The AntiKing

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, arguing with lunatics, COMRADE TRUMP, current events, politics, race on January 19, 2017 by furious buddha
It is not possible for me to express a saccharine sentiment about Doctor King today (I started this on Monday), so if you are one of the special snowflakes who needs a trigger warning before hearing a traumatic truth about the political choices you made, consider this your last chance to avoid getting your feelings hurt.
Look away. Look away. Look away.
One of my academic fields was African-American History, which is essentially American history that you weren’t taught in school. I studied Classical and conventional contemporary history before it, so I approached the subject with a sense of context. I ended up basically re-learning American and World history through the lens of the African perspective. It was extremely broadening and clarifying in terms of resolving the big picture for me.

It is that perspective that troubles me so mightily today.

It is very important today to remember how we treated Dr. King when he was among us. He was considered such a threat that the FBI conspired to defame Doctor King as sexually debauched and a Russian agent. A tremendous amount of effort was spent to discredit him; nothing was spent to protect him. When he came to Chicago, one of us hit him with a brick. He was despised with a raging hatred because white people believed he was going to lead a race war against them; regardless of how he preached non-violence, they could not imagine a situation other than dominance and repression; they could not comprehend the co-existence he dreamed of. Many of those people are alive and still voting today; the person who threw the brick could be in their 60’s or 70’s now.

The lens of African American history showed me that the path of progress is not straight; many times times progress has been made and painfully lost. After the Civil War there was a decade of reconstruction in the South during which black men could vote and hold office. Reconstruction era rights were enforced by the federal government; during this period more schools, hospitals, and roads were built in the South than at any other time. Still, whites chafed at seeing blacks in positions of authority and before long there was coup in North Carolina; blacks and whites who had been working together were killed or fled from the mob. The federal government did nothing. Reconstruction had become “Restoration” and in the restoration of white male supremacy (Local papers referred to the murderous riot as “White Men’s Day”). “Jim Crow” laws fell into place and the progress of Reconstruction was obliterated. Doctor King led a movement nearly sixty years later that restored and enshrined the progress lost after Reconstruction.

If I’ve said it once I’ve said it a thousand times,
history doesn’t repeat, it rhymes,
then somebody told me that’s one of Twain’s lines
but he ain’t here, so now it’s mine

We are living in a moment very much like the beginning of the Restoration Era. When Newt Gingrich chortles about undoing everything Obama accomplished it is an echo of the men who enacted Jim Crow; in the eyes of those screaming about “making America great again” are reflections of segregation. There are very few people with living memory of the so-called “Tulsa Race Riot” of 1921, which was when the neighborhood of Greenwood, then the wealthiest African-American community in the country, was burned to the ground by rampaging whites. Over 300 people were killed and 35 square blocks were destroyed. It was such an effective act of terror that nobody black or white spoke of it for years. The silence was so thorough that researchers found the microfilm record of the Tulsa Tribune for that day had been tampered with; many people had recalled that it had announced a lynching of a young black man accused of rape (the evidence as presented in the news accounts was nonsense). They also recalled that the police and national guard participated on the side of the rioters. That was 94 years ago when my grandmother was a year old infant.

You can see the eyes of bigots fill with disgusted rage when they hear the phrase “Black Lives Matter”; uttering it can be a litmus test. Once upon a time the phrase “Black is Beautiful” could accomplish the same thing. While people will now sputter about the imagined and alleged offenses of the movement associated with the phrase, the rage started immediately when the phrase was coined before there were any protests associated with it. This was because the phrase itself does not allow whites to ignore it and to deny it is to confront the ugliest part of one’s self, which people don’t like to be reminded of. That’s why so many conservatives will talk about how racism is over even as they are embracing openly white supremacist candidates, ideas and policies. When they accuse people like myself of succumbing to “white guilt” they are projecting their own guilt outwards; I don’t feel any guilt about being white. I have read the source materials and know what I’m talking about; it would be as silly to fault myself for being white as it would be to fault someone for being black. Seeing injustice and trying to address it nothing to feel guilty about; pretending injustice isn’t happening and faulting people for trying to make the world a better place is what is shameful. Trump is the AntiKing; he seeks to undo not merely the Obama Presidency but everything back to Restoration.
I’m sitting here on the night of January 19th and I am more convinced than ever that Donald Trump stole the election with the help of Vladimir Putin.. The evidence keeps piling up and literally everything Trump has said and done since the election has increased my certainty that very dark deals have been made. Trump began his political career by demanding that the current president show is birth certificate and insinuating that he was an agent of radical Muslim terrorists. Trump literally has yet to show his taxes and there is mounting evidence that he collaborated with a hostile foreign power to become president. When Trump talks about his enemies, he is talking about other Americans. He regularly praises Putin and is enacting a foreign policy that looks like the Russian tyrants wish list. By this time tomorrow he will be able to shut down every American intelligence agency investigation into his high crimes.
This is not normal. This is not right. This is not a television show that you are watching.
The United States of America is facing an existential crisis that is without parallel. The rigid and cynical thinking of conservatives has made them particularly susceptible to propaganda and laughably easy to manipulate. Their self-serving flip on Russia is inexcusably craven and traitorous; they are selling out their nation for their political party. They are no longer the party of Reagan. They are the party of Putin. And may God have mercy on their souls. I will not cooperate or collaborate with what I consider to be an illegitimate Presidency. I will not be satisfied until the guilty are brought to justice and the rightful authority of the American people is restored to our Republic.
God bless the United States of America.
Winston Delagdo
January  16-19, 2017

2 + 2 = 4

Posted in arguing with lunatics, COMRADE TRUMP, current events, politics on January 13, 2017 by furious buddha

Trump and his allies are straight up gaslighting everyone about the Russian hack; they are counting on the paralysis of decency to work in their favor. By baldly denying the conclusions of every American intelligence agency in favor of the assertions of Julian Assange (a person whom Trump previously described as a traitor who should be executed) Trump is achieving the unthinkable in broad daylight; they have colluded with a hostile foreign power to steal an election. There is no scenario in which he or his various sycophants are speaking honestly or truthfully about this or nearly any other subject for that matter. Anyone who believes otherwise is either hopelessly gullible, willfully denying reality or recently arrived from another planet. These are people who hate their imaginary version of people like me so much that they are willing to swallow Russian propaganda and inflict Trump on all of us out of sheer spite. Our body politic has swallowed so much bullshit  that we’re going into toxic shock.

You could drown in the stories of incompetence, malfeasance, and criminally dangerous recklessness  of the incoming Trump Administration.

In 1984 Smith writes in his diary that “freedom is the freedom to say  two plus two equals four; if that is granted, all else follows”. Trump, Putin and their thralls are a threat to that freedom. I sincerely hope that four years from now I am able to look back on this post and laugh about what a hysterical ninny I was being.

That’s some weak sauce, Huck. It is as if you are saying the only choice we have is the incoming band of traitors, thieves and toadies or mendacious bureaucrats who only serve themselves. These are the kinds of false equivalencies that put us in this mess; the outgoing administration is a fine counter to either of your choices. And besides, if you go to the ice cream man and says all he has left is mint chocolate chip or a rabid badger with scabies, do you really have that hard of a time making a choice? I mean, some people think mint chocolate chip is nasty, but it is still ice cream.

 

 

Poem: 01/01/2017

Posted in poetry on January 1, 2017 by furious buddha

that was overture
the evil spell’s unbroken
the air is stifling

twenty days remain
twentieth century dies
an old age arrives

our democratic
experiment is threatened
we shrug and tweet on

At the Bottom of the Year 2016

Posted in art, current events, days in the life, poetry, pop culture on December 31, 2016 by furious buddha

Try not to look back
in anger or grieve again
live 2 see the dawn

They are Not “Alt Right” They are Brownshirts.

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, arguing with lunatics, current events, days in the life, politics on December 28, 2016 by furious buddha

I’ve left unpublished maybe a dozen posts from the past month. My favorite title among them is, “Comrade Castro Passes, Comrade Trump Ascends, Comrade Putin Knows No Boundaries & Now the 20th Century Ends”.
That was when Castro died over the same weekend that Putin “joked” that Russia has no boundaries.

I had an uncle who was a Chicago cop who used to say, “when you don’t know what to do, don’t do nothin'”.

So I’ve been watching and listening.

A New Axis of White Nationalism is forming with poles running through Moscow and Donald Trump’s office. It is particularly anti-Islamic, which explains why, despite the prevalence of anti-semitism among his supporters, Trump is utterly supportive of the apartheid forces in Israel that are building settlements and attempting to obliterate any hope of a two state solution. It runs through the Phillipines where Duterte has murdered over ten thousand of his citizens under the presumption they are drug dealers without any due process. It runs through European nations where nostalgia for jackboots and marching is apparently in resurgence.

We will have an attorney general who does not believe in civil rights and has said that the worst thing about the Klan was that some of them used drugs. The Chief Strategist is a white supremacist and anti-semite who writes rhapsodies to totalitarianism. We will have a Secretary of Energy  who wants to eliminate that department of the government. We will have Secretary of Education who has fought to destroy the public school system her entire adult life. We will have a Secretary of Housing and Urban Development who doesn’t really think he’s qualified for the job, because he’s not. The Secretary of State has almost as many conflicts of interest as the President-elect, who is going to continue to be an executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice among many other things. My pal Angry Wako pointed out to me in a message that

if the trump tweets can cause a specific company stock to fall sharply, any pre-knowledge of a tweet event could have been used by someone shorting the stock of the abused company.

The SEC should be compelled to look into trades that specifically profited from the fall in a Trump-targeted company stock and if those trades benefited Trump, a Trump family member, a Trump controlled company or a Trump associate.

Trump and his coterie are easily that venal, but there are only currently three commissioners because, surprise, the GOP blocked Obama’s appointments for years. So that means right off the bat Trump will personally be able to appoint two commissioners and then a third in 2017. So, those tweets are going to happen but I don’t think investigations will get very far.

If you felt a sick pit in your stomach as you read that, you are having an appropriate response.

Look at what is happening in North Carolina, where the GOP is trying to rewrite the rules of their state so that the incoming Democratic governor will be nothing more than a figurehead. For the next two years Donald Trump is going to have the freest hand imaginable in modern history and he is going to be surrounded with people who think what is happening in North Carolina makes a fine blueprint. But that shouldn’t be surprising because all this has happened before and will happen again. (I strongly recommend you click that link and check out that podcast as well as anything else over at the Dollop-very informational and incredibly entertaining at the same time.) What happened there was that a coup by white supremacists in Wilmington, North Carolina brought about the so-called “Restoration” by obliterating everything that had been accomplished by freed blacks and liberals during the period of Reconstruction. When you see Newt Gingrich gloating about Obama’s legacy being completely undone you are hearing the echoes of politicians who voted Jim Crow laws into being.

If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a thousand times.
History doesn’t repeat, it rhymes.

Last week the Pakistani Defense Minister threatened Israel with a nuclear strike over a fake news Russian propaganda story. Trump is talking about a massive buildup of nuclear weapons and doesn’t seem to appreciate or grasp the consequences of using them.

I have had Evangelical Christians tell me they voted for him because they thought it would surely bring Jesus back. I have to admit, Revelations 13:5 comes back to me every time I see his face. I actually can laugh at this because if Jesus were actually to come back I am sure they would not be nearly as happy about it as I would be.

To criticize or merely report factually about Trump results in a barrage of death threats, threats of rape and of kidnapping. When we call them “Nazi” and “Brownshirt” they get tiny erections but I don’t care if it thrills them, it’s accurate. They are nihilists overflowing with toxic masculinity and narcissism, which is why they often refer to Trump as their God Emperor; they are not being entirely ironic; they want to surrender themselves to an authoritarian tyrant for the lulz.

When I was doing regular standup on my old blog I would note where I would be appearing while pointing out that because of the stage lights I wouldn’t be able to see you coming at all, so if you wanted to take a shot at me that would be your best opportunity. I don’t think I would make that joke today. Not because I’m afraid, but because it’s not funny anymore.

In the days to come all of us are going to be tested. Our faith, our values, our very idea of what liberty and freedom mean are going to be challenged on a fundamental level. If we can be brave and wise, if we can be calm and cool, if we can retain our intellect and savior faire, we can overcome. Be strong.

My unlimited love to y’all,
WD

 

Comrade Trump’s New Decency

Posted in arguing with lovely people who are perfectly nice, arguing with lunatics, current events, politics, pop culture, race, Star Wars IV.5 Flight of the Rebels, teh internets on November 23, 2016 by furious buddha

Huck,

If what that woman does in that video to that child constitutes child abuse, then someone needs to call the police on Jimmy Kimmel because he has victimized thousands of kids over the years. While I am not a fan of this mother’s parenting technique or Jimmy’s sadistic notion of a joke (and I certainly don’t agree with videotaping and posting any of these humiliating moments), it doesn’t constitute child abuse. I know how the terrible damage we do to children echoes across decades and centuries which is why I will not trivialize child abuse by equating it to what that woman did. I can disagree with what she is doing and still not categorize it as child abuse; there is a difference between a moment of shitty parenting and child abuse, and that woman is on the shitty end of the stick. Conservative arguments for religious liberty permit actual child abuse to be ignored by the law as well as for neglect when a parent doesn’t believe in basic medical care; I find the pearl clutching at this woman’s minor league bullying to be overwrought.

Huck, I am a working class white person and I can tell you that often we can be a bunch of anti-intellectual racists and xenophobic homophobes who are ignorant crybabies that resent anyone we perceive to be smarter than we are; we stubbornly won’t dream of lifting ourselves higher because we only want to drag everything down to our level. We continue to vote for candidates who embrace the policies that have annihilated the economies of our towns and states because cheap appeals to our bigotry work better than a reasoned argument on us. We are dupes, chumps, and suckers when we are greedy, lazy, and small-minded. Donald Trump is lying to coal workers about getting their jobs back. I’m telling the truth. Who is being disrespectful to the white working class?

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The new episode of the Dollop is very timely.

Sitting Bull was killed at Standing Rock by officers sent to arrest him. They were arresting him because they feared he was going to join the Ghost Dance Movement. It is the week of Thanksgiving and members of the Sioux Nation were attacked with tear gas and water cannons in below freezing temperatures by officers while protesting an oil pipeline being installed across their land and across the Missouri River within a mile of the Standing Rock Reservation.

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Huck, I’m watching you call auntiestevi and myself “smug”. I get your point but there’s nothing auntiestevi is saying that is smug unless you count her tone of “I am informed and confident based on my rational assessment of objective fact” as being smug. Donald Trump was elected by the uneducated voters that he said he loved. What auntiestevi said was not a smug assertion of superiority but rather an accurate description of what happened. Telling someone they are being conned is not an act of smugness; there is certainly no gloating here by either of us. I was surprised that “smug” was not one of Gingrich’s contrasting words; it would be a fine addition to that list.

And this is what I mean about being crybabies, for God’s sake. Conservatives whine about “Political Correctness” in G-Major with an E in the bass, when that “Political Correctness” is really nothing more than Treating Others With Respect; they weep and moan that liberals are so mean to them just because they want to call people ugly names.

The reason this is filed under arguing with lunatics is because… …well, that’s what one does on teh internets.  If you review some of my most viewed posts it should become quite clear why I started including the arguing with lunatics category which is no more than a garment I’ve held up; you’re deciding if it’s cut to your fit. However, in the interest of goodwill and brotherhood I have added another category to the Teahouse Menu.

The Teahouse is my fortress of reason where there is no compromise of standards, only parley with those outside the moat. Comrade Trump’s New Decency will not hold sway within these walls as long as I have the strength to swing Sarcasticus.
He does not get points for flip flopping on his promise to jail Hillary because the promise itself was an egregious violation of decency and democracy; it’s the kind of thing third world dictators threaten to do.
His disavowal of the alt-right is absurd while Steve Bannon is his chief of staff and Jeff Sessions is his nominee for Attorney General. Words clearly have no meaning for Mr. Trump; only actions have any meaning and his actions thus far speak very clearly. The Nazis are exulting for a reason.

We are in an Imperials or Rebel Alliance moment here and for me there is no choice; Princess Leia stored data on private server. The DNC is not perfect by a longshot but they are all that the Republic has left.

princess-leia-stores-data-on-a-private-server

Pictured: Princess Leia storing data on a private server.

Comrade Trump’s Trolls Want Your Soul

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, race on November 20, 2016 by furious buddha

One of the clues that fascists are taking over is that when they win they get even more angrily violent. Digby wrote an excellent essay examining this phenomenon and her explanation is chillingly accurate; her quotation of Abraham Lincoln is particularly relevant and I include here in full:

This, and this only: cease to call slavery wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly — done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated — we must place ourselves avowedly with them. Senator Douglas’ new sedition law must be enacted and enforced, suppressing all declarations that slavery is wrong, whether made in politics, in presses, in pulpits, or in private. We must arrest and return their fugitive slaves with greedy pleasure. We must pull down our Free State constitutions. The whole atmosphere must be disinfected from all taint of opposition to slavery, before they will cease to believe that all their troubles proceed from us.

Until we agree with the goblins in their heads they will not be satisfied.

Huck, there is no end to the perfidy and deceit in our politics but I will not be part of any charade where we pretend there is some kind of equanimity between the two parties at this moment. Ignoring the influence of white nationalists in the White House and the role that racism is playing in our politics is something I am simply incapable of in the same way that I would have difficulty ignoring rats eating my face.

And if you want to call that “child abuse” let’s talk about Mike Huckabee and that sister diddling Duggar creep. And the loss of integrity by our media only serves Trump and his ilk.
Comrade Trump is preparing for a “victory tour” which is totally a normal thing that Presidents do, right?

Digby left us with a little bit more of what Lincoln had to say in the face of the implacable madness of his day;

Neither let us be slandered from our duty by false accusations against us, nor frightened from it by menaces of destruction to the Government nor of dungeons to ourselves. Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith, let us, to the end, dare to do our duty as we understand it.

Amen, Abe.

WD