Tag Archives: Neo-Nazis

Thank Goddess for the ‘alt-left’

What Is Antifa? Anti-Fascist Protesters Draw Attention After Charlottesville

Getty Images news photo

Anti-fascists showed up on Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, to counter the neo-Nazis who ostensibly wanted to protest the removal of a statue of traitor Robert E. Lee but who in reality are just domestic terrorists. I love these guys, whose hearts are in the right place if I don’t always agree with their tactics.

Today “President” Pussygrabber, doubling down on his false equivalence between the neo-Nazis who are part of his base and the anti-fascists/anti-neo-Nazis, coined the term “alt-left.”

“What about the ‘alt-left’ that came charging at the, as you say, the ‘alt-right’ [in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday]? Do they have any semblance of guilt?” Pussygrabber said at an impromptu news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, Politico reports.

Part of me might recommend that we on the left embrace the term “alt-left,” except that the neo-Nazis already have come to give “alt-” the connotation if not the denotation of white supremacism and white nationalism, and thus have pretty much ruined the prefix “alt-.”

And, of course, usually it’s best not to allow your enemy to name you, but to name yourself. (On that note, Pussygrabber said, “as you say, the ‘alt-right,’” but “alt-right” is the name that the fucking neo-Nazis have given themselves.)

And the “alt-left” already has named itself: Antifa, for anti-fascist, and it doesn’t need a new name.

And I say thank Goddess for the Antifa.

No, I don’t condone every action and every word that everyone who might call him- or herself a member of Antifa might commit, but on the whole, I’m quite happy that there is an active opposition to the neo-Nazis. (As I have written, I reject the term “alt-right” as unnecessary because we already have the term neo-Nazi.)

Fact is, as so many have observed and reported, the police often do little to nothing when there are clashes between the neo-Nazis and the Antifa (and/or other anti-neo-Nazis). That’s because many if not most cops are right-wingers (if not also actually white nationalists/white supremacists) themselves, I surmise, and therefore they aren’t all that enthusiastic about protecting us, the people, from the neo-Nazis. To a large degree, we have to do it ourselves.

I’m sure that there are some who fairly fairly could be called thugs among those who call themselves Antifa — that is, some individuals who are looking for a fight at least as much as they care about a sociopolitical cause. Of course, there probably are far more such individuals among the neo-Nazis.

While both groups routinely show up with weaponry (homegrown and professional) when they expect a confrontation, when there are casualties, they usually are on the left, not on the right, such as the case of 32-year-old Heather Heyer, who was killed on Saturday when a neo-Nazi cowardly ran her down in his car.

And to my knowledge, Heyer was not a member of the Antifa (or, to Pussygrabber, the “alt-left”), but was just a citizen who had shown up to demonstrate her opposition to neo-Nazism, which she had the right to do (even though I question, for safety reasons, the wisdom of showing up anywhere where there are neo-Nazis).

While I have no personal interest in having a physical confrontation with a neo-Nazi, not seeing what ultimate good it would do, and while I hate to think of any good-hearted (if misguided) member of Antifa (or anyone else) being harmed or even killed by a neo-Nazi, I just can’t bring myself to condemn the Antifa, because I don’t know how far the neo-Nazis would take it if they knew that they faced no opposition in our streets.

The neo-Nazis need to know that should they get too big for their khakis (and thanks for ruining khakis for the rest of us, assholes!) and start harming people on the streets, they’re going to face pushback.

As a gay man, an atheist and a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, one day I just might need protection from neo-Nazis myself, and so I’m not going to condemn the Antifa and the overall important sociopolitical role that they play in these, um, interesting times.

I would only ask the members of Antifa and all of those who oppose the neo-Nazis, as I do, to pick their battles and to put their personal safety first.

The pathetic neo-Nazi losers aren’t worth it.

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Let’s not become just like the fascist terrorists whom we oppose

Updated below (on Wednesday, August 16, 2017)

“No one should get fired for his [or her] political beliefs,” writes fellow leftist Ted Rall in his latest column, adding, “Not even a Nazi.”

“I am disturbed by the news that some of the white nationalists who attended the violent ‘Unite the Right’ hatefest in Charlottesville [this past] weekend are being outed on social media,” Rall continues. “Attendees have been on the receiving end of threats and doxxing. [The definition of doxxing, if you’re not familiar with the term, is here.] It was reported that a restaurant worker in Berkeley was canned after he was exposed on Twitter.”

Indeed, I also found it at least a little disturbing to read in the news that a guy who works (well, worked) at a hot-dog restaurant named Top Dog should lose his job (even if it’s a shit job, as it sounds like it is) not for any violence or other crime that he perpetrated, but for having been present and photographed at a political event.

“Firing a worker for [his or her] politics — especially when those politics are expressed outside the workplace — is McCarthyism. McCarthyism is wrong, McCarthyism is immoral and McCarthyism ought to be illegal,” Rall opines, and I tend to agree.

“Top Dog gets plaudits for firing a fascist; next time, the victim could be a garden-variety Democrat,” Rall reminds us and further reminds us that “Nothing in our outdated Constitution prevents an employer from firing you on account of your politics. In 2004 an Alabama company even fired a woman for having a John Kerry for president bumper sticker on her car.”

The difference, of course, is that someone with a John Kerry bumper sticker is much, much less likely to ever commit violence or otherwise violate another’s rights than is an avowed neo-Nazi, but, as Rall reminds us:

We live in a capitalist society. Except for those born rich, we must work or else starve. The U.S. is the only nation with at-will employment. And jobs are hard to find.

Under these conditions, without workplace free-speech protections, employees must think twice before they attend a rally, post a controversial memo, join a party or slap a bumper sticker on their vehicle.

Are you willing to risk unemployment, poverty and perhaps homelessness — not just you, but also your spouse and children? If the answer is “yes,” God bless you. History is made by people like you.

For many others, though, the answer is “no, I can’t afford free speech.” The upsides of free expression are intangible while the downside risks are terrifyingly brutal. …

The American workplace is a fascist state. It’s time to overthrow the millions of little Hitlers who think the fact that issuing a paycheck turns their employees into slaves subject to thought control.

Just don’t talk about this around anyone who knows where you work.

Rall acknowledges that “A business has the right to control its employees’ behavior in order to protect its image. Particularly in a liberal stronghold like Berkeley, but anywhere really, no one wants a waiter wearing a swastika tattoo or spouting racist views.

“But,” Rall continues, “if Top Dog restaurant can fire a racist dude for racist views he expresses thousands of miles away, there’s nothing to prevent Google from firing a software engineer for sexism — or [your employer from firing] you for whatever you happen to believe.”

We on the left do need to reflect upon our tactics beyond how good they might make us feel in the moment. Our gleefully gathering neo-Nazi scalps might come back to haunt us, as we are persecuted for our own political views in the tit-for-tat punish-people-for-their-political-views-by-making-them-unemployed environment that we have helped to create.

We on the left need to be careful not to become just like the enemy on the right. Firing left-wingers for not toeing the right-wing line long has been an evil tactic of oppression used on the right; they can’t just execute their left-wing employees, so how about trying to destroy them financially? It’s the next best thing!

All of that said, no one who appears in public has the right to privacy. If you participate in a march or protest or gathering of any size in public, there is a good chance that someone will take a photo or photos or video of you, and perhaps post them online, and you can’t claim that your right to privacy has been violated if someone does.

And then, of course, once an image or images of you have been posted online, online warriors on the right or the left can then identify you and out you, including post personal information about you that really is no one’s business.

Unfortunately, that is the risk that we take in a highly polarized political environment in which so much is posted on the Internet.

But still we must think about the long-term consequences of our actions. Because we can do something — and because others are doing it or because we figure that if we don’t do it, someone else probably will anyway — doesn’t mean that we should do that thing.

What of the young man who lost his probably-minimum-wage job? Has his job loss at the hands of the left taught him something valuable? Is it more likely that his job loss and public shaming will only entrench him further in his neo-Nazi views or that it actually will make him rethink his political views and how they might harm others?

Since the intention very apparently was not to induce him to see the error of his ways but only was to harm him in a retaliatory spirit and then to wave his scalp online for all to see — the person who outed him via the very presidential medium of Twitter bragged, “the first person I exposed no longer has a job” — I don’t see that the tactic will result in his rehabilitation.

Don’t get me wrong. I have a real problem with the neo-Nazis. The mere sight of the Confederate flag makes me viscerally fighting mad; my feeling is that that symbol of treason, oppression and hatred should not be displayed in public.

But many if not perhaps even most of these neo-Nazis are salvageable. Most of them are young and misguided and, let’s face it, frightened and socially awkward, and most of them are in the same boat as are most Americans, like the guy who probably wasn’t exactly getting rich working at a hot-dog restaurant.

When and if the neo-Nazis physically harm others, such as the young man who ran many people down with his car on Saturday, killing one young white woman who had been a supporter of social justice and of Bernie Sanders* — and the young man very apparently** has significant mental-health problems, as you very probably have to have to be able to mow people down in your car –– then we must process them as the criminals that they are, but if we can prevent them from getting to that point in the first place, then we should.***

And my best guess is that going after their livelihoods isn’t going to rehabilitate them, but is only going to make them worse.

P.S. The Associated Press reports that around the nation Confederate statues are being removed from public spaces, voluntarily and involuntarily, and that’s a great thing.

Again, these statues glorify hatred, oppression and treason, and tax dollars should not pay for that, and nor should anyone have to see these monuments to hatred, oppression and treason (or the Confederate flag, which symbolizes the same things) in public spaces.

Hate speech (including, of course, symbolic speech like flags and statues), speech that exists largely if not primarily in order to terrorize others (usually already oppressed minorities) isn’t, in my book, free speech. Hate speech isn’t speech that is meant to express ideas or used as artistic expression; hate speech is speech that is weaponized.

Update (Wednesday, August 16, 2017): The Associated Press reports:

The president of the University of Nevada, Reno says a UNR student who gained notoriety for rallying with white nationalists in Virginia will not be expelled or lose his university job.

Peter Cytanovic, who also goes by the name Peter Cvjetanovic, was photographed with a group of demonstrators on Friday carrying a torch on the campus of the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, where a rally turned deadly the next day.

UNR President Marc Johnson said Tuesday the school “unequivocally rejects the positions and ideology” espoused by the white supremacists. But he says UNR also stands for the basic principles of the Constitution, including free speech and the right to peacefully assemble. [Emphasis mine.]

He says campus police and the Office of Student Conduct concluded there is no legal reason to expel Cytanovic or terminate his employment.

Indeed, had UNR expelled Cytanovic or fired him from his university job, he probably would have had a great lawsuit against the university, as it would be the state government of Nevada firing him for having exercised his rights under the First Amendment.

(To my knowledge, while private employers have wide latitude in violating our free-expression rights — and routinely do so with impunity — with government employers it’s something else. However, every employer should have to recognize the rights given to us under the Constitution.)

To my knowledge, there is no evidence that Cytanovic participated in any violence or otherwise broke any law on Saturday, and therefore, as UNR concluded, there was no legal cause to punish him.

We don’t get to try to destroy someone’s life simply because we don’t like his or her viewpoints, although I’m guessing that Cytanovic is now a pariah among his fellow students at UNR.

*Bernie Sanders, unlike neo-Nazi enabler “President” Pussygrabber, whose first, knee-jerk reaction was to stupidly and inaccurately blame “many sides,” Bernie was quick to put the blame where it was due; on Sunday morning, Sanders tweeted, “Our condolences go out to the family of Heather Heyer, who was killed by a terrorist as she protested neo-Nazism and white supremacy.”

**Yahoo! News reports of James Alex Fields Jr., who long has had a fetish for Nazi Germany:

… [Samantha] Bloom, a single mother who is a paraplegic and uses a wheelchair, raised Fields on her own after a drunk driver killed his father, an uncle told the Washington Post.

Records from 911 calls reveal that Bloom had called police at least twice to accuse her then-teenage son of assaulting her and wielding a knife. Records from the Florence Police Department in Kentucky show that Bloom told police in 2011 that Fields, a young teenager at the time, had stood behind her wielding a 12-inch knife. During another 2010 incident, Bloom said that Fields had hit her head and locked her in the bathroom.

Bloom also told police Fields was taking medication to treat temper issues. …

***No, my viewpoint is not that we should coddle them. In fact, my own strong preference is to not have anything to do with anyone who I know is a white supremacist/white nationalist, and I don’t know anyone who is one.

But at the same time, I don’t have to try to identify people online and then ensure that they lose their jobs.

I don’t have to associate with these people, and I don’t, but I don’t have to try to go after their meager livelihoods, either, and I don’t.

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Let’s not give the neo-Nazis an air of legitimacy that they don’t have

Charlottesville, Virginia, Daily Progress news photo

A car driven by a 20-year-old neo-Nazi and registered Republican from Ohio plows through a crowd of anti-neo-Nazi/anti-fascist demonstrators yesterday in Charlottesville, Virginia, killing one woman and injuring 19 others. Additionally, two Virginia state troopers were killed in a helicopter accident while policing the neo-Nazi rally that was dubbed the “Unite the Right” rally, ostensibly to protect a statue of Confederate “hero” Robert E. Lee from removal in the Virginia city.

I largely agree with Salon.com’s Amanda Marcotte’s research and opinion, which she had expressed before shit went down in Charlottesville, Virginia, yesterday, that, as the headline of her piece puts it, “It’s time to fight the alt-right — but not by actually fighting in the street.”

I, for one, have no desire to be anywhere in the vicinity of a showdown between the neo-Nazis — I reject the euphemistic term “alt-right”; these are garden-variety neo-Nazis, not anything new — and the anti-fascists/anti-neo-Nazis.

You could get stabbed, as multiple people were in a melee between the neo-Nazis and the anti-fascists here in Sacramento last summer, or shot, or severely beaten, perhaps even to death, or, as happened to several people yesterday in Charlottesville, intentionally hit by a car (and thus killed, as was one 32-year-old woman, or severely injured, as were several).

I surmise that few to none of these people demonstrating against the neo-Nazis who were seriously injured or killed had really thought that they might seriously be injured or killed, but it was predictable that they were at such risk.

In the end, is serious injury or death worth it where it comes to the fairly tiny minority who are neo-Nazis? What does it accomplish in terms of changing the overall social order?

Don’t get me wrong. Because a neo-Nazi and registered Repugnican (is there much difference between the two, especially among those who support “President” Pussygrabber?) murdered someone by car yesterday, demonstrating yet once again that yes, indeed, the neo-Nazis are much more likely to commit unnecessary, deadly violence than are the anti-fascists, in the court of public opinion I’d chalk this one up as a win for us anti-fascists.

But that came at the cost of three lives lost yesterday in Virginia because of a relatively small bunch of fucking losers who aren’t at all worth that cost.

Because the neo-Nazis are a relatively small group, I don’t know that it is at all necessary to go mano-a-mano with them in the streets. As Marcotte notes:

… To be clear, neo-Nazis and the like tend to be disorganized and unreliable, so there are decent odds [that the] Unite the Right [rally] will be poorly attended, and the resulting atmosphere will be one of comical pathos rather than the menace far-right forces are hoping for.

Unfortunately, as Bob Moser at the New Republic argued, there is one group that can help restore some lost dignity to the wannabe fascists: progressive counter-protesters. Yes, the very people eager to fight white supremacists in the street may, as Moser argues, be helping the cause of white supremacy. [Emphasis mine.]

“By confronting both the various breeds of white supremacists with fury and violence, we’re giving them better media attention and recruitment tools than the worst of the worst could ever hope to muster for themselves,” Moser argued.

He laid out a number of examples of how alt-right and KKK rallies are typically poorly attended by white supremacists themselves, and that the behavior of counter-protesters — who often outnumber the actual racists — are invariably used as propaganda by these groups to recruit more members online, which is where the real action is happening. …

Marcotte goes on later:

… As someone whose instinct is to run towards confrontation and not away from it, I decided to talk this out with Heidi Beirich of the Southern Poverty Law Center, whom Bob Moser used to work for.

The SPLC also warns against counter-protesting, but, Beirich explained, this should not be confused with minimizing the seriousness of the white supremacy threat or claiming that ignoring bullies makes them go away.

“This is a legitimate [???] group of people in the United States who have growing political power and who have frightening views when it comes to minorities,” she said.

“I don’t find that you’re not standing up to bullies” if you resist the urge for angry confrontation, she continued. “I think you’re starving them of the oxygen that they live off,” meaning right-wingers’ pretense that they are constantly victimized, censored and assaulted, a narrative that tends to play better if they actually encounter violent confrontation in the streets.

Instead of counter-protesting, Beirich argued, progressives should speak out in other ways. She recommended speaking out online, lobbying politicians to fight hate crimes and holding counter-rallies at a different place or time. [I don’t know about that; such rallies could attract neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but of course, everyone has the First-Amendment right to assemble peacefully, and I don’t believe that people should cave in on their First-Amendment rights because some neo-Nazis might show up.]

“When you put on something positive that also gets coverage, it presents your community in a much better light, and it puts the focal point on the ideas that are the peaceful, caring ones,” Beirich said.

Holding rallies not centered around direct confrontation with the alt-right has, I’d argue, another benefit: It’s far more inclusive. Direct confrontation on the streets that may lead to violence is a tactic that naturally favors young, able-bodied people, especially men.

For women, disabled people, parents, older people and racial minorities that have stronger concerns about violence from white supremacists, the face-to-face showdown strategy can often be alienating. [Emphasis mine.]

Still, I totally get those who feel that holding hands and giving speeches about favoring love over hate doesn’t feel like nearly enough. People are angry and want, for very good reason, to screw with these guys a bit. Isn’t there any way to take the fight to the wannabe Nazis?

One thing that’s important to understand, Beirich noted, is that the alt-right “is an online movement, for the most part.” Some of its leaders have basically resorted to pleading with their followers to show up for actual events in the offline world.

That has had some effect, with bigger crowds at the American Renaissance Conference and other rallies, but the primary audience and organizing platform for far-right activism remains the Internet.

Even when alt-right folks gather in person, it’s mostly about getting group photos that can be used to recruit new followers online by promising a sense of community.

So for those who are attracted to the simple pleasure of screwing with Nazis, the online world is where to go to make fools of these fools. Beirich suggested reporting hate speech on social media, but there are an increasing number of ways for progressives  to use the same online tools used by white supremacists to organize against them. …

Agreed. Most of the fight indeed is within the court of public opinion, and a huge part of that fight is online, where public opinion increasingly is formed.

The majority of Americans already have fairly strong feelings one way or the other where it comes to neo-Nazis, it seems to me, but the vast majority of Americans never are going to go to a neo-Nazi rally. And who, exactly, are you converting at a neo-Nazi rally? Who there has an opinion that you can sway?

Let the 41-year-old virgins have their little neo-Nazi rallies. Let’s not give them the physical confrontation that they want and that they then use to recruit. It’s better to ignore them and thus to let them be embarrassed and to further weaken their ability to recruit. To confront them gives them the veneer of legitimacy and importance that they don’t actually inherently possess.

But don’t get me wrong; should these treasonous, far-right-wing motherfuckers ever truly become a significant threat to the well-being of those whom they hate — should they, say, begin to physically attack the objects of their hatred with anything that is like regularity and that is outside of lone-wolf actions — then yes, let’s face them in the street.

But if they’re just going to gather in public spaces from time to time and spout off, let them; and ignore them.

And yes, while we’re on the subject, the symbols of white-supremacist/white-nationalist terrorism need to be removed from public property.

The Confederate flag belongs in museums, not on any property that is supported with a penny of taxes. And Confederate statuary — such as the statue of Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, Virginia, whose removal was approved by the city council but is now tied up in litigation (and which ostensibly was the reason for the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville yesterday) — has no place in public, either, especially in places that are maintained by tax revenues.

The Confederate flag and a statue of a Confederate “hero” — and let’s get this straight: no traitor who fought for the “cause” of perpetuating slavery can be a fucking “hero” — are not neutral, innocuous symbols of “history” or “heritage.”

They are terrorist symbols that are meant to strike fear into the hearts of certain members of those who see them, and no one should have to worry about being out and about in public and encountering terrorist symbols that are meant to terrorize them.

The war here for the most part is not against the white race, if there really even is any such monolithic thing as “the white race.” (“You will not replace us,” the apparently spooked neo-Nazis chanted this past weekend in Charlottesville, but whites still make up more than 60 percent of the U.S. population and so probably aren’t going to be “replaced” any year soon.*)

The war here is against terrorism — in this case, the domestic terrorism that routinely is perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

We have to continue to fight against these domestic terrorists and traitors, and we have to do so intelligently and effectively.

Brawling with them probably isn’t the way to do that. Not right now, not yet, anyway.

P.S. Slate.com reports that the murderer by car was photographed with a neo-Nazi group earlier in the day by a news photographer yesterday, so no, the neo-Nazis can’t distance themselves from this guy. He is one of them.

Here is the news photo:

New York Daily News news photo

The perpetrator, whose name is James Alex Fields Jr., is the evil fucktard in the middle, fourth from the left and fourth from the right.

*That said, the racial composition of the United States doesn’t matter. It has changed throughout the decades and it will continue to change in the decades to come. At one time it was solely Native Americans, of course, and yes, in the modern era the U.S. is becoming less and less white, with Latinos being the fastest-growing non-white racial group in the U.S.

As a white man, I’m not troubled by this in the least. The only thing that is constant is change, and the change in racial demographics in the U.S. is a slow, gradual change, and for the most part it is a non-violent change except for the violence perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

Finally, I am a proponent of racial mixing, socially, culturally and reproductively. Genetically and culturally, inbreeding is the worst thing that you can do; it only guarantees that your defects and weaknesses are repeated — and sometimes even amplified.

If racial “purity” were a good thing, then so many of the neo-Nazis wouldn’t be mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards. The proof is in the pudding.

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It’s easy to join The Resistance

AFP/Getty Images photo

In a brilliant protest, members of Greenpeace suspended a large banner reading “RESIST” near the White House early this morning. From The New York Times’ coverage of the banner, apparently the banner was up at least from around 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. EST.*

Not all of us can participate in the scale of protest that members of Greenpeace orchestrated early this morning when they apparently spent hours scaling a crane near the White House in order to hang a wonderful banner. But all of us who oppose fascism can do something.

I’m way too chicken and out of shape to climb a crane, but I can and probably will give a donation to Greenpeace. I believe in rewarding and encouraging things like Greenpeace did this morning.

I routinely give to organizations whose work I like and want to see continue. I’ve given to the American Civil Liberties Union and to Planned Parenthood, for instance, as well to environmental groups, such as the Sierra Club (and to Greenpeace in the past), and to humanitarian groups, such as Mercy Corps.

I blog.

I talk about politics to those within my sphere of influence. (As I’ve noted here many times over the past year-plus, I supported Bernie Sanders, and those within my close sphere of influence voted for him in the California primary.)

I do what I can, given my time, energy and funds.

I suspect that many of us do nothing because we think that if we can’t do something big and brilliant — along the lines of what some brave members of Greenpeace did this morning — then our contribution won’t matter.

But our contributions do matter. They add up.

Fascism thrives where complicity thrives. “President” Pussygrabber and his fascist, neo-Nazi supporters will thrive only if we allow them an environment in which to thrive. We can fairly shut them down right now if enough of us choose to do so. (The fascists, being anti-democratic by definition, are famously stubborn to public outcry, however, so yes, this is probably going to take some time, and hopefully not, but perhaps, some bloodshed. [As the right wing loves to say, freedom isn’t free.])

Impeachment and removal from office aren’t the only tool to cripple a presidency (and they are far from certain to work); ask the Repugnican Tea Party traitors who did everything in their power to cripple Barack Obama’s presidency.**

Payback is a bitch, and we who oppose Pussygrabber should encourage our elected officials to be just as obstructive as the Repugnican Tea Party traitors have been obstructive over the past several years. (Most of what “President” Pussygrabber & Co. propose and do are and are going to be destructive, and so most of what they propose and do should be obstructed as much as possible.)

Even if one or more of your elected officials is a Repugnican, enough outcry from his or her constituents can make even a Repugnican elected official back away from the train wreck on crack that is “President” Pussygrabber. The vast majority of elected officials, after all, want to remain elected officials.

Yes, contacting your elected officials matters. Most people never contact their elected officials, thinking that it won’t matter, so your contact is magnified. I routinely e-mail my elected officials. (Sometimes I send them snail mails, especially on the issues that most concern me, but usually I e-mail them.) If you can visit your elected officials’ offices, including participating in protests at their offices, that’s even better. That does get their attention. (I’m not into calling my elected officials’ offices, as I prefer written communication, but if that is your thing, go for it.)

Organizations that are suing the Pussygrabber administration (such as the ACLU) — and there will be many federal lawsuits against the Pussygrabber administration — could probably use your donation, as lawsuits aren’t cheap.

I surmise that federal lawsuits are going to prove to be the No. 1 weapon against the unelected Pussygrabber administration’s fascist, unconstitutional and anti-American actions. Indeed, we have three branches of government in order to keep any one branch from getting out of control.

Pussygrabber is a modern-day Caligula, but unlike Caligula was, he is not an emperor. He will find that while it has been one thing to be the king of a business empire, the American empire is another thing entirely.

Pussygrabber is not a legitimate U.S. president, and so we should point out his illegitimacy at every opportunity.

The No. 1 thing in resisting the Pussygrabber administration, I think, is not to keep quiet. The Germans in Nazi Germany kept quiet and we know the consequences of their silence.

So speak up. Don’t be afraid; the unelected Pussygrabber regime can’t imprison or torture or kill all of us, and as soon as its treasonous members start to imprison or torture or kill any of us, it’s all over for them in short order anyway.

Be as effective as you can within your own sphere of influence. Most of us who oppose “President” Pussygrabber and all that he stands for effectively have our own cell, and millions of cells together make a difference.

Besides, think of the advantage that we of The Resistance already have: Despite his treasonous, anti-democratic lies to the contrary — and kudos to The New York Times for this week having flat-out called Pussygrabber’s lie a lie — about 3 million more of us voted for Billary Clinton than for Pussygrabber, and his approval ratings right now are historically low for a new “president.”

Pussygrabber is weak — and he knows it. He is scared — and he should be.

For more ideas of how to resist, you might consider reading the newly released book The Trump Survival Guide. Soon I’m going to buy the great political writer Matt Taibbi’s Insane Clown President: Dispatches from the 2016 Circus.

Revisiting some classics can be useful, too. George Orwell’s anti-fascist 1984 (which is No. 1 on amazon.com as I type this sentence [and a different edition of the novel right now is at No. 6]) is a great read, and I’m planning to purchase Sinclair Lewis’ anti-fascist It Can’t Happen Here (which is No. 7 on amazon.com as I type this sentence).

You don’t even have to read a book. You simply can Google ideas. Hell, you don’t even have to type anything into Google’s search bar; I’ve done that for you, so just click here.

The main thing is to do something.

That’s always better than doing nothing.

Welcome to The Resistance, where every contribution matters.

The people, united, will never be defeated.

*The Times reports:

… Travis Nichols, a spokesman for Greenpeace, the environmental advocacy organization for which the activists were volunteering, said the protesters were there “to resist the environmental, economic and racial injustice that Trump and his administration have already laid out and put into practice.”

In his first week in office, Mr. Trump’s administration instructed officials at the Environmental Protection Agency to freeze grants and contracts, and, according to Reuters, ordered the agency to remove the climate change page from its website.

Mr. Trump has also resurrected the Keystone and Dakota Access pipeline projects that have been the subject of virulent protests by environmental activists. …

**I have had my problems with the-not-nearly-progressive-or-aggressive-enough Obama, and have written about them here over the years, but I recognize that he was the twice-duly-elected president of the United States of America. In 2008 and in 2012 he won both the popular vote and the Electoral College — and, unlike George W. Bush and “President” Pussygrabber, not only did he win the popular vote, the only vote that really matters in an actual democracy, but he didn’t get an assist from the U.S. Supreme Court or from an enemy nation.

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Why I am not a white supremacist

Shit like this blows my mind: The Washington Post reports that these fliers were found at a campus of the University of Maryland this week:

Washington Post images

Reports the Post:

Fliers linked to a white supremacist group were found this week on the campus of the University of Maryland in College Park, authorities said, part of what appears to be a new effort targeting colleges in several states.

The fliers featured the logo of American Vanguard, a group associated with white supremacy. One read “We have a right to exist” and another read “Defending your people is a social duty not an anti-social crime.”

“We hear it every day: ‘Whiteness’ is evil, and must be destroyed,” the group said in a statement on its website. “Our religion, our traditions, and our identity are dragged through the mud by the globalist establishment while millions of nonwhites flood our nation every year. If current trends continue, White Americans will be a minority by 2044. It’s time to take a stand.”

As first reported in the school’s Diamondback newspaper, University of Maryland police responded to Marie Mount Hall at about 11:30 p.m. Sunday for a report of vandalism and discovered several fliers posted at the main entrance and the south entrance. Another set of fliers was discovered posted to pillars at Tydings Hall at around 10 a.m. Monday, a spokesman for the University of Maryland Police said, and the fliers at both locations were removed.

American Vanguard, based in California, has posted fliers on other U.S. campuses, according to the Anti-Defamation League. Its posters were found at Purdue University in Indiana, the University of Central Florida, Florida Gulf Coast University, the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith and Emerson College in Massachusetts in recent weeks, the ADL said.

Oren Segal, director of the ADL’s center on extremism, said he has been seeing a proliferation of white supremacist, alt-right messaging at college campuses around the country in recent weeks. “It seems to be an extension of this effort by the alt-right and their supporters to try to reach younger audiences,” he said.

Segal also said some white supremacists have perceived Donald Trump’s victory in the presidential election as a victory for their cause, leading to hate incidents around the country. “I feel like the alt-right in general thinks this is the time to pounce,” he said. …

Wow. It disappoints me that “American Vanguard” is based in my state.

Speaking of my state, according to at least one source, California was the 48th whitest state in 2004 (with only Mississippi, the District and Columbia and Hawaii having a smaller percentage of whites). That source puts California’s white-alone population in 2004 at 63 percent of the state’s total population.

The U.S. Census Bureau now puts California’s white-alone population at only 38 percent, its Latino population at 38.8 percent, its Asian population at 14.7 percent, and its black population at 6.5 percent.

Yes, a little while ago Latinos surpassed whites here in California, so that now more Californians are Latino than of any other race. And Latinos in California and elsewhere throughout the United States will continue to outgrow whites.

Indeed, apparently the projection is that by 2044 or 2045, white Americans no longer will be the majority of Americans.

Do I feel like my “whiteness” is under threat? (I do have blue eyes, light skin and brown hair, and I did genetic testing some years ago that put my genetic ancestry most likely with the dominant genetic populations of Britain and/or Germany.)

No, I don’t.

Not only are the racial demographics in the United States changing over time, giving us plenty of time to adjust to the changes, but it doesn’t matter what race an American is. An American, to use the definition of a denizen of one of the 50 states, used to be a Native American; then to be an American meant that you probably are or were white; in the future, to be an American might mean that you probably are Latino or mixed.

Nothing is so precious about the white culture, if there is a monolithic white culture (there is not), that it would be an irretrievable loss to humankind should we see fewer and fewer blond-haired-and-blue-eyed human beings born upon the planet. White culture — hopefully only the best parts of it — will be absorbed into the overall culture anyway; it won’t be lost altogether.

As far as changing demographics in my home state of California go, no one is forcing me to learn Spanish (although I’ve been brushing up on my Spanish on my own for a while now), no one is forcing me to change my name to Roberto, no one is even forcing his or her Catholicism down my throat. (I love Mexican food, so if someone wanted to force that down my throat, I’d probably be OK with that.)

I don’t at all feel threatened that Latinos now outnumber the members of my own race in my state. For the very most part, Latinos and whites co-exist in California just fine.

I find white culture to be a bit stiff and boring, and so the injection of other cultures into white American culture is a benefit, not a threat. Other cultures show us still-dominant-in-the-U.S. whites (white-alones still are 61.6 percent of all Americans) other ways of seeing, of believing, of thinking, of living.

And we Americans get to pick and choose. I like the Spanish language. I like Mexican food. I like Cuban music. (I’d love to visit Cuba before I die.) I like the leftist politics that we’ve seen throughout Latin America throughout time. (Yes, I’ve been a fan of both the late Hugo Chavez and the late Fidel Castro — no, I’m not in agreement with everything that they did, but I like that they stood up to the evil empire in the north instead of selling their people out to the plutocratic plunderers of the north.)

But I remain free to hate any or all of those things if I choose. The only thing about the Latino culture that I’m not crazy about is its rampant Catholicism, but, again, no one is forcing me to become a Catholic. (It would take something like the Spanish Inquisition 2.0 for me to “convert” to that oppressive, patriarchal and misogynist, fairly racist [or at the very least Eurocentric], homophobic, backasswards, toxic institutionalized religion.)

In terms of religion, when I’m not feeling atheist-y, I gravitate toward the Eastern religions, especially Buddhism. I’m not a practicing Buddhist, but I’m fairly familiar with Buddhism, and while I wouldn’t swallow, hook, line and sinker all of its teachings any more than I would any other religion’s, Buddhism is the major world religion that makes more sense to me than does any of the others, especially Judaism, what passes for Christianity, and Islam.

I admire Asians, perhaps especially the Vietnamese, whose food I love. My best friend in junior high school and high school was half-Vietnamese; born in Vietnam, as a child he had come to the United States with his Vietnamese mother. He had a bit of a mischievous streak about him, but he was very bright and was a good friend.

Black culture is infused into the culture of the United States to the point that many if not most blacks often complain that elements of their culture have been stolen by whites. Hey, black Americans, we bland white Americans need that spice. Without it, you’d be blinded by our whiteness, too. (Melting pot, baby!)

One of my favorite books is an old one, La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race), by the late prominent Mexican José Vasconcelos. Published in 1925, in his treatise Vasconcelos did assert some things that today we’d find racially stereotypical at best, but his overall theme — that the mixing of the races is beneficial, not harmful, to humankind — was forward-thinking for its time and holds true for today.

Wikipedia notes of La Raza Cósmica:

Published in 1925, La Raza Cósmica (The Cosmic Race) is an essay written by late Mexican philosopher, secretary of education, and 1929 presidential candidate, José Vasconcelos to express the ideology of a future “fifth race” in the Americas; an agglomeration of all the races in the world with no respect to color or number to erect a new civilization: Universópolis.

As he explains in his literary work, armies of people would then go forth around the world professing their knowledge. Vasconcelos continues to say that the people of the Iberian regions of the Americas (that is to say, the parts of the continent colonized by Portugal and Spain*) have the territorial, racial, and spiritual factors necessary to initiate the “universal era of humanity.”

Claiming that the Darwinist ideologies are “scientific” theories only created to validate, explain, and justify ethnic superiority and to repress others, Vasconcelos attempts to refute these theories and goes on to recognize his words as being an ideological effort to improve the cultural morale of a “depressed race” by offering his optimistic theory of the future development of a cosmic race. …

Any biologist will tell you that a species that never gets any genetic variation introduced into its gene pool (usually because of isolation) is at risk for extinction because its genetic code never gets any updates, so to speak.

This is true not only for the human animal on the biological level — think of the common results of inbreeding — but it is true for the human animal on the cultural level.

Cultural isolation leads to cultural stagnation, and cultural stagnation often leads to cultural extinction.

White supremacists speak endlessly of strength, but ironically, the genetic and cultural isolationism that they espouse (whites must only reproduce with other whites and the white culture must be “defended” and all other cultures rejected) is a fucking recipe for literal and cultural extinction.

That which does not bend will break in the wind. White supremacists do their fellow whites no favor by advocating staunch rigidity when the changes that we have been experiencing on many levels call instead, loudly and clearly, for flexibility and adaptability.

To be clear, just as there are white supremacists, there are Latino supremacists, Asian supremacists, black supremacists, et. al., people who believe that their race is the best, or, at least, the only race that really matters.

Racial supremacism of any kind is an unfortunate, harmful disease, but in the United States of America of course white supremacism has been the most prevalent and most harmful racial supremacism, but even with that historical fact, no one is really saying that whites don’t have the right to exist, as the flier pictured above alleges.

The supposed war on whites is as bogus as is the supposed war on Christmas (the “war on Christmas,” of course, is just an aspect of the “war on whites”; often, if not even usually, in fact, it’s just code for “war on whites”).

No one, with the exception of a crazy, relative very few, has called for the extermination of white Americans. Very most often it’s white Americans calling for the extermination of other races, or, if not their extermination, then at least their banishment, as is the case with how millions of white, Trump-loving Americans believe that brown-skinned and/or Spanish-speaking individuals all should be banished to the south of the Great White Wall that Der Fuhrer Trump has promised to erect. (After all, these brown-skinned hordes are threatening what it means to be an American — which is to be white!)

So it’s always interesting to see white supremacists claim that whites actually are the victims. Fucking losers.

This is not to say that it’s OK to shit and piss on a white person primarily or even solely because he or she is white. That’s called racism. And you don’t correct racial injustice by committing even more racial injustice yourself.

Nor do you get to punish the son for the sins of the father, so to speak. Because a person is white doesn’t mean that he or she is the descendant of a white slaveholder any more than it means that a person who is a black is a descendant of black slaves. (Barack Obama, for instance, is not. And there are plenty of whites who immigrated to the U.S. after slavery was abolished. And most Southerners didn’t hold slaves during the years of slavery; you had to be pretty rich to hold a lot of slaves.) But even if someone were proven to be the descendant of a slaveholder, do you really get to punish him or her for something that happened when he or she was not even alive?

Slavery was a colossal sin that never should have happened and that can’t be undone. It never should be minimized, but it also shouldn’t keep blacks and whites hating each other in perpetuity. It is the national wound that won’t heal, and even then there are plenty of other wounds, such as the decimation of the Native Americans, who rarely are mentioned in discussions of race; the internment of the Japanese and other mistreatment of Asians throughout U.S. history; and the ongoing prejudice against Latinos, against whom we are told by our pussy-grabbing “president”-“elect” that we must built a huge wall — you know, in order to “make America great again.”

In regards to the second white-supremacist flier shown above, I fully agree that “defending [my] people is [my] social duty.” It’s that I define “my people” very differently than do the white supremacists.

While I don’t at all call myself a Christian, as I reject institutionalized Christianity and don’t believe in bullshit like virgin births and resurrections, there is a quote of Jesus that I find interesting. Three of the four gospels give some version of it. Here it is in Matthew 12:46-50:

46 While Jesus was still talking to the crowd, his mother and brothers stood outside, wanting to speak to him. 47 Someone told him, “Your mother and brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.”

48 He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?”49 Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. 50 For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”

I always have interpreted this to mean that Jesus (at least the Jesus of the New Testament as he is written about in the New Testament, whether there actually was a historical Jesus or not) did not believe that mere genetic closeness was real closeness; real closeness comes only with a shared worldview, a shared philosophy, a shared love that is not racially or otherwise exclusive, but is universal, all-encompassing.

I extend the definition of genetic closeness beyond the genetic closeness that one sees in his or her nuclear and extended family to the genetic closeness within one’s own race; having said that, again, I maintain that mere genetic closeness does not confer real closeness, and that perhaps is where the white supremacists err the most.

That another person is white doesn’t mean that he or she and I automatically have this bond. We don’t. I don’t care what’s in your genetic code; I care what’s in your heart and mind.

All human beings have the right to exist. White supremacists and other racial supremacists, however, care only about the welfare of the members of their own race. Tragic.

Defending our people indeed is our social duty, but our definition of “our people” had better include all human beings.

*It’s true that Vasconcelos is partial to the Iberian Peninsula, probably especially to Spain, but it’s also true that the Spanish conquerors did something that the white, non-Hispanic European conquerors were loathe to do: they routinely interbred with the peoples they conquered.

Thus, today’s populations of Mexicans, Cubans, Puerto Ricans, Filipinos, et. al., have Spanish blood in them, as the population of Brazil has Portuguese blood in it.

The willingness to mix racially is laudable, even necessary for the long-term survival of humankind, as I have established, but it’s also important not to feel that one’s own race is superior or supreme… And one could argue that Vasconcelos in his La Raza Cósmica at times at least verges on that.

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‘Rogue One’ gives me a new hope

Updated below (on Thursday, January 5, 2017)

Right about now we all could use a new “Star Wars” movie that doesn’t suck. “Rogue One’s” diverse cast of heroic characters (see the movie’s publicity image below) has the white supremacists in a frothy lather, which is yet another good reason to see it.

Image result for Rogue One cast

With Darth Donald furiously filling his administration with hell’s best and brightest — and our only hope rebel electors who halt the construction of the Death Star and thus save the republic when they meet in the state capitals on Monday — it’s great that we have a new “Star Wars” movie to look to.

“Rogue One: A Star Wars Story,” the first live-action “Star Wars” film that isn’t part of the ongoing nine-film series (which has hits and misses), opens on Friday, and it looks like it’s going to be a worthy “Star Wars” movie, unlike last year’s “Star Wars: The Force Awakens.”

I like that “Force Awakens” features a heroine instead of a hero (British actress Daisy Ridley as Rey did a great job), and that it is somewhat diverse, with black British actor John Boyega as rebel stormtrooper Finn and Latino Oscar Isaac as rebel pilot Poe Dameron. (Boyega and Isaac also did a great job, and, like many, many others, I’ve always had something for Isaac…)

But “Force Awakens,” although acted well enough and technically sound, of course, given its big budget, suffers significantly from being a brazen rehash of the “Star Wars” movies that came before it, replete with a third Death Star (well, OK, it’s a weaponized planet, but in essence it’s a third Death Star), another climactic light-saber duel, and, of course, the climactic destruction of that third Death Star.

“Force Awakens” also features a geriatric Carrie Fisher and Harrison Ford as a geriatric Princess Leia and Han Solo, which didn’t give me a warm and fuzzy sense of nostalgia as much as it gave me the sense that the fucking baby boomers just won’t get off of the stage, no matter how long it has been since they wore out their welcome. (At least Han Solo dies in the movie…)

Perhaps most sinfully, “Force Awakens'” “villain,” Darth Vader descendant Kylo Ren (the son of Han Solo and Leia, he is played by Adam Driver), isn’t actually bad-ass at all, but is a whiny little bitch (much like Darth Donald). And that Kylo Ren is just a bad Darth Vader knock-off only emphasizes the fact that “Force Awakens” is just a bad “Star Wars” knock-off…

Oh, sure, it’s great to watch Rey kick Kylo Ren’s ass, but the whole fucking premise that Leia and Han Solo had a son who grew up to try to emulate Granddad Vader is just stupid. As is that third Death Star.

“Rogue One,” though, looks promising. It’s a more immediate prequel to 1977’s “Star Wars: A New Hope”* than was 2005’s “Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith,” which is the best of the first-three-numbered “Star Wars” episodes of 1999, 2002 and 2005 that were made after the first three released “Star Wars” episodes of 1977, 1980 and 1983. (Indeed, “Sith” is the only of those three proactive episodes worth watching, really.)

We already pretty much know the plot of “Rogue One”: Rebels to the Empire manage to steal the (first) Death Star plans so that the rebels then can destroy it. But while that back story was mentioned** in “A New Hope,” it never was fleshed out (recall that “A New Hope” begins with Princess Leia safeguarding the Death Star plans with the [an]droid R2-D2, who/which then jettisons in an escape pod with sidekick C-3PO), and very apparently “Rogue One” fleshes out that back story.

That “Rogue One” takes on fresher (albeit pre-established) material rather than simply rehashing old material, as “Force Awakens” did, is a big draw to me, as is the fact that I was a “Star Wars” fan at nine or 10 years old, replete with action figures and plastic toy replicas of the vehicles. (The fact that my mother cavalierly bought me a regular TIE fighter instead of the Darth Vader TIE fighter that I’d very specifically and repeatedly requested for one Christmas [a true story, unfortunately] probably contributed to the person that I am today [including my being fairly used to deep disappointment].)

While I grew up as a “Star Wars” fan — not only was finally seeing the very first “Star Wars” film a major event for me (I was taken to see it by an uncle who felt pity for my brother and me that our lazy, selfish, baby-boomer parents had yet to take us to it [another unfortunately true story]), but “The Empire Strikes Back” and “Return of the Jedi” also were big events for me, even though “Jedi,” with its second Death Star (and its inevitable destruction), largely is a rehash of “New Hope,” just with a bigger budget and on a larger scale — I still expect a new “Star Wars” movie to bring fresh elements to the table, and “Rogue One” appears to do that.

And I didn’t need another reason to see “Rogue One,” but the fact that the Trump-loving white supremacists/neo-Nazis are boycotting “Rogue One” because it’s just too damned diverse (and thus apparently is anti-white, you see) is yet another significant reason for me to see it.

You would think that these “alt-right” losers would have boycotted “Force Awakens,” because in it, the heroine Rey kicks the ass of the bad-ass wannabe Kylo Ren, who reminds me a lot of the neo-Nazis: He very much wants to be a bad-ass, and is trying to mimic an actual bad-ass who came before him, but he’s just a pathetic, petty terrorist; oh, sure, he can cause plenty of harm to others, but at heart, he’s a weak fucking coward — who gets his sorry ass kicked by a girl.

I love it that as with “Force Awakens,” “Rogue One’s” main hero is a heroine, Jyn Erso (played by British actress Felicity Jones), a rebel who apparently is aided in her cause against the Empire by fellow rebels played by Mexican actor Diego Luna, black American actor Forest Whitaker, Chinese actor Donnie Yen, and Riz Ahmed, who is a Brit of Pakistani heritage.

I’ve enjoyed the work of Luna, Whitaker, Yen and the adorable, doe-eyed Ahmed, and I’m happy to be able to see all of them in one movie.

And that ass-kicking droid in “Rogue One” (named K-2SO, apparently an Imperial droid that/who is droidnapped and reprogrammed to work for the rebels) strikes me as pretty fucking cool — like a C-3PO who/that finally grew a pair.

Movies do a lot of things. They are escapism, for sure, and right about now we Americans — and those who live in nations that are affected by what we Americans allow our government actors to do (and what we don’t allow them to do) — sure could use some escapism.

But movies also are a deep part of American and global culture, and it’s not a one-way street; movies not only reflect the culture at large, but they help to shape the culture.

Even the dimwitted, cowardly members of the “alt-right” and other neo-Nazis know this, and that’s why they hate to see images of racial and gender equality in our mainstream movies; they want only straight, white, conservative men to be the sole heroes in our movies in perpetuity.

But “Star Wars” has been, at least in its own way, subversive from Day One. Even in 1977’s retroactively titled “A New Hope,” it’s clear that the evil Empire, with its legions of stormtroopers and military hierarchy and massive weaponry, is much like the short-lived Nazi German empire.

And “Star Wars'” heroes have not been its villains (although no doubt many have fetishized its villains to the point of not really even viewing them as villains); “Star Wars'” heroes always have been the little guys and gals who have stood up to the big, fascist bullies against all odds.

“Star Wars” has been anti-neo-Nazi since its birth in 1977; the mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging, neo-Nazi mega-losers of today boycott it way too late.

And I’m incredibly fine, when I go to see “Rogue One” — taking a break from the news of the stunningly awful team that is being assembled in Washington, D.C., to “make America great again” by bringing it to the brink of its destruction — knowing that at least there shouldn’t be any neo-Nazis in the theater with me because of their pissy little boycott.

Update (Thursday, January 5, 2017): I finally saw “Rogue One” in IMAX on Monday.

While not a perfect movie, it probably is the best “Star Wars” movie to be released since “The Empire Strikes Back.” It certainly has the look and the feel of the 1977 “Star Wars.”

Like every “Star Wars” movie, “Rogue One” has some characters (humans and non-humans) that are rather dumb, to be frank, but in “Rogue One” the strong characters thankfully cancel out the others. Droid K-2SO (voiced by Alan Tudyk) steals the show as a C-3PO with balls, and Felicity Jones as reluctant Rebel Jyn Erso and Diego Luna as Rebel leader Cassian Andor are a strong heroine and hero team.

Riz Ahmed seems underused as Imperial turncoat Bodhi Rook, a character that is rather undeveloped, as are the characters of blind warrior Chirrut Imwe (who is reduced to babbling a mantra about the Force, which many viewers are going to find more tiresome and annoying than anything else), played by Donnie Yen, and radical Rebel offshoot Saw Gerrera, played by Forest Whitaker, whose importance seems diminished by a deficient back story.

The CGI of the long-dead Peter Cushing as Governor Tarkin is rather obviously CGI, and it’s surprising how much of the CGI Peter Cushing is in “Rogue One.” I’ll leave aside the discussion as to whether or not we even should be resurrecting dead actors via CGI, and just say that the CGI in “Rogue One” is lacking. We’ve come a long way from the creepy CGI of “The Polar Express,” but in “Rogue One,” it’s not far enough.

For all of it flaws, again, “Rogue One” succeeds in bringing back the look and feel and spirit of the 1977 “Star Wars” without entirely rehashing old story lines, as “Return of the Jedi” and “The Force Awakens” did.

Yes, like “Revenge of the Sith,” “Rogue One” fleshes out events that already were alluded to in the earlier films, but still, it’s a masterful fleshing out.

And it’s rather exhilarating, in fact, if you are an old “Star Wars” fan like I am, to watch “Rogue One” take you right to where the 1977 “Star Wars” begins.

I give “Rogue One” at least an “A-“. It misses primarily in some lacking character development. And I still don’t know about that CGI.

“Rogue One” must be given points for its diverse cast — it’s so refreshing when the hero isn’t yet another straight white guy — and for its rather bold ending, which I’d talk about except that it would be a major spoiler to tell you the fate of the main characters.

*I was nine years old when that movie came out, and it wasn’t subtitled “A New Hope” until 1981, when the movie was re-released.

**The iconic opening crawl of “A New Hope” reads:

It is a period of civil war. Rebel spaceships, striking from a hidden base, have won their first victory against the evil Galactic Empire.

During the battle, Rebel spies managed to steal secret plans to the Empire’s ultimate weapon, the DEATH STAR, an armored space station with enough power to destroy an entire planet.

Pursued by the Empire’s sinister agents, Princess Leia races home aboard her starship, custodian of the stolen plans that can save her people and restore freedom to the galaxy…

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When you know you’re going to lose an election, just claim that it’s rigged

Vox.com reports that from 2000 to 2014, there were only 35 “credible allegations of in-person voting fraud” among almost 1 billion ballots cast. Um, yeah.

The next time that you hear a wingnut claim that there is rampant voter fraud within your state (or city or county or hell, even within the entire nation), ask him or her for a specific, verified example of it. Ask for a name, a place, a date, a manner.

There will be silence. (Well, maybe not silence, but you won’t get the information that you just asked for.)

Because the fact is that actual voter fraud within the United States is so very rare as to make its effect on our election results statistically irrelevant.

The only wolves who cry “rampant voter fraud!” are those who vote Repugnican — because they’re sore losers who refuse to deal with the fact that their right-wing, fascist, white supremacist, patriarchal, misogynist, xenophobic, homophobic worldview (yes, they are deplorable) is rejected by the majority of Americans.

The vast majority of the handful of cases of illegal voting that are verified are found to have been unintentional — that is, these weren’t people with the criminal intent of knowingly trying to influence the outcome of an election by casting a ballot illegally. They’re people who had thought that they were eligible to vote but who weren’t, or such cases as widows and widowers filling out and submitting the absentee ballots of their spouses who recently died, apparently failing to see a huge problem with that.

(Yeah, you’ll hear Der Fuhrer Donald Trump claim that hordes of “illegals” are crossing the border to vote illegally — you know, when they’re not too busy raping, murdering, pillaging, plundering and drug running — but he won’t bash widows and widowers, who probably are the plurality if not the majority of those relative tiny few who actually commit voter fraud. [Most of those widows and widowers probably vote Repugnican, which I’m sure has something to do with that…])

Again, intent is what makes an act fraudulent, and the form of voter fraud that the sore-loser traitors on the right claim happens the most — in-person voter fraud — actually happens the least.

Repugnican Trump surrogate Rudy “A Noun, A Verb And 9/11” Goebbels Giuliani these days frantically is alleging that in-person voter fraud is rampant, especially within our inner cities (no dog whistle there!), but of course he just throws these bullshit allegations out there and offers no actual details of any verified instances of in-person voter fraud.

That would be because, as the Brennan Center for Justice remarks in its thoughtful report “The Truth About Voter Fraud,” “It is more likely that an individual will be struck by lightning than that he will impersonate another voter at the polls.”

Yup.

Of course the Repugnican Tea Party traitors’ true intent isn’t to stop criminality that virtually isn’t even happening at all. Their agenda, of course, is to try to steal elections by crying “fraud!”

They know that this fact- and reality-free propagandistic tactic works with their base of mouth-breathing, knuckle-dragging fucktards who deem themselves patriots but whose very deplorable existence only continues to drag the entire nation down to this day, which is hardly patriotic.

And, of course, the intent of false allegations of rampant voter fraud is to “justify” post-election violence by treasonous, sore-loser Repugnican Tea Party retrogrades. Recall how Repugnican traitors — George W. Bush campaign operatives masquerading as angry regular civilians — tried to influence the outcome of the presidential election in Florida in 2000 by thuggishly storming the Miami-Dade County ballot canvassing location.

A writer for Vox.com notes that

… Trump … is spending the weeks before the election telling his followers that the election is so illegitimate that they need to be physically present at polling places to monitor it. That raises the possibility of violence on Election Day. It certainly lays the groundwork for anger and denial afterward — even if Trump himself walks away and takes that nice long vacation he talks about. …

It’s more insidious than that.

Right-wing “poll monitors” aren’t there to ensure a clean election; they’re there to try to intimidate the “wrong” kind of people — that is, those who tend to vote for Democrats — from voting at all. They do their partisan profiling based upon the voter’s demographics, and whose ballots do you think they contest? How often, do you think, they challenge, say, old white people and people who appear to be rich versus people of color, younger people, people who appear to be poor, et. al.?

Yes, there could be violence on Election Day if Der Fuhrer Trump’s jackbooted thugs show up at the polling places in significant numbers with the full intent to intimidate voters whom they perceive (correctly or incorrectly) won’t vote for Trump.

But there could be violence after Election Day, too, even if Billary beats Trump by a large margin, which I surmise will be the case.

You know what, though? Fuck the neo-Nazis. If they want violence, let’s give violence right back to them. We Americans must not make the same mistake that the Germans did in the 1920s and 1930s. If the neo-Nazis here at home want another Civil War, let’s hand their sorry, treasonous asses to them again.

To be clear, I’m no shill for Democrat in name only Billary Clinton. I’m voting for Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, the only progressive in the presidential race, very most likely.* I most definitely don’t want fascist demagogue Donald Trump to be president, but I don’t want Billary Clinton in the Oval Office, either.

But I recognize that, even though the Democratic Party presidential primary process most definitely was stacked in Billary’s favor and against Bernie Sanders’ by her anti-democratic operatives within the Democratic National Committee and throughout the nation, in November Billary is going to win my state of California and thus all of its 55 electoral votes in the winner-takes-all(-except-for-Maine-and-Nebraska) Electoral College.

And I recognize that Billary Clinton is much more likely than not to be elected our next president.**

Only if it were close could the Repugnican Tea Party traitors perhaps successfully scream that the nationwide election is (going to be) rigged. But it’s not close.

Per Real Clear Politics’ average of recent nationwide polls, Billary right now leads El Trumpo by 5.5 percentage points nationwide, and the Huffington Post’s average of recent nationwide polls similarly puts Billary at 6 percentage points ahead of Der Fuhrer Trump.

There’s that and there’s the fact that while Billary Clinton’s unfavorable rating is 53 percent (she is liked by only 43 percent), Trump’s unfavorable rating is 10 points worse: a whopping 63 percent don’t like him, and only 34 percent do.

Um, yeah, you don’t win a presidential election if 63 percent of the American people don’t feel favorably toward you.

Finally, fivethirtyeight.com right now gives Trump no more than a 17.1 percent chance of winning the election — he’s at the lowest point in fivethirtyeight.com’s tracking of the race since June, and the election is only 23 days away.

Again: Trump is, in a word, toast.

He will win states where the majority of the voters are deplorable — I expect him to win anywhere from 19 to 23 states (I refer, of course, to the red states) but not even 24 states — but he won’t win the White House.

Again, as a douche bag who never was vice president, a U.S. senator or the governor of a state, Trump always was highly unlikely to become the first “reality”-television star and bankruptcy-happy billionaire to become president of the United States of America in the first place.

His loss in November, by a significant margin, will come as no surprise. I mean, I haven’t even mentioned here that he has committed serial sexual assault, and that no presidential candidate who was recorded as having bragged about “grab[bing]” women “by the pussy” (and otherwise sexually assaulting them because he is a “star” who can get away with it) ever went on to win the White House.

I suppose that if I were a Repugnican Tea Party traitor, right about now I’d be making bullshit claims about rampant voter fraud, too.

*Lately I’ve toyed around with writing Bernie Sanders’ name in, even though it very most likely wouldn’t count at all. I might do that, but I’ll probably vote for Stein, as I voted for her in 2012, since President Hopey-Changey, for whom I voted in 2008, didn’t change nearly enough during his first term, losing the Democrats control of the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2010 mid-term election, dooming any progressive agenda that he might wanted to have tried to enact after that, but in retrospect it’s pretty clear to me that he never had any real intent to even try significantly to enact a progressive agenda at all.

**This reminds me of this recent great editorial cartoon by Ted Rall:

Love Trumps Hate...What?Yes, it is going to be a stupid next four to eight years. (I don’t really expect it to be eight, though; as I’ve noted before, given her high level of unpopularity going into the job, I expect Billary to be a one-term president. She has benefited greatly from the fact that Trump has been a train wreck of literally historical proportions.)

I like this one of Rall’s too:

Donald Trump called for a lot of outrageous things throughout his presidential campaign. He wanted Muslims to be banned from entering the knighted states. He wanted to build a border wall and deport 11 million illegal aliens. He called for beating up protesters at his own rallies. Oddly, none of this made him less popular. To the contrary. What did him in, or at least looks like it might, is an open microphone moment in which he talked about grabbing women's pussies.

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