Tag Archives: London

Obama solidifies his status as a thug

Updated below

U.S. journalist Greenwald embraces his partner Miranda upon his arrival at Rio de Janeiro's International Airport

U.S. journalist Greenwald walks with his partner Miranda in Rio de Janeiro's International Airport

Reuters photos

The courageous American journalist Glenn Greenwald — who, unlike the cowardly traitors in Washington, D.C., actually respects and defends the Constitution of the United States of America — receives his partner, David Miranda, at Rio de Janeiro’s international airport after his partner was detained for nine hours yesterday by British thugs — lapdogs of the Washington elite — at the Heathrow Airport in London, where Miranda had stopped on his way from Germany to his and Greenwald’s home in Brazil.

Wow is the Obama regime out of fucking touch.

To have had the government officials of the United Kingdom — Washington, D.C.’s obedient little bitches (the UK, recall, was the only major nation to join in the unelected Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War) — for several hours detain and interrogate the partner of journalist Glenn Greenwald and confiscate his cell phone, his lap-top computer and his memory sticks — was supposed to accomplish what, exactly?

If you are smart — and neither the thug in chief Barack Obama nor anyone else in the Obama White House (nor, pretty much, in all of D.C.) is — you always calculate how a strike at your enemy might harm or hinder your own political position. There is this thing called blowback, and when you abuse your power to actually attack your political enemy’s family, you might find that this blatant thuggery gains you even more enemies than allies. 

No doubt the megalomaniacal Obama thinks that he’s some fucking bad-ass and that by having had the UK detain Greenwald’s partner, David Miranda, with whom Greenwald is in a civil union, he is going to frighten — to terrorize, and to terrorize for political gain, which yes, makes it a form of terrorism — anyone else who, like Greenwald, would dare to challenge the D.C. elite by exposing their treason against the American people, even when the D.C. elite brazenly and obviously treasonously are violating the most basic provisions of the U.S. Constitution, of which no one, not even the bad-ass President Hopey-Changey, is above.

Obama is painting himself and his pathetic, plutocratic-ass-kissing, Constitution-violating, corporation-loving party into a corner. Obama and his bots for years now have believed that they don’t need us members of the actual (a.k.a. the “professional” and the “sanctimonious”) left, that they can act just like Repugnicans — with impunity and for perpetuity.

Except that the Repugnican Tea Party traitors are even bigger traitors than Obama and the Obamabots are, and that without the support of the actual left, the so-called “Democratic” Party is only going to continue to weaken. You can claim to represent the interests of the majority of the American people while actually representing the interests of only the plutocratic elites for only so long.

Memo to the DINOs (and you are, I realize, legion): We actual members of the left don’t have to vote for the “Democratic” presidential candidate. In 2000 I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Ralph Nader, and in 2012 I voted for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. And I’d do it again.

Even if the DINOs who now comprise the “leaders” of the “Democratic Party” don’t worry about losing votes — even if they are confident that enough deeply disappointed and disgruntled Democrats will hold their noses and still vote for the latest center-right offering labeled as a “Democrat” (and labeled as “the best that we can do”) — in order to consistently and decisively win elections, you need the enthusiasm and the dollars of your base, and once you have lost that, good luck in your fucking elections.*

Having the family members of your political opponents detained, when neither these family members nor even your political opponents have broken any law, is, as Greenwald himself put it, despotism. (“It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic,” Greenwald correctly proclaimed.) It is, as I have put it, terrorism — the use of fear and intimidation for political gain.

In this case, the political gain is that the D.C. elite intend to continue to blatantly violate the constitutional rights of the American people by making the mere exposure of their crimes against the Constitution itself a “crime,” while they, the real criminals, remain free (instead of in prison, where they belong) to continue to commit their crimes against the American people and our Constitution.

The Obama regime officially has lost all credibility. The transformation of the so-called “Democratic” Party into the Repugnican Lite Party is complete.

The only question now, it seems to me, is whether enough of us actual patriots — those of us who actually care about our Constitution and our freedoms — will fight against the despotic “Democratic” Party (as well as against the even worse Repugnican Tea Party) or whether the United States of America will go out with a boom or with a whimper.

P.S. Glenn Greenwald, I am delighted to see, has vowed to fight on with even more determination than before. As a result of the despotic detention of his partner by the UK, the U.S.’s No. 1 partner in crime, Greenwald proclaimed, “[I’m] going to write much more aggressively than before, [and] I’m going to publish many more documents than before.”

That’s exactly how you respond to thugs: You do even more of what you were doing before. You don’t back down, because that’s what they want you to do, and you use their continued thuggery as evidence that you are on the right track. If you weren’t, they wouldn’t be attacking you.

Update (Monday, August 19, 2013): In case you actually believe that maybe the Obama regime was not behind the unlawful detention of Greenwald’s partner, know that the UK Guardian reports today that “the White House confirmed that it was given a ‘heads-up’ before David Miranda was taken into custody for nine hours at Heathrow [Airport in London],” but that “the U.S. distanced itself from the action by saying that British authorities took the decision to detain him.”

But did the Obama White House instruct or even ask the British government not to detain Miranda? Very most likely not.

And why was Miranda’s name on a “terrorist” watch list no doubt authored by the U.S. government in the first fucking place? Simply because he is a close associate of a journalist whose reportage the White House dislikes?

These are serious, Nixon-level abuses of power. These are not tiny things.

Finally, I recommend that you read Greenwald’s column on these latest events. Among other things, he writes:

…. They [the British officials who detained and questioned Miranda with at least the knowledge of the White House] completely abused their own terrorism law for reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism: a potent reminder of how often governments lie when they claim that they need powers to stop “the terrorists,” and how dangerous it is to vest unchecked power with political officials in its name. …

And the money shot:

… This is obviously a rather profound escalation of their attacks on the news-gathering process and journalism. It’s bad enough to prosecute and imprison sources. It’s worse still to imprison journalists who report the truth. But to start detaining the family members and loved ones of journalists is simply despotic. Even the Mafia had ethical rules against targeting the family members of people they felt threatened by.

But the UK puppets and their owners in the U.S. national security state obviously are unconstrained by even those minimal scruples.

If the UK and U.S. governments believe that tactics like this are going to deter or intimidate us in any way from continuing to report aggressively on what these documents reveal, they are beyond deluded. If anything, it will have only the opposite effect: to embolden us even further.

Beyond that, every time the U.S. and UK governments show their true character to the world — when they prevent the Bolivian president’s plane from flying safely home, when they threaten journalists with prosecution, when they engage in behavior like what they did [yesterday] — all they do is helpfully underscore why it’s so dangerous to allow them to exercise vast, unchecked spying power in the dark. …

Greenwald adds that Miranda’s cell phone and lap-top computer remain with UK authorities, who had no legal or ethical right to forcibly take them from Miranda in the first place.

Those who aren’t abusing their power and who thus have nothing to hide have no reason to go to lengths against individual citizens of the world like this.

I hope that Miranda sues the holy living fuck out of the British government, which is as fascistic as its U.S. counterpart.

*Well, of course, one could argue that both the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party (a.k.a. the “Democratic Party” and the “Republican Party”), having stopped representing the interests of the American people long, long ago, rely increasingly on corporate millions and millions to fund their shams of “campaigns,” so no, they don’t need the dollars of individual voters, but still, how long can two duopolistic, pro-plutocratic, corporately owned and controlled parties that stopped representing the interests of the majority of the American people go on?

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Was the London murder a murder or a ‘terrorist attack’?

Updated below

Michael Adebolajo: Murderer or “terrorist”? Is he a “terrorist” because he’s Muslim? And of Nigerian descent?

First off, let me be clear: I am not at all OK with the grisly murder of 25-year-old British soldier and Afghan war veteran Lee Rigby just outside of his barracks in London yesterday. And I reject the idea of killing one person in retaliation for killings that other people committed. In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.

One of Lee Rigby’s two very apparent murderers, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo of London, “a British-born convert to radical Islam,” according to Reuters, notoriously calmly explained to someone with a video camera — while he still held a knife and a meat cleaver in his bloodied hands (see the video still above) — why he and his companion, also of Nigerian descent, according to Reuters, attacked and killed Rigby, whom they reportedly first ran down in a car and then started hacking with a meat cleaver and knives: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying every day. This British soldier is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.”

In Greenwich Village this past weekend, 32-year-old gay man Mark Carson was shot to death in an apparent hate crime; reportedly, Carson’s accused murderer, Elliot Morales, 33, who was apprehended by police, had used anti-gay hate speech before he shot Carson to death.

New York City Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said of the murder: “It’s clear that victim here was killed only because, and just because, he was thought to be gay. There’s no question about that. There were derogatory remarks. This victim did nothing to antagonize or instigate the shooter. It was only because the shooter believed him to be gay.”

Reuters reports that many posit that recent advances in same-sex marriage rights in the U.S. — including three states having gone for same-sex marriage earlier this month — might have been behind the murder of Carson.

Yet the murder of Carson is called a “murder” and the murder of Rigby is called, automatically, a “terrorist attack” or “act of terrorism.”

What’s the difference between an act of murder and an act of terrorism/“terrorism”?

The murder of Carson, I surmise, was meant to send this message to all gay men or even to all non-heterosexuals and non-gender-conforming individuals: You are not safe walking the streets. You might be the next one to be shot (or stabbed or beaten up or whatever).

That’s not a form of terrorism — an act of violence (a murder, no less) apparently committed with the intent to strike fear within a whole class of people?

Michael Adebolajo very apparently was using Lee Rigby as an example — he killed him in effigy of all British soldiers, in effect — just as Elliot Morales very apparently was using Mark Carson as an example — he killed him in effigy of all gay men, in effect.

So if Adebolajo and his cohort are “terrorists,” why isn’t Morales a “terrorist”?

My answer to my own question is that when a member of a historically oppressed minority group (like gay men) is murdered, it’s not considered to be a big deal. We can call it just a “murder,” as though it didn’t extend beyond just the murdered victim at all, but was just one of those random things — an act of God, Wolf Blitzer might say.

But when even one soldier is murdered — even on a public/civilian street, and while not on duty, which very apparently is how Rigby was murdered — that’s considered an attack on the plutocrats, the elites, of whom the commoner-funded military (Britain’s as well as the United States’) is just an arm.

The plutocrats, the elites, can’t maintain their overprivileged status without whole armies at their command, and the plutocratic elites are far, far more important than any of the rest of us ever could be, so the murder of just one of their soldiers — even in a non-combat situation — automatically is branded as “terrorism,” a more serious crime than plain-old murder.

I disagree that Rigby’s murder was an act of “terrorism.” Rigby’s murder was much closer to a murder than to an act of “terrorism.”

If we’re going to call Rigby’s murderers “terrorists” instead of just plain-old “murderers,” then we’re going to need to call Elliot Morales a terrorist, too — because his crime very apparently was motivated by his religious and political beliefs, just as Adebolajo’s and his partner’s crime was motivated by theirs.

The act-of-murder-vs.-act-of-terrorism problem largely can be solved if  the usage of the “t” terms — “terrorist,” “terrorists,” “terrorism” — returns to the terms’ status before 9/11. Cases of murder committed by an individual or two people apparently acting on their own and not as part of a known terrorist/“terrorist” group — such as the apparent case with the Boston Marathon bombings (I refer to the two Tsarnaev brothers, of course) and the apparent case with the British soldier who was murdered yesterday — are probably much closer to murder cases than they are to terrorism/“terrorism” cases.

We don’t refer to the two Columbine High School killers as “terrorists,” for example, even though they slaughtered many more people than did the Tsarnaev brothers or Michael Adebolajo.

That’s at least in part, of course, because the two Columbine killers were two white “Christian” kids, and you’re much more likely to be branded as a “terrorist” if you are Muslim — and even more so if you are a non-white Muslim.

That shit needs to stop. We can’t have a two-tiered system of “justice” in which it’s only “terrorism” if the (accused) perpetrator is Muslim or non-white or both. If we must go hog wild with the “terrorism” thing, then it must apply to so-called “Christians” and to other non-Muslims and to whites and to other non-blacks as well.

Update (Sunday, May 26, 2013): Columnist Glenn Greenwald, who once wrote for Salon.com but now works for The Guardian of the United Kingdom, on Thursday also tackled the question of “Was the London Killing of a British Soldier ‘Terrorism’?”

In his column, Greenwald notes that

An act can be vile, evil, and devoid of justification without being “terrorism”: indeed, most of the worst atrocities of the 20th Century, from the Holocaust to the wanton slaughter of Stalin and Pol Pot and the massive destruction of human life in Vietnam, are not typically described as “terrorism.”

