-old Kevin Thomas pronounces himself “sick and tired of this big government coming in, taking our money, giving it away basically to people who don’t deserve it.”

“We’re building a nation of slackers,” he warns at a campaign event for O’Donnell….

Wow. So the millionaires and billionaires who get bailouts from those of us who actually pay our fair share of taxes aren’t “slackers” — it’s only the working class and the poor who are the “slackers.” Which is exactly what Uncle Rupert wants you to believe, and which is exactly what his legions of Faux “News” viewers parrot dutifully. (Trust Uncle Rupie! He has only your best interests in mind!)

Only the rich deserve even more, you see, while the have-nots deserve even less — because they’re lazy slackers. (It absolutely is not that they are exploited in a ruthless corporatocracy that dipshits like the “blond, blue-eyed member[s] of the conservative Tea Party movement” in the story above stupidly call “democracy.” [“Blond, blue-eyed member[s] of the conservative Tea Party movement” — hmmm… Reminds me of another fascistic movement comprised mostly of the blond and blue-eyed…])

“Everybody’s kind of zombified over there [in Europe],” the blond and blue-eyed “tea-party” dipshit remarks in the news story above, very apparently oblivious to the zombification of millions of Americans by the right-wing noise machine funded by the millionaires and billionaires like something right out of “The Matrix.”

The way that we non-heterosexuals have to get equal human and civil rights is to stand up to the bullies and to counter the propaganda and lies that the wingnuts pump out there. It’s a long, tough slog, but we’re no fucking slackers, and we are winning the war against bigotry and ignorance and hatred.

And the only way that we, the millions of us Americans who are the have-nots and are the living-from-paycheck-to-paycheck and are the just-an-illness-away-from-poverty are going to get a better future and a better present for ourselves is to counter the plutocrats’ blatant fucking self-serving lies that we are the lazy “slackers.”

It’s called projection — the rich are the slackers. And we don’t need them. They need us.

It’s a popular uprising that the rich fear the most, which is why they keep a steady stream of pro-capitalist propaganda flowing to keep the “patriotic” sheeple zombified. (And it’s also why they live behind their gates with their private security.)

You gotta hand it to them, though: The plutocratic propagandists are quite successful — I mean, millions of Americans tolerate, even praise, an economic system that clearly works only for those relative few at the top. Millions of Americans stupidly incorrectly believe that this system of institutionalized exploitation — capitalism is nothing but legalized thievery — one day is going to make them rich, too. (This I call the “lottery mentality.”) Millions of Americans stupidly would defend, to the death, the very same economic system that is killing them slowly.

This slow death these dipshits call “freedom.” (George Orwell put it best when he invented Big Brother’s slogans of “War is peace; freedom is slavery; ignorance is strength.” This is the credo of the Repugnican Tea Party.)

That the filthy-rich powers that be have demonized socialism to the extent that they have demonstrates that it is a clear and present danger to them. If they want you to reject it, there must be something about it that’s quite good for you. 

Only when the majority of us Americans demand democratic socialism — instead of continuing to acquiesce to the pro-plutocratic, pro-corporatocratic, duopolistic partisan charade that we call “democracy” that is incapable of delivering anything even close to hope or change, since it is designed only to perpetuate the status quo of perpetual hopelessness for the majority — will we overthrow our capitalist overlords who call us the lazy slackers while they continue to steal from us.

We Americans, quite to the contrary of the claims of the “tea-party” dipshits in the news story above, could learn quite a lot from the Europeans, perhaps especially from the French, who fucking fight for better conditions for themselves.

Reports The (capitalist) Associated Press today:

Paris – A nationwide strike by major French unions canceled flights and trains and shut the Eiffel Tower [today], disrupting daily life for many and putting new pressure on the government to drop a plan to raise the retirement age by two years.

Unionized train and Paris public transport workers vowed to stay off the job for at least another day, and police said at least 1.2 million people marched in protests against the plan, the largest turnout in four nationwide demonstrations over the last five weeks.

That could be a signal of rising momentum for the movement facing off against President Nicolas Sarkozy’s governing conservatives over its proposal to raise the retirement age from 60 to 62.

The government has refused to back down, saying the plan is the only way to save the money-draining pension system. Some unions upped the ante by declaring open-ended strikes starting [today], meaning walkouts could drag on for days or even weeks.

The outlook for Wednesday was still uncertain in many sectors, but many workers at the national railways planned to stay off the job, as did some employees of the Paris transport network. Some oil workers pledged to keep up a protest at refineries, and one union warned of looming gasoline shortages.

[Today] hundreds of tourists visiting the Eiffel Tower were ushered away after workers there voted to join the strike.

“The closure of the monument is a symbol,” said Yann Leloir, a striking employee. The tower — France’s most-visited monument — is to reopen [tomorrow] as usual….

This is why the American right wing, led by the millionaires and billionaires, bashes labor unions: because labor unions can accomplish something for the common working citizen. Labor unions can make the playing field more level.

Yet millions of Americans — working Americans — have been brainwashed by the filthy rich into believing that unions are bad for them. No — unions are bad only for the rich.

Change in the United States of America will come. The capitalist center cannot hold. It will not hold.

The only question is whether the revolution for what is right and what is fair and what is just — an end to the exploitation of the masses by the few — will be a bloody one or whether the rich will save their own necks from a repeat of the French revolution here at home.

Otherwise, those torches and pitchforks, methinks, are going to materialize sooner than most would ever guess.

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