Thursday, August 31, 2017

Freedumb In Houston!!!

So we all know that freedom consists in businesses and their rich owners being able to do whatever they damned please, right?  And we have a classic example of how freedom helps the people of Texas live the good life that their Conservative overlords have promised them, in return for not caring about pollution, global warming and all those other meaningless obsessions of those dumb libruls.

Today's example comes in the form of the city of Houston, the largest city in the nation that has no zoning regulations, because who has a right to tell someone what they can do with their own money, on their own land, amirite?

And what does zoning have to do with the recent floods that have a good part of Houston under water?  Well, a couple of things.  First of all, zoning regulations in sane cities require that when an area is developed it has sufficient roads in and out of it so people can get out in an emergency.  No need for that kind of evil Government tyranny in Texas!  So, we have the freeways, which are mostly built below ground level, looking like this:
and no ability to call for an evacuation, because literally hundreds of thousand of people could be caught in massive traffic jams on these roads and drown.

Another insignificant feature of zoning regulations is a restriction on the percentage of any lot that can be covered with impermeable surfaces, preventing the land from absorbing rainfall.  Another useless example of Government over-regulation, I guess, until it rains a lot.

I just want to point out that this strategy saved the people of Texas billions of dollars in construction costs, so good for them.  Of course, now, the people of the rest of the country (by which of course I mean primarily the blue States, which are the only ones who make enough to support themselves, let alone anyone else) will have to cough up billions themselves, to put Texas back together again. Freedumb!  It's a wonderful thing.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Press and Republicans Work Together Again

To destroy any sense of truth that remains in the American political system.  This time, an anti-tax "rally" in Denver, featured in this article from Daily Kos:

"Pathetic turnout for 'grassroots' tax reform rally funded by billionaire Koch brothers

"Lavishly-funded conservative activist group American For Prosperity-Colorado promoted the hell out of today’s No More, Uncle Sam! Reform the Tax Code! rally in Lincoln Park across from the Colorado State Capitol...despite nearly 3 million residents and the promise of free BBQ for attendees, it appears roughly two dozen residents turned out. No telling how many are the caterers and AFP staff."

Americans for Prosperity- one of the maze of phony organizations funded by the Koch brothers.  And here is a picture of the crowd which all of the Koch brothers' money and publicity generated:



About two dozen, and that doesn't take into account how many of them are Koch staffers or the caterers of the free barbecue.

Well, another laughable right wing failure, except for one thing.  As so often happens, you would never know what actually happened from the mainstream news reporting of the event.  I'm not going to link to it here, but if you click on the Daily Kos story, you will find a CBS report of this essentially nonexistent affair, which portrays it as an important political event representing a significant segment of the voting populace, raising grievances, i.e. too high taxes for the rich, which must be addressed.

And that is how it's done.  That's how a couple of rich sociopaths and a compliant media build the notion that the American people just demand an end to taxes on the wealthy, or any other piggish demand from the backers of the Republican party.  As I have said a hundred times (it's virtually the motto of this blog,) the Democrats could beat the Republicans into oblivion any time without hardly trying; what they can't do is beat the Republicans and the mainstream press working together.

A Brief Note About Trump's Pardon of Joe Arpaio

What crime did Arpaio commit, after all?  He used his legal power to select people based on their ethnicity, and then place them in what he himself called concentration camps.

You may want to argue about exactly what a person needs to do to be classified on the same degraded level of humanity as Nazis, but this is certainly it.  Arpaio then defied judicial rulings to stop this hateful behavior; it was for this that he was found guilty.

Trump, in pardoning Arpaio, declared openly, if not is so many words, that it is okay to place people in concentration camps because of their ethnic origin, regardless of what the law says.

That is Nazism pure and simple.  That is why Trump's pardon represents an open embrace by the President of the United States of the most degraded form of government the world has ever known.

The fact that he still resides in the White House, after this incident is a horrible condemnation of his own party, which is the only agency with the power to remove him, and is a massive step toward a nation where imprisoning people in camps because of their ethnicity, or any other reason that suits the leaders' fantasy, will be an accepted practice.
Welcome to the new America, folks.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

It's Hopeless

Here's a little compilation of a few tweets from the last couple of days:
This is what we are up against in this country.  There are no laws against stupidity and hatred.

They Just Won't Ever Change

From today's article in the New York Times by Glenn Thrush:

"Hurricane Harvey was the rarest of disasters to strike during the Trump presidency — a maelstrom not of Mr. Trump’s making, and one that offers him an opportunity to recapture some of the unifying power of his office he has squandered in recent weeks. 

In announcing his trips, he used the dulcet, reassuring and uplifting language of prior presidents. His rhetoric was strikingly different from his much-criticized pronouncements at a news conference this month when he equated the actions of leftist protesters in Charlottesville, Va., with the violent, torch-wielding alt-right activists who hurled anti-Semitic and racist epithets."

He's pivoting!!! He's Presidential!!! One press conference in which he didn't make a colossal fool of himself, and combine that with thinly disguised promotion of fascism and hatred!  One press conference in which he didn't burst forth in irrelevent, vicious invective against his "enemies" in the press, his own party, North Korea orHollywood.  And now it's time to ignore what a malignant criminal he is and let him have his corrupt way with the country!

That's what the mainstream press in the United States, and in particular the current version of the New York Times, exists for, these days- to put enough phony sugar on the Republican march toward dictatorship, that people will just sit by and let it happen.  So far, so good, guys at the Times- hope you are proud of yourselves.

Monday, August 28, 2017

A Platform for the Democratic Party

How many times have we heard the last year or two that the Democratic party is a pack of elitists who don't stand for anything?  Of course, that is a preposterous lie brought to us by the mainstream press, with a big helping hand this time around from the Berniebots.  Hillary had detailed proposals on just about everything, in contrast to Trump's platform of hatred, greed and racism, but the mainstream press just ignored it all.  Well, anyway, all of this idiotic carping led me to spend a few minutes writing out the bones of a platform for the Democrats, or to speak more plainly, a collection of Green Eagle's lunatic ideas about how to run our government, and here it is.  I hope you enjoy it, if you are persistent enough to actually take a look at it:



A Platform for the Future

A General Statement

"Government of the people, by the people and for the people"

The government must openly acknowledge that the interests of the overwhelming majority of its people are very normally contradictory to the interests of large corporations and the tiny sliver of Americans who own them.  It must always be our policy that, when such conflicts arise, the government will choose the actions that benefit the people of the United States, regardless of the cost to the rich.


Jobs:

There are never again going to be enough jobs, if jobs are defined as working to make someone else money.  The short and long term answers to these problems:

Cut the retirement age to free jobs for young workers

Cut the work week from 40 hours to 32 hours (five work days to four.) This will be done by declaring a three day weekend every month; then in five years going to a three day weekend every other week, and in another five years, to a three day weekend every week.  In return, workers will accept a 10% cut in pay for the 20% cut in hours worked.  Those that need more money can work a second job one day a week or use the weekends to build their own business.

Guaranteed paid vacations of at least four weeks, as is the norm in Europe, will also help to spread the available work to the maximum number of people.

In the end even this will not be enough.  The nation needs to begin now to plan for the time when a guaranteed minimum income will be necessary to prevent social disintegration.


Wages:

We know that, in the last forty years, essentially all gains in productivity in the United States have been commandeered by the rich.  This is a recipe for further and further inequality, until society collapses.  The government must see to it that gains in productivity are equitably distributed to all.  Business owners will obviously not do this out of any sense of decency, so they must be forced to do it, through massive tax increases on corporations and their owners.  And it must be clear that this readjustment in the rewards of our system of government must date from 1980 or so, not today, so that a large part of the ill gotten gains of the hyper rich can be recaptured.


Medical Care

The nation must immediately institute a single payer system for medical costs.  The private sector has had decades to move toward a workable system, and has refused at every step of the way.  The only answer now is to effectively destroy medical insurance companies, and leave the payment for medical care to the government, which manages to provide it to seniors and veterans at a 3% overhead, rather than the nearly 30% that private insurance companies thieve from consumers.


Immigration

Immigration is a force as immutable as the tides.  As long as societies have existed, migrants have gone from relatively poorer societies to richer ones, and nothing has ever been found to stop this.  The only thing that can help is to raise the standard of living in third world countries, and to refuse to support repressive governments, so their people can live a decent life at home.  We propose dedicating 10% of our military budget to promoting unions in third world countries to give the people there a chance to have a sustainable existence.  Raising wages in third world countries will, in addition, reduce downward pressure on American wages, leading to a better life at home.


Energy

Global warming is real, and promises social disruption that could effectively destroy Western civilization by the end of the century.  All subsidies to fossil fuel companies must stop immediately, and in particular the government must put an end to the remaining fragments of the non-viable and destructive coal industry.  We must do whatever we have to in order to move toward a carbon free energy supply, including subsidizing development of renewable energy and penalizing further investment in fossil fuels.


Foreign Policy

The United States must start with an open acknowledgement of the malignant role it has played in the Middle East, Latin America and Southeast Asia, favoring the profits of a few international corporations above the interests of the inhabitants of these areas, leading to the deaths of millions, and the supporting of a web of dictators who have existed to force their populations into compliance with the will of the rich.  Laws must be passed to make such behavior illegal, and subject to extreme penalties.  Only through such action can we ever hope to gain a degree of trust in the large parts of the world that we have abused in the last century.  We must give up a leadership position in the world until we can find a way to guarantee that the savaged remnants of our democracy do not allow another leader like Donald Trump to assume the Presidency.


Military

It is a specimen of insanity as great as any in human history that this country spends as much on its military, more or less, as the rest of the world put together.  We must vastly reduce the amount of money that goes to the military, and realize that real peace can only come through living as equals with the rest of the world, not through force.

In a civilized world, not all things are fair in war.  There are some, the use of which is considered among the worst crimes a human can commit, such as the use of chemical or biological weapons, or the deliberate targeting of civilians.  We must add something to this list before it becomes so prevalent that there is no stopping it: the use of robots in warfare.  This must include the use of drones for other than observation or supply purposes.  If we license a major power to amass a robot army which allows it to wage war against lesser countries without any risk to its own people, it is inevitable that robotic warfare will be used for the most abominable sort of aggression.  Now is the time to take a firm stand against this.


Education

It is the responsibility of people in a democracy to support a high quality education not just for their own children but for all children.  This demands that the public education system be fully funded in this country, and that the government not spend one cent subsidizing private, for profit educational institutions, which in fact exist for two reasons: to siphon money from our public educational system into the pockets of a few heartless rich businessmen, and to isolate the children of the well-to-do from the consequences of the deliberate plundering of our school systems.


Religion

No government subsidies or tax relief for any religion.


Wealth

It must be understood that allowing the very rich to have more money to invest than there are available and productive investment opportunities, by the most basic law of supply and demand, is what creates bubbles, and the entire cycle of boom and bust which has plagued the world since at least the 1600's.  The aggregate wealth of the very wealthy must be restricted, through tax increases, so it is in line with the need for investment.  This is the only way to provide economic stability in the long run.


Race

This nation must acknowledge, particularly after the events of the last couple of years, that racial hatred, predominantly among whites, as well as systematic racial disparities, is far greater than virtually all of us realized.  This cannot be tolerated if our society is going to persevere in the long run.  Actions intended to deliberately prolong this racial disparity must be recognized as serious crimes, and severely punished.  Membership in open racist groups such as the KKK or various self-styled Nazi groups must be made illegal, and the judicial system must have the will to severely punish such behavior.


Constitution

The Federalist Papers, or at least the most pertinent ones, should be required reading for all college students, so a significant part of the country will have some understanding of what the Constitution means, and not be led astray by the lies of right wing propagandists.  Notable among the things that must be common knowledge are the fact that the Electoral College was created to prevent demagogues and tools of foreign countries from being elected President, and that the second amendment applies only to militias run by the government; in fact there is nothing in the Constitution affirming the individual right to own a gun.


Taxation

It is not only the responsibility of citizens in a democracy to adequately fund these programs, it is an absolute necessity, if democracy is not to degenerate into an oligarchic dictatorship, of the type that we see forming in this country as we speak.  We know that the citizens of every European country that approaches what is described above are far happier in the aggregate than Americans, despite the fact that they pay higher taxes.  The propagandists of the rich in this country work around the clock to deny this, but we know it is true.  It must be repeated until people in the United States realize how victimized they are by the current state of things here.

___________________________________________________________________________


Well, if ever there was a pie-in-the-sky set of proposals, this is it, I guess.  Except for the fact that if something along these lines is not adopted in the near future, our country is doomed, it would do people well to just forget the whole thing.  And if dictatorship sounds good to you, that is exactly the course you should take.

Friday, August 25, 2017

Special Green Eagle Hurricane Report

Green Eagle has spent most of the morning cooking, and watching the hurricane coverage from Corpus Christi on the TV.

In the now well established American tradition of caring about nothing but yourself, Green Eagle is pleased to report that no hurricane damage is expected at Corpus Christi College, where he was a graduate student long ago.
Although, in all fairness, Green Eagle must admit that no category III hurricane is known to have hit Cambridge at least since the founding of Corpus Christi College, in 1352.

I don't know where all of the pictures of the horrible weather now on TV are coming from.  Must be from the bad side of town.

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Strengthening Harvey forecast to slam Texas coast as first major hurricane in U.S. since 2005

So the headline says, just in time for another Republican President to be running FEMA.

Maybe God does hate us.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

We are Fucked

From PPP Polls:

"… Trump voters say they would rather have Jefferson Davis as President than Barack Obama 45/20."

And let's just face an obvious fact here:  Trump voters don't know one God damned thing about Jefferson Davis except that he was for slavery- that he led a four years long murderous, treasonous rampage in order to keep having slaves.  That's it.  These people want black people returned to slavery, period.  I don't want to ever hear a single person claim that this means anything else.  They are for slavery, and for the subjugation of all non-whites, and that is why they are for Trump.

Nazis had and worked to death hundreds of thousands of slaves, but even they did not openly brag about it.  In some way, what these people promise to bring us is worse than the Nazis were.  Deal with that, America.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Trump Fails To Deliver Again

As is my usual practice, I want to fairly quickly post some information about the attendance at Donald Trump's rally in Phoenix today, and the people who turned up to protest it.  I do not have the heart yet to comment on the utterly repugnant content of Trump's remarks, so I will stick to crowd size, first noting that Trump bragged as usual about the alleged huge size of his rally, and the small number of protesters outside.

Well on to the evidence.  Here is the  most common view of the crowd inside the arena while Trump was speaking:



If this was a view of the entire crowd, I think you would be justified in saying that there were less than four thousand people there, in fact, perhaps less than three thousand.  And in fact, this is pretty much the whole audience.  Here are two views from the back of the room:

You can see that behind the viewpoint of the carefully cropped crowd picture above, there is almost nobody.  A miserable showing, for the President of the United States, in the center of one of the most Republican States in the United States.  Again, I feel confident that, contrary to his disgusting bragging, he was unable to get more than 4,000 people to attend his great speech.

Now for the protesters.  This is a little more difficult to assess, because the relatively narrow street outside the hall made it hard for people to get good views of this crowd.  Nevertheless, here is something:
I have looked at several other photos, and I agree with a Politico reporter who was there and assessed the crowd at between 4,000 and 5,000, or somewhat more than the star-power of this worthless President was able to attract.  When last I heard, the Phoenix police were (predictably) tear-gassing this peaceful assembly.  

Support for this miserable would-be dictator has crumbled.  Even his own supporters, in their hearts, know what a horrid mistake they have made, though they will never admit it.  But he can't even begin to generate a real show of support at this point, and anyone really paying attention knows it.  He may hang on to the White House, but if he does, it is solely because the other Republican leaders are just as corrupt as he is, and they don't want to tip the boat before the rich guys get their tax cut.  Other than that, we all know the truth.  


And now, a major update:

You have seen above the photos of the real crowd that attended the Trump rally yesterday.  Here is one of a number of images now being circulated by Trump partisans, in which the crowd has been photoshopped to appear to fill the entire auditorium
You can see from the real photos, what a ludicrous act of dishonesty this is.  

This leads me to a comment.  When I estimate crowd sizes at right wing events, I always try to be totally fair to them, which means giving the largest possible number of people I can possibly account for in the photos. In truth, I thought the crowd was actually smaller than 4,000, but I couldn't be positive, so I went with the number I gave.  I now see a number of estimates from people that were there, putting the crowd at as low as 2,000.  I guess I should have gone with my first estimates, and stated openly that there were no more than 3,000 people at this event, a miserable turnout for an official Presidential appearance.  Witnesses also report that by the end of Trump's 75 minute tirade, many of the people had left, or were sitting on the floor, busy with their cellphones.  May I note that Trump himself collaborated in this lie about the crowd size, by pretending to beg the fire marshals to let more people in (a standard trick of his,) ignoring the fact that the room was half empty.

In the meantime, this should provide a laugh.  Here is a picture that is being circulated on the right today of the tens of thousands of people trying to get into this speech:

Only one problem:  This is actually a photo of the victory parade of the Cleveland Cavaliers, an image which has a history as a "stand-in" for the massive crowds of invisible people who show up for right wing events:

Lies about the crowd inside, lies about the crowd outside.  The truth is, people can't stand this guy and won't even turn out to see him in one of the most right wing places in the country.  He cheated his way into office, but that doesn't mean that he, or his malignant vice President, or his hateful Supreme Court Justice, or anyone else connected with him should be left in Washington.

And now, some independent confirmation of what I have said above:


Note:  Pictures inside taken by David Catanese; the outside one taken by Saba Hamedy.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Wingnuts Show Their Strength Again

This time in Boston, where they showed up in typical numbers for  a laughingly named "Free Speech" rally this afternoon.  From Fox News (no link for them, sorry):

"...dozens of rallygoers gathered at the historic Boston Common and were met with thousands of counterprotesters who had marched peacefully through downtown Boston...Only a few dozen conservatives turned out to the Boston rally, in stark contrast to the estimated 15,000 counterprotesters... an organizer has said he expected up to 1,000 people to attend.

