Category: Politics and Elections (page 1 of 1)

American Civil War Casus Belli: African Negro Slavery.


A report on Battlefield.Org points out two things: Americans are inexplicable divided as to the causes of the Civil War, reflecting both historical ignorance as well as the continued delusions among the current crop of Lost Causers who continue to believe in and are invested fully in, the generational denial surrounding the Great Mass Treason which resulted in 1,000,000 American casualties.

Let’s be clear: The war was about slavery, from first to last. And after the guns stopped firing, the war continues in multiple ways that all-too-often includes violence and murder.

But let’s look at the « Battlefields.Org discussion of the Casus Belli », which starts with a piquant little survey from 2011:

“In 2011, at the outset of the sesquicentennial, a Pew Research Center poll found that Americans were significantly divided on the issue, with 48% saying the war was ‘mainly about states’ rights,’ 38% saying the war was ‘mainly about slavery,’ with the remainder answering ‘both equally’ or ‘neither/don’t know.'”

Battlefields.Org

Fascinating, if appalling that that many people either aren’t sure or are convinced that it was the santized “states’ rights,” rights which, after all, gave the states the “right” to keep and bear slaves.

Battlefields.Org then goes on to examine the four declarations from states (Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas) which wanted all posterity to understand why they committed treason and nearly destroyed the country. Those declarations are fascinating reading and we’ll get to them below.

Civil War Casualties (Probably at Antietam, September 1862).

Battlefields.Org brokedown the content in the secession declarations thusly:

Georgia;
56% Slavery; 23% “Context”; 5:% Economic Issues; 4% States’ Rights; 2% Lincoln’s Election.

Texas:
54% Slavery; 21% “Context”; 15% States’ Rights; 6% Military Protection; 4% Lincoln’s Election.

Mississippi:
73% Slavery; 20% “Context”; 4% Lincoln’s Election; 3% States’ Rights.

South Carolina:
41% “Context”; 37% States’ Rights; 20% Slavery; 2% Lincoln’s Election.

[“‘Context’ refers to procedural language and/or historical exposition that is not connected to a specific argument,” says Battlefields.org.]

I would quibble with their interpretation of the declarations. Slavery is absolutely number one in every case. Everything else flows from it: They hated the north’s refusal to enforce the southern states’ rights to … own African negro slaves and the refusal to catch such property and return it to its owners. They hated the Republican/Anti-Slavery/Abolition party which had caused its leaders to control of the Federal government, where same leaders would make war on the southern states’ rights to … own African negro slaves. And as for “context,” it’s usually just a rehash of the history of the Revolution and their continued stubborn clinging to their idea of what being in the union meant; i.e., it meant they were free to leave at any time for any reason, but the reason was always going to be about slavery and the fed’s containment strategy of … African negro slavery.

Saying “Lincoln’s Election” was a “cause” is therefore also disingenous. He’s not mentioned by name. He’s just happens to be the leader the northern agitators and abolitionists had chosen to head up their program of destroying the south and …. its peculiar institution: African negro slavery.

So Battlefields.Org can parse it out this way and with a word cloud that says “States” is the most-used word, not slavery, but again, it’s disingenuous. The right that each southern state wanted to assert in all situations and around the country and the world was … African negro slavery. Period.

They went to war to preserve their right to own African negros as slaves in perpetuity. To Andrew Jackson’s heirs here in Donelson/Hermitage, they fully believed that African negros would continue to be slaves working cotton fields along the Stones River in 1860, 1890, 1950, and even 2019 and beyond.

Period.

It really is that simple. There are multiple “reasons,” but each reason is a reason because it directly relates to owning African negros as slaves.

And therefore, the 11 states separated themselves in an effort to preserve slavery; they committed treason, went to war and created a million American casualties and utterly failed, thank God, to preserve their peculiar institution. They have never ceased however, even after getting thoroughly kicked in the balls and sent running home to mommy, licking their wounds and keeping the freed African negroes down, to operate, with waxing and waning success and effort, to resurrect the same old arguments, rehashed and rehashed.

White supremacy and domestic terrorism is epidemic and a singular gift of the varied framers of “Articles of Secession” throughout the south all those years ago.

At any rate, here are the money quotes from the four articles of secession of the states of Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Texas and Virginia. Georgia and South Carolina are particularly verbose and yawn-inducing. They are catalogues of grievances, great and petty. Virginia is short and sweet: The Brits tried to make us do some stuff and we left. Now the antislavery power is trying to force us to do some stuff, so we’re leaving again. But ultimately it all amounts to: “The Northern people are being mean to us and they’re going to make us give up our negroes .” Yeesh.

Casualties on the scene at Dunker Church, battlefield of Antietam. September 1862.

Georgia


“The people of Georgia having dissolved their political connection with the Government of the United States of America, present to their confederates and the world the causes which have led to the separation. For the last ten years we have had numerous and serious causes of complaint against our non-slave-holding confederate States with reference to the subject of African slavery. They have endeavored to weaken our security, to disturb our domestic peace and tranquility, and persistently refused to comply with their express constitutional obligations to us in reference to that property, and by the use of their power in the Federal Government have striven to deprive us of an equal enjoyment of the common Territories of the Republic.

“While the subordination and the political and social inequality of the African race was fully conceded by all, it was plainly apparent that slavery would soon disappear from what are now the non-slave-holding States of the original thirteen. The opposition to slavery was then, as now, general in those States and the Constitution was made with direct reference to that fact. But a distinct abolition party was not formed in the United States for more than half a century after the Government went into operation. The main reason was that the North, even if united, could not control both branches of the Legislature during any portion of that time.

“We had acquired a large territory by successful war with Mexico; Congress had to govern it; how, in relation to slavery, was the question then demanding solution. This state of facts gave form and shape to the anti-slavery sentiment throughout the North and the conflict began. Northern anti-slavery men of all parties asserted the right to exclude slavery from the territory by Congressional legislation and demanded the prompt and efficient exercise of this power to that end. This insulting and unconstitutional demand was met with great moderation and firmness by the South.

“They raised their standard in 1856 and were barely defeated. They entered the Presidential contest again in 1860 and succeeded.
“The prohibition of slavery in the Territories, hostility to it everywhere, the equality of the black and white races, disregard of all constitutional guarantees in its favor, were boldly proclaimed by its leaders and applauded by its followers.

“For twenty years past the abolitionists and their allies in the Northern States have been engaged in constant efforts to subvert our institutions and to excite insurrection and servile war among us. They have sent emissaries among us for the accomplishment of these purposes. Some of these efforts have received the public sanction of a majority of the leading men of the Republican party in the national councils, the same men who are now proposed as our rulers. These efforts have in one instance led to the actual invasion of one of the slave-holding States, and those of the murderers and incendiaries who escaped public justice by flight have found fraternal protection among our Northern confederates.

“Because by their declared principles and policy they have outlawed $3,000,000,000 of our property in the common territories of the Union; put it under the ban of the Republic in the States where it exists and out of the protection of Federal law everywhere; because they give sanctuary to thieves and incendiaries who assail it to the whole extent of their power, in spite of their most solemn obligations and covenants; because their avowed purpose is to subvert our society and subject us not only to the loss of our property but the destruction of ourselves, our wives, and our children, and the desolation of our homes, our altars, and our firesides. To avoid these evils we resume the powers which our fathers delegated to the Government of the United States, and henceforth will seek new safeguards for our liberty, equality, security, and tranquillity.”
Approved, Tuesday, January 29, 1861

Articles of Secession, State of Georgia

Mississippi



“A Declaration of the Immediate Causes which Induce and Justify the Secession of the State of Mississippi from the Federal Union.”
“In the momentous step which our State has taken of dissolving its connection with the government of which we so long formed a part, it is but just that we should declare the prominent reasons which have induced our course.
“Our position is thoroughly identified with the institution of slavery– the greatest material interest of the world. Its labor supplies the product which constitutes by far the largest and most important portions of commerce of the earth. These products are peculiar to the climate verging on the tropical regions, and by an imperious law of nature, none but the black race can bear exposure to the tropical sun. These products have become necessities of the world, and a blow at slavery is a blow at commerce and civilization. That blow has been long aimed at the institution, and was at the point of reaching its consummation. There was no choice left us but submission to the mandates of abolition, or a dissolution of the Union, whose principles had been subverted to work out our ruin.
“It has grown until it denies the right of property in slaves, and refuses protection to that right on the high seas, in the Territories, and wherever the government of the United States had jurisdiction.

“It refuses the admission of new slave States into the Union, and seeks to extinguish it by confining it within its present limits, denying the power of expansion.
“It tramples the original equality of the South under foot.
“It has nullified the Fugitive Slave Law in almost every free State in the Union, and has utterly broken the compact which our fathers pledged their faith to maintain.
“It advocates negro equality, socially and politically, and promotes insurrection and incendiarism in our midst.
“It has enlisted its press, its pulpit and its schools against us, until the whole popular mind of the North is excited and inflamed with prejudice.
“It has made combinations and formed associations to carry out its schemes of emancipation in the States and wherever else slavery exists.
“It seeks not to elevate or to support the slave, but to destroy his present condition without providing a better.
“It has invaded a State, and invested with the honors of martyrdom the wretch whose purpose was to apply flames to our dwellings, and the weapons of destruction to our lives.
“It has broken every compact into which it has entered for our security.
“It has given indubitable evidence of its design to ruin our agriculture, to prostrate our industrial pursuits and to destroy our social system.
“It knows no relenting or hesitation in its purposes; it stops not in its march of aggression, and leaves us no room to hope for cessation or for pause.
“It has recently obtained control of the Government, by the prosecution of its unhallowed schemes, and destroyed the last expectation of living together in friendship and brotherhood.
“Utter subjugation awaits us in the Union, if we should consent longer to remain in it. It is not a matter of choice, but of necessity. We must either submit to degradation, and to the loss of property worth four billions of money, or we must secede from the Union framed by our fathers, to secure this as well as every other species of property. For far less cause than this, our fathers separated from the Crown of England.”

Articles of Secession, State of Mississippi

South Carolina


“The Constitution of the United States, in its fourth Article, provides as follows: “No person held to service or labor in one State, under the laws thereof, escaping into another, shall, in consequence of any law or regulation therein, be discharged from such service or labor, but shall be delivered up, on claim of the party to whom such service or labor may be due.”
“This stipulation was so material to the compact, that without it that compact would not have been made. The greater number of the contracting parties held slaves, and they had previously evinced their estimate of the value of such a stipulation by making it a condition in the Ordinance for the government of the territory ceded by Virginia, which now composes the States north of the Ohio River.
“The same article of the Constitution stipulates also for rendition by the several States of fugitives from justice from the other States.
“The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.
“The General Government, as the common agent, passed laws to carry into effect these stipulations of the States. For many years these laws were executed. But an increasing hostility on the part of the non-slaveholding States to the institution of slavery, has led to a disregard of their obligations, and the laws of the General Government have ceased to effect the objects of the Constitution. The States of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, New York, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Iowa, have enacted laws which either nullify the Acts of Congress or render useless any attempt to execute them. In many of these States the fugitive is discharged from service or labor claimed, and in none of them has the State Government complied with the stipulation made in the Constitution. The State of New Jersey, at an early day, passed a law in conformity with her constitutional obligation; but the current of anti-slavery feeling has led her more recently to enact laws which render inoperative the remedies provided by her own law and by the laws of Congress. In the State of New York even the right of transit for a slave has been denied by her tribunals; and the States of Ohio and Iowa have refused to surrender to justice fugitives charged with murder, and with inciting servile insurrection in the State of Virginia. Thus the constituted compact has been deliberately broken and disregarded by the non-slaveholding States, and the consequence follows that South Carolina is released from her obligation.

“On the 4th day of March next, this party will take possession of the Government. It has announced that the South shall be excluded from the common territory, that the judicial tribunals shall be made sectional, and that a war must be waged against slavery until it shall cease throughout the United States.
“The guaranties of the Constitution will then no longer exist; the equal rights of the States will be lost. The slaveholding States will no longer have the power of self-government, or self-protection, and the Federal Government will have become their enemy.
“Sectional interest and animosity will deepen the irritation, and all hope of remedy is rendered vain, by the fact that public opinion at the North has invested a great political error with the sanction of more erroneous religious belief.”
Adopted December 20, 1860

Article of Secession, South Carolina
Civil War casualties (Petersburg?)

Texas


“Texas abandoned her separate national existence and consented to become one of the Confederated Union to promote her welfare, insure domestic tranquility and secure more substantially the blessings of peace and liberty to her people. She was received into the confederacy with her own constitution, under the guarantee of the federal constitution and the compact of annexation, that she should enjoy these blessings. She was received as a commonwealth holding, maintaining and protecting the institution known as negro slavery– the servitude of the African to the white race within her limits– a relation that had existed from the first settlement of her wilderness by the white race, and which her people intended should exist in all future time. Her institutions and geographical position established the strongest ties between her and other slave-holding States of the confederacy. Those ties have been strengthened by association. But what has been the course of the government of the United States, and of the people and authorities of the non-slave-holding States, since our connection with them?
“The controlling majority of the Federal Government, under various pretences and disguises, has so administered the same as to exclude the citizens of the Southern States, unless under odious and unconstitutional restrictions, from all the immense territory owned in common by all the States on the Pacific Ocean, for the avowed purpose of acquiring sufficient power in the common government to use it as a means of destroying the institutions of Texas and her sister slaveholding States.
“By the disloyalty of the Northern States and their citizens and the imbecility of the Federal Government, infamous combinations of incendiaries and outlaws have been permitted in those States and the common territory of Kansas to trample upon the federal laws, to war upon the lives and property of Southern citizens in that territory, and finally, by violence and mob law, to usurp the possession of the same as exclusively the property of the Northern States.
“The Federal Government, while but partially under the control of these our unnatural and sectional enemies, has for years almost entirely failed to protect the lives and property of the people of Texas against the Indian savages on our border, and more recently against the murderous forays of banditti from the neighboring territory of Mexico; and when our State government has expended large amounts for such purpose, the Federal Government has refuse reimbursement therefor, thus rendering our condition more insecure and harassing than it was during the existence of the Republic of Texas.

“The States of Maine, Vermont, New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Wisconsin, Michigan and Iowa, by solemn legislative enactments, have deliberately, directly or indirectly violated the 3rd clause of the 2nd section of the 4th article [the fugitive slave clause] of the federal constitution, and laws passed in pursuance thereof; thereby annulling a material provision of the compact, designed by its framers to perpetuate the amity between the members of the confederacy and to secure the rights of the slave-holding States in their domestic institutions– a provision founded in justice and wisdom, and without the enforcement of which the compact fails to accomplish the object of its creation. Some of those States have imposed high fines and degrading penalties upon any of their citizens or officers who may carry out in good faith that provision of the compact, or the federal laws enacted in accordance therewith.

“In all the non-slave-holding States, in violation of that good faith and comity which should exist between entirely distinct nations, the people have formed themselves into a great sectional party, now strong enough in numbers to control the affairs of each of those States, based upon an unnatural feeling of hostility to these Southern States and their beneficent and patriarchal system of African slavery, proclaiming the debasing doctrine of equality of all men, irrespective of race or color– a doctrine at war with nature, in opposition to the experience of mankind, and in violation of the plainest revelations of Divine Law. They demand the abolition of negro slavery throughout the confederacy, the recognition of political equality between the white and negro races, and avow their determination to press on their crusade against us, so long as a negro slave remains in these States.
“For years past this abolition organization has been actively sowing the seeds of discord through the Union, and has rendered the federal congress the arena for spreading firebrands and hatred between the slave-holding and non-slave-holding States.
“They have for years past encouraged and sustained lawless organizations to steal our slaves and prevent their recapture, and have repeatedly murdered Southern citizens while lawfully seeking their rendition.
“They have invaded Southern soil and murdered unoffending citizens, and through the press their leading men and a fanatical pulpit have bestowed praise upon the actors and assassins in these crimes, while the governors of several of their States have refused to deliver parties implicated and indicted for participation in such offenses, upon the legal demands of the States aggrieved.
“They have, through the mails and hired emissaries, sent seditious pamphlets and papers among us to stir up servile insurrection and bring blood and carnage to our firesides.
“They have sent hired emissaries among us to burn our towns and distribute arms and poison to our slaves for the same purpose.
“They have impoverished the slave-holding States by unequal and partial legislation, thereby enriching themselves by draining our substance.
“They have refused to vote appropriations for protecting Texas against ruthless savages, for the sole reason that she is a slave-holding State.
“And, finally, by the combined sectional vote of the seventeen non-slave-holding States, they have elected as president and vice-president of the whole confederacy two men whose chief claims to such high positions are their approval of these long continued wrongs, and their pledges to continue them to the final consummation of these schemes for the ruin of the slave-holding States.
:We hold as undeniable truths that the governments of the various States, and of the confederacy itself, were established exclusively by the white race, for themselves and their posterity; that the African race had no agency in their establishment; that they were rightfully held and regarded as an inferior and dependent race, and in that condition only could their existence in this country be rendered beneficial or tolerable.
“That in this free government all white men are and of right ought to be entitled to equal civil and political rights [emphasis in the original]; that the servitude of the African race, as existing in these States, is mutually beneficial to both bond and free, and is abundantly authorized and justified by the experience of mankind, and the revealed will of the Almighty Creator, as recognized by all Christian nations; while the destruction of the existing relations between the two races, as advocated by our sectional enemies, would bring inevitable calamities upon both and desolation upon the fifteen slave-holding states.
“By the secession of six of the slave-holding States, and the certainty that others will speedily do likewise, Texas has no alternative but to remain in an isolated connection with the North, or unite her destinies with the South.

“For these and other reasons, solemnly asserting that the federal constitution has been violated and virtually abrogated by the several States named, seeing that the federal government is now passing under the control of our enemies to be diverted from the exalted objects of its creation to those of oppression and wrong, and realizing that our own State can no longer look for protection, but to God and her own sons– We the delegates of the people of Texas, in Convention assembled, have passed an ordinance dissolving all political connection with the government of the United States of America and the people thereof and confidently appeal to the intelligence and patriotism of the freemen of Texas to ratify the same at the ballot box, on the 23rd day of the present month.
“Adopted in Convention on the 2nd day of Feby, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one and of the independence of Texas the twenty-fifth.”

Articles of Secession, State of Texas

Virginia


“The people of Virginia, in their ratification of the Constitution of the United States of America, adopted by them in Convention on the twenty-fifth day of June, in the year of our Lord one thousand seven hundred and eighty-eight, having declared that the powers granted under the said Constitution were derived from the people of the United States, and might be resumed whensoever the same should be perverted to their injury and oppression; and the Federal Government, having perverted said powers, not only to the injury of the people of Virginia, but to the oppression of the Southern Slaveholding States.
“Now, therefore, we, the people of Virginia, do declare and ordain that the ordinance adopted by the people of this State in Convention, on the twenty-fifth day of June, eighty-eight, whereby the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified, and all acts of the General Assembly of this State, ratifying or adopting amendments to said Constitution, are hereby repealed and abrogated; that the Union between the State of Virginia and the other States under the Constitution aforesaid, is hereby dissolved, and that the State of Virginia is in the full possession and exercise of all the rights of sovereignty which belong and appertain to a free and independent State. And they do further declare that the said Constitution of the United States of America is no longer binding on any of the citizens of this State.
“This ordinance shall take effect and be an act of this day when ratified by a majority of the votes of the people of this State, cast at a poll to be taken thereon on the fourth Thursday in May next, in pursuance of a schedule to be hereafter enacted.
“Done in Convention, in the city of Richmond, on the 17th day of April, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-one, and in the eighty-fifth year of the Commonwealth of Virginia.”

Articles of Secession, Commonwealth of Virginia

It’s all quite fascinating, eh? Basically, they’re “<Whine, whine, whine> You’re going to take our slaves, get ’em hopped up, and let ’em rape our women and murder us in our beds, when everyone in the whole world knows that God himself created the African negro to serve the white man. I mean, they get free housing and medical care and food! Anyway, we’re gonna commit treason now and try to destroy the entire country in order to protect our natural racial superiority, which gives us the Christian right to own African negros as property.”

The Civil War’s casus belli is not difficult to figure out. The secesh told us repeatedly why they attempted to do what they did: the ownership of their fellow human beings based on skin color. Perfectly simple.


Dead Rebel soldier somewhere on the battlefield (Petersburg?).

The Indictment

Walter Shaub (@waltshaub) is an attorney and the former director (9-Jan-13 to 19-Jul-17) of the U.S. Office Government Ethics, which exists to “Provid[e] leadership in the executive branch to prevent conflicts of interest.” That’s a mission which, since January 2017, is going completely unfulfilled and, in fact, is being subverted beyond all belief.

After leaving the USOGE in the summer of 2017, Shaub “joined the Washington D.C.-based election law organization the Campaign Legal Center (CLC) as Senior Director, Ethics. At CLC he has focused on protecting what he calls the erosion of democratic norms that the country has witnessed in his time,” according to Wikipedia. The last six months of his tenure at USOGE were also the first six months of the Godfather’s tenure and therefore was when he witnessed the complete takeover of the democracy and its renovation into a kleptocracy headed by a old, narcissistic, lunatic, mob boss. So he’s seen some things and knows whereof he speaks.

Shaub wrote today a concise listing of the multiple points of illegality, theft, unConstitutionality, incompetence, petulance, and general assholery committed by this mobster and his cronies, supported fully and without reservation by the God and Guns evangelical crowd, of which I’m proud to say I’m an EX member, who was in that cultish atmosphere from birth, not by choice and left as soon as I gracefully could. But I digress.

