Tag Archives: nationalism

Trump is toast

As an American politician or political candidate you can get away with saying all manner of vile, oppressive, even dangerous things in a “nice,” “polite” way, but a sex scandal always can bring you down like a ton of bricks in the hypocritically Victorian U.S. of A. Yesterday, The Washington Post released a video of Donald Trump in 2005 braggadociously reporting that he had tried, unsuccessfully, to “fuck” a married woman although at the time he already was married to his third wife, Melania. Trump, in Yoda-like fashion, also advised that with women whom you want to fuck, if “you’re a star,” you simply “Grab them by the pussy.”

We all already knew that Der Fuhrer Donald Trump is boorish, but the recording of him proclaiming in 2005 that “when you’re a star, they [(attractive) women] let you do … anything,” such as “Grab them by the pussy” just makes that knowledge so real. (The audio-video recording of Trump’s remarks about “do[ing] anything” to women whom you desire “when you’re a star” is here.)

This very most likely is the end of Trump’s campaign for president (although of course he has proclaimed that he won’t drop out; only someone who possesses a modicum of shame would do that).

I generally don’t believe in the public release of private remarks, but I don’t know that you really can call this case an invasion of privacy. I mean, Trump was openly talking to a TV show host and his remarks were picked up by a hot microphone. He wasn’t chatting at home or talking on the telephone.

And just as we needed to know about Clarence Thomas’ character before he incredibly stupidly was put on the U.S. Supreme Court, we need to know about Trump’s before he incredibly stupidly is put in the Oval Office.

Trump already was on a downward trajectory anyway after his shitty first presidential debate performance and the news that he apparently hasn’t paid federal income taxes in many years — fivethirtyeight.com right now puts his chances of winning the White House at only only 18.6 percent to Billary Clinton’s 81.4 percent, and I expect his chances to continue to dwindle — but it’s really over for him now.

“No woman should ever be described in these terms or talked about in this manner. Ever,” Repugnican National Committee head Reince Preibus was forced to declare just a month and a day before the presidential election, and 2012 Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate Mittens Romney similarly proclaimed, “Hitting on married women? Condoning assault? Such vile degradations demean our wives and daughters and corrupt America’s face to the world.”

Pretty Boy Paul Ryan, Mittens’ running mate in 2012 and speaker of the U.S. House of Representatives, called the recording “sickening” and stated, “I hope Mr. Trump treats this situation with the seriousness it deserves and works to demonstrate to the country that he has greater respect for women than this clip suggests.”

In his own “defense,” Trump proclaimed, “This was locker-room banter, a private conversation that took place many years ago. Bill Clinton has said far worse to me on the golf course — not even close. I apologize if anyone was offended.”

Wow.

“Locker-room banter,” yes, indeed, but Trump wants to be president of the United States of America, and this banter didn’t stay inside of the locker room. And while 2005 was a bit over a decade ago, Trump is 70 years old now, so he was plenty old enough to know better in 2005. His claim that today he is a changed man is incredible; he didn’t make these remarks when he was in his teens or 20s.

I’m sure that we’ve had plenty of lechers in the White House, but, again, we haven’t heard recordings of their lecherous words; their lechery has remained, for the most part, an abstraction.

And when Trump tries to bring in Bill Clinton — who no doubt indeed was one of the former lechers in the White House, replete with semen-stained intern’s dress and all —  Trump reminds me of his opponent Billary Clinton, who frequently tries to throw someone else under the bus or tries to use someone else as a political human shield (Barack Obama, usually) when she is cornered.

It’s no wonder that both Trump and Billary are the most hated U.S. presidential candidates in modern history.

Speaking of Billary, I will note (to be, you know, fair and balanced) that some of the remarks that she reportedly made to Wall Street weasels in her highly paid speeches to them (you know, the transcripts of which she has refused to release) have been leaked by WikiLeaks, and while some of them are unflattering, in terms of political scandals, they’re nothing on the level of Pussygrabgate. (On that note, maybe it’s because I’m gay, but how, exactly, do you grab a woman by the pussy? You can grab a man by his junk, I suppose, especially if he’s gifted in that area, but there’s not much of a woman’s crotch to grab, is there?)

Anyway, let’s see: Billary allegedly stated that “politics is like sausage being made,” adding, that “if everybody’s watching, you know, all of the back room discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position.”

Like El Trumpo’s presidential proclamation about pussy-grabbing, this statement about sausage-making isn’t exactly shocking coming from Billary. For instance, I’ve always believed that she personally supported same-sex marriage long before she finally publicly came out for it in March 2013 (after Barack Obama finally had done so in May 2012), for fuck’s sake. And when NPR’s Terry Gross grilled Billary on it in June 2014, she reacted in such a hyper-defensive way as to reveal that she indeed has a public face and a private face, that she’s shamelessly two-faced.

Billary also allegedly stated, in the material in the latest WikiLeaks dump, “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Slate.com notes that “This may thrill the [progressive] editors at Voxbut presumably not white working-class voters in Ohio. Point Trump.”