And here they are; first the "protesters:"
 And then the counterprotesters:
 

Boston Police Commissioner William Evans said Friday that 500 officers -- some in uniform, others undercover -- were deployed to keep the peace Saturday. "

They could have just assigned five policemen to every wingnut to protect them, or to keep them from driving their cars into the counterprotest, I guess.

I loved some of the ways this was covered in the press:

Vox:  "counter-demonstrators — which, as Ward reported, were conservatively estimated to outnumber the Free Speech rally-goers 15 to one — filled the grounds outside a security perimeter, drowning out the speeches at the Free Speech rally."

15 to one...well, let's see; 15,000 divided by 100...I think that is more on the order of 150 to one. Only off by a factor of ten, Vox guys.  Just a slip up, I guess.  But wait:

CBS News:  "Boston free speech rally: Thousands take to the streets in rival protests ..."
 Newsweek:  "BOSTON PROTESTS LIVE UPDATES: THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR, AGAINST FREE SPEECH RALLY POST-CHARLOTTESVILLE"
Well, at least Vox did better than CBS News and Newsweek, which didn't seem to notice the difference in the size of the crowds at all.

Once again, for about the thousandth time, I have to note the discrepancy between the actual number of right wingers that ever show up for their hatefests, and the way they are treated by the mainstream press.  A carefully organized event that still can't get over a hundred people is treated as equivalent to a more or less spontaneous march 150 times its size, as the press continues to pretend that this sort of event is a sign of a huge wellspring of right wingers who are totally behind the Republican platform of reducing them to poverty to enrich the Koch brothers, et. al.

Yeah, billions of dollars of rich guys' money spent on smearing Democrats still manages to get millions of suckers out on voting day to keep the criminals in office, but if they think there are really masses of armed lunatics ready to start shooting up the country to defend the rights of the rich, they are not basing it on any perceivable evidence.

Friday, August 18, 2017

A Horrid Possibility

So what do we expect for Trump without Bannon?  I am positive that we are going to be bombarded over the next week or so with mainstream pundits' claims that Bannon has been radicalizing Trump all along, and now that he is gone we need to shut up and wait for Trump to pivot to being a reasonable President.  I am wondering today, however, if the exact opposite may be the case.

Bannon is a real ideologue and cares a hundred times more about advancing his white supremacist, fascist agenda than Trump could ever care about anything but himself.  I wonder if Bannon has not been working constantly to keep Trump focused on Bannon's ideological goals, and has prevented him from spinning off into total lunacy on an almost daily basis.  Now that Bannon is gone, we will get another chance to just Let Trump Be Trump.  And that could be a spectacle far more horrible than anything we have seen so far.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Stupidity of the Press Continues

Even now, after all we have seen, they will not speak the truth.  Today's example: Gail Collins at the New York Times:

"Admit it — during the campaign you did not consider the possibility that if a terrible tragedy struck the country involving all of our worst political ghosts of the past plus neo-Nazism, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz would know the appropriate thing to say but Donald Trump would have no idea."

Even now, the miserable tools that get paid to write this garbage for the New York Times cannot bring themselves to admit the truth.  I can point you toward numerous left-leaning websites, like my own, which stated plainly all along who Trump was and what he was up to; plenty of people considered "the possibility" of what a Trump Presidency would mean, and far more importantly have been pointing out for years that it is not  Trump's goal alone, but the goal of the whole Republican party at least since Reagan- to erase the last vestiges of democracy in this country and replace it by a fascist oligarchy in which no more than a couple hundred families run the country, totally for their own benefit.

And just to finish the categorization of the deliberate blindness, or just lying, of Gail Collins, what do the two people she mentioned as standing up against Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, have in common?  They are the two most likely people to be the Republican Presidential candidate in 2020, if Trump is pushed out of office.  They see themselves as the main beneficiaries of Trump's fall.  At this point, anyone who thinks that a single one of the Republican leaders will ever act based on decency and the best interest of the  country is a gigantic fool.  These guys are, as Republicans always do, serving their own self-interest in attacking Trump.  Other than that, they are totally on board with the entire Republican program of making the country the sole possession of the hyper-rich.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Us

Listen, those of us with any sense have known what has been going on both with Trump and the rest of the Republican party for a long time now, but I think it is safe to demand that, with one single thing Trump said in his God-forsaken tirade yesterday, we need never sit still for the pretense that there is a thing decent about him.  And this is the remark, which utterly strips any pretense from what they are really about:

"Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at us – excuse me – what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt right? Do they have any semblance of guilt?"

Us.  There it is- Trump and the Nazis are "us."  With this unguarded remark, Trump admitted that he is one with the Nazis that inhabit this country.  Let there be no second thoughts about this; this was not a mere slip of the tongue but an ugly view right into his own heart.  We are presided over by a Nazi.  From here out, he is going to act like a Nazi, talk like a Nazi and govern like a Nazi.  Anyone who has a shred of doubt about that is a fool.
Us.  At least if you are Donald Trump.

And virtually no one in his party will turn their back on him, except the couple of miserable self-serving scum like Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz, who still think they have a chance of becoming President in 2020 if they tank Trump.  They are all Nazis, just like Trump; the only difference is that they have the sense not to talk about it in public.

Congratulations, You Subhuman Bastards, You Elected a Nazi


And let's not pretend that anyone with a shred of sense didn't know that all along:

"members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private."

And not that private either, because plenty of us knew what he was up to all along, and knew, for that matter, that it has been the intent of the Republican party for forty years to reduce this country to an oligarchic dictatorship.  They may not have expected someone this crude to grab the reins and go galloping off into the sunset, but where he is headed is exactly where they have been headed for decades.

And as of today, not one major Republican figure has dared to criticize him by name, because in the end, it is just his animalistic means that bother them, not the goal.

So, today, orders went out from the White House to all Republicans that they had better tow the line, or perhaps end up the way Ernst Rohm did- the members of the president's staff are probably relieved that he didn't state openly that opinion that he has undoubtedly long expressed in private too.  Here's a little of the White House orders to twist reality to suit its purpose:

'The President Was Entirely Correct' 
President Trump’s remarks on the deadly white-supremacist rally in Charlottesville have sparked widespread outrage. But the White House is asking congressional Republicans to follow his lead. 

Every day, the White House communications office sends official talking points to Republican members of Congress... 