Yup. Here, I think, is the money shot of Greenwald’s analysis:

The reason it’s so crucial to ask this question [of whether or not an act of violence constitutes “terrorism”] is that there are few terms — if there are any — that pack the political, cultural and emotional punch that “terrorism” provides. When it comes to the actions of western governments, it is a conversation-stopper, justifying virtually anything those governments want to do.

It’s a term that is used to start wars, engage in sustained military action, send people to prison for decades or life, to target suspects for due-process-free execution, shield government actions behind a wall of secrecy, and instantly shape public perceptions around the world.

It matters what the definition of the term is, or whether there is a consistent and coherent definition. It matters a great deal.

There is ample scholarship proving that the term has no such clear or consistently applied meaning. … It is very hard to escape the conclusion that, operationally, the term has no real definition at this point beyond “violence engaged in by Muslims in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims.” …

Actually, it seems to me, in the Western world, especially in the U.S. and the UK, “terrorism” has come pretty much to mean just “violence engaged in by Muslims.” Even the acknowledgment that such violence might be “in retaliation against Western violence toward Muslims” usually never is made in Westerners’ discussions of “terrorism,” since that obviously would be to bring Westerners’ guilt into the discussion, and most Westerners, it seems to me, will have none of that.

Greenwald also notes that “earlier this month, an elderly British Muslim was stabbed to death in an apparent anti-Muslim hate crime and nobody called that ‘terrorism,'” and adds that the term “terrorism” “at this point seems to have no function other than propagandistically and legally legitimizing the violence of western states against Muslims while delegitimizing any and all violence done in return to those states.”

Yup.

There are news reports, such as this one, of actions perpetrated against Muslims in Britain by non-Muslims in “retaliation” for the slaughter of the British solider in London. This report (from Slate.com) states that “The incidents [so far have ranged] from name calling and abuse on social media, to the painting of graffiti, attacks against mosques, and pulling off women’s headscarves in the street.” (“Attacks against mosques” is so vague as to be almost meaningless. I wish that the writer had given us the details there, or if he didn’t have the details, to have stated that fact.)

Of course, such low-level, “harmless” terrorism is what the Jews in Nazi Germany experienced before the Nazis ratcheted things waaay up.

This leads to yet another question: Is an act in which someone is not injured or killed “terrorism”? Is it only “terrorism” if someone is injured or killed? These thugs pulling Muslim women’s headscarves off — that is not done with the intent of terrorizing these women?

Is such terrorizing OK if it’s considered in “retaliation” of, or just in reaction to, another incident? Would this be “counter-terrorism”? Or would this be something like just plain-old “justice,” since we non-Muslims never use the “t-” word to refer to any of our own actions?

Anyway, as I wrote in my first paragraph of this post, “In my book, revenge, if it is going to be exacted, should be exact, not approximate.”

As a gay man, I’m never happy to read about the slaughter of a gay man because he’s gay. To use an example that hit close to home, in July 2007, 26-year-old Satender Singh, a Fijian of Indian descent, was killed in my area (Sacramento) because he was suspected of being gay.

Whether he was gay or not I don’t know, but the two men from Eastern Europe who were charged with his murder very apparently thought that he was, because, witnesses said, the Slavic thugs who attacked Singh expressly targeted him because he was, they said, a “faggot” and a “sodomite,” among other things.

According to the hate-group watchdog Southern Poverty Law Center, witnesses also reported that these Slavic thugs “bragged about belonging to a Russian evangelical church and told Singh that he should go to a ‘good church’ like theirs.” This was right before one of the thugs delivered a blow to Singh’s head, a blow that later caused his death. (Great “Christians,” eh? Well, even the Nazis considered themselves to be great “Christians.”)

While I truly wish that the homophobic Eastern European immigrants here in California would fucking respect and honor how things are done and are not done here in California (and not act here as it’s OK to act in their backasswards countries in Eastern Europe) — and if they don’t like our freedoms here, including our freedom from their brand of theofascism, they are free to return to Eastern Europe — never would it have occurred to me that it would have been OK to randomly attack (apparent) Eastern European immigrants on the street in “retaliation” for the murder of Satender Singh.

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Can Eddie Munster save Mittens?

Repugnican Tea Party vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan said in 2005, “The reason I got involved in public service, by and large, if I had to credit one thinker, one person, it would be Ayn Rand,” who was insane and sociopathically selfish and cold-blooded and heartless – and thus she is the social Darwinists’ goddess. In 2003, Ryan remarked that he’d given copies of Rand’s seminal novel extolling selfishness, Atlas Shrugged, as Christmas gifts to his congressional staffers. Now when he is asked about Ayn Rand, Ryan essentially responds: “Ayn who?”

For months, President Barack Obama and Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney remained too close for comfort in nationwide polls, with usually both of them polling at 40-something percent, and usually with Obama ahead, but only within a few percentage points.

Then, something happened: Late last month, Mittens put himself out there, fairly big-time, on the world stage, visiting London, Israel and then Poland. His Rainbow Tour was widely considered, all in all, a gaffe-filled failure.

After that debacle, the nationwide poll numbers did something that they hadn’t done in months: they moved.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll taken August 2 through August 6 put Obama seven points above Mittens, 49 percent to 42 percent.

Even a Faux “News” poll taken August 5 through August 7 put Obama nine points above Mittens, 49 percent to 40 percent.

A CNN/ORC poll taken August 7 and 8 put Obama seven points above Mittens, 52 percent to 45 percent — which is about what I expect the popular vote to be in November. (In 2008, Obama won 52.9 percent of the popular vote to John McCainosaurus’ 45.7 percent. I expect Mittens to get no more than 47 percent or 48 percent in November and Obama to get around 51 percent or 52 percent.)

The more that the voters get to know Mittens, the less they want to vote for him, so what to do?

Haul out Pretty Boy Paul Ryan!

What a dreamboat! That smile! Those baby blues! That boyish laugh! Who cares if he is pure, raw, unadulterated evil wrapped in a pretty package?

Actually, a lot of people, I surmise.

I don’t expect Paul Ryan to be much more of a boost to Mittens than Sarah Palin was to McCainosaurus.

Ryan probably isn’t as catastrophic a choice as Palin was, but is Ryan ready to be president should Mittens die and go wherever dead Mormons go after death?

I don’t fucking think so.

Mittens would be an awful president, and Ryan probably would be even worse.

I’ve seen articles on the Internet asserting that in Paul Ryan, Mittens picked his “opposite,” but no, Mittens and Boy Wonder are much more alike than they are different. Both of them are fucking mega-phonies who want to stick it to the poor and the middle class and the working class for the benefit of their fellow plutocrats while they smile at and whisper sweet nothings to us.

Mittens, a Mormon, and Ryan, a Roman Catholic, both call themselves “Christians” when their No. 1 goal is to make the filthy rich even filthier rich and the poorest among us even dirt poorer — despite Jesus Christ’s No. 1 teaching to treat and to love others as we want others to treat and to love us.

Mittens and his Boy Wonder also are the faces of the historical oppression of the rest of us by right-wing white men at a time when historically oppressed groups have more political power than they have had at any other time in the nation’s history. (In that respect, actually, it’s possible, I suppose, that when all is said and done, it generally will be recognized that Sarah Palin was a better choice than was Paul Ryan.)

The only way that I can see the Romney/Ryan ticket winning in November is if the democracy-hating Repugnican Tea Party traitors succeed in their plan to suppress enough Democratic voters to be able to steal the election, as George W. Bush, Jeb Bush, Katherine Harris & Co. did in 2000. (Recall that Bush in 2000 lost the popular vote by more than a half-million votes to Al Gore but was then coronated as president by the right-wing, vote-count-halting U.S. Supreme Court.)

But even a Romney/Ryan “win” in November might not, in the end, be for the worst.

A second stolen presidential election by two neo-Nazis who are determined to make all of us serfs might, just might, be enough of a tipping point to spark our long-overdue revolution against our plutocratic/feudal overlords.

P.S. I predict that the announcement of Paul Ryan as Mittens’ running mate will give Romney a boost of no more than two or three percentage points in the polls that we’ll see over the next two or three weeks. I expect Obama in nationwide polls to maintain a lead above the margin of error — that is, at least four percentage points — from here all the way through Election Day.

While the white supremacist “tea party” traitors never have been crazy about Mittens, they really want to get the black guy out of the White House, and the Mittensmobile has been their only vehicle to that goal, so the vast majority of them already have been captured in the presidential polling, I surmise.

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WTF is the matter with Mittens? He’s a multi-millionaire baby boomer, for starters

Raw Video: Romney headlines tabloids in London

Associated Press image

A London tabloid expresses its opinion of Mittens’ visit to London on the occasion of the city’s hosting of the 2012 Olympic games.

The 2012 Olympics have gotten off to a great start — and I’m not even into sports. (Well, men’s diving and men’s gymnastics are OK…)

As others have noted, all that Repugnican Tea Party presidential wannabe Mittens Romney really needed to do in London this past week was (1) to just show up and (2) to not make a total ass of himself. But very apparently, he could accomplish only one of those two objectives.

The mind of Mittens is a terrifying place to explore, but my blogger’s psychoanalysis of Mittens is that his London Olympics trip was meant to underscore the fact that he was in charge of the 2002 winter games in Salt Lake City and was meant to show that he — and not Barack. Hussein. Obama. — is the man who should be representing the United States of America abroad. (I hate it when someone like Mittens acts like a shadow president — it’s deeply undemocratic, since we have not elected Mittens to act as our shadow president.)

And the wingnuts’ view of foreign relations, of course, is much closer to George W. Bush’s than it is to Barack Obama’s. And that view is that the United States of America must act like a drunken, aggressive, narcissistic frat boy, treating others in the manner of a complete and total asshole. 

On that note, I just signed on to this open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

An open letter to the people of the United Kingdom:

We are writing to express our concern over Mitt Romney’s recent comments, and to let you know that he does not represent how most Americans view your great country.

First, we do not believe, as Mitt Romney implied in 2007, that you have become a second-tier nation. Rather, we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage.

Additionally, we do not share the opinion which Romney expressed in his 2010 book, No Apologies, that “England [sic] is just a small island,” and that “with few exceptions, it doesn’t make things that people in the rest of the world want to buy.” Please continue sending us your many wonderful products, especially the upcoming third season of “Downton Abbey.”

We look forward not only to the London Olympics, but also to many years of continuing the special relationship between our two nations. Rest assured we will do our level best to prevent Mitt Romney from becoming our next president.

Cheers!

I hope that before the organizers send the letter on to the Brits, they delete that reference to “Downton Abbey”* — that bad joke seems actually to reinforce Mittens’ contention that the UK is not a serious contender on the world stage — but I agree with most of it. (If you want to sign on, you can do so by clicking here.)

Of course, when we state that “we are impressed at how the United Kingdom has consistently been able to punch above its weight on the world stage,” we need to be careful that with such broad statements we are not endorsing some of the UK’s atrocities, which include the subjugation and in some cases even the decimation of the natives of Africa, Australia, India and neighboring Ireland, and which also includes the UK’s government’s support of the Vietraq War, in which the United States and the UK were partners in war crimes and crimes against humanity. (Indeed, if the U.S.’s rap sheet of atrocities is shorter than the UK’s, that’s only because the U.S. is a much younger nation.)

All of that said — and all of that reinforcing  yet another reason why it was an incredibly poor idea for a henchman of Mittens to assert earlier this week that Mittens Romney better understands the “Anglo-Saxon heritage”** shared by the UK and the United States than does Obama — it was incredibly pompous for Mittens, as a guest of the UK, to state his opinion just before the opening of the 2012 Olympics that London wasn’t ready.    

My guess is that such boorish behavior comes from the fact that Mittens is an American baby boomer — as a group, these selfish narcissists vastly overestimate their talents, abilities and worth, and as a group, they know no fucking shame — and from the fact that as a overprivileged (Daddy was chairman and president of American Motors Corporation from 1954 to 1962, governor of Michigan from 1963 to 1969, and secretary of U.S. Housing and Urban Development from 1969 to 1973, and Mommy ran for the U.S. Senate for Michigan in 1970, for fuck’s sake) multi-millionaire (from his vulture capitalism) who is used to others sucking up to him, Mittens is uncomfortable in any other role than being the uber-alpha male, the frat-boy asshole on crack.

My guess is that Mittens feels like he’s in charge wherever he is, and that he saw nothing wrong with telling his hosts on the topic of hosting the Olympics: “You’re doing it wrong!”

Of course, again, those on the right subscribe to the George W. Bush School of Foreign Policy, so it’s not like in their eyes Mittens did anything wrong. They want their president to be the biggest bully on the international stage. Unless the U.S. president is hated worldwide, he isn’t doing his job — that’s their credo.

So, as usual, in November it will come down to the “swing voters.”

I don’t imagine that a huge chunk of them really cares either that Mittens conducted himself like a jackass in London this week, since their area of concern usually doesn’t extend more than a few miles’ radius, but if Mittens gets the reputation as a bumbler on the world stage — because he is — that might cost him a significant number of votes.

We’ll see, but in the meantime, it is instructive, I think, to examine Mittens’ personality traits that have been on display on the world stage this week and to ask ourselves what these personality traits would mean for us here at home should he ever sit behind the desk in the Oval Office.

Of course, we Americans just allowed George W. Bush to blatantly steal the White House in late 200o — what bad events possibly could follow a blatantly stolen presidential election? — so of course we can’t write presidential wannabe Mittens off.

*I purchased and watched the first two seasons of PBS’ “Downton Abbey,” and my impressions of the television show are that one, while the series is watchable, the first season was better than the second, and that two, “Downton Abbey’s” American target audience seems to be limousine liberals. (That said, I’m quite middle- and working-class myself. I’ve never even been inside of a limo.)

“Downton Abbey” seems to be making structural and institutional socioeconomic equality seem OK because the lord and lady of the manor are fairly decent individuals, are not individually abusive to their servants. Of course, the whole setup — an overprivileged class that is served by an underprivileged class — is abusive, but apparently we are to overlook that.

Thus, again, “Downton Abbey” should be a fave among the limousine liberals, like my baby-boomer uncle, who owns several homes and is a U.S. military contractor but who nonetheless in all seriousness calls himself a “socialist.”

**While I haven’t studied my own genealogy, I suspect that I primarily of am British stock, as many white Americans are. (Wikipedia notes that “German Americans [16.5 percent], Irish Americans [11.9 percent], English Americans [9.0 percent], Italian Americans [5.8 percent], French Americans [4 percent], Polish Americans [3 percent], Scottish Americans [1.9 percent], Dutch Americans [1.6 percent], Norwegian Americans [1.5 percent] and Swedish Americans [1.4 percent] constitute the 10 largest white American ancestries.”)

While there is much about the UK that I admire — such as the incredibly useful and expansive English language, of course — I think that it’s vital to recognize a nation’s wrongdoings as well as its successes. Thus, when Mittens said this in “defense” of his henchman’s “Anglo-Saxon heritage” remark, it was not a save: “It [the United States’ and the UK’s shared ‘Anglo-Saxon heritage’] goes back to our very beginnings — cultural and historical. But I also believe the president understands that. So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be, but do agree that we have a very common bond between ourselves and Great Britain.”

Yes, among other things, the United States and the UK have in common their colonization of other nations, the raping, pillaging and plundering of other, militarily weaker nations (including, of course, slavery) so that the UK and the U.S. could maintain a standard of living much higher than that of the average member of Homo sapiens on planet Earth. (And for this so-called “Anglo-Saxon” “success” you will get no apologies from Mittens Romney!)

When the British empire waned, the American empire rose up to replace it, and now the American empire wanes.

And you gotta love Mittens’ assertion, “So I don’t agree with whoever that adviser might be.” How much control, exactly, does Mittens have over his own campaign?

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Julian Assange, my hero

File photo of WikiLeaks founder Assange holding ...

Reuters photo

WikiLeaks crusader Julian Assange of Australia, shown above in a photo taken last month, is closest that we have to this guy:

I’ve been following the WikiLeaks saga for some time now but until now I have yet to comment. (I actually wanted things to gel a bit before I opened my mouth, believe it or not…)

The inescapable conclusion that I have drawn is that Julian Assange‘s biggest “crime” is that he has stepped on the toes of the powers that be.

Tell a lie and no one really cares. (Look at the volume of lies that the right wing pumps out on a daily fucking basis, and look at how Liar in Chief George W. Bush and his henchpeople had complete impunity for their relentless lying.) Tell the forbidden truth, however, and look out!

Most of the dirty truths that Julian Assange and his associates have put out there pose no threat to national security or to public safety. That’s just bullshit, a red herring put out there by the right wing and the powers that be (yes, including members of the Obama administration).

If the right wing really gave a flying fuck about public safety, we wouldn’t have seen the almost 3,000 people killed on Sept. 11, 2001 (even though then-“President” George W. Bush the month before had received a presidential daily briefing warning “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”) or the almost 2,000 confirmed deaths from Hurricane Katrina.* (You might argue that 9/11 couldn’t have been prevented, but the deaths from Hurricane Katrina most certainly could have been, as there had been ample warning of the impending catastrophe.)

And “national security” sure is flexible, isn’t it? It was perfectly OK when the stupid white men of the unelected, treasonous Bush regime outed Central Intelligence Agency operative Valerie Plame** for petty political revenge against her husband, then-Ambassador Joe Wilson, but we just have to put Julian Assange in prison. Some wingnuts have even called for his assassination.

Assassinating (or even imprisoning) Assange, of course, would only make him a matryr, and hundreds or thousands of us who are on the verge of bloody revolution against the power elite would take his place.

The powers that be need to be very, very careful.

Speaking of the powers that be, I love this news photo:

Prince Charles, Camilla

Associated Press photo

That’s Britain’s Prince Charles and his consort in London on Thursday showing complete and utter shock that the rabble — some of them wonderfully yelling “Off with their heads!” — were able to reach their Rolls Royce during a student protest against the tripling of university tuition.

How could this security breach have happened? everyone is asking — when the real question, in my book, is Why, in the year 20fucking10, when so many of us are in need, do we still have royalty?

That’s an issue for the Brits to resolve (although I firmly am on the side of the students whose future is being compromised by Britain’s selfish power elite), but the equivalent question here in the United States of America is why we still have our own aristocrats, the plutocrats and the corporatocrats who do such things as fight tooth and nail for tax cuts for the wealthy while they fight to push the age for eligibility for Social Security retirement benefits for members of Generation X (and those who follow Gen X) to age 70 (when most of us will be dead before then for lack of health care).

Why do we allow these thieves to steal from us, to destroy our planet, to keep us in perpetual wage slavery and in perpetual bogus warfare, and overall to destroy our future? Why, when there are so many of us than there are of them, and when in reality they need us and we don’t need them, do we allow these wolves to continue to feed on us?

What Julian Assange has done is reveal to the world the communiques of the wolves, for it is by their keeping their behind-the-scenes maneuverings as secret as possible that the wolves maintain their control over us sheep. Destroy the wolves’ secrecy, and you destroy their power. Destroy their power, and you destroy them.

Julian Assange has taken serious shots at the wolves. Therefore, in my book, he is a hero.*** And should anything happen to him, thousands of us, minimally, should rise up and take his place.

P.S. While there is much about libertarian Ron Paul that I don’t like, including his homophobia, his being anti-choice and his support of “states’ rights” (which can be used to support all kinds of oppression of minorities), there are some things about him that I do like, such as his opposition to torture and domestic surveillance, and I love his recent impassioned defense of Julian Assange against the power elite on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. You should watch it here.

P.P.S. I just now found this news photo, taken yesterday at the British embassy in Madrid:

Wikileaks supporters demonstrate in support of ...

Reuters photo

Wow. Apparently many of us have the same idea…

*And despite its ubiquitous campaign promises of “hope” and “change,” the Obama administration handled the catastrophic British Petroleum oil spill about as well as the Bush regime would have: in a way that put a corporation over the environment.

**I recommend the film “Fair Game,” which chronicles this treason by the Bush regime. The film screams “Give me my Oscars already!” but it’s worthwhile nonetheless.

***I certainly don’t assert that Assange is an angel. None of us is. However, I separate the information about the power elite that he has revealed to the world from the details of his personal life.

The right wing’s tactic in cases like this is to try to assassinate the rebel’s character — if not the rebel him- or herself — in order to divert attention away from the damaging information about the power elite that the rebel has revealed.

Way too many of us see this bullshit for what it is, however. If Assange is guilty of any sexual misconduct, that is a separate issue, and Assange’s work of exposing the power elite is larger than is Assange. And should anything happen to him, we must continue his work, because if he weren’t on to something, they wouldn’t be on him as they have been.

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It’s NOT all about U.S. — really

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

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

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

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

and

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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