I would be fine with open trade and “a hemispheric common market” if they were run by us commoners instead of by corporate weasels; my problem with globalization and “free” trade thus far isn’t with the concepts of them, but with the execution of them thus far: by corporate weasels who care only about profiteering and not at all about people and not at all about the planet. The treasonous corporate weasels can and will pervert any good idea on which they can get their greedy little grubbies.

I’m also fine with a significantly more porous border between the United States and Mexico and the rest of Latin America. We Americans have more to gain than we have to lose from such a more open exchange of culture, ideas, goods and services.

But let’s face it: What’s preventing such a more open exchange between the United States and Latin America is that Americans are economically richer, as a whole, than are Latin Americans, and most Americans don’t want that socioeconomic inequity to change any decade soon. This is why even many (if not even most) who identify as Democrats don’t want a significantly more permeable southern border (and a wholly open border is an uber-non-starter for the vast majority of Americans, I’m confident).

Speaking of the southern border, Donald Trump this past week made a comment that I find more offensive and harmful than his frat-boy pussy-grabbing comment from 2005: This past week Trump alleged that the federal government is allowing “illegals” from Mexico to come into the United States to vote for Democrats.

Not only is this a fucking lie — The Washington Post notes that “There’s no evidence … that immigrants (a) come to the country illegally to vote, (b) register to vote illegally and (c) cast votes in federal elections on any substantive scale” and that “There’s essentially no in-person voter fraud in American politics” — but demagogue Der Fuhrer Trump really needs to get his anti-Mexican rhetoric straight:

Do Mexican “illegals” come to the United States to rape, murder, pillage and plunder, as he and his xenophobic, nationalist, fascist, white-supremacist supporters repeatedly have alleged — or do they come here to vote?

Because, you know, when I think of hard-core criminals, I just don’t think of them as being committed voters. (Seriously: For sure, right after a man has raped and murdered and done some drug-running, he wants nothing more than to go vote illegally!)

Trump’s fucking fascist lie that Mexican “illegals” are crossing the border in droves in order to vote illegally is meant to accomplish at least two evil things:

(1) To bolster the fascist wingnuts’ delusion that the majority of us Americans actually agree with their hateful, ignorant, bigoted, demented, basket-of-deplorables worldview, and therefore, when the wingnuts lose elections, it only can mean that the elections were rigged (and therefore, any election results that don’t favor the wingnuts should be disregarded). This mindset is a grave threat to our democracy.

and

(2) To continue, for political and personal gain, to demonize and dehumanize the brown-skinned denizens from south of the border, much how the Nazis demonized and dehumanized Jews (and many, many others) for political and personal gain. We know what happened to the Jews and to the other victims of the Nazis.

Donald Trump is a fascist piece of shit who must never become president, and who, should he actually make it that far (which at this point is highly unlikely but not absolutely impossible, I suppose), must be relieved of the office by whatever means necessary. The republic is more important than is any one individual, especially a fascistic, pussy-grabbing, Latin-American-bashing piece of shit like Donald John Trump.

Thankfully, while fivethirtyeight.com puts Trump’s chances of becoming president at not even a full one in five, I put it at about one in a hundred (one in fifty would be charitable).

Bloodshed over Der Fuhrer Trump most likely won’t be necessary, but if the fascist traitors who support Der Fuhrer Trump want a rematch of the Civil War, my standing response remains: Bring it, bitches!

P.S. Oh, yeah (duh): The second presidential debate is scheduled for tomorrow night. There is a pretty good chance that I’ll live-blog it. Especially now.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Donald Trump must never be president

Getty Images

In a shamelessly grotesque display of white nationalism and fear mongering, at the end of his “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump paraded white people whose relatives had been killed by “illegals.” This ignores the fact that the vast majority of American citizens who are killed by others are killed by fellow citizens, not by non-citizens. Trump, having no qualifications whatsoever for the highest public office of the land, sociopathically happily will use racial division and scapegoating for his own political gain, no matter how much it harms real people — which makes him quite dangerous.

Yesterday I found the stomach to watch Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix, Arizona, on Wednesday.

It was one of those unpleasant things that you don’t want to do but that you should; fascist demagogue Trump’s public utterances now are as important as fascist demagogue Adolf Hitler’s early public utterances were. (Indeed, just substitute “Jew” for “illegal” in Trump’s public proclamations and you pretty much have Hitler’s political rhetoric: This nation would be great again if only it weren’t for the Jews! illegals!)

Phoenix, of course, was fertile nationalist, fascist, white supremacist ground for El Trumpo, which is why he held his little KKK rally there on Wednesday.

Let’s talk about the backasswards red state of Arizona, which surely would have been a slave state had it not been made a state decades after the Civil War.

While 6.3 percent of those in my home state of California in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants — the second-highest percentage for any state in the nation (behind No. 1 Nevada at 7.6 percent and tied with Texas also at 6.3 percent) — by comparison 4.6 percent of Arizonans in 2012 were deemed to be undocumented immigrants (the national average 2012 was deemed to be 3.5 percent). Yet to hear the backasswards, Trump-lovin’ Arizonans tell it, illegal immigration is their (and the nation’s) No. 1 problem!

This is not at all the common public sentiment here in California, where we have more “illegals” than does Arizona, both percentage-wise and in actual numbers.