The President was entirely correct -- both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility.  He has been a voice for unity and calm, encouraging the country to “rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that brings us together as Americans.” 

The President condemned - with no ambiguity - the hate groups fueled by bigotry and racism over the weekend...From cop killing and violence at political rallies, to shooting at Congressmen at a practice baseball game, extremists on the left have engaged in terrible acts of violence."

This is the speech of a Nazi.  And let us not even begin to pretend otherwise. And fuck these people- they knew all along what they were supporting, what they were voting for.  They were not ignorant of what Trump was all about; they support it wholeheartedly.  They want this country turned into a Fascist dictatorship.  And there are a hell of a lot more of them than we ever thought could exist in this supposedly enlightened country, where "patriots" allegedly loved "freedom."

He is now openly encouraging his followers to get violent.  Where this will lead, I don't know, but please remember that waiting too long to crush people like this cost us fifty million deaths just a few decades ago.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Just a Curious Fact, I Guess

Nothing to be learned here, I guess.

Here are pictures of the various executives who have quit Trump administration panels in recent days due to his behavior:
 Brian Krzanich, Intel

 Elon Musk, Tesla

 Ken Frazier, Merck

 Kevin Plank, Underarmor

 Klaus Kleinfeld, Arconic

 Mario Longhi, US Steel

Mark Fields, Ford

In only one of these cases, did Donald Trump decide to attempt to publicly humiliate the executive in question; that would be Ken Frazier.  I wonder what made him different in Trump's eyes than all the others.

HE PIVOTED!!!!!

Just like the Republicans and the mainstream press have been promising us for a year now, today Donald Trump pivoted!
He pivoted!!!!!!!

Oh, not to being President.  He didn't pivot to that.  He pivoted to being Reich Chancellor.

Almost as good, right?

Monday, August 14, 2017

Wingnut Wrapup- Charlottesville Edition


I must say, I tried a couple of times the last few weeks to see if I shouldn't be writing another Wingnut Wrapup, but every time I quickly gave up, because what's the point in repeating what a bunch of right wing morons have to say, when our President is saying the same thing every day, and no one seems to care enough to shut him up?  But with the escalation of the right wing plan over the weekend, I think that it is important to see how these jackasses are going to try to rationalize away their ever-less-disguised hatred.  Ready or not, here we go:

Andrew Anglin, Daily Stormer, memorializing the victim of the white supremacist terror murder this weekend:  "She was Fat and a Drain on Society. Despite feigned outrage by the media, most people are glad she is dead, as she is the definition of uselessness. A 32-year-old woman without children is a burden on society and has no value. 
Due to female privilege, and the fact that they do virtually nothing their entire lives, women live an average of 5 years longer than men. The average female lifespan is 81 years. That means for 49 more years, this fat slob would have been leeching off of men’s work. 
Childless women are black hole vortexes of public money and energy. 
Had she not died yesterday, hundreds of thousands of dollars would have been spent on propping-up this gross creature who had failed to do her most basic duty – her only real duty, in fact – and reproduce. 
Having no children at that age, it can be assumed that she had multiple abortions, and was thus herself a child murderer."

Really, not much anyone could say about that which could make the guy look any worse, so we'll just move on.

Vanguard News Network:  "President Trump Says: Racism is Evil...I agree: why did the Jews have to invent racism and genocide?? Why are the Jews still trying to wipe out our White culture? Why do they hate us so much? (The answer is: “because we’re not Jews”).

See, racism is totally something the Jews do. This is the sort of thing that feeds the race haters that showed up in Charlottesville this weekend.  It will be interesting to see how far they can run on a diet of such pure hatred.  These people should really be exterminated like plague-bearing rats, in my opinion.

Alex Jones, Infowars:  "I’ve been to these events, a lot of the KKK guys with their hats off look like they’re from the cast of Seinfeld,” he said Sunday, as old footage of a KKK rally rolled behind him. “Look at them, they’re just Jewish actors. Nothing against Jews in general, but the leftist Jewish want to create this clash, so they go dress up as Nazis...I have footage in Austin — we’re going to find it somewhere here at the office — where it literally looks like cast of Seinfeld or like Howard Stern in a Nazi outfit. They all look like Howard Stern. They almost got like, the little curly hair down, and they’re just up there heil-ing Hitler. You can tell they are totally uncomfortable, they are totally scared, and it’s all just meant to create the clash.”

And of course, from one of the chief Sandy Hook deniers (and a valued source of information for our President,) waving the false flag as hard as he can.  I know it is the height of time-wasting to confront what Mr. Jones has to say with facts, but here are a couple of pictures of the fine Americans marching to preserve that statue of General Lee:



Notice anyone there that looks like Howard Stern? No?  I didn't think so.

Jay Syrmopoulos, Free Thought Project:  "Multiple High-Level U.S. Officials Publicly Warn of Govt Plot to Assassinate Trump"

Based, as usual, on the testimony of a bunch of people you never heard of, and twisting the words of real people mercilessly.  For example, Jay cites the following:

"former CIA Director John Brennan, while speaking at the Aspen Security Conference, noted that if the administration attempts to fire special counsel Robert Mueller, government officials should refuse to follow the orders of the president.

“I think it’s the obligation of some executive branch officials to refuse to carry that out. I would just hope that this is not going to be a partisan issue. That Republicans, Democrats are going to see that the future of this government is at stake and something needs to be done for the good of the future,” Brennan told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer at the Aspen Security Forum."

as evidence that the entire government is conspiring against Trump.  Just to note: when a traitorous tool of a foreign dictator attempts to destroy the country, it is not an evil aberration, but the responsibility of every government employee to do whatever they can to stop him, and see that he is punished appropriately for his treason.
Jeff Rense, Rense.com:  "Globalist McMaster Calls Soros-Promoted False Flag In Charlottesville A Terror Attack"

Catch that?  Actually, McMaster called the car attack and murder by a right wing maniac a terror attack; to Jeff Rense, this is an excuse to claim the attack was a false flag operation carried out by (Jewish) leftists, even thought the perpetrator had a years-long record of association with right wing causes and groups.  Expect to see a lot more of this in the coming years.