Here’s « Shaub’s full indictment » and it includes the Republican party, especially those in the Senate:

“Senate Republicans are setting a dangerous precedent that threatens the republic itself. I’m not naive enough to think they would hold Democratic presidents to the low standard they’ve applied to Trump, but all future presidents will be able to point to Trump to justify:

“a. Soliciting foreign attacks on our elections;
b. Using federal appropriations or other resources to pressure foreign governments to help them win reelection;
c. Implementing an across-the-board refusal to comply with any congressional oversight at all;
d. Firing the heads of the government’s top law enforcement agencies for allowing investigations of the president;
e. Retaliating against whistleblowers and witnesses who testify before Congress;
f. Investigating investigators who investigate the president;
g. Attempting to retaliate against American companies perceived as insufficiently supportive of the president;
h. Attempting to award the president’s own company federal contracts;
i. Using personal devices, servers or applications for official communications;
j. Communicating secretly with foreign leaders, with foreign governments knowing things about White House communications that our own government doesn’t know;
k. Abandoning steadfast allies abruptly without prior warning to Congress to cede territory to Russian influence;
l. Destroying or concealing records containing politically damaging information;
m. Employing white nationalists and expressing empathy for white nationalists after an armed rally in which one of them murdered a counter protester and another shot a gun into a crowd;
n. Disseminating Russian disinformation;
o. Covering for the murder of a journalist working for an American news outlet by a foreign government that is a major customer of the president’s private business;
p. Violating human rights and international law at our border;
q. Operating a supposed charity that was forced to shut down over its unlawful activities;
r. Lying incessantly to the American people;
s. Relentlessly attacking the free press;
t. Spending 1/4 of days in office visiting his own golf courses and 1/3 of them visiting his private businesses;
u. Violating the Emoluments Clauses of the U.S. Constitution;
w. Misusing the security clearance process to benefit his children and target perceived enemies;
x. Drawing down on government efforts to combat domestic terrorism in order to appease a segment of his base;
y. Refusing to aggressively investigate and build defenses against interference in our election by Russia, after the country helped him win an election;
z. Engaging in a documented campaign of obstruction of a Special Counsel’s investigation.
aa. Lying about a hush money payoff and omitting his debt to his attorney for that payoff from his financial disclosure report (which is a crime if done knowingly and willfully);
bb. Coordinating with his attorney in connection with activities that got the attorney convicted of criminal campaign finance violations;
cc. Interfering in career personnel actions, which are required by law to be conducted free of political influence;
dd. Refusing to fire a repeat Hatch Act offender after receiving a recommendation of termination from the president’s own Senate-confirmed appointee based on dozens of violations;
ee. Calling members of Congress names and accusing them of treason for conducting oversight;
ff. Attacking states and private citizens frequently and in terms that demean the presidency (see Johnson impeachment);
gg. Using the presidency to tout his private businesses and effectively encouraging a party, candidates, businesses and others to patronize his business;
hh. Causing the federal government to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars at his businesses and costing the American taxpayers well over $100 million on boondoggle trips to visit his properties;
ii. Hosting foreign leaders at his private businesses;
jj. Calling on the Justice Department to investigate political rivals;
kk. Using the presidency to endorse private businesses and the books of various authors as a reward for supporting the president;
ll. Engaging in nepotism based on a flawed OLC opinion;
mm. Possible misuse of appropriated funds by reallocating them in ways that may be illegal;
nn. Repeatedly criticizing American allies, supporting authoritarian leaders around the world, and undermining NATO; and
oo. etc.
“None of the Republican Senators defending Trump could say with a straight face that they would tolerate a Democratic president doing the same thing. But, given this dangerous precedent, they may have no choice if they ever lose control of the Senate. Is that what they want?
“And this is only what Trump did while the remote threat of Congressional oversight existed. If the Senate acquits him, he will know for certain there is nothing that could ever lead to Congress removing him from office. And what he does next will similarly set precedents.
At this point, I would remind these unpatriotic Senators of the line “you have a republic if you can keep it,” but a variation on this line may soon be more apt when Trump redoubles his attack on our election: You have a republic, if you can call this a republic.”

Walter Shaub via Twitter

We cannot indeed call this a republic; it is a shambolic kleptocratic theocracy. And our last one, remote chance of restoration will come next November. If we’re not out there with the numbers just posted today in Hong Kong’s election (72% or so), then our democratic republic will fall and, given what is likely to be a similarly shambolic kleptocracy in Great Britain, democracy, decency and the rule of law will be largely at an end on the planet, ending the final, very slim chance we have of mitigating accelerating climate catastrophe.

A “cancer on the presidency” has metastasized “hugely.”

« Read the rest of his tweets ». Fascinating.

On Crime and Punishment This Fourth of July

As the gigantic Fascist Cult of Nationalistic Personality Display takes over formerly democratic, non-partisan American space/time in Washington DC tomorrow, it’s worth looking back at some of the (quickly forgotten) roots of the democracy. « This one is about Marquis Cesare Beccaria radical ideas on crime and punishmen».

“‘On Crimes and Punishments‘ was the first attempt to apply principles of political economy to the practice of punishment so as to humanise and rationalise the use of coercion by the state. After all, arbitrary and cruel punishment was the most immediate instrument that the state had to terrorise the people into submission, so as to avoid rebellion against the hierarchical structure of the society. The problem that Beccaria faced, then, was the simple fact that the elite had complete control of the law, which was a family business and a highly esoteric language that only the initiated could master. The path leading to the rational reform of penal law required a fundamental philosophical rethinking of the role and place of law in society.”

Aeon

«The full treatise has been translated for English and is available here». It’s well worth a challenging read-and-think on everyone’s part at this particular moment in the country and society.

[Image: «Ben Jennings in the Guardian» He’s fabulous! So is the Guardian! Go read them (and donate if you can) now!]

Paranoia, Fear, Terror and Facebook, et al.

Insane levels of fear and control and succumbing to terror. We are a nation which is perhaps the most fearful of all countries. And someone warned us about giving in to terror, especially that orchestrated by demagogues and news media personalities. Hmmmmmm.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The State Department is now requiring nearly all applicants for U.S. visas to submit their social media usernames, previous email addresses and phone numbers. It’s a vast expansion of the Trump administration’s enhanced screening of potential immigrants and visitors.

In a move that’s just taken effect after approval of the revised application forms, the department says it has updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa forms to request the additional information, including “social media identifiers,” from almost all U.S. applicants.

The change, which was proposed in March 2018, is expected to affect about 15 million foreigners who apply for visas to enter the United States each year.

Associated Press

Yes, we’re so scared we’re insisting on a lot more:

In addition to their social media histories, visa applicants are now asked for five years of previously used telephone numbers, email addresses, international travel and deportation status, as well as whether any family members have been involved in terrorist activities.

Associated Press
Franklin Roosevelt
Franklin Roosevelt

Just a few years ago, our leadership was saying:

So, first of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself—nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, 4-Mar-33

How refreshing. And he had Hitler, Mussolini, Tojo, polio and the imminent deaths of 100 million human beings to worry about. We are no longer made of sterner stuff. We freak out over Twits (and their Twitterings) and have palpitations over words and clutch our pearls if someone is transgressive about … well anything.

Grow a spine Democrats! Listen to the dead man and stop fearing! Send tis administration packing by using the ballot box or Articles of Impeachment! Now!

9 November: Schicksalstag

In the next few days, there will be much remembrance of the events of 100 years ago—the end of World War I. Not as much in the U.S., where World War I is like the Korean War, a largely forgotten conflict, even though 115,516 Americans died between 1917-1918, along with over 320,000 sickened, most in the influenza epidemic of 1918.

But for Europe and the world including the U.S. in spite of our isolationism, the end of World War One is momentous, remembered, and memorialized.

From the German perspective, several 9 Novembers during the 20th century were extremely fateful; in fact, today is known in Germany as the Schicksalstag, or Day of Fate.

100 years ago today, after German sailors began to revolt against orders by the Imperial High Command to sail out for a final, climatic battle with the British Royal Navy (which the sailors considered suicidal), Chancellor Prince Max von Baden somewhat prematurely published news that Kaiser Wilhelm II had abdicated. Also prematurely, State Secretary Phlipp Scheidemann, part of the leadership of SPD, announced the formation of a new German republic: “The old and rotten, the monarchy has collapsed. The new may live. Long live the German Republic!” Events afterwards gathered speed; revolution toppled all the monarchical regimes of the German Reich, and the Germans sued for peace on the western front.

These events gave rise to a rightwing article of faith in future years: the Dolchstoßlegende, or the Stab in the Back legend, which the National Socialists would use as a foundational belief. According to the German right, the German army was still in its positions on the Western Front, undefeated, until (mainly Jewish and Socialist) politicians back in Berlin, such as Scheidemann, overthrew the Kaiser and declared the Republic, thus “stabbing in the back” the German army and navy. In spite of the fact that the Navy had mutinied and was no longer a fighting force and the German army was actually disintegrating in France and Belgium, the Dolchstoßlegende helped the German right delegitimize the Republic and prepare the way for its destruction.

An attempt at that destruction was made 95 years ago today when National Socialists and members of other nationalist parties attempted a coup in Munich. In what is now known as the Beer Hall Putsch, NSDAP leader Adolf Hitler declared himself leader in Bavaria, but the march through Munich originating in several beer halls was stopped by Bavarian police. Sixteen nationalists and four policemen were killed, the NSDAP was disbanded and Hitler was jailed. After the party’s ascent to power in 1933, 9 November was celebrated as a national holiday to remember the fallen of the putsch; any mention of the 9 November of 1918 was forbidden, unless it was a repetition of the Dolchstoßlegende.

The Dolchstoßlegende and years of similar lies and antisemitism were part of what ignited Reichskristallnacht on this day 80 years ago in 1938. Jewish synagogues and property were burned and destroyed throughout the Reich; more than 400 Jews were killed or committed suicide. About 30,000 Jews and other “undesirables” were arrested. Many later died in concentration camps. “Crystal Night” was named for the large amount of shattered glass that littered streets around the country. A final humiliation came when Jews were made responsible for the damage and those who collected on insured damages were forced to sign over insurance payments to the Reich.

And finally, on this day in 1989 29 years ago, after decades of war, destruction, the Holocaust, the Cold War and much lost territory, the Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall) was breached and East and West Germany were reunited. Because the actual reunification occurred on the anniversary of Kristallnacht, the more formal date of 3 October 1990 is now celebrated as the official holiday.

Given that 100-150 million lives were lost around the world between roughly 1912 and 1989, 9 November is an appropriate day for a worldwide mourning.

Beery Originalist Quotables

As the beery angry drunk Bratty “C’mon Just  Touch It!” Keginaw takes the Supreme Court in supremely retrograde and heavily misogynistic directions, here are a few Original Originalist quotes worth Originally quoting, from a few of our first Original Founders:

“The government of the United States is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion.”

Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11 (Ratified by founding father and president John Adams and approved unanimously by the Senate)

“Christianity neither is, nor ever was a part of the common law.”

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Dr. Thomas Cooper, February 10, 1814

“Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise.”

James Madison, Letter to William Bradford, April 1, 1774

“All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.”

Thomas Paine, Excerpt from The Age of Reason

“If I could conceive that the general government might ever be so administered as to render the liberty of conscience insecure, I beg you will be persuaded, that no one would be more zealous than myself to establish effectual barriers against the horrors of spiritual tyranny, and every species of religious persecution.”

George Washington, Letter to the United Baptist Chamber of Virginia, May 1789

“No religious doctrine shall be established by law.”

Elbridge Gerry, Annals of Congress, 1:729-731

“In every country and in every age, the priest has been hostile to liberty. He is always in alliance with the despot, abetting his abuses in return for protection to his own.”

Thomas Jefferson, Letter to Horatio G. Spafford, March 17, 1814

“Denominated a Deist, the reality of which I have never disputed, being conscious that I am no Christian.”

Ethan Allen, Religion of the American Enlightenment

“No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

The United States Constitution, Article VI, Paragraph III

“The civil rights of none shall be abridged on account of religious belief or worship, nor shall any national religion be established, nor shall the full and equal rights of conscience be in any manner or on any pretext infringed.”

James Madison, First Federal Congress, Congressional Register, June 8, 1789

“Of all the systems of religion that ever were invented, there is no more derogatory to the Almighty, more unedifying to man, more repugnant to reason, and more contradictory in itself than this thing called Christianity.”

Thomas Paine, Excerpt from The Age of Reason

“Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be deprecated.”

George Washington, Letter to Edward Newenham, October 20, 1792

Amen.

The Speed of Events Overtakes Me

“BREAKING: An armed teacher reportedly fired a gun in a school in Dalton, Georgia, police say. No students have been hurt. Police have the teacher in custody, who was barricaded inside a classroom.”

A. “Arm all the teachers!”
B. Welp, that didn’t take long. Oops.
C. “Well then arm all the janitors!”
D. Prez says “Confiscate all the guns!”
E. Crazy how many things can happen while you’re in the doctor’s office.

On Shitholes


God’s Destiny for America has a Pottymouth

[Once again, my conscience overflows and will not give me rest without giving vent to something political/religious. So skip/block/defriend to your heart’s desire; just don’t say you didn’t get a trigger warning.]

During a lengthy sleepless (yet again) night, the above pictured “breaking news” started popping up on websites whereever you happened to be looking. The Presidential utterance was met by the usual silence from Graham, Dobson, Falwell, Jackson, Metaxas and Trump’s personal spiritual advisor Paula White (who wants your January paycheck or else God’s consequences will be visited on your head. Give her your 8% and you … get a Mercedes or something. Funny, but I thougth tithing was supposed to be 10%? Mercedes from God at a discount, I guess.). Meanwhile, Dallas First Baptist’s Jeffress doubled down; his only regret? Being a pastor doesn’t allow him to use the same phrase. We should refuse “shitholers” and bring more Norwegians into the country! Amen! Preach!

Then this afternoon came the Post’s «interesting analysis of what, to borrow the Presidential phrase, a “shithole” Norway used to be», and why it’s now THE place from whence our immigrants should come. This graphic is key to the article:

Graphic showing U.S. and Norway gross domestic product in comparison to each other. Norway now far exceeds the U.S.

So I earned something today: We should move to Norway if we want a higher quality of life away from pottymouths. The problem with that plan? They don’t take people from morally and economically vacuous “shithole” countries like ours.

Duly noted.

This country has not only slid downwards in domestic product, it’s been sucked into a vacuum of moral leadership. What are Franklin Graham, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell Jr., Bishop Harry Jackson, Eric Metaxas saying today? Dead air. They got tax cuts, the IRS was called off their backs and Bibi is happy. Was it just over 20 years ago that the same suspects were gnashing their teeth over merely how to explain the term “blowjob” to their children? We used to call this current kind of thinking “the ends (tax cuts, IRS exemptions and proclaiming that Jerusalem is the capital and therefore the Rapture is nigh) justifies the means.” And I don’t remember ever being told that was a good thing. I was told it was secular humanist “situational ethics” and it was evil. (An aside: If Jesus wants to come back, I seriously doubt a presidential proclamation moving, eventually, the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem is going to be what actually moves Him.)

And thus we have Dallas First Baptist Church’s Robert Jeffress doubling down and saying he supports the “shithole” comments 100 percent. Not only that, but “America is not a church where everyone should be welcomed regardless of race and background.” He added some regret that as a pastor he’s not supposed to use naughty words.

(!)

Urm. Yes. America has always been portrayed (the reality notwithstanding) as the greatest and most welcoming secular church in human history. A shining city on a hill, said Reagan. “Give me … The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!” said Emma Lazarus in The New Colossus, a poem we liked and believed in so much we had it engraved on a massive public monument.

Specifically saying she will have no comment is Paula White, who is often portrayed as Trump’s “spiritual advisor,” and who is currently demanding that “faithful” people give her church all of their January paychecks (which amounts to just 8%, not the Biblically commanded 10%—mustard seed faith on the cheap!). If they do, Jesus will bless you with riches! You get a Mercedes! And you get a Mercedes! And you get a Mercedes! And you get ’em at a 2% discount from God’s list price! And if you don’t pony up? God will visit consequences on your head. You get the plague! And you get a divorce! And you get a gay child!

There are some vestiges of sanity, so props where they are due: A.R. Bernard resigned from the White House “evangelical council” months ago and stated, “His own comments expose him. They were elitist and blatantly racist.” And former Southern Baptist head Ronnie Floyd stated the obvious, “I would not agree with those comments at all. We need to see that every person is made in the image of God. … Anytime we devalue a person it’s not good … Regardless of their skin or ethnicity, we need to honor one another.”

As I am sometimes reminded, I was dedicated “to the Lord” when I was a month or so old in the Roswell First Church of the Nazarene, a denomination where I learned things that were the 180-degree opposite of what Trump and White and Jeffress and Falwell and Graham and Dobson are doing. I learned that good old verse “by their fruits ye shall know them.” I was taught that quaint old Golden Rule, something about do unto others. I was also taught following Christ didn’t mean Mercedes. God knows, for all of Mom’s hard-earned 10% back to the church money, a Mercedes was never outside our door, unless it had broken down and Zsa Zsa needed a telephone to call AAA. No, in my childhood, following Christ meant a life of hardship and service and respect and sacrifice and a life lived in common and shared in common with other people, including lepers, tax collectors, felons, you name ’em. And rendering unto Caesar.

I was also taught the following pertinent scripture. Please note the absence of “except for those from shitholes” in these quotes:

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” Matthew 11:28
“For I satisfy the weary ones and refresh everyone who languishes.” Jeremiah 31:25
“If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink.” John 7:37
“In everything, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words of the Lord Jesus Himself: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'” Acts 20:35

New Testament

Every single day is a new low. How low can we go? There is no bottom. So pretty goddamned low. Shithole low.

Roy Moore's Gotterdammerung

“Antonio: ‘Mark you this, Bassanio,
The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.
An evil soul producing holy witness
Is like a villain with a smiling cheek,
A goodly apple rotten at the heart.
Oh, what a goodly outside falsehood hath!’”
Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, Act 1, Scene 3, Page 5.

We thank thee, Alabama; verily we doeth, for recognizing an ancient truth, as it applieth to Roy Moore. Congratulations, Senator Doug Jones!

They Don’t Like the New ‘America First’ As Much As They Did the Lindbergh Version


Deutsche Welle reports that “a new survey published by German public broadcaster ARD shows Germans trust Russia more than the US.” Or to be specific: “28 percent of respondents felt Moscow was a reliable partner, compared to 25 percent for Washington …. More than 90 percent said Paris was a reliable partner, while more than 60 percent said Britain …”

So let’s see if I’ve got this. Germany, a country in which there are still many women alive who were raped by invading Russian Red Army soldiers and in which the human products of those rapes are still living, now trust … Russia more than the United States.

Yes, I hear you. I too am sick of all the Winning and Greatness we have achieved Again.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Markus Spiske via Unsplash.]

Questions. We Got ‘Em.


Long Dong Silver Rides Again

Why, just now, are we reading that Supreme Court Associate Justice Long Dong Silver, who apparently goes by the name “Clarence Thomas,” was again outed as a serial sexual predator? Why was the story, dated 27-Oct, buried in the National Law Journal? And why are we just finding out this from … a «Canadian news magazine of much repute»? And buried in the last paragraph? Of an article on the “coarsening of American politics”? And about which (the repeated grabbing of a woman’s ass at a 1999 party, not the Macleans article) no one else seems to know about?

Why? Because, as reporter Anne Kingston notes, women are “female reproductive vessels” and not human beings. And because Long Dong Silver has always, and will always, get a free pass. And both of these are realities for reasons which surpasseth understanding.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Ravi Sharma via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 3-Dec-17


Globaloneyism?

What we learned this week:

• The wheels of justice grind very, very slow, but they are grinding towards folks who allegedly but probably committed treason against the country, but who will almost certainly not do jail time, much less pay the ultimate penalty historically paid by traitors.

• Speaking of future criminals, perhaps they might wish to take instruction from the example of Slobodan Praljak.

• Terry Crews can tell you that it is currently acceptable to be a sexual assault victim … unless you’re a black male. Then people adopt a “meh” attitude. I.e., #MeToo is quite trendy at the moment, but is likely to become passé rather quickly.

• Gronk probably needs to be reined in and it’s probably already too late.

• Life is about to get particularly hellish; CVS is buying Aetna and Disney is buying (part) of Fox. Also, Congress’ War on Everyone Except Their Donors is nearing one of its biggest successes of the last 40 years.

• A would-be blacksmith saw a show on tv that instructed him how to make something weapon-ish, which undoubtedly included a post-ironic “don’t try this at home” small print warning; he then tried that at home, burning down three downtown blocks of buildings in a town near Albany, NY.

• Alabamians (whether it’s a majority of them will be seen on 12-Dec) have no problem with pedophilia rationalization, especially while the Elephant Tides or whatever their stupid name is are winning. There is no surprise here at this reality.

• Nazis are just “the normal people next door” and nothing bad should happen to either them or the New York Times for pointing this out, says The New York Times.

And I’m not linking to any of that because … reasons. Google what you don’t understand.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by “FreeStocksDotOrg” via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 17-Nov-17


The Diddler’s Club

What we learned this week:

• Al Franken is the latest member of the “People Who Diddled People Who Didn’t Want to be Diddled” Club. This Diddlers Club, of which we’re all so very proud, officially now consists of the nation’s President; at least two former presidents; two or three sitting United States Senators and lord knows how many more; a Supreme Court Justice; god knows how many Members of the House of Representatives and their staffs; governors of various states; members of various state legislatures, including a member in Ohio who was exercising his member with another man’s member, cheating on his wife as he attempted to pass virulently anti-LGBTQ legislation; the impeached Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, who may become a United States Senator next month; journalists of various stripes; sports figures and commentators; Catholic priests and Protestant preachers; college professors; doctors, lawyers, indian chiefs and at least one family member. It’s quite a roster, very inclusive.

• In other words, we learned what women have been trying to tell us about the lives they have to lead because they have something every heteronormative man seems to badly want: a vagina. Also some men, because they have what every homonormative man wants: a penis.

• What’s the matter with Kansas? The hypersecretive autocratic government which took power over the last ten years operates incompetently and in «extremely secretive, weird ways».

• I missed this back in September, but one acolyte of “Christian” nutbag autocratic Bill Gothard, who has platinum status in the Diddler’s Club (and he’s in his eighties) is in trouble in Arkansas. «Kenneth L. Dewitt applied Gothard’s principles of Godly behavior while running a prison ministry for imprisoned Arkansas women. The Godly principle apparently involved Dewitt having incarcerated women come in under his “umbrella of authority” and submit to God’s plan for women: repeated diddling because … men. Dewitt is “is currently serving a five-year sentence at the Ouachita River Unit after pleading guilty to multiple charges of sexual assault of prisoners.” Gothard couldn’t be reached for comment; he was probably unreachable in a private jet giving private dictation to one of the shapely arrows in his Quiver.

• If you don’t recall the sordid details of Reality TV stars The Duggars, who were Gothard’s proudest achievement and America’s favorite voyeuristic targets (19 blond white kids, what’s not to like?!), «here’s a link from 2015 that pretty well explains the entire wreckage of Gothard’s slimy trail, stretching back to the 1950s. [Full disclosure: My parents ponied up to pay for me to go to a Gothard Basic Seminar and an Advanced Seminar back in high school. Family members have been fully involved in the “ministry” and continue to angrily defend the old goat even now that’s he’s been sued by, what, 30 or so?, abused men and diddled women. IF we were still talking to each other and IF I was masochistic enough to be there for Thanksgiving dinner, Gothard would be a topic that would have to be avoided ere blood was shed on the turkey carcass. /End disclosure.]

• One more piece of recent Gothard news: IBLP, Gothard’s “former” ministry from which he has disassociated with just like Trump, cachinged last month on the sale of a property they owned in Australia. «They scored $9.5 million U.S. dollars on a property valued at just $6 million». And they won’t even have to practice the usual offshore tax haven chicanery to avoid a hefty tax bill; they’re an American “church” and therefore exempt from taxation. Maybe they’ll have a come-to-Jesus moment and repent and spread the money among Gothard’s Diddlers Club targets. Right after the Holy Spirit heeds their prayers and pigs fly from Melbourne to Los Angeles. Aside: I love how the Aussie press just tells it like it is in this case: “US religious cult.” You have NO idea, my Aussie friends!

• I said only one more Gothard piece. I lied. There’s an article in The New Republic that discusses the … politics and peccadilloes, shall we say … of Laura Ingalls Wilder, of Little House on the Prairie fame. I mention it because Gothardites and other similar evangelical fellow travelers have always had a very weird (at least to me) fetish for the 19th century, and their worship of Wilder and Little House is repeated in a million ways over everything from Gunsmoke and John Wayne to learning how to cook like pioneer women. Some of them even submit to the kind of abuse meted out by 19th century husbands, but that’s a different paragraph. «Little House, Small Government» is a nice starter primer to this phenomenon, although it’s sadly too short to be able to explore the evangelical connection or the fetishization of dying on the Oregon Trail.

• Turning to more uplifting in the face of bigotry, abuse and violence news, there’s a fascinating account in a publication I’d never read called Emergency Physician’s Monthly. «It’s the story of what happened to one hospital’s ER team the night the NRA slaughtered some folks» listening to what now passes for “country” music. It’s a highly recommended read, as are the other articles on the site.

• Speaking of the wild frontier, the usually lily-white Outside magazine actually printed «a lament from a young man who went west» to work some seasonal jobs at Montana resorts. Why did he not have a great season? His skin color wasn’t up to snuff. (Which of course meant he worked in “housekeeping.”) The article explores his experience with the casual “lighten up” (har har, get it?) type of racism from coworkers and guests which finally wore him down and sent him packing back east to relative safety. Remarkably, his white coworkers calling each other “ni—-s” as a “joke” was about the worst that happened to him. It’s amazing he wasn’t shot or jailed; it’s even more amazing that Outside printed the report. I grieve for his loss of innocence, and hope he has all the success in life he wants. I’d also like to shake his hand; he’s braver than I.

• Closing with one Diddlers Club story that’s so fun. Ohio state rep. Wes Goodman, family values warrior and, of course, Republican, resigned his seat after he was caught using his state office for some consensual diddling with a person who was not his wife and not a woman. Yes, yet another one of those “Fags must die! If you agree, meet me in my car at the local park for some cocksucking followed by the signing of a petition demanding the death penalty for fag kissing!” kind of people, as usual, hoisted on his own petard, or his boyfriend’s whatever. As someone quipped on Twitter, “Goodman’s wife is probably so pissed, he’s having to move into a log cabin!” (Get it? Log Cabin Republicans are the gay ones who haven’t figured out yet that they support a party which has members who seriously, sincerely, would go Leviticus on their gay, rich asses given half a chance. Goodman’s website has been scrubbed today; but the good old friend, the Wayback Machine, is providing nice clear copies of things the good man has written. Unfortunately, his Twitter account has been locked down, but that’s not a barrier either. Here’s Wes’ priceless take on the Family: “Healthy, vibrant, thriving, values-driven families are the source of Ohio’s proud history and the key to Ohio’s future greatness. The ideals of a loving father and mother, a committed natural marriage, and a caring community are well worth pursuing and protecting.” Oh, how fun. Don’t you love closet cases who talk about “vibrant, thriving” committed natural marriages when the only thing that’s actually “vibrant and thriving” is their relationship to their boyfriends’ cocks? Little Wes is a cutie. He and Aaron Schock, if that old gym queen manages to avoid prison, should totally get together. They’d make a truly hot, power Log Cabin Republican partnership. I hope Wes is a bottom, ’cause I doubt Aaron lets just anyone go balls-deep on his bleached ass.

• And, oh yeah, there was another NRA nutbag gun attack. It is now officially news if a mass shooting does NOT occur on any given day.

So, ain’t our America nation grand? After reading all this stuff (and then writing about it) I feel extremely … greasy. Like the country has gone much bukkake all over my gay face. I need a bath and some penicillin. And this country is 100%, pure Grade A, psycho nuts insane, from the demented consummate con man in the White House to … well just about everyone else. Not at ALL what I thought living in the U.S. during my middle age would be like. Can’t wait to become elderly. ‘Cause that shit is also seriously fucked up in major ways too.

Good night, y’all.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Vlad Tchompalov via Unsplash.]

American Carnage: 10-Nov-17

Peckerwoods!

What we learned this week:

• Comedian Louis CK and Crusading Crazy Ass Roy Moore were accepted into that venerable old boy’s club, that newly-open-to-didlers-from-outside-the-church institution, The Ancient and Venerable Order of Priests Expecting Complete, Knightly Exoneration; Rewarded With Oodles Of Dancing Students (a.k.a. “P.E.C.K.E.R.W.O.O.D.S.”) Golf and Country Club. Greeting them at the door was the Ancient and Venerable Third Assistant Vice President Clarence Thomas, who treated the new initiates to pubic hair-laced Coke cans and asked Roy Moore if Moore was interested in buying him, because living conditions in “free” Washington D.C., are highly overrated.

• Corey Feldman is still alive. And also Corey Feldman knows lots of Hollywood people who will be applying for membership at Peckerwoods G&CC very soon. This has Corey quite frightened.

• 150-year-old former presidents need help to take a piss, but are still able to feel up female reporters and tell them dirty jokes, both of which are done in front of former First Ladies.

• White gay men are no longer welcome in the gay rights movement because the whiteness of their skin means they are privileged, cisgendered and non-intersectional. Henceforward, when we’re getting the shit beaten out of us at school; can’t afford college; get harassed or beaten or shot by the police for kissing our boyfriends in public parks; gulp down the handful of toxic drugs we fought to get in the 90s while watching our mothers scour the kitchen sink after getting a glass of water lest God’s disapproval in the form of the AIDS plague will be visited on her house and infect her innocent grandchildren; spending the 54th year of life with our families berating us for our lifestyle choice and allowing demons to inhabit our bodies; well, we cannot possibly have any contribution or role in the LGBTQ community. Because our skin color is white. And that means we cannot participate, question, discuss, converse and sure as hell can’t culturally appropriate anything from anybody. No alliances with us are welcome. No matter how many suicide attempts we committed during our teen years because we are total fags, it counts for nothing. You must be black, female, lesbian, transgendered before you are allowed to participate in efforts to secure civil rights for LGBTQ, etc. Your skin color is white, so you must be a white supremacist Nazi dedicated to keeping people of color down. “Intersectionality is a bitch, white boys; paybacks are hell and Karma gonna bite you in your lily white highly privileged asses.”

• That Kathy Griffin is a bit off her nut though, isn’t she?

• John Hillerman is dead at 84. Yet, Justin Bieber and Joel Osteen still walk the earth. Osteen’s Mercedes-bestowing god sure has a wicked sense of humor.

• There seems to have been some baseball played. Something about a World Series won by perennially losers the Houston Astros. We wouldn’t know, we weren’t paying attention.

• New England Patriots player and convicted murderer Aaron Hernandez’s brain was dissected and shown to be the worst case of NFL of the brain ever recorded. Oh, this just in, it was CTE of the brain. We regret (not) the error.

• O.J. Simpson will continue to haunt our lives even if he actually dies. This week: Tossed out of the Cosmopolitan in Vegas for being … the only intoxicated person in the casino. The Juice owes the Cosmo a favor; that place is a cesspool of skeezy. Getting banned from it for life probably will save his life (or perhaps a few courses of penicillin). We were at the Vdara/Cosmo complex in 2014. The swimming pool still gives me nightmares. And hives.

• They’re remaking/updating/relaunching a lot of old 90s TV series for no apparent reason than, like the Simpsons, the creative well in Hollywood dried up decades ago, probably about the time Carol Burnett packed it in on her variety show, which was was always packed with incredible talent. A Roseanne reboot and a Will and Grace reboot we did not need. Also, The Simpsons must die; each episode is worse than the previous, a race to a bottom we cannot make out but we know it’s there. Family Guy is suffering while its creator is buzzing around the universe, so it’s probably also time that James Woods whips out his AR-15 and ends the show’s life for good and all as well. Bobs Burgers is still reasonably fresh, but it may be peaking now. (And by the way, just ’cause I’m a white faggot does NOT mean I should have to watch the Will and Grace reboot. My intersectionality about class, wealth, New York City snobbery and poor body image means this show deeply oppresses me, even if it may have influenced some people decide not to shoot our faggoty white asses when we got legally married by the U.S. Supreme Court. Whatever may be, I’d still prefer old Lucy Show episodes to most of this dreck.

• Tuesday’s election seemed to be a case of buyer’s remorse, wherein the guy who bought a pink Ford Fiesta with the undercoating package and Scotch-guarded seats wakes up after a long nightmare and wants to toss the Pink Fiesta off the nearest cliff, but knows there’s just no way that’s going to happen. So instead, he settles for going to the nearest Ben and Jerry’s and consuming 23 different punny flavors, coincidentally imbibing enough “RoundUp” (TM) to shrivel his gonads to the size of B.B.s And while waiting for his blood glucose numbers to fall below 1000, stares at the Pink Fiesta and thinks, “I hate this fucking century and this fucking country and powerful people who diddle powerless people and get away with it. Every. Single. Time.” And then, feeling better and on the way home, the wheels on his pink Fiesta fall off for the 45th time that week.

• Speaking of Pink Fiestas, the anniversary of Trump’s ascendance to power is appropriately the same as Kristallnacht and the infamous “Stab in the Back,” whereby leftists and Jews back home knifed German troops on the Western Front in the back just right when they were about to end the whole damn war victoriously, causing the Kaiser to abdicate and the nation to find itself in need of rescuing by an Austrian corporal named Adolf Hitler. Putting the facetiousness aside for a moment, the 79th anniversary of Kristallnacht should be looked upon as an abject lesson about what happens when you allow hate, ignorance, false equivalency, and frat boy snark mindsets to take over entire countries. But that would require Americans to actually absorb reality and study history, two things we are adamantly refusing to do at this moment. Gott Strafe Amerika! And he’ll do it too.


[Text by HawkEye. Photo by Dawn Armfield via Unsplash.]

The Own Us

Take Back Our Voter Data

The CBC « reports on Professor David Carroll » and the fight to get Cambridge Analytical to tell us what is in our “psychographical” profiles. It’s all a sordid mess and they need to be yanked hard.

“They claim to have figured out how to project our voting behavior based on our consumer behavior. So it’s important for citizens to be able to understand this because it would affect our ability to understand how we’re being targeted by campaigns and how the messages that we’re seeing on Facebook and television are being directed at us to manipulate us.”

—CBC Canada

Nothing will happen here, though; these people gave us the current government and our legislatures are not on our side.

But you can be on Prof. Carroll’s side by « following his Twitter feed » or support his « Crowd Justice pledge » to “take back our voter data.”

To the Editor

In which we in the future answer “Letters to the Editor” of the Chicago Tribune written during the past that was called World War Two.

“Globaloney Stamps.
“Chicago, June 1. — Today I received the shock of my life when I went to mail a package to my boy in service. I needed 20 cents in stamps and was given four 5 cent stamps with the red flag of Albania spread almost across the entire surface. Just what is this country coming to?
“Mrs. H.V.”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10


Methinks I smells the grandmother of a future Trump supporter!

Actually, “Mrs. H.V.”, on 6-June-1944, “what this country had come to” was the liberation of the European continent from Nazism and Fascism, which it did along with 22 other nations (hence the term “Allies”) and an “associated power,” Albania, which at the time of your “Letter to the Editor” was occupied by forces of the German Wehrmacht.

By the way, Albania’s designation as an associated power was formally recognized at the 1946 Paris conference. Albania officially signed the treaty ending World War II between the “Allied and Associated Powers” and Italy in Paris, on 10 February 1947. Albania had been occupied by Fascist Italy then Germany; it was quickly subjugated to communist party rule and suffered under Enver Hoxha for the next five decades.

Finally, “what this country had come to” on D-Day 1944 was to recognize on a five-cent postage stamp that it wasn’t winning the war alone, was not in the war alone, and was not suffering in the war alone.

I hope your “boy in the service” was able to hold on to his U.S. Postal Service five-cent Albanian flag stamps. They’s probably worth some moneys today. [And thank him for his service.]


“Four More Years of War
“Mankato, Minn., June 1. — I wonder how many people now earning big money, more money thant they have ever handled before, and who will vote a certain way thinking to insure a continuation of this income, ever pause to think what another four years will bring?
“Among the many unpleasant things that are to me a foregone conclusion is that Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he? It is the perfect solution of unemployment, a problem he failed to solve until we managed to become embroiled in war. Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.
“He has a mania for spending and giving and war allows him privileges which peace would curtail, we hope. So, I say vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.
“Reader”
Chicago Tribune, 6-June-1944, Page 10


Is that you, Erle P. Halliburton? No? Are you Fred Drumpf? Ah! I suspected so. It’s the 1944 version of a Twitter storm (ask your son, he’ll explain).

Where to start, where to start.

1. “What will another four years bring?” Oh, honey, you have no idea. You should just suspend time and stay safe and quiet in 1944, baby. You don’t really wanna know the answers to this question. Lessee. Hitler? Dead. Mussolini? Hangs lifelessly from a lamp post. Tojo? Incompletely suicides, resurrects, then is executed. Roosevelt? Dead. A National Security State is born. We have to start hand-feeding everyone in Berlin. Truman gets pissed over a negative review of one of his daughter’s piano recitals. We fuck up in Korea causing … some very bad shit to be set into perpetual motion. China turns red. Japan turns black, largely from just two very large bombs. Lots of soldiers come back from all points of the globe and take your job, discontinuing your own income.

2. “… Roosevelt will drag the war out another four years. Why wouldn’t he?” The war will continue for one year and three more months. Roosevelt won’t drag the war out because he’ll be dead in ten months.

3. “… unemployment, a problem he failed to solve …” Unemployment was nearly 25% in 1933 when Roosevelt took office; in 1941 it had fallen to 10%; and when he died in 1945, economists considered the country at “full employment,” with less than 2% of the nation’s workforce unemployed. You’re just being deliberately idiotic here, my friend.

4. “… until we managed to become embroiled in war.” The United States was not attacked by Franklin Roosevelt; war was declared by the Empire of Japan on 7-December-1941 with the launching of a surprise attack on military installations near Honolulu, Hawaii. War on the United States was declared by Germany the next day. The United States Congress “embroiled” us in the war by declaring war in Public Law 77-328, 55 STAT 795 on 8-Dec-1941. After Germany declared war on the U.S., the Congress reacted with a declaration of war on Germany in Pub. Law 77–331, Sess. 1, ch. 564, 55 Stat. 796. The “embroiling” would seem to be, then, a joint act of Japan, Germany and the United States Congress, the parties with power to declare, embroil and conduct warfare.

5. “Another very good reason to drag it out is, that he is not restricted in war time spending.” Dear “Reader,” am I to extrapolate from this sentence that you wish to conduct the most massive conflict in human history involving most of the peoples and locations of the planet, the object of certain parties (see #4 above) being to destroy the United States and dozens of other countries … that you wish to conduct this war “on the cheap”? The Congress has appropriated funds necessary to forestall the aim of aforementioned parties and it is the duty of the President to use those funds to defend the country to the utmost against, again, parties which wish us destroyed. And you’re taking exception? Oh, sweetie, wait until a certain actor whom you’ve seen in “Bedtime for Bonzo” seizes the presidency and spends over $700 a piece for hammers for the armed forces, which will partially explain trillion-dollar-deficits. Then we’ll get back to you and ask your opinion. Surely we can count on that opinion being, shall we say, apoplectic? Or is it just Mr. Roosevelt who gets under your skin? Enquiring minds wish to know.

6. “… vote for Roosevelt and draw four more years of war at least.” A vote in November 1944 six months hence will, dear “Reader,” get you nine more months, not years, of war, and just about one month of a Roosevelt fourth term.

So buck up, dear “Reader“! The end is nigh. Now go sit by the radio and let General Eisenhower entertain you with tales from a place called Omaha Beach. And then write back and tell us how much money you would have allocated to the D-Day Invasion of German-occupied Europe, the largest military invasion in human history. Give us a hint. $100,000? $200,000? Can’t wait for your fascinating reply!

Ignorant and Doomed

Among savages incapable of retaining collectively learned experience, a perpetual infancy results. I can no longer figure out these days whether I’m reading history or current events. [Note to self: If it’s on the Kindle, it’s a history book. If it’s on the web browser on my laptop, it’s currently happening.]

Berlin, 4-May-27:
“Goebbels spoke again at the Veteran’s Association House. ‘A fresh heckler was thrown out into the fresh air,’ he noted laconically in his diary. … Somebody had indeed heckled Goebbels during his speech and on a signal from the Gauleiter had been seized by a horde of SA men, brutally manhandled, and thrown down the stairs. A journalist from the Scherl publishing house who was discovered in the hall was subjected to the same treatment. …”
—_Goebbels: A Biography_ by Peter Longerich 2015

Columbus, OH, 21-Nov-15:
“Then, when Mr. Trump began talking about surveillance of refugees, the college-age couple standing in front of the students began chanting, “Hating Muslims helps ISIS.” The students were caught off guard, but after a moment of uncertainty, some of them joined in.
“Mr. Hopkins [a Trump supporter at the rally] leaned over and screamed, “Shut up!”
“Mr. Trump stopped his remarks and looked toward the commotion with disgust. “Two people, two people,” he said dismissively of the couple, as the crowd started booing and the people around them began shouting. “So sad,” Mr. Trump said. “Yeah, you can get ’em the hell out.”
“The crowd erupted in triumph as the protesters and students turned to leave. “Get out of here!” Mr. Hopkins shouted, shoving one of the two protesters in the back on his way out.
“One of the high school girls said afterward that as they exited, people in the crowd had asked them, “If you don’t love America, why don’t you just leave?” and that a man had told her that if she had not been filming on her phone, he would have slapped her.
“She and another student said they had heard an epithet for black people hurled their way.
“After Mr. Trump wrapped up his speech and “We’re Not Gonna Take It” blasted on the speakers, Mr. Hopkins rushed to the stage to get a picture of Mr. Trump.
“Asked what he thought of the rally, he said: “It’s like a movement! And he’s a man of action.”
“And the protesters? “Very rude.””
—_The Wasington Post_, 25-Nov-15

“Progress, far from consisting in change, depends on retentiveness. When change is absolute there remains no being to improve and no direction is set for possible improvement: and when experience is not retained, as among savages, infancy is perpetual. Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”
—_The Life of Reason_ (1905-06), George Santayana

I need add nothing to all that.

At Least One American Gets It

“America currently has no functioning democracy. ”

James Earl Carter, 39th President of the U.S.

“Amerika hat derzeit keine funktionierende Demokratie … Ich glaube, die Invasion der Privatsphäre ist zu weit gegangen. Und ich glaube, dass die Geheimnistuerei darum exzessiv gewesen ist. [Snowden’s revelations] wahrscheinlich nützlich, da sie die Öffentlichkeit informieren … nie zuvor dagewesene Verletzung unser Privatsphäre durch die Regierung. ”
—Jimmy Carter

Loose translation: “America currently has no functioning democracy … I think the invasion of privacy has gone too far. And I think that is why the secrecy was excessive. [Snowden’s revelations were] probably useful because they inform the public … [we’ve] never before seen our privacy violated by the government.” «[Der Spiegel]»

Jimmy is probably at the top of an NSA watch list somewhere, something which would no doubt greatly please those on the right.

The only quibble I have with this, Mr. President, is that you make it out to be a recent thing. We’ve had no functioning democracy to speak of since A.) You lost your re-election bid in 1980; B.) When the Democrats lost the house in 1994 and ushered in their “Contract on America”; and/or C.) When the Supreme Court dictated the results of the 2000 election, giving the presidency to the loser of the election, each of these being a signpost along the road to our present corporatocracy. Otherwise, bang-on, Jimmy!

I Believe …

“Individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity.”

Edward Snowden

“I believe in the principle declared at Nuremberg in 1945 … Individuals have international duties which transcend the national obligations of obedience. Therefore individual citizens have the duty to violate domestic laws to prevent crimes against peace and humanity from occurring.’
— Edward Snowden

Yes … but, Mr. Snowden, you are up against a public-private entity unprecedented in its power and hypocrisy and self-delusion. We have those duties, yes. But what does that look like? Surely it doesn’t look like a press conference in a Moscow airport. But what?

And?


“Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law – for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well.”
—Barack Obama

[Meanwhile, his “gay brothers and sisters” tap their feet, waiting impatiently. Well, then, hurry it up already!]

Finally

I was the first registered Republican in my family. I cast my first vote in a presidential election for Ronald Reagan, the second for George H.W. Bush. I listened to Rush Limbaugh’s radio show, thought I was a Dittohead, and was one of the few who watched and liked his television show. I actually cried when George Sr. and Barbara left the White House to Bill and Hilary in January 1993.

And then the Republicans lurched to the fringe, became immoderate, aggressive, in-your-face, and triumphal, became harnessed to extremist religious philosophy. They attacked anytime President Clinton breathed. Limbaugh yelled (in 1992) that he was happy to be in the opposition; it’s more fun, you can snipe and bitch and moan and not have to actually do anything. The Republicans launched their Contract on America (er, I mean for).

And then, in 1994, came Harry and Louise. Corporate money flooded in, and the Republicans steamrollered and destroyed health care reform, dooming hundreds of thousands, if not millions, to premature death over the next 16 years. The militias and ti-foilists, precursors to the Tea-baggers, came out. And all that culminated in terrorist Timothy McVeigh’s murder of 168 people in my own backyard in the service of a right-wing political philosophy.

I mourned the loss of health care, as well as the Murrah Building, and ranted and railed against my party. In 1996, I registered as a Democrat, voted for Bill Clinton and then watched the Republicans continue to make war, year after year, against the middle class, and especially against gay and lesbian Americans like me.

I’ve been trying to remember exactly what the turning point for me was. And I’m almost 100% certain it was health care reform. When the Republicans attacked and destroyed the possibility of a saner, more humane health care payment system, they also attacked and destroyed me. I returned to the Democratic fold where my family had originally been for the better part of a century.

I didn’t turn on the Republicans, as the saying goes; they turned on me.

Their behavior right now, as we wait for the final House vote, is beyond disgusting. No lie too big or too outrageous to read into the Congressional record or give to the cameras at CNN.

But to me, it doesn’t matter what happens in November; I realize the Democrats will probably pay a price. And I don’t care. It takes courage to do the right thing, they’ve finally grown a bit of a pair, it’s the right start. And if they lose control, fine. The resulting nastiness will, once again, prove to Americans who too easily forget history, that the right does not have our best interests at heart, only those of corporate boards and religious charlatans.

Will watch the final vote and the president’s statement following. And be finally relieved that 100 years of obstruction of a basic fundamental human right has finally ended.

Two Right-Wing Terrorist Murders in Two Weeks

And now two right-wing terrorists have committed two political murders in two weeks. First Dr. Tiller in Wichita, a murder which was, from the point of view of the terrorists, successful in its aims. Now, an obscene attack on the United States Holocaust Memorial and Museum begs the question, are we in for a Summer of Rage?

Researcher Chip Berlet «notes where we are at the moment»:

Apocalyptic aggression is fueled by right-wing pundits who demonize scapegoated groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.’
Huffington Post

The same right-wing pundits are now getting a bit nervous at what they have wrought; Fox News pundit Shepard Smith reportedly said today:

“There are people now, who are way out there on a limb. And I think they’re just out there on a limb with the email they send us. Because I read it, and they are out there. I mean, out there in a scary place…I could read a hundred of them like this…I mean from today. People who are so amped up and so angry for reasons that are absolutely wrong, ridiculous, preposterous.”

Could be a long, hot, murderous summer we’re looking at here.

Post-2000-Election Rant (Dec. 2000)


Original Message
From: Doe, John
Sent: Friday, December 01, 2000 6:54 AM
To: airbeagle
Subject: Palm Beach Video

Funny, slightly mean:

« Confused Palm Beach Voters »

AirBeagle’s Rant:

Says Steve, in his typically verbose manner showing that he’s fiddling while his company burns down around him (NorthPoint is 50 cents a share today!):

Yes, John, the cartoon is funny. Yup, repeatedly making fun of elderly Jewish voters who were supposedly confused enough by the ballot to punch chads for Pat Buchanan, a man who admired Hitler, could certainly be defined as “slightly mean,” as you put it. But funny, nonetheless.

I do like the other cartoon on the site above where Al and Dub duel it out in Tennessee with a banjo and guitar, a la Deliverance, then go to Texas and try to have a shootout, a la Wild West, but Al’s gun has a trigger lock and Dub can’t shoot straight enough to hit him. Hilarious. I’m not being sarcastic, now, either.

I honestly also like the following other laughable aspects of Indecision 2000:

  • Election night TV/Internet/News coverage. Laughable if it weren’t completely disheartening and ridiculous.
  • The Sore/Loserman 2000 posters. Brilliant.
  • The BUSH/CHEated 2000 posters. Cute, but a weakish response to Sore/Loserman.
  • Ralph Nader – “screw all you guys.” Pat Buchanan – “well, Hitler did have his good points.” Reform Party – “Are you ready to rumble?” Harry Browne – “Yes, we should make all drugs legal and get wasted out of our minds.” The REAL Florida ballot confusion – you could vote for the Socialist party or the Socialist Workers party.
  • Republican “rioters” chasing that poor Demo lawyer down the hall screaming, even though he’d just taken a sample ballot.
  • Thinking that Minnesota Governor Jesse “The Body” Ventura should be taking the oath of office on Jan. 21. Can we still draft him? Jesse “The President” Ventura?
  • The picture of Dub holding up three fingers and Dick holding up two fingers and the caption, “How many times have you been arrested?”
  • America imputing tremendous significance in Al kissing Tipper on stage in Los Angeles. Retch.
  • The religious right having no problem with their candidate’s drunk driving or using a highly pejorative, scatological term to describe a member of the news media. Jesus may have changed his heart, but the mouth still needs some work. Can you say major league hypocrisy?
  • Speaking of major league bald-faced lying: Lynne Cheney hotly denying that her daughter, Mary, is a lesbian, when said daughter lives in Conifer, Colorado, with her lover and spent 1998 touring the country with Mr. Leather USA, while she was the official Coors Beer representative to the US gay/lesbian community, a post that she only quit shortly before the campaign season began.
  • Joe Lieberman looks a lot like the father on TV’s ALF, who was always being foiled by the hairy alien puppet, doncha think?
  • The blinking, deer-caught-in-the-headlights look on Dubya’s face as he stands in front of flags telling the nation what his handlers wrote that morning, praying that the teleprompter doesn’t break down or that he disappoints Poppy and Bar – clearly so far out of his league that he looks more like an emir of Kuwait in 1990 praying to Poppy, Dick, Colin and Norman to come rescue him and the oil wells from the great satan Saddam.
  • The sense I have that before Al-bot speaks to the nation that Joe is behind the screen winding him up and pointing him towards the cameras.
  • And speaking of cameras, I just wanna tell Tipper to stop with the Japanese tourist routine, already!
  • James Baker telling everyone that the election shouldn’t be decided in the courts, then watching the Republicans file the first lawsuit and subsequently filing twice as many suits as the Demos.
  • Hearing Gore’s campaign manager curse Republican “g-damn guerilla tactics,” then saying that if Gore is not elected, she’ll be fine at McDonald’s – “Girl! God will provide!” she said. Quote, unquote. (Maybe she should have been flippin’ Big Macs instead of running Al’s disaster of a campaign.)
  • The deep wrinkles on Laura Bush’s upper lip, from where she’s had to clench her teeth and lips together so tightly over the years in that disapproving librarian scowl while dealing with either her incredibly over-bearing mother-in-law or her drunken frat boy husband. She’s even having to take on Bar’s old First Lady cause: Literacy. Probably isn’t going to be allowed to have one of her own.
  • Hearing that the networks ran hours of video of a lone yellow Ryder truck speeding up the Florida interstate like OJ in the white Bronco runnin’ from LAPD.
  • And speaking of OJ, hearing him call in and compare the two events.
  • Hearing that, in Florida, Dems say every vote must count, even if handcounted and that voter intent has to be determined and “this number of undervotes is suspicious,” while the Repubs say everything’s been counted, and handcounts aren’t reliable and the election’s over; while in New Mexico, Repubs say every vote must count, even if handcounted and that voter intent has to be determined and “this number of undervotes is suspicious,” while the Dems say everything’s been counted, and handcounts aren’t reliable and the election’s over (regarding the election in Roosevelt County, NM). Yeesh. Now THAT’s major league hypocrisy.

The mean-spiritedness and nastiness of the last month is just part of the American experience. Thank god for the First Amendment. We can all scream as loud as we went one way or the other. We can also choose not to listen, too. I’ve been tuning out most of the news out this week. My opinion, bottom line: If the Supremes rule against Al, he should concede and come back in 2004 to send the drunken frat boy and Poppy’s Posse packing. In the meantime, he can help reinvent the internet or help Tommy Lee Jones shoot a remake of Love Story, where, he and Tipper play the leading roles themselves, he tells Tipper he needs a personality transplant and then engages her in the longest recorded movie screen kiss. I’m sure there’ll be a Buddhist and an ailing dog in need of prescription drugs in there somewhere.

Let Dub run around the White House for four years like he used to when he was a kid, tossing the baseball up in the air, sniffin’ and learnin’ to say “strategy” instead of “strategery.” Just pray that Dick’s heart attacks only come yearly and are never fatal.

A Rant on the 2000 Election Season (Nov. 2000)

In the current election season, and following revelations of Shrub’s DUI in Maine, here’s the latest rant.

The following is an e-mail that is currently circulating around the internet. Following this is AirBeagle’s ranting response. This is all very long, but stick with it.

Subject: Dear Mr. President

I recently saw a bumper sticker that said, “Thank me, I voted for Clinton-Gore.” So, I sat down and reflected on that and I am sending my “Thank you” for what you have done, specifically:

1) Thank you for introducing us to Gennifer Flowers, Paula Jones, Monica Lewinsky, Dolly Kyle Browning, Kathleen Willey, and, of course Juanita Broaddrick, who told NBC that you raped her. Are there any others that we should know about?

2) Thank you for teaching my 8 year old about oral sex. I had really planned to wait until he was about 10 or so to discuss sex in general with him, but now he knows more about that part of it than i did as a senior in college.The cigar thing was also neat for the kids.

3) Thank you for showing us that sexual harrassment in the work place (especially the White House) and on the job is OK, and all you have to know is what the meaning of “sex” is. It really is great to know that certain sexual acts are not sex and one person may have sex while the other one involved does not have sex. Monica said frequently while you were on the phone, she would work at one end, and you at the other. What productivity!

4) Thank you for reintroducing the concept of impeachment to a new generation and demonstrating that the ridiculous plot of the movie “Wag the Dog” could be plausible after all. The people of the Sudan, Afghanistan, and Serbia are all running to rent the video, now that you made them part of the story.

5) Thanks for making Jimmy Carter look competent, Gerald Ford look graceful, Richard Nixon look honest, Lyndon Johnson look truthful, and John Kennedy look moral.

6) Thank you for the 72 House and Senate witnesses who have pleaded the 5th Amendment and the 17 witnesses who have fled the country to avoid testifying about Democratic campaign fund raising.

7) Thank you for the 19 charges, 8 convictions, and 4 imprisonments for the Whitewater “mess” and the 55 criminal charges and 32 criminal convictions (so far) in the other “Clinton” scandles.

8) Thanks for remembering the families of the many deceased people who once were your friends, who served you and died so young and suddenly: Vince Foster, Jerry Parks, Ron Brown, Admiral Boorda, Les Aspin, Barbara Alice Wiese, Mary Mahones, Jim McDougal et al.

9) Thanks also for reducing our military by half, “gutting” much of our foreign policy, and for providing no real missle defense system for the American people. Thank you for sharing with our Chinese friends all of our nuclear weapon designs, the supercomputer technology to build such weapons, the ballistic missile technology so they can have more accurate missiles, and the encryption technology so they can keep it all secret too.

10) You are amazing visiting all those countries! Thank you for flying all over the world on “vacations” carefully disguised as necessary trips. It’s wonderful, too, how you have surpassed every other president in the size of you entourage on these trips: 75 jumbo jets and 2000 guests to China alone. Your Africa entourage also was remarkable and it was nice of you to bring Betty Currie. She needed a break from testifying before the grand jury.

Please give my regards to Hillary, when/if you see her. Tell her I’m working on a”Thank You” letter for her as well. Looking forward to January 2001.

Author Unknown

And now AirBeagle’s long and vitriolic comments:

I no longer identify with either party at all, although I tend to swing more towards the Democratic side. They’re just sexier some how. [grin]

But I get impatient with bitter Clinton-haters like the letter writer above. Clinton, like all our presidents, is human and therefore has made some really huge mistakes. We all do. I personally regret buying that silver 1976 Pontiac Sunbird with red stripes and loud side pipes that burned your legs every time you stepped out of the car. I still have the scars on my ankles. And that whole 1980 Volkswagen Scirocco thing. Ugh.

But ALL presidents/national leaders have made huge mistakes in their careers. As Churchill said, “Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely.” Find me a president or leader, demo or repub, who can comport himself in high office with perfect behavior and I’ll tell you we’ve elected Christ himself. In other words, the perfect president doesn’t exist and is a figment of the collective national imagination. Get a grip, people, and some objectivity!

Now Shrub admits he got stopped for DUI. What else hasn’t he told us? How much more spin will Karen Hughes give us? I’ll bet Barbara is so hacked right now her head’s about to spin around in circles. NOBODY attacks her boys and gets away with it.

But ya know what? I’m FAR more concerned about his statement that Social Security is not a federal program and that he was responsible for having a hate crimes law in Texas, when he did exactly the opposite. So he was stopped for DUI … he’s an alcoholic … there but for the grace of God … but I’m more concerned about how many brain cells the drinking killed than a little traffic stop in Kennebunkport. By the way, do we REALLY think that Daddy didn’t get involved in that? A fine, license suspension in Maine for “a little while” and no overnight drunk tank time? Yeah, right, Poppy didn’t have anything to do with that.

It’s high time we remember some of the more salient points about our special American history, and how un-perfect it really is:

Our founding fathers were not, in fact, particularly Christian. Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Paine, John Adams, et al, to a man were Deists and denied that Christ was the son of God, that Christianity was a healthy religion and that heaven and hell existed. Thomas Paine was especially vitriolic in this (read “Common Sense”). Thomas Jefferson, who believed much the same, kept slaves even while writing “All men are created equal” and had a torrid affair with one of them. Ben Franklin used to sit naked in the window taking what he called “air baths.” By the way, “All men are created equal” actually meant to the founding fathers that “All white, land-owning, males over the age of 21, are created equal.” Nothing more, nothing less. Also, the second amendment was written at a time when Uzi’s and AK-47s were inconceivable.

Abe, the most revered Republican president, was not the saint/savior he’s made out to be. Freeing the slaves was merely a political tool. I quote: “If I can save the union by freeing the slaves, I will do that. If I can save the union by freeing some slaves and leaving others in bondage, I will do that. If I could save the union by not ending slavery, I will do that.”

Another quote: “I will say here, while upon this subject, that I have no purpose, directly or indirectly, to interfere with the institution in the States where it exists. I believe I have no right to do so. I have no inclination to do so. I have no purpose to introduce political and social equality between the white and black races. There is a physical difference between the two, which, in my judgment, will probably forever forbid their living together on the footing of perfect equality, and inasmuch as it becomes a necessity that there must be a difference, I, as well as Judge Douglas, am in favor of the race to which I belong having the superior position.” Yup. Really sounds like Abe fought the war over slavery. In fact, slavery was a convenient political expediency to isolate the south and win back foreign opinion for the union, which had been slipping. He was against continuing the trade and allowing it to spread outside of the southern states where it was established. And he was definitely a white supremacist. Further, his stories of log cabin schoolwork with a piece of coal on the back of a shovel were nonsense and the raving lunatic Mary Todd Lincoln makes Nancy Reagan and Hillary Clinton look like harmless Barbie sorority sisters.

That Teddy Roosevelt stormed up San Juan Hill was probably a myth; as assistant secretary of the navy, he also manipulated the sinking of the Maine into an excuse to wage the Spanish-American War, in itself an excuse for a massive US Imperial land grab.

The three arguably most scandal-ridden US administrations were Republican: US Grant (you name it and it was a scandal); Warren G. Harding (Teapot Dome) and Richard Nixon (The gate thing; the Vietnam thing; the Checkers thing, etc.).

Calvin Coolidge had such contempt and dislike for the office and the people that he preferred to chop wood rather than deal with the daily drudgery of the office. He took no steps to prevent the ‘29 crash. His successor, Hoover, promised two chickens in every pot and two cars in every garage but could do nothing to turn around the depression. And Hoover’s tenure as the Secretary of Commerce and patronage of that department as president created such graft and corruption that his successor, FDR, had to perform a massive cleanup of the department.

As for sexual harassment, what about the great Republican “I Like Ike” and his long-time, well-known affair with his little Army secretary, Kay Summersby. And didn’t Ronnie divorce Jane Wyman to marry the Nanster? In my family’s church, that means he’s an adulterer and goin’ to hell, but they still voted for him in ‘84 anyway.

Poppy George: “Read My Lips” – What’s the difference between that and “I did not have sex with that woman” ?? One was about lying to the American people about a private consensual sex act, the other about lying to the American people about promising not to raise their taxes and take more of their money. Hmmmm. Why is America so uptight about sex, but so not about monetary matters, like huge government waste, an obscene stock market, corrupt corporate greed/welfare/purchasing of politicians and the political process? Also, the price of popcorn at the movies?

Reagan’s debate shenanigans, and what about that stuff about not letting the hostages off the ground in Iran until after he took the oath of office so he could announce publicly “Ronnie’s here, everything’s better, look what I done done”? Or for that matter, just who ran the country in his second term when senility was already setting in? And yes, Iran-Contra. Anybody remember James Watts? “Two blacks, a jew and a cripple.” Did Al Haig have his hand on the nuke button during the assassination attempt? So many questions.

What Democratic scandals other than “I hate Bill” have we had? Eleanor Roosevelt was a lesbian? Marilyn Monroe screwed JFK? Lyndon Johnson lifted his beagles up by the ears and miraculously got the dead people of the Texas Hill country to vote for him? Clinton can’t keep his pants on? Hillary’s a strong woman (read: Bitch), therefore, a de facto threat to all that is male and holy? Al Gore claimed to invent the internet, be the inspiration for Love Story and promises to fight for us?

And lastly, don’t get me started on Dick Cheney and Halliburton. Sorry, but this is a man who made some questionable and rabidly rightwing votes as a congressman, seeks to deny his own lesbian daughter rights and protections enjoyed by other citizens (not to mention attempting to deny she was even a lesbian, even though she served as the gay and lesbian community liason for the Coors company of Golden, Colorado, and once toured the nation with Mr. Leather USA 1998 and lives with her lover in Conifer), and a man who rakes in millions and millions of dollars in cash and stock while using his political connections at home and abroad to obtain lucrative contracts for one of the country’s most sleazy corporations, all while conducting massive layoffs (including my father once and my brother-in-law twice), all while generating record-setting profits. Not to mention that little “Let’s circumvent the Constitution of the United States by living in Highland Park, Texas, but making a quick hush trip to Wyoming to change our voter registration. Shhhhh.” Yeah. I want him a heartbeat away from the throne, pulling Dubya’s strings.

Finally, (aren’t you glad) anybody who can write can cast anyone else in a very bad light. The letter writer above can do it with Slick Willy; I can do it with any Republican administration, including several supposedly above reproach. So we can write the opposite: The Founding Fathers believed religion was an important part of life; Abe freed the slaves; US Grant won the war and was manipulated by unscrupulous politicians; Teddy won us an empire; Ronnie brought morning to America; Poppy won the Gulf War and began the economic miracle; FDR pretty much just continued what Hoover had already started; Gore did play a key role in nurturing the internet and was indeed one of the inspirations for Love Story and probably will fight for us, in a way. And Dick. Well, Dick. How to be nice to Mr. Cheney? Hmmmm. He hasn’t locked up his daughter (yet) and he was a dang fine Secretary of Defense. See? It’s easy. [grin]

As a matter of fact, I’m doing that myself at work. My assignment last week at work was to craft a vice president’s resignation message to the company, in which he/she claims to be leaving because he/she got an opportunity he/she can’t pass up and that he/she firmly believes in the company and what a great company this is and how much he/she loves the CEO. The truth: He/she told someone else last night that one of the primary reasons he/she’s leaving is that the CEO is, in fact, a complete and inveterate liar who can’t be trusted to tell the truth.

Knowing that my rent needs to be paid, which side of the story do you think I’ll be passing on to All NorthPoint? [grin] Yeah. That’s what I said.

So there. That’s my rant for today. If you’re still reading at this point, apologies for the length. I’m in an expansive mood today. Now, back to the salt mines. May God have mercy on us in the next administration.

The following are additional comments from Frank after reading my rant above:

Just a couple of non-brief side notes. Most Americans don’t remember or care about anything beyond the past year (i.e., history is meaningless). Your mention of Grant/Harding/Nixon is accurate and necessary. But nobody cares. I would love to commission a poll asking a scientific sample of Americans if they even know what Watergate was. I think part of our (when I say “our” I refer to you, me, and our age cohorts, or those in our age cohort who even think about these things) indignation about history, political scandal, hypocrisy, etc., comes from our having lived through a time when a president actively and directly circumvented and rode roughshod over the Constitution to take the reins of power into his own hands for his own corrupt uses – and kept a list of “enemies” for political liquidation. But Nixon resigned over 25 years ago. It might as well have been 250 years ago for all that anybody in this country cares about the lessons of history. I was reading an article in yesterday’s NY Times about a 13-year-old kid in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, who is the “chairman” of his middle school’s Bush “campaign.” He and another boy were debating about the election in his social studies class. When the Exxon Valdez spill came up, the Bush acolyte said, “People would rather pay less for oil and take the small risk that there may be a small spill. Besides, we did clean up the Exxon Valdez spill pretty well.” We live in a country where national amnesia is the norm, promoted at the highest levels, and starting with parenthood.

Richard Nixon makes Bill Clinton look like a penny-ante third-rate podunk dogcatcher from Little Rock, but nobody will ever admit that, because there is a national interest in promoting amnesia – unless the memory you are exploiting is nostalgic. It’s okay to have entire cable channels devoted to the regurgitation of old film clips of John Lennon, Jackie Kennedy, and Princess Diana, but when it comes to re-examining the wounds and atrocities of our national past, we would rather just stuff it and bury it. Unfortunately, I think the national mood right now is one of collective amnesia and apathy, and this is the perfect climate for someone like Bush II. (See the op-ed article, “George W’s America,” in the Nov. 4 NY Times).

The “author unknown” crap that you paste at the start of your e-mail is the usual boring litany of Republican/right-wing/Rush Limbaugh boilerplate invective against the Clinton years. It is a well-worn script they read from as though they were reciting Romans 1:26-27 for the 3,000,000th time.

These people are blind with rage and hatred, and they are obsessed with Old Testament vengeance, at any cost. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord." (Romans 12:19)

The lack of “moral outrage” by Republicans over GWB’s DUI arrest in 1976 (and whatever other skeletons he has in his vast closet) has not much to do with a lack of outrage or justice and everything to do with their single-minded mania about recapturing their White House and their virility as a political party, and erasing the fact that their greatest symbol, Ronald Reagan, is now a 90-year-old, doddering, drooling, catatonic zombie. The only thing that matters to the Republican Party is taking the country on a communal time-travel machine back to the days of (putatively) pre-Alzheimer’s and pre-Iran/contra Ronald Reagan – intoning, “Our reluctance for conflict should not be misjudged as a failure of will”; joking with his surgeons after he was almost assassinated, “I hope you’re all Republicans”; babbling in his farewell speech about “boat people” waving up to sailors on the USS Midway and screaming, “Hello, freedom man!”; and refusing to say the word AIDS in public until 1987.

The mood for amnesia – I just thought of this – is actually a national longing to BE Ronald Reagan (pre-Alzheimer’s). Forgetfulness is bliss. Sweep problems under the rug. Make up corny anecdotes to fit every occasion, bad or good. Reagan’s housing secretary, Samuel Pierce, just died, and in his obituary, the main thing he was remembered for (besides the scandals which plagued him) was that the Gipper had mistaken a member of his own cabinet for a mayor at a White House reception in 1981 (“Hello, Mr. Mayor”).

Hell, there’s even a website called ‘God Bless Ronald Reagan.com.’ (“Remember when we had a REAL president?”) I kid you not.