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I’ve left unpublished maybe a dozen posts from the past month.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

Comrade Trump’s Thugs.

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, politics, race on November 15, 2016 by furious buddha

Huck,

First of all it is likely that the “Rape Melania” sign was a dirty trick by a “deplorable” trying to make those protesting Trump look bad (please note that I am using the exact same source you did for the original story); regardless, a single sign held up by a single angry asshole does not a movement make. It certainly does not justify any equivalency between Trump and his supporters and those who oppose him. And really, if you want to get into picking individuals who suck, even if that asshole with the sign was an actual Democrat he’s no worse than this guy. Or this one. Or the sweethearts who do these things.

Likewise, angry children burning the flag are nothing to get worked up about; a flag is a bolt of cloth and what it represents cannot be desecrated by them. It does not please me that they do it and I would prefer that if they want to use the flag in protest they fly it upside down, signalling distress, which is far more appropriate than burning the flag. But then, if Trump had lost the Electoral College and had over a million more votes than HRC I’m sure his supporters would have demonstrated calm restraint and understanding.

And I’m not kidding about distress.
Russia Today, Huck? Seriously? How would Ronald Reagan feel about an American conservative using a Russian propaganda source in a political discussion? It’s like Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Why should anyone care about George Soros when American Conservatives are being taken in by a plot so ridiculous and obvious that the John Birch Society would have thought it cartoonish? So what if some college kids are protesting on a billionaire’s dime? Our national security is as stake.

Vladimir Putin’s Russia is the Soviet Union 2.0 and they just not only interfered in our Presidential election, but they bragged about it after applauding the result. The President Elect has not released his tax returns and there is reason to believe that he is heavily leveraged  by Russian oligarchs. One of his campaign managers was considered a security risk for his Russian connections. There’s a server in Trump Tower that talks to a Russian bank.

There are so many unacceptable things about Trump that it is dazzling; he has put white nationalism over country and found new ways to deepen the divides between Americans. I’m from Chicago, Huck. I know once you see the flash of metal you have to think tactically. There is no purity at the DNC but I would rather cast my lot with that ship of fools than the pack of thugs heading for the White House.

WD

 

Comrade Trump’s Locusts

Posted in arguing with lunatics, current events, days in the life, philosophy, politics, race, religion on November 11, 2016 by furious buddha

I suppose the thing that makes most people nervous is that he will do the things he said he would do, even the contrary and nonsensical ones.

I suppose what makes me nervous is that nobody has any idea what he’s going to do, including him. He is going to become a president with unprecedented power, thanks to the majorities he brought into Congress; unless Obama does a recess appointment of Merrick Garland he is going to be holding onto a Supreme Court nominee from the get go. I suppose what makes me nervous is that he has demonstrated the stability of the Joker and the moral compass of Lex Luthor and he is going to be handed real, true temporal power over us all.

I suppose people are being either willfully stupid or are spectacularly naive when they say he’s going to be fine because in the past 36 hours he hasn’t grabbed anyone’s pussy or mockingly imitated someone with cerebral palsy. They seem to think the last seventy years of his life was just an elaborate act to craft the persona of a narcissist obsessed with fame and power who treated other people as objects and whose idea of business savvy was often simply fraud by another name; the real man is wise and sober of judgement, they assure us with fervent serenity. However, they are not calm; their panic causes them to freeze in the presence of a predator.

It is Veterans Day and the President Elect is a draft dodger who says he felt like he was in the military because he went to Exeter and compared avoiding catching an sexually transmitted disease to serving in Vietnam. He said of a POW who spent six years being tortured by the Vietcong that he preferred soldiers who don’t get caught. As of a few months ago he didn’t even know what a Gold Star family was while he was in the middle of denigrating one. He calls our generals “idiots” while demonstrating the same grasp of military tactics as a fifteen year old playing Risk. He has an extremely suspicious relationship with Russia that he has lied about. Now he is the Commander in Chief of our armed forces.

I have been warning for years about the Jezekiah Grasshoppers but now they have swarmed into Trump’s Locusts. The Klan is on the march and the Nazis are wanking themselves bloody. Kenny, you should join and I’m going to try to figure out the way I can be most effective; we have a large circle of quiet underachievers that we need to awaken, embolden, and activate for duty. We are not in the future, we are in the present our entire lives have been preparing us for.