Mike Adams, Natural News:  "Why this all ends in civil war: Radical Left-wing fascism and intolerance meets right-wing nationalism and resistance"

See? Peaceful Progressive protesters are fascists, but actual, self-identified Nazis aren't.

Guy Benson, Town Hall:  "The Alt-Right does not, and must not, represent American conservatism."

Oh yes it does, buster.  People like you spent decades building this monstrosity, and this time around, you are not walking away from it the way you walked away from the damage that Reagan and Bush and Cheney and every other damned Republican in the last forty years worked around the clock to create.

PJ Media:  "MSNBC Contributor Says the Neo-Nazis Killed Someone 'on Behalf of President Trump'

And?  Got any objection to that?  Seems pretty right on to me.

Nicholas Ballasy, PJ Media:  "Purple Heart Recipient on Afghanistan War: 'You Can't' Fight Suicide Bombers"

How about people who drive their cars into peaceful protesters?  How do you fight them?  Hey, I've got an idea:  let's do it by not electing one of their leaders to be President.

Tyler O'Neal, PJ Media:  "In this particular case, the white nationalists were protesting the removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee...These people are being told that even this most defensible of all Confederate figures must be condemned in their cultural consciousness. Again, there is no excuse for the way they reacted, but perhaps this is a legitimate complaint.

Indeed, part of the tragedy of the situation is that by identifying as white supremacists in defending this statue, they have played into the narrative that only racists support these statues."

Only one thing wrong with this line of argument, Tyler:  It happens to be an obvious fact that only racists support these statues.  "The most defensible of all Confederate figures" spent years killing American soldiers in a treasonous war to support one of the great evils of human history.  I'm glad that Tyler knows that the rest of them were even worse.

"How can Americans break the cycle of tribalism? By championing the tenets of classical liberalism: that people have equal rights and dignity, that government should treat everyone equally, and that individuals acting freely and in peace can achieve the best good for the whole."

Too bad your people, Tyler; let me repeat here: your people will not admit that people have equal rights and dignity.  Run away from that truth and you are a racist yourself, and no better than the violent ugly jerks who go around with Nazi flags.

Jesse Lee Peterson, World Net Daily:  "CHARLOTTESVILLE, I TRIED TO WARN YOU...I have warned for more than 27 years that we are in a spiritual battle of good versus evil. White people are under attack – especially white, straight, conservative Christian men of power. The children of the lie hate them because they represent good. They love truth, freedom, responsibility, the values that make America great. 

Evil already wiped out black and Hispanic men – separated them from their families and deluded their thinking. Evil, too, has chipped away at whites, the last men standing in the way to stop evil from completely taking over America."


The guy who wrote this is a black man.  Some people of every kind will do any despicable thing if you pay them enough.

Earick Ward, American Thinker:  "Those who control the narrative control the truth.  Following Charlottesville, all must understand the broader context of current events – the conservative movement (not to be confused with media-created Alt-Right or white nationalists) desires the restoration of America's founding principles, as documented in the Declaration of Independence, Constitution, and Bill of Rights. 

There is a counter-movement that seeks America's destruction and the imposition of a new covenant, predicated on the wisdom of man or, more particularly, a select group of men, who seek to manage the affairs of all man. "

The wisdom of man, or a select group of men.  You mean like this select group of men?


I'm just glad that Earick realizes which side in the United States today is really on the side of the Founding Fathers.  It's just stunning how un-self aware these guys are.

Franklin Graham, Newsmax:  "Shame on the politicians who are trying to push blame on President Trump for what happened in Charlottesville, VA. That’s absurd. What about the politicians such as the city council who voted to remove a memorial that had been in place since 1924, regardless of the possible repercussions?"

What about those city council members who voted to remove a statue to a treasonous man who killed thousands of patriotic Americans in order to defend slavery?  Yeah, why didn't they balance that act of common decency against the likelihood that an American racist would kill some poor innocent girl to get back at them?  In fact, how dare anyone stand up to a pack of degenerate would-be Nazis?  After all, if you do, they might kill some more people, and that would be all your fault.

Franklin Graham's father was a viciouslly anti-Semitic scum, but God, he has nothing on his son:

"Really, this boils down to evil in people's hearts," Graham said. "Satan is behind it all. He wants division, he wants unrest, he wants violence and hatred. He's the enemy of peace and unity...Graham called on the nation to come together and turn to God."

Like, that has ever solved a problem like this, in the whole history of the human race.

Peter Hasson, Daily Caller:  "Far-left agitators are calling for an escalation in tactics following this weekend’s violence at a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville."

Monsters.  Instead, they should all just go home and stay there until the alt-right guys show up to escort them into camps.

And an oldie but a goodie when things like this happen:

Connor Mighell, The Federalist:  "The ‘Alt-Right’ Aren’t On The Right, They’re Just Racists"

Why, of course they have nothing to do with us reasonable haters!  We won't run you down in the street, we will just see that you have no job, no home and no medical care, and then just let nature run its course.

Zachary Leeman, Popzettee:  "When violent protests broke out in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, celebrities and artists had the opportunity to call for unity and sanity in a world in which people are digging their heels into extremist beliefs."

Unity with Nazis.  Interesting to see how that would play out.

Anyway, that should be plenty to see how far the right wing media have gotten in two days to blot out the obvious meaning of this weekend's events in Charlottesville.  They still haven't agreed on quite the narrative, but just give them a few more days, and that guy in the car will turn out to have been a hero.

Oh, and just one more comment:  If you think we on the left are going to stand around and let white supremacists and neo-Nazis beat and kill us, just to deny you the opportunity to scream that "both sides do it," you are crazy. Let's be clear about this: every person on earth knows who the good guys are when it comes down to Nazis versus the rest of us, and no amount of smearing and lying on your part can ever change that.

Terror By Car

I am interested in the large number of commentators that are so quick to compare the right wing terrorist who drove his car into a group of peaceful protesters this weekend, to the several associates of ISIS who have done the same thing in the last couple of years.   Nobody seems to have enough memory, however, to make the following obvious comment:

You know, just about anyone on earth can get their hands on a car or a truck, and drive it into a crowd.  It's not high tech terrorism.

A few years ago, ISIS was an actual state.  It had a government, it controlled a number of fairly large cities, it had a standing army, it had oil wells and refineries from which it derived a large income as well as powering itself, it handled many of the functions of a normal government.

Then an international coalition led by (remember this guy?) Barack Obama began a systematic effort to destroy this malignant state.  A couple of years later, the best they could do was incite a few fools to engage in a meaningless act of random violence.

Well, American Nazis seem to have skipped right by the successful government part and gone right to the meaningless act part.  Yes, they need to be beaten down, and harshly, but do not think that a demonstration of four hundred people and some idiot that drives a car into a crowd represent a real movement.  Our "President" is going to have a heavy price to pay for inciting this hatred, but as long as we don't just let it go unanswered, it is going to end up being nothing but a contemptible temper tantrum.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Hugh Hewitt Speaks for the Mainstream Press

The Washington Post should be deeply ashamed of itself for having been bullied into publishing the screeds of the notorious right wing liar Hugh Hewitt under any circumstances, and never more so with Hewitt's comments today on the racist terrorist murder in Charlottesville yesterday:

"The Charlottesville driver isn’t the only one who should lawyer up...

The Commonwealth of Virginia is, of course, governed by Brandenburg and also has a felony homicide statute that provides that the “killing of one accidentally, contrary to the intention of the parties, while in the prosecution of some felonious act...is murder of the second degree and is punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five years nor more than forty years.”

it seems to me that a great number of people are at risk of being charged with felony homicide beyond the driver of the car that killed one person during Saturday’s protests. Anyone who incited the driver, indeed anyone whose actions obliged the state troopers to be airborne in defense of the public’s safety, should lawyer up... Lots of people should be charged if they contributed to the mayhem that led to these deaths."

Notice particularly that Hewitt is extremely careful to never point out exactly who "incited the driver," or exactly who "anyone whose actions obliged the state troopers to be airborne in defense of the public’s safety."

This is no more an accident that Donald Trump's clear claim that the victims of this terrorist act were as equally to blame as the terrorist himself.  It openly implies that everyone who showed up in Charlottesville was equally to blame for the terrorism as the terrorist and his associates themselves.  It is a claim that those who fight hatred are as fully deplorable as the haters themselves.  It is of a piece with Republicans' claims that Obama was responsible for their own racism, because he couldn't convince them to give it up.  It is hatred blended with irrationality in a measure so massive that it has, at least so far, proven impervious to any appeal to decency.  That is why, in the end, I see no answer to this other than forcibly putting these people down, like the mad dogs they are.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Why Does Trump

Refuse to use the words "Radical Christian Terrorism?"

Huh?  That's what I want to know.

Nazis

Given the way things are going in this country, there is going to be more and more talk about parallels with the rise of the Nazis.

Unfortunately, about 90% of what I read about them is false or at best partially true, so I want to recommend to anyone who is really interested in the subject, the three volume history of the rise and rule of the Nazis written by Cambridge Professor Richard Evans:

The Coming of the Third Reich
The Third Reich in Power
The Third Reich at War


This is a long read, but is by far the most authoritative history of the subject in English, and is widely available.  Evans wrote this in the late nineties, and a good part of it, particularly the last two volumes, is based on millions of pages of documents that had been kept in East Germany, and were unavailable prior to its collapse.  You will learn an immense amount that you didn't know about the Nazis.  From then on, when you say "this is like the Nazis," you will know what you are talking about.

White March In Context

Whooppee!! The Nazis who form a large part of Trump's younger followers are on the march in Charlottesville, in what is universally described as the largest gathering of "white nationalists" in decades!  The press is out in force to declare them to be a real force in American politics, whose "issues" (i.e. white people's right to kill and hate) must be addressed, or the Democratic party will disappear off the face of the earth! Here's a picture from last night's demonstration:
I will have more to say, I am sure, after today's march, which they promise will be EVEN LARGER!!!!  But until then, just for comparison, here is a reminder of the Women's March in just one city, Los Angeles, a few months ago:
This march was, as I remember, worthy only of being forgotten as soon as possible.


UPDATE:  Well, after a morning filled with various acts of petty violence, and chanting of "Jews will not replace us"* and the good old standby "Blood and Soil,"** the Charlottesville mayor declared a state of emergency, so we will never get to know if today's rally would have matched this:
Somehow, I doubt it, but that's what they were hoping for, I'm sure.



*Take it from me, guys, Jews aren't trying to replace you.  They actually like it a lot more where they are, and aren't trying to move here:

**If you would like to know more about Blood and Soil, I invite you to watch as much as you can take of this nice video, entitled "Blood and Soil- Foundation of the New Reich."  It's from 1933, so the production values may be a little lacking, but I'm sure you will get the point.  

Then maybe we'll all get together in a resounding rendition of the Horst Wessel song and all go out and start a war or two.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

The Big Lie Indeed

From right wing convicted felon (and therefore admired leader of the wingnuts) Dinesh D'Sousa, another strike against the truth, in the form of this new book:
Yes, it is the contention of this hateful monster that it is the American left, not the right, that is actually the real cousin of the Nazis.

D'Sousa seems to forget the years-long campaign by the Democrats, led by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, to get the United States to take a stand against the Nazis; a campaign that took years because it was viciously opposed every step of the way by a large number of Republican politicians, who violently fought even aiding Britain in its struggle against Hitler, let alone our joining in too.  He parrots the nauseating lie that the Nazis were left wingers, despite the incredible, detailed historical record, including the text of large parts of Mein Kampf, proving that the Nazis opposed not just Communists, but Socialists, liberals and even centrists, and the fact that the Nazis joined together with virtually every nationalist, right wing group in Germany, before destroying them as soon as possible.

This hateful book is, of course, just one more step in the disgusting propaganda campaign that produced the following book several years ago:
This was another publication in the right's long campaign to deny their relationship to the Nazis, and despite being equally bankrupt of both fact and decency it was eagerly consumed by the wingnuts.

And yet, right wingers will lap up this new outrage, because of course they will.  Because "nyah nyah nyah, not me, you" has become their standard response to any attempt to point out what a malignant bunch of subhumans they are.

Friday, August 4, 2017

Catastrophic Mistake

We learn this important piece of information from Fox News uber-pundit Charles Krauthammer today:

"Fox News contributor Charles Krauthammer called the idea of impeaching President Trump "a catastrophic mistake" on Thursday...Krauthammer warned that impeaching Trump would cause millions that voted for him to question the stability of American democracy."

No word about whether allowing a corrupt tool of a foreign dictator to steal the Presidency might cause the other 81% of us to "question the stability of American democracy."

Thursday, August 3, 2017

World Class Lying

A headline today from the Associated Press:

"Trump set to embark on 1st vacation since inauguration"

How can anyone even begin to tell a lie like that?  What in God's name has happened to our country where someone can write that and not be fired immediately? Can our country survive this sort of thing?

Trump set to embark on 1st vacation since inauguration

The Twin Towers of Conservatism



I have been meaning to write a post about the twin towers of right wing lunacy in this country for some time now.  Not, by the way, that these are the only rotten foundations on which Republican electoral success is built; am not, for example, going to mention racism very much below.  What I want to suggest, however, is that these are the two enablers of the Republican impetus to breed an ignorant, hate filled, out of control base that votes on the basis of evil passions, not reasoning or even self interest.

What pushed me over the line to write this post was Paul Krugman's column this week.  Here is an excerpt:

"The Republican health care debacle was the culmination of a process of intellectual and moral deterioration that began four decades ago, at the very dawn of modern movement conservatism...

A key moment came in the 1970s, when Irving Kristol, the godfather of neoconservatism, embraced supply-side economics — the claim, refuted by all available evidence and experience, that tax cuts pay for themselves by boosting economic growth. Writing years later, he actually boasted about valuing political expediency over intellectual integrity: “I was not certain of its economic merits but quickly saw its political possibilities.”

And this is a point I have made before, but until now I have never heard a single other person state it straight out:  "Supply side economics," the Austrian school, call it what you will, is not an economic theory nor an ideology.  It is in fact nothing but a malignant fairy tale designed to justify taking wealth away from ordinary people and giving it to the rich.  Its entire underpinnings are so ludicrous that no one in control of his or her mental faculties could buy into it for one second.  The Republican answer to this problem was, of course, not to abandon this hateful theory, but to create a base that was so impervious to what was right in front of their eyes that they would buy into it; and this they have done, with spectacular success.

So, Krugman was right, but only half right; as an economist he has restricted himself to a subject in which he can speak with authority.  But this was not sufficient to tip the country into its current disastrous madness, and not having any reputation to protect, I am not under any pressure to ignore it.  The other vital factor in the Republican descent into madness was the devil's bargain it made with Evangelical Christianity.

Republicans, so used to manipulating the ignorant and the hate-filled, thougth they could enlist Evangelicals, mindless and ignorant as most of them are, to join the zombie army that was working to destroy itself to further enrich the already rich.  Unfortunately, Republican leaders ignored the fact that Evangelicals came with some weighty baggage, which has mortally infected the right.  Chief among these is the Evangelical notion of salvation by faith, the idea that nothing we do on this earth except to believe what they tell us to believe, has anything to do with getting into heaven.  The logical outcome of this belief is that it is perfectly acceptable to tell any sort of lie to people to get them to believe, because balanced against eternal life, nothing that happens to them in this life means a thing.

Well, the notion that it is okay to tell any kind of lie to get what you want was hardly likely to remain restricted to situations involving eternal salvation.  It has now spread until it has infected the entire right in this country.  It has reached the point where all of them have repudiated any concern for the truth, in favor of whatever will get them what they want at the moment: denying global warming, denying the continuing malign effects of racism; denying the truth about their own religion and those of other people; denying that poor people are largely poor through no fault of their own; and in the end, denying that the Civil War was about slavery, denying every single thing their savior preached about, in favor of a self-serving mumbo-jumbo of nationalism and jingoistic hatred.

It is these two things that have led the Republicans, and unfortunately the rest of us, to be where we are today.  Neither on its own would have been sufficient to pull down the edifice of American democracy on its own, but together they have brought us to the edge of destruction.  Pandering to the rich, and to the ignorant, hateful people in the South and Midwest, Republicans have manged to wreck the fine clockwork that kept our country from the worst fate that has overtaken other great nations.

Republicans have built a base as absolutely divorced from truth as the most incurable schizophrenic; a base which I fear has descended so far into its fantasy world that there is no hope for this country until they die off, and then only if we can prevent them from spreading their mental disease on to future generations.  In the meantime, the caldera of hatred they have generated could easily overcome us all.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Coup, Part Two

We hear this news out of the White House:

"The door to the Oval Office used to be wide open, with favored officials drifting in and out — even in the middle of meetings — to kibitz with Trump.

Now, the door is closed. Gen. John Kelly, the new White House chief of staff, has taken control in dramatic fashion, and is already imposing unmistakable signs of order after just a few days on the job:

Even POTUS appears to be trying to impress his four-star handler, picking up his game by acting sharper in meetings and even rattling off stats. Meetings are shorter and stick to their scheduled topic. Everyone — even uber-aides Jared and Ivanka, and economic adviser Gary Cohn — is being deferential to Kelly."


Do I even need to say the following?  Kelly is not making the White House run better; he is running it himself, and the fear of God has been implanted in Trump to prevent him from ruining everything with his usual behavior.

This is not efficiency, it is a coup.

Kelly is running the country now, on behalf of his previous employers, the United State Military, which doesn't want to fight wars caused by Trump's mentally disturbed belligerence.  Trump is not trying to "impress" Kelly; he is desperately trying to control himself to avoid being crushed by Kelly.

So, it took six months for Trump to end any semblance of democracy in this country.  Not the way he thought it would turn out, with him on the throne, but he did it.


UPDATE:  I just saw on MSNBC: "Breaking News- Chief of Staff announces that Attorney General is staying in job."

Since when does the chief of staff decide who the Attorney General is?  Well, I guess since the Chief of Staff is a four star General who has just taken over the Presidency.  I'm still waiting to hear the word "coup" from a single allegedly reputable news source.


A FURTHER UPDATE: Saturday, from an article at Daily Kos:

"In fact, the more we learn about this relationship, the more one has to wonder whether what we are really watching is a soft military coup in the making."