No, the problem isn’t the “illegals.” The problem is right-wing hatred and white supremacism and a fear of diversity rather than an embrace of diversity and an understanding that diversity makes us stronger, not weaker — it’s homogeneity that threatens a nation, not heterogeneity, because homogeneity is just inbreeding writ large.

You see an embrace of diversity and heterogeneity here in California, which is why California is a blue state instead of a backasswards, mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging red state like Arizona.

I feel as safe here in California’s capital as I would almost anywhere else in the nation, but to hear Der Fuhrer Trump tell it, to simply leave your home is to be at grave risk for being murdered by an “illegal.” If Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric were true, then why am I not a lot more terrified than I am? After all, I live in the state with more “illegals” than any other state!

At the end of his “speech” on immigration on Wednesday, Trump fittingly had a bunch of all or mostly white people come on stage and talk about their loved ones who were killed by “illegals.”

Which is, of course, statistically bullshit.

Given that there are millions of undocumented immigrants in the United States, yes, of course, a tiny percentage of them are going to commit serious crimes, including murder. But far more American citizens are killed by (and otherwise violently victimized by) fellow citizens than they are by non-citizens; should we deport all American citizens? If you are an American citizen residing in the United States, you are, after all, much more likely to be murdered or otherwise killed by a fellow citizen than by a non-citizen.

Trump’s “speech” on immigration in Phoenix on Wednesday was a hate fest; it was an orgy of white supremacism.

Donald Fucking Trump has had more than a fucking year to come up with something other than fascistically blaming all of the nation’s problems on the “illegals” (most of them from Mexico) and advocating that we build a “Game of Thrones”-like Great Wall on the southern border to keep out the brown-skinned wildlings who supposedly threaten our very (white) way of life.

Trump has had plenty of time to develop some semblance of an actual presidential campaign, but he still has nothing other than rank white supremacism.

Trump on Wednesday night in Phoenix shamelessly and disingenuously yet again brought up the unfortunate shooting death of 32-year-old American citizen Kathryn Steinle by an undocumented immigrant from Mexico in early July 2015 in San Francisco, because the shooting conveniently happened so soon after he opened his presidential campaign by demonizing “illegals.”

Steinle’s death was to be retroactive “proof” that El Trumpo was right about those “dangerous” “illegals,” you see*; she didn’t die in vain! She died for the Trump campaign!

Thing is, the authorities suspect that the “illegal,” a homeless man, shot Steinle (with a loaded handgun that he had found) by accident, not on purpose (the man’s case has not been adjudicated yet), and at least one member of Steinle’s family, Steinle’s brother, has had a real problem with Trump using Steinle’s death for his own personal and political gain. (“If you’re going to use somebody’s name and you’re going to sensationalize the death of a beautiful young lady, maybe you should call and talk to the family first and see what their views are,” Steinle’s brother said.)

Trump’s hate- and lie-filled anti-immigrant rhetoric, of course, is only meant as a diversion from the fact that he is utterly unqualified to be president of the United States of America. He never has been elected to any public office yet seeks the nation’s highest elected office. No ego there! Donald Trump only ever has been a flim-flam man, a walking, talking fraud and fraudster.

Trump doesn’t want the masses to focus on him and on his stunning lack of qualifications; he wants to distract and terrify the ignorant, racist masses with the bogeymen that he has created.

And Trump wildly overstates the bogeymen’s numbers, of course.

From 2009 to 2012, the numbers of undocumented immigrants (about 11.2 million of them) in the United States didn’t grow at all — in fact, the number of them peaked at 12.2 million in 2007, before the George W. Bush-induced recession, and their numbers have fallen because of the second George Bush recession — and ironically, their numbers in the border states of California, New Mexico and yes, Arizona, dropped from 2009 to 2012. (That fact didn’t stop Arizona’s racist, hateful SB 1070 in 2010. Facts, you see, never stop the fascists. [SB 1070 was an incredibly mean-spirited anti-brown-skinned-undocumented-immigrant law that for the most part has been stricken down as unconstitutional by the federal courts.])

Blaming a certain group of people for the nation’s problems isn’t going to solve the nation’s problems any more than Nazi Germany’s blaming the Jews for its problems solved Germany’s problems.

And, of course, the fascists, the nationalists, the white supremacists are bullies, so they’re not going to pick on someone with power — someone with numbers and with political power. No, they’re going to go after a relatively much weaker minority. That’s how Nazis and neo-Nazis operate, because they’re weak, stupid fucking cowards.

Ironically, I rather doubt that Der Fuhrer Trump actually personally hates Latinos. (Of course “illegals” overwhelmingly refers to brown-skinned individuals from south of the border.) Latinos (“illegal” and “legal”) are just an awfully politically convenient punching bag (or should I say piñata?). Demonizing undocumented immigrants from Latin America (and, I believe, by extension, all immigrants from Latin America) is Trump’s way to try to get into the White House. (Hey, it’s just politics! It’s nothing personal! We’re good — right?)

The thing is, Der Fuhrer Donald Trump’s hate-filled, racist rhetoric harms actual human beings. Not only “illegals” are targeted, but all Latinos (and even those who aren’t even actually Latino but who might to some appear to be Latino) are to be targeted by Trump’s white-supremacist and white-nationalist flying monkeys, and that’s unfuckingacceptable.

It’s as acceptable as was Hitler’s and his henchmen’s targeting of Jews (and other relatively powerless minority groups).

History has demonstrated amply that the demonization of an entire group of people by a nation’s political leaders easily can lead not just to persecution, but even to genocide against that group of people.

Donald Trump must never be president of the United States of America.

If he does make it that far and his political rhetoric turns into the Nazi-like actual persecution of a certain group or certain groups of people (he has demonized Muslims, too, but primarily has targeted Latinos), then it would be time for something like, as the right wing likes to put it, a Second-Amendment remedy.

It’s a remedy — an extreme one, yes, of course, but an extremely necessary one — that should have been employed with Hitler; it would have saved millions of innocent lives.

We true Americans patriots must never allow the United States of America to become Nazi Germany 2.0.

We can allow that to happen only over our dead bodies.

I far prefer ballots to bullets, but as the right wing never rules out the use of bullets, neither can we on the left afford to do so.

P.S. As a white American-born U.S. citizen who has lived in California and, unfortunately, also in Arizona my entire life, I can testify that a solid majority of the Latinos whom I’ve known and with whom I have interacted have been decent, hard-working people.

I’m not at all a fan of Catholicism (or any other organized religion), that’s true, but overall Latinos have brought the United States far more benefit than harm. Their presence and their injection of their culture, which includes their strong work ethic, into the national culture of the United States of America makes the U.S.A. stronger, not weaker.

I, for one, won’t sit idly by while a President Trump fascistically persecutes Latinos because I’m not Latino.

P.P.S. I don’t feel like regurgitating all of the details of Trump’s despicable “speech” in Phoenix on Wednesday; it was bad enough to watch it all the way through once. You should watch it yourself. If you’re sane, you’ll note many incredibly pathetic moments. It’s great insight into the “man’s” “character.”

You’ll note, I think, that the vast majority of his fascist shtick very apparently isn’t even anything that he strongly believes himself, but that he knows works well with his audience of white nationalists and fascists.

I will note that among Trump’s many wonderful ideas regarding immigration is requiring an ideological test of prospective immigrants to be let into the nation, as though (1) such a test weren’t a violation of human rights (your political ideology must match that of a typical Repugnican Tea Party fascist to be able to come into the United States!) and (2) as though such a test, if actually implemented, couldn’t be defeated.

*As a writer for even the right-wing Wall Street Journal commented:

High-profile incidents, like the [July 2015] arrest of a Mexican national in the horrific shooting death of a young woman in San Francisco, can give the impression that immigrants are more likely to commit violent crimes [than are natives]. But the alleged killer [of Kathryn Steinle] is no more representative of Mexican immigrants than Dylann [Storm] Roof [the winner who gunned down nine black Americans in their church in cold blood in Charleston, South Carolina, in June 2015] is representative of white people.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

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

Analysis: Chicago chaos tests Trump promises of unity

Associated Press photos

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

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

Oh, boo fucking hoo!

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

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

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

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

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

Reuters reports:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Latest: Cruz says Trump bears some responsibility

Associated Press photo

Two things on this:

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

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

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

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

Trump protesters cheer after GOP front-runner cancels rally

Associated Press photo

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

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

‘SNL’ wasn’t funny on Saturday night (because fascism, racism aren’t funny)

Larry David May Get $5,000 For Yelling

It’s chilling that “Saturday Night Live” relentlessly makes fun of the one presidential candidate who would benefit the highest number of people were he to sit in the Oval Office, yet chooses as its guest host the one who probably is the most fascistic. Above, Larry David, who has just portrayed the “unelectable” Bernie Sanders unfairly unflatteringly again in “SNL’s” “cold open,” yells “Trump’s a racist!” during Donald Trump’s monologue — because Trump’s real-life racism and race-baiting, and further afflicting the already afflicted and further comforting the already comfortable, are funny, you see.

I try to have at least somewhat of a thick skin, and I think it’s generally important that one’s own cows that aren’t all that sacred, but “Saturday Night Live” went way too far on Saturday night.

No, it’s not that you can make fun of the right wing (yes, I still suspect that Tina Fey’s Emmy-Award-winning rendition of Sarah Palin on “SNL” hurt the McCain-Palin ticket in 2008) but never the left wing.

It’s that when you make fun of the right wing, you’re usually making fun of the rich and/or the powerful, of those who routinely afflict the already downtrodden. The targets of such parody deserve their comeuppance, albeit only their comedic comeuppance (which is usually the most comeuppance that they’ll ever receive here in the United States of America, where “justice” is but a word).

But when you make fun of the left wing, unless you explicitly are making fun of limousine liberals (who are, in my book, because of their rank hypocrisy, very fair game [and who sure love fellow limo liberal Billary Clinton]), you usually are making fun of those who already are downtrodden and/or of those who are standing up for the downtrodden. And that’s not humor. That’s bullying.

And the bullying began right at “SNL’s” opening, in which Larry David, apparently high from his first portrayal of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders on “SNL,” returned for another portrayal of him, this time in a mock-up of MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow’s Democratic presidential candidates’ forum (which aired on Friday night), which, we are told right out of the gate, means “a debate that no one watches.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha! (Actually, Rachel Maddow’s viewership, especially among younger adults, apparently is doing just fine. But if we say that there is no audience for left-of-center media content, that makes it true, right?)

Last time on “SNL,” Larry David’s great Bernie Sanders joke was that Bernie Sanders owns one pair of underwear! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!  This time, the hilarious Larry-David-as-Bernie-Sanders gag was that Bernie Sanders wants only your pennies — not your shiny and new pennies, but your old and nasty pennies retrieved from your vacuum cleaner, your “vacuum pennies.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaa!

“SNL’s” Larry David’s Bernie Sanders from Saturday night also picks from the mock Rachel Maddow an envelope (containing a question or a dare, apparently) from the far left — “so far left,” he says, “it could never be elected.” Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaa! Because NBC will tell us commoners who is and who is not electable, you see! We mere serfs to our corporate masters cannot (and will not) be trusted with such important decisions!

Larry David has some of Bernie Sanders’ mannerisms, such as the periodic tongue swipe, down — I’ll give him that — but overall the writers of “SNL” (who are, in the end, let’s just acknowledge it, corporate whores) very apparently don’t know where to take their Sanders gags outside of portraying him as a grumpy old man (“Of course I hate you; I hate everyone,” he tells the mock Maddow on Saturday night’s show) who’s huge on austerity (replete with owning only one pair of underwear and requesting only “vacuum pennies”).

Never mind that the real-life Sanders is older and is serious (because our nation and our planet face serious challenges) but isn’t grumpy, and never mind that the real-life Sanders does not actually preach personal austerity (such as advocating the possession of only one pair of underwear, and not one penny of the hundreds of dollars that I have given him for his campaign came from a vacuum cleaner), but he does preach against corporate abuses.

But corporate abuses are A-OK to a corporation like NBC, which demonstrated the stunningly poor judgment to allow fascist presidential aspirant Donald Trump to host its show on Saturday night.

Scroll down to the bottom of Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign website’s home page and you’ll see the words “Paid for by Bernie 2016 (not the billionaires).” (Again, you won’t see any mention of “vacuum pennies”…)

Bernie Sanders isn’t a billionaire, but Donald Trump is, so which presidential aspirant does “SNL” invite as its guest host? The billionaire, of course, not the one who fights against billionaires. “SNL” invites as its host the billionaire bully, not the one who stands up to the billionaire bullies. And this fascistic slop is served up to us serfs by our corporate master NBC as “entertainment” and even “comedy.”

(And yes, Sanders and Trump are pretty equal, politically speaking. What they both have in common right now is that both of them are in the top two in the partisan presidential polling for Iowa, New Hampshire and the nation, and both lead in New Hampshire right now. [See here and here.])

I don’t use the term “fascist” lightly. I don’t use it as a slam, although it is, rightfully, a slam; I use the term in its dictionary-definition sense. A Laurence W. Britt, a political scientist, a dozen years ago listed 14 characteristics of fascism that we’ve seen in world history. Most of these characteristics are quite apparent in Donald Trump’s campaign for the White House (and already have been put into practice by the Repugnican Tea Party, if not by El Trumpo himself):

  1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism. From the prominent displays of flags and bunting to the ubiquitous lapel pins, the fervor to show patriotic nationalism, both on the part of the regime itself and of citizens caught up in its frenzy, was always obvious. Catchy slogans, pride in the military, and demands for unity were common themes in expressing this nationalism. It was usually coupled with a suspicion of things foreign that often bordered on xenophobia.
  2. Disdain for the importance of human rights. The regimes themselves viewed human rights as of little value and a hindrance to realizing the objectives of the ruling elite. Through clever use of propaganda, the population was brought to accept these human rights abuses by marginalizing, even demonizing, those being targeted. When abuse was egregious, the tactic was to use secrecy, denial, and disinformation.
  3. Identification of enemies/scapegoats as a unifying cause. The most significant common thread among these regimes was the use of scapegoating as a means to divert the people’s attention from other problems, to shift blame for failures, and to channel frustration in controlled directions. The methods of choice — relentless propaganda and disinformation — were usually effective. Often the regimes would incite “spontaneous” acts against the target scapegoats, usually communists, socialists, liberals, Jews, ethnic and racial minorities, traditional national enemies, members of other religions, secularists, homosexuals, and “terrorists.” Active opponents of these regimes were inevitably labeled as terrorists and dealt with accordingly.
  4. The supremacy of the military/avid militarism. Ruling elites always identified closely with the military and the industrial infrastructure that supported it. A disproportionate share of national resources was allocated to the military, even when domestic needs were acute. The military was seen as an expression of nationalism, and was used whenever possible to assert national goals, intimidate other nations, and increase the power and prestige of the ruling elite.
  5. Rampant sexism. Beyond the simple fact that the political elite and the national culture were male-dominated, these regimes inevitably viewed women as second-class citizens. They were adamantly anti-abortion and also homophobic. These attitudes were usually codified in Draconian laws that enjoyed strong support by the orthodox religion of the country, thus lending the regime cover for its abuses.
  6. A controlled mass media. Under some of the regimes, the mass media were under strict direct control and could be relied upon never to stray from the party line. Other regimes exercised more subtle power to ensure media orthodoxy. Methods included the control of licensing and access to resources, economic pressure, appeals to patriotism, and implied threats. The leaders of the mass media were often politically compatible with the power elite. The result was usually success in keeping the general public unaware of the regimes’ excesses.
  7. Obsession with national security. Inevitably, a national security apparatus was under direct control of the ruling elite. It was usually an instrument of oppression, operating in secret and beyond any constraints. Its actions were justified under the rubric of protecting “national security,” and questioning its activities was portrayed as unpatriotic or even treasonous.
  8. Religion and ruling elite tied together. Unlike communist regimes, the fascist and proto-fascist regimes were never proclaimed as godless by their opponents. In fact, most of the regimes attached themselves to the predominant religion of the country and chose to portray themselves as militant defenders of that religion. The fact that the ruling elite’s behavior was incompatible with the precepts of the religion was generally swept under the rug. Propaganda kept up the illusion that the ruling elites were defenders of the faith and opponents of the “godless.” A perception was manufactured that opposing the power elite was tantamount to an attack on religion.
  9. Power of corporations protected. Although the personal life of ordinary citizens was under strict control, the ability of large corporations to operate in relative freedom was not compromised. The ruling elite saw the corporate structure as a way to not only ensure military production (in developed states), but also as an additional means of social control. Members of the economic elite were often pampered by the political elite to ensure a continued mutuality of interests, especially in the repression of “have-not” citizens.
  10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated. Since organized labor was seen as the one power center that could challenge the political hegemony of the ruling elite and its corporate allies, it was inevitably crushed or made powerless. The poor formed an underclass, viewed with suspicion or outright contempt. Under some regimes, being poor was considered akin to a vice.
  11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts. Intellectuals and the inherent freedom of ideas and expression associated with them were anathema to these regimes. Intellectual and academic freedom were considered subversive to national security and the patriotic ideal. Universities were tightly controlled; politically unreliable faculty harassed or eliminated. Unorthodox ideas or expressions of dissent were strongly attacked, silenced, or crushed. To these regimes, art and literature should serve the national interest or they had no right to exist.
  12. Obsession with crime and punishment. Most of these regimes maintained Draconian systems of criminal justice with huge prison populations. The police were often glorified and had almost unchecked power, leading to rampant abuse. “Normal” and political crime were often merged into trumped-up criminal charges and sometimes used against political opponents of the regime. Fear, and hatred, of criminals or “traitors” was often promoted among the population as an excuse for more police power.
  13. Rampant cronyism and corruption. Those in business circles and close to the power elite often used their position to enrich themselves. This corruption worked both ways; the power elite would receive financial gifts and property from the economic elite, who in turn would gain the benefit of government favoritism. Members of the power elite were in a position to obtain vast wealth from other sources as well: for example, by stealing national resources. With the national security apparatus under control and the media muzzled, this corruption was largely unconstrained and not well understood by the general population.
  14. Fraudulent elections. Elections in the form of plebiscites or public opinion polls were usually bogus. When actual elections with candidates were held, they would usually be perverted by the power elite to get the desired result. Common methods included maintaining control of the election machinery, intimidating and disenfranchising opposition voters, destroying or disallowing legal votes, and, as a last resort, turning to a judiciary beholden to the power elite. [Bush vs. Gore, anyone?]

Fascism isn’t funny, yet “Saturday Night Live” saw fit to have fascist Donald Trump as its guest host, and apparently sought to absolve itself with yet another “funny” “joke”: Larry David, fresh off of his second stint bashing Bernie Sanders for his corporate pimp NBC, yelled from the sidelines during Trump’s opening monologue, “You’re a racist!” and “Trump’s a racist!” — because, David said, he wanted the $5,000 reward that he’d heard any studio audience member who called Trump a “racist” during the show would receive. Trump responded that as a businessman, he couldn’t hold David’s greed against him. Ha ha ha ha ha ha haaaaaaa!

Let me remind you that in June, Donald Trump stated, in his presidential announcement speech:

… When Mexico sends its people [to the United States], they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. … [“You,” I presume, would be (mostly if not entirely) white people who are “good” because they support Trump.] They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems [with them]. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people. …

Trump has yet to back down from his anti-Latino-immigrant positions, including his ludicrous call for A Great Wall along the entire border between the United States and Mexico. That link is to his presidential campaign website, which also includes this lovely little anecdote:

Most recently, an illegal immigrant from Mexico, with a long arrest record, is charged with breaking into a 64 year-old woman’s home, crushing her skull and eye sockets with a hammer, raping her, and murdering her. The Police Chief in Santa Maria says the “blood trail” leads straight to Washington. [The link is the website’s, not mine, and this is a copy and paste, so the errors are entirely the website’s.]

Yes, not only does Trump need to buy himself a competent copy editor for his campaign website, but his campaign uses rhetoric that is chillingly reminiscent of the anti-Semitic rhetoric of the fascistic Nazi Party. Trump won’t tell you of the many murders and rapes committed by American citizens, especially by white ones; no, he will only single out heinous crimes committed by the “illegal aliens” — crimes that, of course, are committed by members of many demographics, especially when you have millions of members of these demographics in the United States.

Donald Trump would have you believe, for his own personal political gain, that only those crimes that he conveniently has singled out for the xenophobic and racist — the fascistic — political persecution of one group of people are the only crimes that occur in the United States of America — or, at least, the only ones that we should focus on and worry about.

By furthering the anti-intellectualism and the pro-plutocracy of fascism by consistently unfairly and inaccurately portraying the intellectual and the anti-plutocratic presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders in an unflattering light, and by trying to make light of presidential aspirant Donald Trump’s blatantly fascistic characteristics, NBC is only helping fascism to take even further root in the United States — which, only coinkily-dinkily, I’m sure, sure further benefits a corporation like NBC.

Fascism (including its racism and xenophobia) isn’t fucking funny, and I don’t think that I can think of “Saturday Night Live” or NBC in the same light ever again.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

A Solomonic solution for Ukraine

Take the entirely unscientific poll below!

I am not an expert on geopolitics, or even on world history, but, as loath as I am to adopt the right wing’s concept of “common-sense solutions” (which, interestingly, almost always turn out to be right-wing “solutions”…), it seems to me that you don’t have to have a PhfuckingD to call some shots.

The best solution where Ukraine is concerned is, methinks, a Solomonic solution* — cut that puppy in two.

Crimea, the southernmost, peninsular area of Ukraine (see map below), according to Reuters is “the only part of Ukraine with a Russian ethnic majority, which has often voiced separatist aims.”

Reuters further reports today that

Russian President Vladimir Putin secured his parliament’s authority [today] to invade Ukraine after troops seized control of the Crimea peninsula and pro-Moscow demonstrators hoisted flags above government buildings in two eastern cities.

Putin’s open assertion of the right to deploy troops in a country of 46 million people on the ramparts of central Europe creates the biggest direct confrontation between Russia and the West since the Cold War. …

Yikes.

It seems most fair to me that Crimea go to Russia, since most Crimeans apparently want this. This past week I listened to a Crimean woman interviewed on NPR state emphatically that she and her fellow Crimeans do not want to be part of the European Union (or the West in general), but want to preserve their culture and their language, and thus want to remain with Russia. If she truly represents the majority of Crimeans, then it should be majority rule. That’s called “democracy.”

So Crimea seems easy to me: it’s pretty fucking Russian already, and forcing the Crimeans to remain with an increasingly Westernized Ukraine against their will would be just as evil and wrong as it would be for Putin to try to force Ukrainians who want a Western, and not a Russian, alliance to remain with Russia.

My understanding is that that river that runs right down Ukraine at least metaphorically roughly splits it into very different nations, a pro-Western half and a pro-Russian half. Indeed, a map of the 2012 parliamentary election results in Ukraine looked like this:

File:Ukr elections 2012 multimandate okruhs.png

My understanding is that the pink areas represent pro-Western sentiment, while the blue and orange areas represent pro-Russian sentiment.

Indeed, the major dueling parties in the 2012 Ukrainian election were the pro-Russian Party of Regions and the “Fatherland” Party, which now is headed by the recently-released-from-prison Yulia Tymoshenko (often pictured in her Princess-Leia-like hairdo). I’m pretty fucking leery of Tymoshenko, who, according to Wikipedia, “Prior to her political career … was a successful but controversial businesswoman in the gas industry, becoming by some estimates one of the richest people in the country.”

Hmmm. George W. Bush and Dick Cheney had been heavily involved in the oil industry before they stole the 2000 U.S. presidential election, and usually when a filthy rich person (or at least a pro-filthy-rich-people person) rises to power, it smacks of fascism — a right-wing collusion between a government and corporations (usually with nationalistic overtones) — if it isn’t downright fascism, so I’m not hopping on the Tymoshenko bandwagon today.

I mean, “Fatherland” — I can’t help but think of the Nazis when that word is evoked. Indeed, Wikipedia notes of “Fatherland” that “the English word is now associated with the [fascistic] Nazi government of Germany [and usually] not used often in post-World War II English unless one wishes to invoke the Nazis… Prior to Nazism, however, the term was used throughout Germanic language countries without negative connotations…”

I have found the fascistic, unelected Bush-Cheney regime’s term “homeland,” as in “homeland security” and “the Department of Homeland Security” to be chilling enough, to be too close for comfort to Hitler’s “Fatherland,” and now here are Tymoshenko and her supporters touting their “Fatherland.”

Still, even though what admittedly little I know of Tymoshenko gives me great pause, if the northwestern region of Ukraine wishes to be free of Russia and (try to) join the European Union, as appears to be the case, I’m pretty OK with that, as you can’t advocate democracy only when the majority of the individuals in the situation at hand agree with you. (I see the wingnuts here in the United States do that all the fucking time, and I wish that phenomenon on no one else.)

It seems to me that the best solution for Ukraine, the solution with the least amount of bloodshed (including perhaps preventing a third world war…) and the solution that offers the best possible outcome for all parties involved, is for Ukraine to split into two nations.

Again, it is at least as outrageous for the United States and its European allies to try to force the pro-Russia portion of Ukraine to remain with a Western-bent Ukraine if the clear majority of those pro-Russian individuals do not wish to do so as it is outrageous for Russia to try to force the pro-Western portion of Ukraine to remain with a Russian-bent Ukraine if the clear majority of those pro-Western individuals do not wish to do so.

Yes, my proposed solution smacks of East Berlin and West Berlin (although, of course, I propose no wall…) — or, at least, of a messy divorce, replete with the concurrent division of property and the custody battle — and while I’m probably oversimplifying the matter of Ukraine, again, from what I know of it, the best solution seems to be to create two nations from it, and to allow one to remain, if it wishes, with Mother** Russia, and to allow the other, if it wishes and if the European Union wishes, to join the European Union.

*Admittedly, this is an imperfect metaphor, since in the story of King Solomon and the baby, of course only one of the women could have been the infant’s biological mother.

I use the metaphor because Solomon has become a symbol of wisdom, including wise arbitration, and because, per Wikipedia, “The expressions ‘splitting the baby’ or ‘cutting the baby in half’ are sometimes used in the legal profession for a form of simple compromise: solutions which ‘split the difference’ in terms of damage awards or other remedies…”

**Admittedly, I’m much more OK with the term “Motherland” than I am with “Fatherland,” and while the term “homeland” is fairly neutral, because fascists coined the term as it is used in the United States today, I can only think of it as the equivalent of “Fatherland.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Wake me up on September 12

55315893_large_watermark_comp

AFP/Getty Images photo

The owner of an investment and public relations firm stumbles away from the stricken World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. While we are seeing plenty of images like this one these days, we certainly aren’t seeing images like this one, an Iraqi girl whose parents were blown away by American stormtroopers in 2005 (you know, because of 9/11) —

Chris Hondros/Getty Images photo

— or, of course, one of the many wonderful images that came out of Abu Ghraib (which I think is Arabic for “a few bad apples”) prison in Vietraq, like this unforgettable gem, circa 2004:

File:Abu-ghraib-leash.jpg

Seriously, though, no nation does rank hypocrisy and self-righteousness like the “Christian” United States of America does rank hypocrisy and self-righteousness. We! Are! Number! One!

So the 9/11 decennial already has begun, with cheesy (redundant…) 9/11-related retrospective pieces already having been appearing in the mainstream media, but the worst of it should come next week, as the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11, 2001, approaches.

As Ted Rall points out, we Americans have learned virtually nothing from 9/11, and this is evident from the woe-is-us fest that we’re seeing now.

And as Glenn Greenwald (also) points out, of course part of the self-serving, mawkish 9/11 commemoration that we won’t see is any official mention of the fact that the U.S. government first supported (and armed) the likes of Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden before it declared them enemies or any official mention of the tens of thousands of innocent Iraqis whom the United States slaughtered in the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, which the unelected Bush regime launched in March 2003 using 9/11 as a pretext, even though not a single one of the 19 9/11 hijackers was an Iraqi (15 of them, in fact, were from Saudi Arabia, as was Osama bin Laden, but the U.S. power elites and the Saudi power elites remain great oily buddies).

Greenwald concludes his piece by noting that

… the fact that victims of American violence over the last two decades have easily outweighed, and continue to outweigh, those of the Dictators and Terrorists whom we so vocally despise is nonetheless an extremely important fact that should shape our understanding of 9/11. But as usual, that’s another fact that will be “left unsaid” [in the 9/11 decennial commemorations].

What 9/11 signifies most for me is nothing like American victimhood, since the United States hardly can claim to be a victimized nation (9/11 was only blowback for longstanding U.S. oppression in the Middle East), or “patriotism” (which is just jingoism or fascistic nationalism), but it marks the lost decade of 2000 through 2009.

That decade started out swimmingly, with the blatantly stolen presidential election of 2000. What possibly could have gone wrong by just allowing a bunch of right-wing, pro-plutocratic, pro-corporate chickenhawks to steal the White House?

Then there was 9/11, then there was the Vietraq War, then there was Hurricane Katrina in August 2005 — which the unelected Bush regime was prepared for as well as it had been prepared for 9/11 (recall the August 2001 presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.”, and forecasters had predicted Katrina’s landfall at least two days in advance) — and then there was Barack Obama promising “hope” and “change” to a weary, Bush-whacked nation in 2008.

In 2009, with the White House, the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate all in Democratic/“Democratic” hands — his best opportunity to push through a progressive agenda — what did President Hopey-Changey accomplish? Jack fucking squat. And in 2010? Ditto.

And now we are in 2011 and where are we? We are pretty much right back where we were back in 2000: the Repugnican (Tea) Party presidential frontrunner is the Big-Oil-ass-lickin’, “Christo”fascist-lovin’, dipshit governor of Texas, and the Democratic presidential candidate will be a reportedly intellectual (“elitist” in “tea party”-speak) but rather uncharismatic guy who has been in Washington for a little while now.

And yes, I can see another Texas governor going to the White House in January 2013, whether he steals it and Americans just fucking let him, a la 2000, or whether he actually wins the 2012 presidential election fairly and squarely.  Americans are that fucking stupid.

But can they — we — survive two lost decades in a row?

Fuck. Maybe I should have titled this “Wake me up in 2021.”

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized