Tag Archives: right wing

‘President’-‘elect’ Pussygrabber is illegitimate and should be boycotted

Updated below (on Wednesday, January 18, 2017)

It speaks volumes about the Repugnican (Tea) Party that since (but not including) 1988, its presidential candidate won the popular vote only one time (in 2004). This is a weak political party that should have been polished off long ago, and it still exists only because of the ineptitude and the cowardice of the Democrats. Thankfully, there is a good chance that Putin puppet “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber finally will do the job that the Democrats never did: destroy the Repugnican Party as we know it.

“The number of Democratic members of Congress saying they will boycott Donald Trump’s inauguration on Friday has increased to 26,” the BBC reports today, the highest count that I’ve seen thus far, but the BBC doesn’t list them all. (Yahoo! News apparently lists all or most of the boycotters here.)

The boycott apparently was jump-started* by Georgia U.S. Rep. John Lewis’ correct pronouncement this past week that Donald J. Trump is an illegitimate president (which of course drew the very predictable, very immature El Trumpo’s return fire on the very presidential platform that is Twitter).

Rep. Lewis cited Russia’s having tried to influence the presidential election as the source of Pussygrabber’s illegitimacy, but to that I would add the fact that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes, making him, in that sense, even more illegitimate than was “President” George W. Bush, who in 2000 lost the popular vote by almost 544,000 votes.

Of course the Repugnican Teatards aren’t at all concerned that Pussygrabber lost the popular vote by almost 3 million, aren’t concerned that the loser “won.” They weren’t concerned when this happened in 2000, either, because the Repugnicans are fascists, and fascists never care whether or not they actually win the most votes; they care only about taking power, with or without the consent of the majority of the American people.

This is why I also call these fascists traitors. They aren’t individuals who act in good faith with whom I simply disagree on politics, ethics and morality; they are actively anti-democratic and as such they are the enemy to all of us who actually value democracy, who believe that merely paying lip service to democracy isn’t nearly enough.

To attend “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber’s inauguration ceremony on Friday is to give him, at least tacitly, legitimacy that he does not have, and to give the dint of legitimacy to an unelected, treasonous fascist like Pussygrabber is to work against the nation’s best interests, whether one intends to do so or not.

(Those who argue that they are attending the inauguration ceremony in order to honor the office of the presidency rather than to endorse, by their presence, the specific individual who is taking over the Oval Office on Friday are trying to have it both ways — but they cannot. Their presence indeed will give Der Fuhrer Trump the appearance of legitimacy that he does not have and indeed will serve only to further normalize the infantilism, fascism and treason that are El Trumpo’s most prominent traits.)

To boycott All Things Pussygrabber isn’t to be a sore loser, since Pussygrabber didn’t actually win, but actually lost the election. To boycott Der Fuhrer Trump, then, is to be a sore winner.

Just as I never considered George W. Bush to be the legitimate president of the United States of America, I never will consider Donald J. Trump to be the legitimate president.

If the majority of the American voters had actually selected these inept fascists, perhaps I could get over it, but both inept fascists lost the popular vote and both had significant, extra-democratic help from others.

Bush Jr. had help from his brother Jeb!, who was then governor of the pivotal Electoral College state of Florida that Bush Jr. “won” also with the help of then-Florida Secretary of State Katherine Harris, who just coinky-dinkily also had been on the committee to see Bush Jr. elected in Florida (no conflict of interest there!).

And, of course, the coup de grâce was when the “justices” of the U.S. Supreme Court who had been appointed by Repugnican presidents voted to stop the recount in Florida — by so doing to install Bush Jr. into the White House, the wishes of the majority of the American voters be damned.

All of this brazen corruption and these extra-democratic political machinations, yet we commoners were expected to accept George W. Bush as the legitimate president of the United States of America.

Ditto for Donald J. Trump, even when it’s evident that probably for the first time in our nation’s history, another nation — and historically (and presently) an enemy nation — probably was instrumental in helping their chosen Manchurian candidate “win.”

This is treason, and those who cooperate with “President”-“elect” Pussygrabber in any way are complicit in this treason.

No true patriot could support Donald J. Trump in any way, even by “just” attending his inauguration.

P.S. I have e-mailed my two California U.S. senators and my U.S. representative and asked all of them to boycott Friday’s inauguration ceremony. I encourage you to do the same, even if you think there’s no way in hell that any of your representatives to D.C. will do so.

While it’s most likely that none of my three D.C. representatives will boycott the inauguration, the most likely to do so, it seems to me, is the newly minted Democratic U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, who has been pretty good on civil rights. (Harris already has said that she will vote against Alabama U.S. Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III for U.S. attorney general.)

My other U.S. senator, “Democrat” Dianne Feinstein, is fairly worthless, and I expect little to nothing from her.

My U.S representative isn’t much better than is Feinstein, and I’d be shocked if she were to boycott, because that would be way too bold and courageous for her, as it would be for Feinstein.

I am glad and proud to see, however, that several U.S. representatives from California are joining the boycott.

Update (Monday, January 16, 2017, 9:20 p.m. PST): Slate.com now reports that 35 members of Congress won’t attend the inauguration on Friday, and lists them all.

I am pleased to see that new to the growing list of boycotters is Minnesota U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, whom I still support for the new chair of the Democratic National Committee.

Still no U.S. senator has said that she or he won’t attend the inauguration, and while 11 U.S. representatives on Slate.com’s list of 35 boycotters are from my home state of California, where Billary Clinton on November 8 beat Pussygrabber by about two to one, my U.S. representative (Doris Matsui) isn’t on Slate.com’s list….

Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Now more than 50 members of the U.S. House of Representatives are boycotting Friday’s inauguration ceremony. No U.S. senator thus far has had the cajones to do the right thing and boycott. (The senators are D.C. elites, you see.)

Speaking of D.C. elites, as was entirely predictable, my lame U.S. representative, “Democrat” Doris Matsui, has chosen retaining her status as a D.C. elite over doing the right thing, and of course she will attend the inauguration.

“I love my country,” Matsui said lamely, like a junior high school student. “And our country is so important and critical in the world. I thought that my personal feelings about Trump should not prevent me from showing support for our democracy.”

No, she’s just showing up to show her support for election theft, treason and fascism. Because she loves her country.
(“It’s a serious occasion, the peaceful transference of power,” Matsui said of the inauguration ceremony, as though she were teaching civics to kindergarteners. “The rest of the world is watching, too. I think it’s important for us to look as unified as we can because we have to look forward.”
Just: Wow. “Looking” “unified” is the most important consideration here? No, cooperating with fascism is cooperating with fascism. This is why the “Democrats” lose: they continually sell out their base to the right in the name of high-mindedness while the Repugnican Tea Party never returns that favor. “Opposition party” isn’t in the DINOs’ vocabulary.

Speaking of which, Pussygrabber spokesnake Sean Spicer, like Matsui, also calls the inauguration ceremony a “peaceful transfer of power,” because we Americans all must be peaceful, you see, even though yet another presidential election has just been stolen. Peacefulness and the appearance of unity, you see, are far more important than are fair elections in which the winners of the most votes actually take office and in which enemy foreign nations don’t interfere.)

I didn’t vote for Matsui in November because of her blindly obedient, elitist support for her fellow DINO Billary Clinton, who obviously was the wrong presidential candidate to put forth in 2016, and I don’t see myself casting a vote for the Trump-loving, simple-minded, D.C. elitist, sellout Matsui ever again.
Update (Wednesday, January 18, 2017): Good Morning America now puts the count of boycotting U.S. representatives at a full 60 and lists them all. (Of course no Repugnican Tea Party U.S. representative dares to boycott Der Fuhrer Donald’s installation.)
There are 194 Democrats in the House of Representatives, so 60 of them boycotting means that 31 percent of the House Dems are boycotting. And 60 representatives is 14 percent of the full House of Representatives, which has 435 members in all.
*The BBC reports that the first member of U.S. Congress to announce his or her boycott of Pussygrabber’s inauguration was Illinois U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez, last month, but apparently the boycott didn’t catch fire until Rep. Lewis announced that he also would boycott.

Kudos to Rep. Gutierrez for having gone first in doing the right thing! I wish that he were my U.S. representative!

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

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

Image result for fidel castro

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Amnesty International’s nutshell on Cuba is this:

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

Human Rights Watch’s nutshell on Cuba is similar:

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

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

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

Um, yeah.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Anarchists and skinheads clash again in Sacramento — this time with stabbings

Updated below (on Monday, June 27, 2016)

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) walk onto west steps of the State Capitol as they stage a counter-protest against the Traditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads on Sunday, June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

Sacbee.com photos

Above: Anarchists and other anti-fascists demonstrated against neo-Nazis at the California state Capitol in Sacramento today. I love the sign with the swastika with the dagger plunged into it, and I’m on board with stopping fascism, but we must spell correctly… Below: In a melee that was quite predictable but not prevented by law enforcement, five people (three of them shown here) were stabbed during the confrontation between the two groups at the state Capitol today. From what I can tell, most or all of those stabbed were anarchists or other anti-fascists stabbed by the neo-Nazis, and at least two of them were black.

Sean Moore, 23, of Sacramento waits for medics with a friends after being stabbed by neo-Nazi protesters at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016. Medics later said it was a three inch incision.

A protestor is comforted after stabbed during a clash between members of the group called ANTIFA Sacramento (Anti-Fascism Action) against theTraditionalist Worker's Party and the Golden State Skinheads at the State Capitol on Sunday June 26, 2016 in Sacramento, Calif.

A victim is attended to by counter protesters after he was stabbed during a neo-Nazi rally at the State Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., on June 26, 2016.

Sacbee.com photos

So there was quite a ruckus here in Sacramento today.

Anarchists reportedly crashed a rally of white supremacists before the neo-Nazis could even begin their little pageant, and in the melee at least five people were stabbed.

We’ve had at least one anarchist-on-neo-Nazi clash at the state Capitol before; I wrote about it in February 2012, when it last happened, but at that time there weren’t any stabbings. Just anarchists (incorrectly identified not as anarchists but as members of the Occupy movement) throwing things at the retreating neo-Nazis.

More details of today’s melee will come out, at least in the local media, but have we really come to stabbings? Shootings can’t be far behind, can they?

Thing is, two of my co-workers had told me about the planned crashing of the white supremacist gathering by anarchists around two weeks ago. (No, these two co-workers aren’t anarchists, to my knowledge, but apparently are anarchist sympathizers, as I am, for the most part.*)

So the word was out there that the anarchists would confront the neo-Nazis at the Capitol today, and I knew immediately upon hearing that that would be a combustible mix, yet the state police (the California Highway Patrol) seemed ill-prepared for today’s violence.

I have to wonder if that’s because they’re OK with it.

Seriously — the one thing that the ne0-Nazis and the anarchists do have in common is that they tend to be younger and poorer and quite disgruntled over the sorry state of affairs here in the United States of America; they are quite anti-establishment (and, of course, law-enforcement officers are quite pro-establishment).

Of course, that’s where the similarities between the anarchists and the neo-Nazis end; the neo-Nazis blame all of the wrong people (non-whites, Jews and Muslims and other non-“Christians,” feminists, non-heterosexuals, socialists, et. al.) for all of our nation’s and world’s ills while the anarchists correctly identify our enemy: the plutocrats and the corporatocrats — and yes, the members of the right wing, including the neo-Nazis, who treasonously aid and abet the treasonous plutocrats and corporatocrats. (Indeed, the plutocrats and corporatocrats couldn’t commit their evil without the help of the right wing.)

Unshockingly, the neo-Nazis visited Sacramento today at least in part to show their support for Der Fuhrer Donald Trump, and indeed, the opposing camps of Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders are much like the opposing camps of the neo-Nazis and the anarchists: Both camps are comprised of justifiably disgruntled individuals, but, again, while the neo-Nazis and Trumpites have incredibly misidentified our true enemies, the Berners and the anarchists have identified them correctly.

Having been a Berner who refuses to cast a vote for pro-establishment sellout Billary Clinton, it’s difficult for me to criticize what the anarchists did today, although I do find it to be a bit disturbing that multiple stabbings occurred at the state Capitol today, where I have attended several protests myself (sans any stabbings) and which is within two blocks of my workplace.

(No, I was nowhere near the Capitol today, and nor would I have been, not with our triple-digit weather, which, I surmise, contributed to today’s heated tempers.)

I am of two minds on the recent spate of violence that we have seen between those on the left (anarchists, Berners and others) and those on the right (Trump supporters and other assorted neo-Nazis): Had the budding Nazis in Germany faced significant violent pushback from good Germans (were there any good Germans?), Nazi Germany might never have risen.

I don’t see why history couldn’t repeat itself today in the United States of America. If the American neo-Nazis of today didn’t get violent pushback, how far would they go? Are they not dipping their white-supremacist toes in the water to see how far they can go?

We just might have the anarchists to thank for keeping the treasonous skinheads in check.

On the other hand, I don’t know how much political power the neo-Nazis actually have and thus what actual threat they pose. For my entire life they haven’t had much power, not nationally, anyway — most Americans consider (correctly) the neo-Nazis to be maladjusted social fucktards, like Trekkies and fantasy gamers (although, of course, generally more armed and thus potentially dangerous) — and so I don’t know how important it was for the anarchists to confront them today.

Thing is, where it comes to fascism and the rise of Nazi Germany 2.0 here in the United States of America in the present, I would rather overestimate than underestimate the risk.

And I have the sentiment that it’s too bad that some young anarchists today were knifed by a domestic enemy that too many of the rest of us “good” Americans won’t significantly confront.

P.S. At this point I’d be fine with a ban on neo-Nazis appearing at the state Capitol, now that we’ve had stabbings, most or all of which appear to have been perpetrated by the neo-Nazis.

This isn’t free fucking speech anymore. This is just hate speech, and hate speech predictably ends up in violence — as I noted, today’s violence in Sacramento was completely predictable and thus probably preventable — and therefore, in my book, hate speech, which exists in order to deprive others of their constitutional rights, is not protected by the First Amendment.

And, of course, I hope that they catch the cowardly skinheads who stabbed the true patriots today and throw the scumbags into prison, where they belong — behind bars, like the animals that they are.

Update (Monday, June 27, 2016): The Los Angeles Times reports that seven people were stabbed during yesterday’s melee in Sacramento, and The Sacramento Bee reports today:

Protesters on both sides of [yesterday’s] bloody riot at the state Capitol say police intentionally held back from intervening as a planned neo-Nazi rally spun out of control and left 10 people injured, including at least five who were stabbed.

The claims come despite statements by Sacramento police and the California Highway Patrol that officers knew in advance of the potential for a confrontation and that more than 100 police and CHP officers were standing watch on the perimeter of the Capitol grounds.

The flurry of violence began before the scheduled start of the noon rally organized by the neo-Nazi Traditionalist Worker Party, which had fewer than 30 members set to hold their event on the west steps of the Capitol. Confrontations between the two groups began before the event. More than 350 anti-fascist protesters descended on the Capitol grounds, vastly outnumbering the others and police.

Sacramento police say at least 10 people were injured in a series of melees. A bystander later turned in a loaded pistol found on the Capitol grounds.

None of the injuries are considered life-threatening and no arrests have been made. …

Again, I wasn’t there, but as I noted yesterday, I have to wonder how quickly the cops intervened and how well they were prepared; after all, the probable combustibility of the situation indeed had been known well in advance.
That said, while I agree with the anarchists on much, such as their anti-fascist and anti-rascist philosophies, I can’t say that I condone all of their actions, and it seems pretty clear that at least some of them went to the neo-Nazis’ little public appearance wanting a fight.
Admittedly, the line between fighting (literally) for social justice and just thuggery can be thin and/or blurry.

*I wrote back in February 2012:

… I have nothing against the anarchists. Anyone who goes after white supremacists who dare to spew forth their filth in the public square is fine with me, and the imagery of a bunch of supposedly bad-ass white supremacists fleeing from a mob of Occupy/“Occupy” protesters (most if not all of them actually anarchists) — the way that blacks have had to flee from mobs of white supremacists — is gratifyingly amusing.

And who knows? When/if the shit really hits the fan, I might join the anarchists’ ranks. (Black is slimming anyway…) …

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

When violence is OK (even necessary)

San Jose Mercury News image

Anti-fascist protesters make their views on Donald Trump clear at his appearance in San Jose, California, on Thursday. I can’t blame Latinos for reacting to Trump and his supporters in the way that they have; indeed, Trump came right out of the gate a year ago this month publicly voicing his hateful, right-wing intent to make Latinos into the scapegoat for the nation’s problems in typical fascist, neo-Nazi-Germany fashion. If you are Latino (you know, the new Jew), you easily could fear for the safety and security of yourself and your loved ones under a President Trump — and act accordingly.

Such a domesticated, docile lot are we Americans, tamed at birth by our corporate (and “Christian”) overlords, that one of the many things that we claim to be true but yet very rarely to never ever actually examine — such as that there is God (and a Jesus and a heaven and a hell, etc.), that capitalism is the best socioeconomic model and that this is so self-evident that we are not to discuss otherwise, and that the United States of America militarily can do no wrong (hell no should President Hopey-Changey have apologized for the nuking of Japan! [And, of course, he didn’t]) — is that violence is always wrong.

Of course, that’s not always true; when the rich and powerful use violence, such as we saw with the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War — which was to regain Big Oil’s access to Iraq’s oil and was for the war profiteers’ war profiteering — then violence, even on, or perhaps even especially on, a grand fucking scale is A-OK.

It’s we commoners who never are to use violence for our political aims, you see; no, only the elite may do that.

So the question arises as to whether or not it’s OK for anti-Donald-Trump protesters to use violence against Trump’s supporters, such as happened in San Jose, California, on Thursday.

The Associated Press reported:

A group of protesters attacked Donald Trump supporters who were leaving the candidate’s rally in San Jose on Thursday night. A dozen or more people were punched, at least one person was pelted with an egg, and Trump hats grabbed from supporters were set on fire.

Police stood their ground at first but after about 90 minutes moved into the remaining crowd to break it up and make arrests. At least four people were taken into custody, though police didn’t release total arrest figures Thursday night. One officer was assaulted, police Sgt. Enrique Garcia said.

There were no immediate reports of injuries and no major property damage, police said.

The crowd, which had numbered over 300 just after the rally, had thinned significantly. Still, those that remained, filling about a city block near the San Jose Convention Center, were rowdy and angry.

Some banged on the cars of Trump supporters as they left the rally and chased after those on foot to frighten them.

Police were keeping their distance from the crowd as the scuffles played out but kept them from getting any closer to the convention center.

“Our police officers have done an extremely courageous and professional job so far,” San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo told the Associated Press by phone. “We’re all still holding our breath to see the outcome of this dangerous and explosive situation.”

The mayor, a Democrat and Hillary Clinton supporter, criticized Trump for coming to cities and igniting problems that local police departments have to deal with.

“At some point Donald Trump needs to take responsibility for the irresponsible behavior of his campaign,” Liccardo said. …

I’ll dive right in: Knowing that Adolf Hitler & Co. rose to power in Germany in no small part because not enough Germans stood up to them, even when the signs of the Nazis’ rising fascism were plain to see early on, I cannot find it within myself to condemn what the anti-fascist protesters did in San Jose last week when the fascist demagogue Donald Trump came to their city.

In light of what the protesters actually did — comparing that to the evil that quite foreseeably could come to pass under a President Trump, I mean — I’d say that the anti-fascist protesters went awfully easy.

This isn’t to say that I condone every single, individual act of violence that anyone might commit anywhere. There is a viral video on YouTube, for instance, that reportedly and apparently shows a young, fascist man who is walking away from the San Jose KKK rally after its conclusion being attacked from behind apparently without provocation (other than his political leanings, apparently) by some asshole who hits him in the side of the head with some object (a pair of shoes, from what I can tell) and then runs away.

The Trumpbot doesn’t appear to have been hurt badly (even small cuts to the head can bleed a lot), and his (literal) bloody shirt has been a wonderful political prop for his fellow right-wingers.*

But I’m much, much more concerned about the United States of America being taken over by white supremacist, jingoist fascists like Germany was in the 1930s than I am about how it might look to the fascist Trumpbots that some poor fellow Trumpbot was hit in the head with a pair of shoes in San Jose.

I never have hit anyone upside the head with a pair of shoes, and don’t foresee myself ever doing so, but I’m fine with the neo-Brownshirts getting the strong and clear message now that their brand of politics — fascism — is unfuckingacceptable to the majority of us Americans.

It’s not OK, as the Nazis did and as Donald Trump and his supporters do today, to single out certain groups of people — be they Jewish, Muslim, Hispanic (or otherwise non-white), be they non-heterosexual and/or non-gender-conforming, mentally and/or physically disabled, be they socialist or communist, be they whomever or whatever — for special mistreatment and persecution (even mass execution) as scapegoats for all of the nation’s socioeconomic problems.

A few pairs of shoes upside the heads of the neo-Nazis right now just might save millions of lives in the future.

I call that well fucking worth it.

P.S. It has been just assumed that those who have attacked Trump’s jackbooted fans are supporters of Bernie Sanders.

Some of them probably are, but some of them aren’t. Anarchists, for instance, to my knowledge routinely attack white supremacists (which I fully support) but aren’t big on supporting any political candidates, not even the uncommon likes of Bernie Sanders.

And most of those who attacked Trump supporters, at least in San Jose on Thursday, appear to be Latino (see the video at the link). Because they hate Trump doesn’t necessarily mean that they are backing Bernie. But I can’t blame them for their actions; stunningly utterly lacking the qualifications of the presidency, Trump has used stoking racist, anti-Latino sentiment as his No. 1 distraction with which to fuel his campaign; he has attacked Latinos more than any other group.

You know, though, even Adolf Hitler had the brains to attack a tiny minority group; even before the Nazis started to exterminate them, Jews comprised not even 1 percent of the population of Germany.

As of July 1, 2014, however, Latinos comprised 17 percent of the population of the United States, making them, per the U.S. Census Bureau, “the nation’s largest ethnic or racial minority.” Latinos are on course to comprise 28.6 percent of the U.S. population by 2060, per the Census Bureau.

I’d say that Der Fuhrer Trump picked the wrong minority group to shit and piss upon.

At any rate, Bernie Sanders reportedly said today on CNN’s “State of the Union”: “We have millions and millions of people who are supporting us, and I want to make it clear that any person who is a Bernie Sanders supporter, please, do not in any way, shape or form engage in violence. That is absolutely not what this campaign is about.”

With all due respect to Bernie, this isn’t about Bernie. This is about an entire group of Americans who have been under attack by a fascist presidential campaign for about a year now — mostly because of their race. Trump started attacking them long before we knew that Bernie would come as far as he has. Again: This isn’t about Bernie. This is about stopping a budding fascism, which is more important than is any one individual’s political campaign, even for the presidency.**

Bernie is entitled to his beliefs on violence; I’m not sure whether he truly believes that violence never works or whether he is saying publicly what he and/or his advisers feel he must say publicly for political reasons.

But, as the son of a Jewish Polish immigrant whose relatives were slaughtered by the Nazis in Poland during the Holocaust, I’m thinking that Bernie would agree that it’s much better to nip fascism in the bud, before it goes full bloom.

He and I might not agree on whether or not violence should be taken off of the table — I say that of course it cannot, not when the right wing never takes it off of the table; you never unilaterally disarm — but I’m sure that he and I agree that preventing the rise of Nazi Germany 2.0 here in the United States of America is of paramount importance.

*I’m assuming that he supports Trump and Trump’s policies. He doesn’t claim otherwise in the video; in fact, he claims in the video that he had been chanting Trump’s name, so he very apparently is a Trump supporter.

**That said, do you really see the Billarybots, whose candidate is Fascist Lite, being very effective in countering Nazi-Germany-level fascists here at home? I mean, that would require them to actually put down their lattes, and given their love of all things French, we can extrapolate how hard they would fight the neo-Nazis here at home; no, worthless, cheese-eating surrender monkeys all.

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

88 years for a U.S. president to travel 90 miles; Cubans still have more to lose

President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with Cuba's Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez as first lady Michelle Obama stands behind, right, upon arrival to the airport in Havana, Cuba, Sunday, March 20, 2016. Obama's trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro's ambitious effort to restore normal relations between their countries. (Cubadebate/Ismael Francisco via AP)

Associated Press photo

The caption for the AP news photo above reads: “President Barack Obama, right, shakes hands with Cuba’s Foreign Minister Bruno Rodriguez as first lady Michelle Obama stands behind, right, upon arrival to the airport in Havana, Cuba, [today]. Obama’s trip is a crowning moment in his and Cuban President Raul Castro’s ambitious effort to restore normal relations between their countries.”

The caption for the AP news photo below reads: “A poster features portraits of Cuba’s President Raul Castro, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama and reads in Spanish, ‘Welcome to Cuba’ outside a restaurant in Havana, Cuba, [on Thursday]. Obama is scheduled to travel to the island [today], the first U.S. presidential trip to Havana in nearly 90 years.”

Steps Obama has taken to ease US restrictions on Cuba

Associated Press photo

If I can’t say much that’s positive about the Obama years — and I can’t* we at least can note that today Barack Obama historically became the first sitting U.S. president in 88 years to visit our island neighbor of Cuba. (Before today, Calvin Coolidge last visited Cuba, in 1928...)

It is pathetic that the United States remains so largely inimical to a nation only 90 miles away from it, but the history of Cuba and the United States (and Spain, too) is, um, complicated.

In its report on Cuba for 2015, Human Rights Watch noted:

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

There are elections in Cuba, in which those 16 years and older may vote, but as only the Communist Party is allowed to exist, these elections are fairly bullshit; Cubans are allowed to chose only from those who pay fealty to the Communist Party (again, the only party that there is).

That said, here in the United States of America we have elections, but since the corporations give most of our elected officials obscene amounts of campaign cash and other monetary rewards to do their bidding instead of to act in the public good, and since this treasonous bullshit has been going on at least since the first (and hopefully the last) President Clinton, our corporately owned and controlled parties have become pretty indistinguishable — the Coke Party and the Pepsi Party, I think of them lovingly — and so our so-called democracy is pretty fucking hollow, too.

For all intents and purposes, we Americans pretty much have one-party rule, as do the Cubans.

How else to explain that the lives of us American commoners never get better? If we had an actual democracy — a socialist democracy — instead of a corporatocracy/kleptocracy, our lives would actually improve.

Wingnuts, who want to turn Cuba into a wage-slave capitalist nation like the United States is (and who also, of course, want to turn Cuba into an island resort for wealthier Americans, as it used to be), routinely uber-hyperbolically claim that the Castro regime routinely executes its political opponents, but I see no mention in the Human Rights Watch report on Cuba linked to above that executions continue there.

(And, of course, our buddy Saudi Arabia continues to execute people — by public beheading, no less — and we Americans are perfectly fine with that, because we want fuel for our gas-guzzlers.

Also, I should add, the Cuban government since 2001 has had a moratorium on capital punishment, from which it made one exception in 2003, when it executed three people. The United States executed 22 people alone in 2015. [Texas is the most bloodthirsty state, having executed more than 525 people since 1976, whereas since 1976, 16 states have executed fewer than eight people each.])

Wikipedia does report that in the early years of the Castro regime there apparently were executions, with estimates ranging from around 220 executions from 1959 to 1987 (per Amnesty International) to many thousands (most of these latter accusers are anti-Castro wingnuts with an ax to grind, I surmise).

Wikipedia notes that

The Cuban government justified such measures on the grounds that the application of the death penalty in Cuba against war criminals and others followed the same procedure as that seen in the trials by the Allies in the Nuremberg trials.

Some Cuban scholars maintain that had the government not applied severe legislation against the torturers, terrorists, and other criminals employed by the Batista regime, the people themselves would have taken justice into their own hands.

and that

The vast majority of those executed following the 1959 [Castro] revolution were policemen, politicians and informers of the [Fulgencio] Batista regime accused of crimes such as torture and murder, and their public trials and executions had widespread popular support among the Cuban population.

Scholars generally agree that those executed were probably guilty as accused, but that the trials did not follow due process.

Fulgencio Batista, the U.S.-backed, right-wing dictator whom Fidel Castro and crew overthrew in 1959, is credited with having executed anywhere from 1,000 to 20,000 of his political opponents, but because he was right-wing, the right wing doesn’t talk about that.

Besides, to the wingnuts, right-wing dictators aren’t really dictators, since they are right-wing — as long as they obey American capitalists, that is (usually, this means handing over their nations’ natural resources [and human resources, in terms of very cheap labor] to American corporations for their profiteering, no matter how much this harms the host [“host” as in the victim of a parasite] nations) — and surely the left-wing rabble whom right-wing dictators have slaughtered had it coming.

So Cuba has a long way to go in terms of human rights — it must move to allow freer speech and political dissent, including allowing the existence of opposition parties and holding real, meaningful elections — but I understand, I believe, why the Cuban government is so closed off and so authoritarian: It knows that if the capitalists from the north can get their greedy fingers on the island and turn it into a wage-slave nation in which only a few prosper while the working-poor masses suffer from the obscene profiteering of the few, they will.

For this reason, as I have written**, while I welcome at least some opening up of Cuba (where I’d like to visit one day), I fear for the people of Cuba, too, lest the virulent pestilence that is anti-democratic wage-slave capitalism (masquerading as “democracy” and “freedom”) infect their sovereign island nation from the north.

The Cuban people would fare worse as wage slaves to American (and other) corporations than they fare now. 

Capitalistic oppression is no better, in terms of what it does to the human spirit, than is (big-“C”) Communist oppression.

*As I’ve noted here a million times, he had the opportunity and the political capital in 2009 and 2010 to push through a progressive agenda, and he spectacularly declined to do so, and once the Repugnican Tea Party traitors took back the House in 2010, that meant gridlock for the remainder of Obama’s presidency (and “Obamacare,” his “signature” “achievement,” contains virtually nothing that the for-profit health-insurance industry didn’t want it to contain).

**I wrote back in December 2014:

One of U.S. President Barack Obama’s best moves is his decision to open diplomatic relations with the government of Cuba after more than 50 years of a pointless cold war with the island nation.

For all of the selfish whining of the tiny but loud minority of Cuban-American wingnuts — who always have been a bunch of fucking ingrates who believe that they should control U.S. foreign policy — ironically, Cubans have a lot more to lose than do Americans should the United States and Cuba ever become super-cozy.

The typical Cuban, after all, has better access to higher education and health care than does the average American. The typical Cuban’s life expectancy is close behind the typical American’s and Cubans’ life expectancy ranks No. 1 among the Latin American nations.

Cuba has universal health care (yes, health care is a human right, and shouldn’tbe an opportunity for profiteering) and Cuba’s literacy rate of 99.8 percent beats the United States’ rate of 99 percent.

Not that Cuba is perfect, perhaps especially on the measure of freedom of speech, but, of course, the United States, which, among other things, calls torture “enhanced interrogation” (someone recently remarked that that’s like calling rape “enhanced dating”) and slaughters scores of innocent civilians by drones in the name of “democracy,” isn’t exactly a paragon of human rights itself, is it?

However, would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? (Capitalism is, after all, wage slavery that of course creates insane socioeconomic inequality.) Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American “freedoms” as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?

You’d think the rabidly wingnutty Cuban Americans would salivate over the idea of turning Cuba into a cash cow for the corporations again, as it was when darling-of-the-right-wing dictator Fulgencio Batista, who couldn’t sell out the people of Cuba enough to American corporations for his own benefit and the benefit of his fellow elites, was in power.

But what’s up the right-wing Cuban-American ingrates’ asses is that they expect the U.S. government to maintain a cold war with Cuba on their behalf for eternity. They believe that their bitterness against Fidel Castro, who overthrew dictator Batista in the Cuban Revolution of the 1950s, should be reflected by U.S. governmental policy toward Cuba in perpetuity.

(Batista, by the way, fled Cuba on January 1, 1959, with hundreds of millions of dollars he’d taken through obscene corruption and after having slaughtered as many as 20,000 of his political opponents. This is the kind of man, like murderous Chilean dictator Agosto Pinochet, who gets the support of the right wing.

If you think that I’m full of shit, know that President John Kennedy said of Batista that his was “one of the most bloody and repressive dictatorships in the long history of Latin American repression” and that Kennedy wrote this:

I believe that there is no country in the world including any and all the countries under colonial domination, where economic colonization, humiliation and exploitation were worse than in Cuba, in part owing to my country’s policies during the Batista regime.

I approved the proclamation which Fidel Castro made in the Sierra Maestra, when he justifiably called for justice and especially yearned to rid Cuba of corruption.

I will even go further: to some extent it is as though Batista was the incarnation of a number of sins on the part of the United States. Now we shall have to pay for those sins.

In the matter of the Batista regime, I am in agreement with the first Cuban revolutionaries. That is perfectly clear.

Um, yeah.)

To open diplomatic relations with another nation is not to agree with everything that nation does and has done. Certainly the U.S. government and the governments of China and Russia don’t agree on everything, but they maintain diplomatic relations nonetheless.

The teeny-tiny minority of right-wing Cuban-Americans and their supporters (including, of course, the craven politicians who want right-wing Cuban-Americans’ money and votes, such as right-wing Cuban-American scumbags U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and U.S. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen of Florida) need to shut the fuck up and put the greater good of the American people and the Cuban people above their own selfish political agendas, and they need to wake the fuck up and stop expecting the rest of us, the vast majority, to maintain their insane cold war of more than five decades.

I support diplomatic relations with Cuba because Cuba has much to teach the United States, which, of course, just might be just what the Cuban-American wingnuts fear most.

But, again, it is Cubans, not Americans, who have the most to lose in significantly close ties between the two nations.

The specter of Cubans once again being oppressed by the craven corporate America is, in fact, the only reason that I would or could oppose diplomatic relations with Cuba.

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

Ding-dong! Antonin Scalia is DEAD!

Updated below

FILE - In this June 17, 1986 file photo, President Ronald Reagan speaks at a news briefing at the White House in Washington, where he announced the nomination of Antonin Scalia, left, to the Supreme Court as a result of Chief Justice Warren E. Burger's resignation. William Rehnquist is at right. On Saturday, Feb. 13, 2016, the U.S. Marshals Service confirmed that Justice Scalia has died at the age of 79. (AP Photo/Ron Edmonds)

Associated Press file photo

Hell has a new resident. The freshly late Antonin Scalia, left, is shown with then-President Ronald Reagan and then-U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” William Rehnquist at a press conference in the White House in June 1986 at which Reagan announced his nomination of Scalia to the Supreme Court. Scalia — who, among others things, took issue with “the law profession’s anti-anti-homosexual culture” and the “homosexual agenda,” and who believed that the U.S. Constitution does not guarantee abortion rights but that it does support the death penalty (even for minors and for mentally retarded individuals), and who blatantly treasonously and anti-democratically put George W. Bush into the White House even though he had lost the 2000 presidential election to Al Gore — does not somehow magically become angelic in death, since everyone dies.

Wow.

Fascist U.S. Supreme Court “Justice” Antonin Scalia was found dead this morning, apparently of natural causes, at a luxury ranch resort near Marfa, Texas, at age 79 after he hadn’t shown up for breakfast. At the time of his death he had been the longest-serving of the current members of the court. He was nominated by one of our worst presidents, Ronald Reagan, and mind-blowingly unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 1986.

So President Barack Obama gets to nominate another U.S. Supreme Court justice, apparently.

Hopefully this means that 5-4 decisions from the nation’s highest court from here on out will mean decisions that lean to the left rather than to the right, as has been the case for far too long now.

P.S. Years ago, I saw Scalia speak at the University of Arizona in Tucson. I don’t remember most of what he said, as it was so long ago, but I do recall his defense of his strict, supposedly “originalist” interpretation of the U.S. Constitution, and his wholehearted rejection of the view of the Constitution as a living document, which must evolve with the demands of the times.

I recall a woman in the audience lambasting him for his cold-bloodedness during the Q-and-A. His “defense” of his far-right-wing position on constitutional matters was something like, “Do you really want people like me deciding what the Constitution is all about?” (Sadly and pathetically, this “argument” seemed to disarm the angry woman, who then actually apologized to him.)

Anyway, that’s what Scalia did anyway during his time on the U.S. Supreme Court: he interpreted the Constitution to fit his own, far-right-wing political ideology, which included preventing the expansion of freedom beyond those who belong to the elite and otherwise defending the socioeconomic status quo. (It’s only an “activist” judge if it’s a left-leaning judge, you see.)

Update: This was predictable: Politico reports that Repugnican Tea Party Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell says that Scalia’s seat on the U.S. Supreme Court should not be filled until after the presidential election in November.

Bullshit.

President Barack Obama still has more than 11 full months in office. (Inauguration Day will be January 20, 2017.)

“The American people should have a voice in the selection of their next Supreme Court Justice. Therefore, this vacancy should not be filled until we have a new president,” the tortoise-like McConnell fascistically proclaimed in a statement.

The American people have had a voice. They elected Barack Obama twice. When they elected Obama for a second term in November 2012, they knew fully well (or should have known, anyway) that he would have the power to nominate, if necessary, a justice to the U.S. Supreme Court during his second term.

The Constitution says that the president nominates, and that the Senate must confirm, all new justices to the Supreme Court.

Unfortunately, I am not aware of any constitutional (or other legal) deadline for this process once there is a vacancy. However, the suggestion of the traitors who comprise the Repugnican Tea Party that President Obama should be deprived of the president’s constitutional privilege of nominating an individual to fill a vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court is yet another example of their treason and their treasonous hatred of democracy when the democratic process does not go their way (such as their full support of the blatant electoral theft of the White House in 2000).

Surely if Obama were a Repugnican Tea Party president in his last year in office (and if he were white), the Repugnican Tea Party traitors would demand that any vacancy on the nation’s highest court be filled ASAP, presidential election year or not. They would argue that our democratic process demands it.

Fucking hypocrites.

Holding up the replacement of the abominable Scalia on the U.S. Supreme Court when the duly-twice-elected President Obama has more than 11 months to go would be yet another anti-democratic act of war — and treason — against the American people and should be reacted to accordingly.

More than enough is more than enough!

3 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

The Obama years 7/8 the way through: He’s been our caretaker in chief

Note: I’ll probably be tinkering with this post over the next several days (mostly, adding new thoughts and new points and details). After all, it’s difficult to include everything significant that transpired (or didn’t transpire) in seven years of a presidency.

Obama's executive actions could open a door for successors

Associated Press photo

President Barack Obama is shown above in Washington, D.C., on December 10. Salon.com writer Walker Bragman has deemed Obama “the first liberal (not progressive) Democrat to be president in years,” and that’s probably an apt short summary of the Obama years, if by that Bragman means that Obama has espoused liberal ideals but has done little to nothing to move the nation forward to ensure greater socioeconomic equity and greater opportunity for all (which is progressivism).

In November 2008, when I went to my polling place, it was going to be Barack Obama or independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader* whose oval I would blacken with my ballpoint pen on my paper ballot to be scanned.

In the end, I voted for Barack Obama. He would win my state of California and all of its electoral votes anyway, and I was happy to be one of the millions of American voters who had the opportunity, for the first time in the nation’s history, to vote for a presidential candidate who is not a (full) white man. That was long past due.

I strongly had supported Obama over Billary Clinton in the primary. I’d donated hundreds of dollars to his campaign to help him knock Billary out of the primary, which he did.

But I didn’t support Obama over Billary because he’s half-white and half-black. I supported him over her because I’d believed his ubiquitous presidential campaign promises of “hope” and “change.” I viewed him as the most progressive yet still viable presidential candidate (as I view Bernie Sanders now). That is why I supported him in the 2008 Democratic primary and why I voted for him in November 2008.

I believe in actually holding an elected official to his or her campaign promises, and so when Obama spectacularly squandered his huge amount of political capital in 2009 and 2010 by trying to sing “Kumbaya” with the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress who never were going to cooperate with him in the first place because he’s a Democrat and because he’s half-black, I was incredibly disappointed.

In 2009 and 2010, when both houses of Congress were in the Democrats’ control, Obama could have accomplished a lot more than he actually did. He pushed “bipartisanship,” which always had been a non-starter, instead of pushing a progressive agenda.

And in 2009 and 2010 getting “Obamacare” pushed through Congress took all of the oxygen in the room, and, in the end, “Obamacare,” supposedly Obama’s “signature” “achievement,” apparently contained nothing that the lobbyists for the wealth-care industry didn’t want it to contain. (Indeed, “Obamacare’s” individual mandate requires everyone to have health insurance; what mostly-for-profit industry wouldn’t love such a requirement?**)

Then, in November 2010, the Dems lost control of the House of Representatives, and then, in November 2014, they lost control of the Senate (and lost even more seats in the House).

There are at least a few reasons for those losses, including the incredibly shitty “leadership” of Democratic National Committee head Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but I still believe that had Obama pushed the progressive agenda that he at least indirectly had promised with his “hope” and “change” slogans, the Democrats would have kept the House and the Senate.

Indeed, it primarily was Obama’s dithering in 2009 and 2010 that lost the Dems the House in 2010, I believe, thus crippling any progressive agenda for the remainder of Obama’s two terms, since the Repugnican Tea Party traitors in Congress have held on to the House since January 2011.

Since January 2011, with the House controlled by the Repugnican Tea Party traitors and the White House controlled by Obama, we’ve had nothing but even more gridlock, and since both houses of Congress fell to Repugnican Tea Party control after the election of November 2014, Obama was guaranteed a final two years of more whimper than bang.

I give Obama faint praise for being the first U.S. president to jump on board with same-sex marriage in 2012, although that was overdue and was coming sooner or later anyway. And as with Billary Clinton, it did take Obama a long time to “evolve” on the issue, even though the U.S. Supreme Court this past June finally ruled that same-sex marriage is a right guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

Something is a constitutional right or it is not; the recognition of a constitutional right might be denied and delayed for even generations, but nonetheless it remains a constitutional right, and further, constitutional rights are not up for a vote or even for a public-opinion poll. Again, same-sex marriage inherently was a constitutional right long before the foot-dragging U.S. Supreme Court finally ruled that it is, so yes, Obama fairly led from behind on that issue; history led Obama more than Obama led history.

(That said, I can’t imagine that Obama’s having been the first president to voice his support for same-sex marriage wasn’t a significant factor in the U.S. Supreme Court finally following suit three years later. Wikipedia notes that Obama’s second inaugural address in January 2013 marked “the first time that a president mentioned gay rights or the word ‘gay’ in an inaugural address.”)

I applaud Obama for his work in opening up Cuba after decades. It’s beyond ridiculous that a Latin American nation 90 miles away from the United States should remain locked in a perpetual cold war with the U.S., which is what the right-wing traitors have wanted.

However, as I wrote a year ago, Cubans have much more to lose in closer ties with the United States than vice-versa. (As I wrote, “would it benefit most Cubans for American corporations to muscle back into the nation and turn most Cubans into wage slaves, like most Americans are? … Are Cubans really just itching for such wonderful imported American ‘freedoms’ as crushing student-loan debt, wage slavery and bankruptcy from insane health-care costs?”)

Obama’s other notable accomplishments include seating our first Latina or Latino U.S. Supreme Court justice, Sonia Sotomayor, in 2009, and, with the seating of Elena Kagan in 2010, Obama gave us the first Supreme Court with three female justices (we need at least one or two more of them).

The Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act of 2009 also was an accomplishment, even if it again seems that history led and that our politicians finally caught up. Ditto for the Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell Repeal Act of 2010. (And it’s hard to say that the abolishment of something hateful and unconstitutional that never should have been instituted in the first place is an “accomplishment,” but we’ll call it one, I suppose.)

Obama hasn’t been able to accomplish enough on climate change, in no small part because his dithering in 2009 and 2010 lost the Democrats control of Congress. And with “Democrats” like the former Louisiana Sen. Mary Landrieu, Big Oil, with its Big Money to politicians who sell us out to them, combatting climate change remains a political mountain to overcome.

But/and on that note, Obama was stunningly ineffectual in confronting British Petroleum when its underwater oil well belched an estimated 5 million barrels of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico over almost three months in 2010. It was his first huge test of his campaign promises of environmental protection, and he failed miserably.

Perhaps at least in part because of his failure to deal with the BP oil disaster effectively, Obama did veto the Keystone XL oil pipeline earlier this year, in what Wikipedia calls “his first major veto.” That would be in the “plus” column of Obama’s environmental record, but overall, has Obama done enough in combatting climate change and otherwise protecting the environment? Of course not.

Profound income inequality persists under Obama. It’s yet another critical national problem that became fairly insoluble after the Dems lost control of Congress in the election of 2010, and it’s ironic that the nation’s first (half-)black president has done so little to improve the lot of black Americans (who, for the most part, support him steadfastly nonetheless, apparently more out of identity politics than for his actual accomplishments for them).

Obama hasn’t done a lot more for black Americans for many reasons, that I can tell. One, he’s never wanted to come off as an “angry” black man, knowing that he couldn’t have won the presidency had he done so. (I can’t say that that has been his fault, but that that has been the cards that he has been dealt in this still-racist nation.) Two, Obama was raised by his white mother and her side of the family, so his experience growing up was different than has been the experience of most black Americans. (That’s not some sort of a slam; it’s just the truth as far as I can discern it.) And three, again, after the Dems lost the House in the election of 2010, Obama’s ability to do much for black Americans and other Americans in need was seriously weakened anyway.

On foreign policy, which could be its own blog post — and I think that a heavy focus on foreign policy too often is just a distraction from our disastrous domestic policies — I need only point out, I think (aside from my earlier remarks on Cuba), that while 9/11 happened on the unelected “President” George W. Bush’s watch, the United States has not sustained a large terrorist attack from abroad under Obama’s watch.

So desperate have been the uber-hypocritical Repugnican Tea Party traitors to try to claim that Obama hasn’t kept us safe from the Big Bad Terrorists that they have focused on the four Americans killed in Benghazi, Libya, in September 2012, while they wholly ignore the fact that almost 3,000 Americans died on 9/11 and that more than 4,000 of our troops died pointlessly in the unelected, treasonous Bush regime’s illegal, immoral, unjust, unprovoked and wholly bogus Vietraq War.

Those 7,000 or so deaths on George W. Bush’s watch are nothing, you see, but those four deaths in Benghazi on Obama’s watch are everything. (Indeed, racism is behind this; a white, right-wing president is responsible for thousands of preventable deaths of Americans — almost 2,000 Americans, disproportionately black Americans, died in Hurricane Katrina in 2005, so we can add them also to the body count under George W. Bush — and he is excused, yet four deaths under a black president is an inexcusable travesty!)

Obama also received less public praise than George W. Bush would have received had 9/11 mastermind Osama bin Laden been exterminated by Bush when he still occupied the White House instead of by Obama in 2011. Don’t get me wrong; the whole bin Laden extermination affair remains fishy (pun intended), as bin Laden would have been more valuable alive than dead, and the supposed disposal of his body in the ocean was unnecessary and, dare I say, weird and therefore suspect.

The Middle East remains a mess, of course, and while I always have opposed Obama’s use of killer drones, and the use of killer drones in general (and the United States’ over-militarization in general), the bloodshed in the Middle East on Obama’s watch has been much, much less than it was on George W. Bush’s.

(If you say that Well, 9/11!, then I say that On August 6, 2001, while he was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, Bush had been given a presidential daily briefing titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” Um, yeah. [Similarly, there had been plenty of warning that Hurricane Katrina might hit land and kill scores of people. Bush in effect had been issued a presidential daily briefing titled “Katrina Determined to Strike in US,” but he ignored that warning, too. After all, on the day that Katrina made landfall, he was too busy celebrating John McCainosaurus’ 69th birthday in Arizona.)

I acknowledge, of course, that the president of the United States of America can do only so much, that much is beyond his (or her) control, such as congressional gridlock and the separation of powers (which would include a center-right U.S. Supreme Court that has done such things as pick George W. Bush as president even though Al Gore had won the presidential election of 2000 and proclaim that corporations have the First Amendment right to make unlimited monetary contributions to political campaigns [corporations are not people and therefore don’t have First Amendment rights that even actual people don’t even have].)

But given Obama’s limitations of the presidency, I still don’t see that he much tried to deliver very substantially upon his promises of “hope” and “change,” and that would be his fault. He has had some restrictions, we must acknowledge, but has he maximized what he has been able to do around those restrictions? Methinks not.

And yes, of course Obama has been head and shoulders (and torso and legs) above the unelected George W. Bush, but I refuse to allow Bush II to have set the bar for the presidency that low; besides, he never legitimately was elected anyway, so, although death and destruction (including the collapse of the nation’s economy) were the result of his having stolen the 2000 presidential election, I don’t really even count Bush. He never should have happened in the first fucking place.

An aggregate of historians’ (and political scientists’ and political pundits’) rankings of the U.S. presidents puts President Obama at No. 17 out of 43. (Obama is called No. 44, but Grover Cleveland had two non-consecutive terms as president, and thus is called our 22nd and our 24th president, so we’ve actually had only 43 presidents.) Obama ranks in the top half, but for “hope” and “change” I expected much better. (George W. Bush, if you were wondering, ranks at No. 34, in the bottom 10, where he belongs, although I’d put him lower. Ronald Reagan ranks two notches above Obama, with which I disagree, and Bill Clinton ranks three notches below Obama.)

Obama’s race has never mattered to me. While history probably will most remark that he was our first non-all-white president, to me his presidency mostly has represented squandered opportunity; to me he mostly has been, at best, a caretaker in chief. I came to that conclusion no later than the close of 2010, when the Democrats lost the House.

And that is why I could not bring myself to vote for Obama again in November 2012. (I voted instead for the Green Party presidential candidate, which is something that I’d done before and something that I would do again; I owe the Democratic Party nothing.) I’d felt quite punk’d by those ubiquitous promises of “hope” and “change,” and to continue to vote for politicians who don’t follow through on their campaign promises is only to contribute to even more such broken campaign promises. If there is no penalty, how will it stop?

That and I knew that in November 2012 Obama was going to win California and all of its electoral votes anyway. (Yes, many Americans, ignorant of how their own nation and government function, don’t understand the Electoral College, under which if you live in a solidly blue or red state, as I do, your vote for president pretty much doesn’t count; we need a popular vote for the presidency, just as we have for the governorships, for the 100 seats in the U.S. Senate and for every other elected office in the nation.)

I still believe that Obama, although overall he has been a rather disappointing, rather lackluster president, more of a caretaking president than a groundbreaking president, has made a better president than Repugnican Lite Billary Clinton would have, and because my principles haven’t changed — among which, I don’t support Democrats in name only, as that doesn’t solve the persistent problem of Democrats in name only — I cannot and will not support DINO Billary Clinton in any way.

(Again, if she wins the 2016 Democratic Party presidential nomination, she’ll win all of California’s electoral votes in November 2016 anyway, regardless of whether I vote for her or not, so save your misinformed, dead-wrong assertion that if I don’t vote for DINO Billary I have helped whomever the Repugnican Tea Party presidential candidate will be.)

So Barack Obama goes out in his final year not with a bang, but with a whimper. Already we’re looking ahead of him, with incessant media coverage of Donald Trump and to a lesser degree Billary Clinton.

I began with words from Salon.com’s Walker Bragman and I’ll end with more of his wise words:

… If Hillary gets the nomination, and is elected, she will inadequately address the problems this country faces, [problems] that are angering people, by negotiating from the center/right and then moving right as a compromise, to give us mere half-measures or quarter measures. I fear, given her New Democrat background, that she will likely use social programs and financial reform as bargaining chips.

I strongly believe that Hillary will kill the momentum that has been generated over the last eight years by Barack Obama, the first liberal (not progressive) Democrat to be president in years – and that will do more damage to the Democratic brand than four years of a Republican president would do to the country.

I am not saying that four years of a Republican would not be worse for the country than four years of Hillary in the immediate; I am saying that four years of Hillary will do more long-term damage by prolonging the Democratic realignment. [Absolutely agreed.]

Americans want real change – and they’re looking to the Democrats to provide it. But if we only put a Band-Aid on issues like the wealth gap and financial reform, which is essentially Hillary’s plan, Americans will not be satisfied. As much as politically minded people remind us that change is slow, what Hillary offers is too slow. Her kind of change is weakness.

If the New Deal taught us anything, it’s that unprecedented sweeping government action can happen quickly. FDR achieved significant reforms within the first hundred days of his presidency. Hillary’s supporters have not learned from Obama’s biggest blunder: negotiating from the middle with opponents on the far right. These people insist that we have to just keep making slow progress because all we can hope for are small gains.

They point to the weakness of the Democratic Party since the 1970s as evidence of their position. However, this is a common misunderstanding of history and the lesson of the Democrats’ decline from the 1970s to the 2000s. …

Yup.

FDR is listed as the second-best president on that aggregate of presidential rankings that I mentioned (he’s just behind Abraham Lincoln). Again, Bill Clinton is ranked at No. 20. We don’t need another President Clinton.

We need another FDR, and the closest that we have to that is Bernie Sanders.

*I had voted for Nader when he ran as the Green Party presidential candidate in November 2000, something that I’ve never regretted, and it’s not my fault that Americans just allowed BushCheneyCorp to steal the 2000 presidential election. They should have been rioting in the streets over that treasonously, blatantly stolen election, but they did not. And, of course, Team Gore should have fought much, much harder than it did instead of wanting to appear to be above the fray.

**My general stance on health care is that it is a human right and that no one should have to pay for it (or, minimally, that it should be free of cost to those whose annual income falls below a certain amount) and that health care never should be allowed to be delivered on a for-profit basis. “Obamacare” did nothing, to my knowledge, to solve the overarching problem of health care having fallen victim to profiteering, to greed — and thus having become wealth care.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Der Führer Trump hits new low with attack on physically disabled man

Updated below

A screen grab shows Repugnican Tea Party “presidential” candidate Donald Trump on Tuesday publicly mocking a New York Times reporter who has a congenital physical disability. The reporter’s “crime”? Telling the truth instead of supporting the dangerously fascistic Trump’s bold-faced lies against yet another already oppressed minority group. Reports USA Today: “Referring to Serge Kovaleski while on the campaign trail in South Carolina, Trump told a rally: ‘You’ve got to see this guy.’ He then ridiculed Kovaleski’s appearance by bending his wrists and jerking his arms around. Kovaleski has a chronic condition that affects his joints called arthrogryposis.” Kovaleski is pictured below, on the left.

Ken Belson y Serge Kovaleski (izquierda) atienden una recepción relacionada con el Día de la Tierra en el hotel Algonquin el 21 de abril de 2010 en Nueva York (Neilson Barnard/Getty Images).

Getty images

It should come as no shock to see Donald Trump make fun of a man with a congenital physical disability during a “presidential” speech. (Video of this wonderful event is here.)

The Nazis, after all — and Trump, unshockingly,  is of German descent — murdered tens of thousands of human beings with disabilities in a program that later was dubbed “Action T4.” As Wikipedia explains:

The program ran officially from September 1939 to August 1941, during which the recorded 70,273 people were killed at various extermination centers located at psychiatric hospitals in Germany and Austria. Several rationales for the program have been offered, including eugenics, natural selection, racial hygiene, cost effectiveness and pressure on the welfare budget. After the formal end date of the program, physicians in German and Austrian facilities continued many of the practices that had been instituted under Action T4, until the defeat of Germany in 1945. The unofficial continuation of the policy led to additional deaths by medicine and similar means, resulting in 93,521 beds “emptied” by the end of 1941. Historians estimate that twice the official number of T4 victims might have perished before the end of the war, exceeding 200,000.

So as not to be a hypocrite, and to provide full disclosure, I myself have used the term “fucktard” (and other iterations of “retard”). Many times. But my first job out of college was working with mentally and physically disabled individuals, and while I probably shouldn’t use the term “fucktard” to denote a person of low intelligence (who has not actually been diagnosed clinically with mental retardation, let me add, importantly), I don’t make fun of people with actual physical or intellectual disabilities, because to do so is to show a stunning lack of empathy for another human being who has challenges that oneself does not.

And, of course, I am not running to be president of the United States of America.

There long has been no way in hell that I would or could support fascist Führer wannabe Donald Trump in any way, and to some degree I suppose that I’ve become immune to the venom and bile that has been spewing freely from Trump’s pie hole for months now, but this latest Trumpism should be the one that finally takes him down.

The Amazon.com series “The Man in the High Castle,” based upon a Philip K. Dick dystopian novel that envisions a scenario in which Germany and Japan actually won World War II and divvied up the United States between them, is timely. (Just last night I watched the first episode. It even makes rather chilling reference to eugenics, which the Nazi Germans occupying the United States are still practicing routinely.)

Here in Donald Trump is a patently fascist presidential candidate (of German blood, appropriately) openly mocking, in a “presidential” speech, a man who has a congenital physical disability.

How will the masses respond to this?

How will the masses respond to such utterly shameless bullying? I mean, other groups of people Trump has attacked — “illegals” from south of the border, Muslims, women, et. al. — can, for the most part, defend themselves against Trump’s bigotry to at least some degree.

But attacking those with disabilities?

Really?

How low, exactly, can Donald Trump go?

Should the masses actually allow Donald Trump to sit in the Oval Office, I can guarantee you this: In the future, if we even still have anything remotely resembling a democracy left, presidential candidates might be asked: If you could go back in time, would you kill Baby Donald in order to prevent the crimes against humanity that he perpetrated?

The Germans claimed that they didn’t know what Adolf Hitler was all about until it was too late. Bullshit. The signs were all there all along.

With Donald Trump, similarly, the signs are all there.

If we actually allow this “man” to be president — whether we actually elect him or whether we just allow him to steal the White House, like we just allowed George W. Bush & Co. to do in 2000* — we won’t be able to claim, with any shred of truth at all, that we didn’t know.*

P.S. If you think that noting Trump’s German ancestry is out of bounds, well, apparently Trump possibly has had a problem with it himself, or at least his father apparently had a problem with it. Notes Wikipedia:

Trump’s paternal grandparents were German immigrants; Trump’s grandfather, Frederick Trump (né Friedrich Trump), was a successful Klondike Gold Rush restaurateur. In his 1987 book, The Art of the Deal, Donald Trump incorrectly claimed that Frederick Trump was originally called Friedrich Drumpf and of Swedish origin, an assertion previously made by Fred Trump for many years. Trump later acknowledged his German ancestry and served as grand marshal of the 1999 German-American Steuben Parade in New York City.

More disclosure: A while ago I participated in the Genographic Project, and my genes (if I interpret my results correctly) are a match for the dominant genetic populations first of the United Kingdom and second of Germany, so it seems quite possible if not probable that I have at least some German blood in me, as do many if not even most white Americans. That said, the Germans always have rubbed me the wrong way, even Nazism aside.

Update: Donald Trump has issued a lying, cowardly statement denying that he said/did what he said/did.

In the video I linked to above, Trump clearly says to his audience, “You gotta see this guy” (Serge Kovaleski, whom he has just called a “poor guy”) — this certainly indicates that he has met or at least seen Kovaleski, at least in a picture — and then Trump immediately mimics the distorted voice and gestures of someone with a physical and/or intellectual disability.

Yet now Trump alternately claims that he’s never laid eyes on Kovaleski and that “Despite having one of the all-time great memories, I certainly do not remember him” and “Serge Kovaleski must think a lot of himself if he thinks I remember him from decades ago – if I ever met him at all, which I doubt I did.”

The Washington Post has noted that “Kovaleski covered Trump while reporting for the New York Daily News between 1987 and 1993, a tumultuous period for Trump in which he struggled through several financial setbacks,” casting further doubt on Trump’s claim that he has no idea what Kovaleski even looks like. (Trump strikes me as the kind of individual who certainly would do opposition research; not only does he have the paranoia and the egomaniacal grandiosity, but he has the mean$ to have his henchpeople do this for him.)

Trump also took the page right out of the fascist/right-wing playbook in which he blames his victim; he proclaimed that Kovaleski “should stop using his disability to grandstand.”

Yes, it’s Kovaleski’s fault that Trump very, very apparently made fun of him and his congenital condition. Not only has Trump now attacked Kovaleski twice — Kovaleski, to my knowledge, has made no public statement, by the way (the New York Times has) — but Trump bizarrely has attacked the New York Times at length, criticizing its fiscal management and questioning its ethics, its quality and its relevance, which has absofuckinglutely nothing to do with the fact that Donald Trump very, very apparently recently publicly mocked a man for his congenital physical disability during a “presidential” appearance.

What started this whole fracas, of course, is Trump’s colossal falsehood that on television he saw “thousands” of Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the destruction of the World Trade Center even as the twin towers burned and fell. This is a right-wing über-fabrication meant to further the wingnuts’ anti-Muslim agenda, of course.

But Donald Trump is too much of a fucking liar and a fucking coward to admit that he lied or, at the very minimum, very carelessly misspoke about “thousands” of Muslims celebrating in New Jersey on September 11, 2001. If he didn’t outright lie, which I think he most likely did, then he certainly didn’t care about the facts, the truth, because his overriding objective was to bash Muslims for personal political gain, not to tell the truth. Very presidential!

As I wrote above, we are seeing ample signs about what kind of “man” Donald Trump is. We ignore these flashing lights and sirens at our own peril.

And when I call Donald Trump a fascist, I mean it in the dictionary-definition sense of the term, not as a slam, although it’s perfectly fine with me if it’s also taken as a slam. (See Slate.com’s Jamelle Bouie on the topic of Donald Trump being a textbook fascist.)

Fuck the fascist Trump and the neo-Nazis who support him. They won’t turn the United States of America into another Nazi Germany without a fight.

P.S. I stand corrected; Business Insider reports:

… [Serge] Kovaleski told The [Washington] Post that he is confident that Trump remembers him and his condition. Kovaleski met with Trump several times when the reporter was covering Trump while working at the New York Daily News from 1987 to 1993.

“The sad part about it is, it didn’t in the slightest bit jar or surprise me that Donald Trump would do something this low-rent, given his track record,” Kovaleski told the Post.

The New York Times, where Kovaleski is currently a reporter, also had a response to the incident: “We think it’s outrageous that he would ridicule the appearance of one of our reporters,” a Times spokeswoman told Politico and confirmed to Business Insider. …

*Of course, after George W. Bush brazenly blatantly stole the 2000 presidential election, it couldn’t have come as a surprise that he would not protect Americans on September 11, 2001, or in late August 2005 (when Hurricane Katrina struck), and nor could it have come as a surprise that the “man” who had refused to accept that his opponent Al Gore had won the 2000 presidential election would go on to start the illegal, immoral, unjust and unprovoked Vietraq War, in which thousands of our troops died for nothing more than the treasonous war profiteering of the treasonous BushCheneyCorp and in which many, many more innocent Iraqi civilians, tens of thousands of them, have died — and which, of course, contributed to the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has caused even more death and destruction.

There are terms for these high crimes: treason, war crimes, crimes against humanity, etc.

That enough Americans not nearly long ago just enough allowed the fascist George W. Bush to rise to power anti-democratically should give pause to those who claim that Donald Trump couldn’t become president.

He probably won’t, but to ignore the possibility entirely is dangerous — and, dare I say, probably even treasonous.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized