In Defense of our Flawed Democracy

Thank you for holding. We appreciate your patience, we’re currently assisting other people and will help you as soon as we possibly can.

(repeated every 40 seconds, at 7 minutes into a short loop of insipid hold muzak with the Social Security Administration, at 16 minutes and finally, one last time, at 26 minutes, when I belatedly pulled the plug on holding for these lying, pseudo-corporate bureaucrat pricks)

Theoretically the American people are the government and the government is intended to work for us (particularly if we are in the social class for whom the benefits of life, liberty and the pursuit of whatever were guaranteed by our Founders). The experiment in democracy these wealthy white men designed in the waning decades of the Eighteenth century was revolutionary, at the time every other place on earth was ruled by a monarch who sat on the throne by Divine Right (compare: Manifest Destiny). Anyone who questioned why God would put a vicious inbred hereditary imbecile on the throne could be considered a blasphemer and subjected to the usual time-honored remedies for this sort of impiety (not to mention treason).

The Founding Fathers risked their lives, committed open treason against the world’s most powerful king, to change a system that placed a king’s arbitrary will over all of them, giving them little or no say in the conditions of their own lives. “No taxation without representation” was a rallying cry of the colonists, since there was, by then, a bicameral representative council in England below the king (House of Lords and House of powerless fucking chumps) that had a say in government policy.

It was the radical idea of representative government, based on the radical notion of the right to self-determination, that gave rise to all sorts of radical ideas (including representative democracy) during the Age of Enlightenment when discerning minds began to use Reason to question long held beliefs, practices, customs and superstitions.

We’ve come full circle, in many parts of the world, to the pre-Enlightenment vision of religious faith in an all-powerful individual leader, chosen as part of an unknowable God’s all-loving, all-knowing plan, a “strongman” who exercises unlimited personal power paternalistically, to ensure what he deems is in the best interest of citizens. Thus, even in our democracy, you can have a mentally-ill sadist, ordained by God, doing what he needs to do to rid us of hated enemies and promote his loyal followers to head every important government office to advance his vision of truth, justice and the American way.

In the US that includes, obviously, the Social Security Administration, the Internal Revenue Service, the US Postal Service, the Department of Defense, the Department of Justice, etc. If that leader surfs to power on a wave of churning emotion, exploiting fear and hatred of an unfair, corrupt, inefficient, abusive government, well, the more unfair, corrupt, inefficient and abusive his government is, the more it proves the point that he’s the only person who can save us! Don’t worry about the argument making sense, it doesn’t need to. It just needs to keep making you angry as hell.

So we have “debates” in our deadlocked, non-functioning Congress about things like increasing the budget for IRS enforcement against wealthy tax cheats (to pay for programs to literally begin trying to save the world from accelerating climate catastrophe). Is it American, patriotic, decent, honest, to cheat on your taxes? Here is the opposition party’s position in the debate:

WHO ARE YOU TO FUCKING SAY??!!! FUCK YOU, WASSHOLE! TRYING TO TAX THE RICH, THE JOB CREATORS, IS PUNISHING SUCCESS, JUST COMMUNISM, RADICAL ANTI-FASCISM or FACISM, TAKE YOUR PICK!!!

This is literally the quality of political “debate” in a nation run by, and for the benefit of, sociopaths and unprincipled careerists. Here’s a great snarky take on that from Sarah Lazarus at Crooked Media:

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) confirmed this week that he plans to investigate Donald Trump as part of the probe, and is prepared to depose senior Trump administration officials and members of Congress who might have played a role in the insurrection—like, say, the two seditionist Jims that McCarthy tried to put on the other side of the table. Thompson also indicated that the committee is very interested in learning more about McCarthy’s panicky phone call to Trump as the attack unfolded, which probably has nothing to do with McCarthy’s panicky efforts to thwart the investigation.

Nothing to fucking see here! You’d do the same if you had supported a maniac’s insane right to send a mob to the Capitol to violently stop the constitutionally mandated certification of an election he honestly refused to accept that he lost since he is history’s greatest winner. You’d do the exact same fucking thing if you were in McCarthy’s position!!!! Repeat everything you’re told to say and pretend you love the taste of the delusional Big Guy’s crusty hindquarters.

Anyway, I believe in government, in spite of the sickening frailties of the one we have now. Democracy is better than any alternative form of government, but we need to fix ours. Several radical, common sense reforms will be needed to restore our experiment in democracy to a representative government.

No more dark money in politics (at least say your fucking name, Charles, Rupert, Robert Mercer) funding the most extreme reactionary candidates in primaries to ensure the extremist political outcomes the 1% desires (part of the proffered protection of the public in the disastrous Citizens United ruling was that unlimited funding of political campaigns would be done transparently, a transparent bit of purely transactional bullshit, as it turned out).

No more right-wing fraternity vetting and choosing lifetime federal court judges to rule, whenever legally possible, according to that fraternity’s stated far right ideology. No more (currently entirely permissible, per 6-3 Supreme Court) partisan gerrymandering and no more restrictive, partisan voting laws — whether or not “race” is intentionally implicated in these moves (the Supreme Court’s brand new standard for overturning voter suppression laws, opponents have to prove they were intended to be deliberately racist, whatever the actual impact of the on different “races” the law causes).

The Supreme Court, a 6-3 right wing juggernaut whose majority was appointed by two presidents who lost the popular vote, straight from the Federalist Fraternity’s list, must be balanced with a handful of even-handed, non-“ideological” judges. Abolish the fucking Electoral College, that vestige of slavery, while we’re at it.

Everyone who works deserves a living wage, $7.25/hr, current federal minimum wage has not been raised since 2008, adjusted for inflation (since it was instituted) it should be $24/hr. Giant corporations must not be allowed to pay workers so poorly they qualify for Medicaid, health insurance for indigents. Taxes on vast, untaxable hereditary wealth and massive corporate windfall profits could go a long way to paying for vitally important programs we needed to have started decades ago, including the preservation of a habitable planet.

There’s a pretty short list of the essential things that are broken, and need to be fixed.

So I don’t write this in any way to attack our need for government programs and agencies that help our fellow citizens. We need those things that only a determined, responsive, well-functioning federal government can do. Think of the immediate improvement in American vaccination under a new president who didn’t regard the pandemic as a Communist/BLM-antifa hoax engineered to personally hurt him. Another example: the federal government took its time about it, to be sure, but in the end it was the intervention of the federal government, enforcing federal law, that ended the custom of lynching in many parts of the country that were determined to uphold this hateful tradition. FEMA is who you call when a killer storm destroys your town. Protection of voters’ rights in federal elections also falls to the federal government, under the 14th Amendment, and so forth.

Here are a few basic human needs the federal government has to attend to in a democracy, none of which seem controversial to me:

Disabled people should get help from the government. Children should not be subjected to malnutrition and the other ravages of poverty. Decent health care should be a right of citizenship, Americans should not have to die for lack of health “insurance”. Workers should be able to afford a place to live, food, clothing, days off, a bit of security. People who retire should be able to live in dignity and at least modest comfort. All citizens should have easy access to voting. Victims of killer storms should be rescued, helped to rebuild their lives. Corporations should be prevented from poisoning the water, air and ground. None of this is controversial, until you get down to the details, which are dictated by the agenda of a tiny, powerful elite of the hereditary super-wealthy, a group that has other priorities.

For example, if a law that protects a low-income Americans from the illegal act of a corporation providing affordable health care, under the Patient Protection Act, cannot be found, even by determined lawyers, there is no fucking law.

Details HERE

Biden Derangement Syndrome

I got a nice collection of political cartoons emailed to me by a friend in Tennessee. She picked some good ones, every one of them hit the current ugliness right on the nose. I thought of another cartoon the cartoonists should be working on about now.

There is a reason millions of Americans felt sick when the DNC orchestrated Biden’s nomination by jockeying him into the front-runner position as all the other “moderates” bowed out of the primaries on the same day, on the eve of that big primary when Biden sprung from the back of the pack to become a contender and then the DNC-chosen candidate.  Many of us felt, at the time, that with literal Nazis and Klansmen literally howling at the gates, and after the vast amount of damage their deranged leader had done in a mere four years to create “American carnage”, the smiling, compromising, moderate who couldn’t muster an apology for Anita Hill or a hint of regret for any of his many bad acts during a long career in the Senate, was not the one to be standing up for democracy, particularly against an irrational and violent movement led by an insane and sadistic narcissist whose constant lies are promulgated to tens of millions of credulous followers by a well-oiled mass media disinformation machine.

Sarah Lazarus at Crooked Media reported a sickening item last night that I hadn’t seen, instantly giving rise to that all-too familiar DNC-induced existential nausea:  

  • Democrats aren’t ready to boldly counter all forms of GOP obstruction just yet. During a CNN town hall on Wednesday night, President Biden said that as much as the filibuster sucks ass (paraphrasing), eliminating it entirely would “throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.” (You know, by contrast to the relentless legislative juggernaut we have now.) On the bright side, Biden did voice his strong support for a return to a talking filibuster, and said he might be willing to go further if the filibuster causes total gridlock. (The For The People Act would like a word.)

Seriously, the president doesn’t yet understand what he’s up against?   How is it possible?  He doesn’t understand that the filibuster was a tool of slaveholders and then the Klan, almost exclusively?   And that McConnell took the trusty flintlock pistol of the filibuster, which at least required the effort of standing there and pulling the trigger, and transformed it into an email nuke that any one of his minions can deploy any time, while lying on their couch drinking vodka, to block debate on anything– permanently.

Silver lining? There’s a good cartoon in that quote, the Capitol in flames behind him, Confederate flags and swastikas all over it, Biden, in a gas mask, surrounded by panicked looking Secret Service “ending the filibuster would throw the entire Congress into chaos and nothing will get done.”

Vug him and the “moderate” corporate, status quo-committed whores he rode in on…

USA!   USA!!!

Y’all know this

On January 13, of course, [Kevin] McCarthy said: “The president bears responsibility for Wednesday’s attack on Congress by mob rioters. He should have immediately denounced the mob when he saw what was unfolding. These facts require immediate action by [Trump] to accept his share of responsibility.”

Now, six months later, Republicans have lined up behind the former president and are seeking to sabotage the investigation into the January 6 insurrection, clearly unhappy about what that investigation will reveal

source

Shoot, your party would do the same damn thing if the news was so ugly for yuh!

Hot Enough for ya?

These three stories were at the top of Saturday’s NY Times. The wealthy world is now also officially at risk from extreme weather, the Arctic is on fire and there is, we learn, a great demand for “water witches” who can locate ground water by divination.

Talk about doom scrolling, I hadn’t even scanned down to the explicitly political news about our nation’s widespread belief in a cabal of powerful Satanist pedophile cannibals in Hollywood and the Deep State and an insane former president poised to become Speaker of the House in 2022 (did you know the fucker does not even have to be a member of Congress to become Speaker, if his party drafts him in a majority vote? [1]) as Biden dithers with commissions to advise him about things that should already have been done (unpacking an ideologically stacked Supreme Court, prosecuting the organizers and inciters of the January 6 MAGA riot and the defenders of that riot) and makes powerful idealistic speeches attempting to touch the closed hearts of extremists bent on destroying him [2].

Oh, Speaker Trump’s first order of business (or he may simply keep his hand up Kevin McCarthy’s ass and have Kevin do it), once new districts are gerrymandered by state Republicans, creating new guaranteed seats, and the margin of victory for Democrats is suppressed by new laws made to combat fraud that never happened, and his party retakes the House in 2022? Impeach Biden and Harris (Speaker of the House is Number 3 in line, if president and vice president cannot serve — and don’t forget the precedent — facts don’t matter, proof don’t mean shit, impeachment is purely political). A maniacal plan, sure, but no crazier than an armed attack on the Capitol to stop the ceremonial final certification of votes that had been counted, recounted and certified by all states. No crazier than the continual denial of that riot we all saw many videos of.

But back to more reasonable news, news we can actually deal with before we all simply evaporate in unbearable heat. The earth’s climate is warming. It is largely caused by human pollution, as demonstrated during the early days of the pandemic lockdown, when few cars were driving anywhere and the air quality over large cities immediately began improving. Less carbon dioxide (and associated toxic gases and particles from the burning of fossil fuel) going into the atmosphere is better for breathing and essential for slowing the steady rise of global air and ocean temperatures, global warming. Global warming, of course, fuels droughts, floods, killer storms and so forth.

Not to be a slave to “cause and effect”, but this quick lessening of poison in the air while a few hundred million cars stayed parked strongly suggests there are things humans can do to help save the planet from the activities of other, very powerful humans.

Nothing to worry about, really, if you listen to those who profit most from the extraction and burning of fossil fuels. These are merely sensationalistic headlines calculated to alarm people and distract them from the real agenda of eco-terrorism: to kill free enterprise and initiate American communism. It sure is convenient to blame the drowning deaths of twelve old people in a German nursing home (in a flood, whose fault is that?) on the industry that is literally making the world go round.

Check these three headlines out, from further down the NY Times home page, with the photo calculated to cause terror (the first is a repeat, about the wealthy also being in danger from climate catastrophe), making a big deal about natural occurrences that God Himself has caused:

Is this the only nation credulous enough to believe any repeated lie, no matter how many times it is directly contradicted by our own eyes, ears, experience, if it feeds into our suspicion that fucking bastards that we hate are getting over on us?

[1]

As the Constitution does not explicitly state that the speaker must be an incumbent member of the House, it is permissible for representatives to vote for someone who is not a member of the House at the time, and non-members have received a few votes in various speaker elections over the past several years.

source

[2]

Events are beginning to confirm the reasons so many of us were sickened when the leading Democratic presidential candidate was replaced, pursuant to the decision of Democratic party leaders and supported by several presidential candidates who all dropped out the same day and threw their support to Biden. Biden, who trailed in all polls and had won no primaries, was suddenly inserted as the presidential candidate we’d all hold our noses and vote for to get rid of the Orange Polyp.

“Moderates” like Biden are not the kind of leaders we need to face down an ongoing, organized, well-financed threat to democracy. They are by nature compromisers, the perfect foils for determined extremists on the other side. “Centrists” cave when things get too hot, looking to keep things pretty much the way they are while striving to change a few things that are really, really unjust. And while they deliberate, desperate men and women of action put their lives (or, more usually, other people’s lives) on the line to make sure those judicious deliberations don’t mean shit.

You Like the Idea of The Fourth Reich?

I wake up almost every morning, the grandchild of two people who had their entire families massacred one August night in 1943, to the banging of drums and the caterwauling of drunken Ukrainians (all relatives of my other two grandparents disappeared, with no trace at all, into the fog of Nazi genocide), slightly sick to my stomach at the latest news of how heartily homegrown fascism is growing in our promising democracy. The antidemocratic insurrection that came to an ugly head the day a Jew and a Black tipped the balance of a closely fought Senate is still openly in progress as feckless liberals ring their hands and vow to get to “the truth”.

It is a supremely sickening subject, one detail more vomit inducing than the next, so we must not speak about it, it is too upsetting, plus we are utterly helpless to do anything about it but watch in horror, let’s talk about anything but what is taking place right in front of us! So I sit to write every day, and try to clear my head a little bit, lessen the sick feeling in my gut. Some days it works better than others.

We live in a country that, as a culture, does not believe in history. Six months back might as well be fifty years ago, two hundred years. Since nothing happened to really refute the lies Trump told about the effect his explosive lies had on the followers he incited to storm the Capitol to stop certification of the election he lost, well, who’s to judge him? Nobody has ever held him accountable for anything, why start now? In additional, there are important institutional questions to be debated before we act hastily, about the administration of justice, the Supreme Court, prosecuting the organizers and inciters of the MAGA riot.

Who among us has not wanted to have people who hated us shot to death by riot police, the military? What his fans love about him is that he does exactly what they would do if they were in charge. Even when he lies, he’s telling a larger truth anyone who is really angry can instantly identify with. Enemies? Fucking kill them, what’s the problem? They’d do the same to you, if they could.

In every new book about the previous regime, led by a giant two-year old in a perpetual temper tantrum, we learn more details about how destructive a giant angry “populist” baby can be when in charge of a country with violently emotional divisions.

Russia, we learned the other day, again, made a calculation in 2016 based on the usefulness of a vain, insecure, easily flattered and manipulated American president of strong opinions and limited intellect, an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex” according to a leak of Russian documents reported by The Guardian[1].

This claim by a super-liberal British fake news rag is pure propaganda to tens of millions of Americans who may not agree with everything their leader does, but who know that he has their best interests at heart, even as he weaponizes vaccination (he himself quietly took the vaccine, and softly admitted on FOX that everyone should get it), exacts revenge on everyone on his long, ever-expanding enemies list, humiliating even those most loyal to him once he feels they failed him, and continues to fan the flames of the audacious, violence-stoking lie that, but for the grace of God and some Capitol police who fought against overwhelming odds, would have cost his supremely loyal Vice President his life (along with others). He plays to rage, his particular “genius” is inspiring greater and greater bonfires of rage in his followers. He will say literally anything to keep them mad as hell, fired up, ready to take names and kick disloyal, unAmerican commie ass.

At least 40% of America is in denial about their destructive champion, no matter how much evidence of his destructiveness is revealed by people close to him who remained fatally silent when it mattered most to reveal these alarming details (“just shoot the protesters” “I need a favor, though” “support my self-serving lie or I’ll end your fucking career”). This man, aided by the able, and morally supple Bagpiper Bill Barr, sent a death squad to execute an unresisting American citizen they believe had murdered a Trump supporter in a street brawl in Portland.

Forget the Three Percenters (their name is based on the myth that only 3% of British colonists in the New World actively supported the American Revolution, and that was enough to start it), 40% of the electorate, angry and motivated, in a country whose electoral system was designed to protect the minority power of slaveholders, can decide the destiny of our experiment in democracy.

This group is glad to believe that it’s irrationally angry Blacks who are the racists, not White Christians. The teaching of history, they believe, must not be political, it must be patriotic. They are happy to renounce the vaccine that their leader once touted among his greatest accomplishments, the result of his brilliant and history making Operation Warp Speed. They are willing to die en masse for the freedom to ignore the best advice of infectious disease scientists. They belong to a death cult they fervently believe is a cult of freedom.

My friends, in a way, are right. There is very little any of us, as individuals, can do to change any of this supremely depressing stuff. If one million people a day read this blahg, where I attempt to make sound arguments based on actual facts, it would make little difference, would change almost no minds that didn’t already agree with my point of view. The price for my success would probably be dozens, if not hundreds, of trolls telling me every day that I need to take a fictional red pill to really understand the seriousness of the Satanist cannibal pedophile ring that runs the world (speaking in a heavy Yiddish accent, of course).

On the other hand, things looked hopeless for flipping the Senate as the Georgia run-off approached. It seemed unbelievable that after all of the clear fuck-ups of the giant peevish baby’s disastrous (except to the rich and religiously extreme) administration so many of his most ardent supporters easily won reelection. Why the Democrats didn’t take a dozen seats, including Lindsey Graham’s, McConnell’s, was a perplexing mystery to people like me.

As the Georgia run-off approached, Sekhnet and I attended Zoom meetings and did everything possible to get Georgia Democrats to the polls. On January 6th a Jewish journalist and a Black reverend made history, becoming the first of their kinds to be voted in as Georgia senators. That victory was quickly swallowed up in an outburst of organized rage that the Party of Patriots is defending, counter-factually, as a lawful protest, based on a patriotic reaction to an infuriating allegation advertised to the tune of $50,000,000 plus dozens of influential, free, presidential tweets and speeches in the weeks leading up to the deadly siege. Democrat (sic) determination to investigate the MAGA riot is just another example of a child-blood drinking radical leftist witch-hunt against a man whose only crime is trying to make America great again, and rid us of the rule of murderous pedophiles.

No facts can really enter this existential debate. Facts are malleable, subject to definitive refutation by allegations of alternative facts, as we’ve learned. Here is a nice quote from a powerful, ambitious Republican who never tired of the taste of his leader’s crusty nether sphincter:

Here are a few other quotes that jumped out at me, wound up flapping around in my stomach acid:

General Mark Milley, who’d accompanied Trump on his triumphant walk through used tear gas canisters to awkwardly and defiantly hold up a Bible for a photo op of a Strong president who showed cowardly governors how to dominate the protesters, distanced himself from the stunt, regretting his involvement. A few months after that he, a student of history, referred to these very fine Nazis by name. He at the time had

See also the Lyin’ Ted quotes above. The Leader has the right to say anything, no matter how much it might rile up some very fine Nazis, even who he would or would not Do a coup with.

The most loyal asslicker in US presidential history, Mike “No Homo” Pence, was unable to convince his master that he lacked the power to stop the certification of votes on January 6. He lacked the courage or the character to speak to him frankly, suggesting that perhaps the lawyers could have the final word, but not Rudy or Sidney Powell, nor Flynn or the My Pillow Guy. Never mind. He proved himself an unworthy coward, and such a person, in the eyes of a lynch mob, is richly deserving of kicking at the end of a rope.

Not a problem. The guy was a coward, you kick his ass to the curb, like that guy who married a dog (the only woman who would have him) and whose father was involved in the Kennedy assassination. We’ll leave colossal piece of shit Bill Barr with the last supremely aggravating word:

That, and the fact that he ran against the second most hated politician in America in 2016 (fuck Barr and his fucking last word).

[1]

The second big story came this morning in the form of an article from The Guardian, which purported to reveal leaked documents from the Kremlin in which Putin and Russian leaders agreed in January 2016 to make Trump president to sow discord in the United States in order to get U.S. sanctions against Russia for its invasion of Crimea overturned. The documents described Trump as an “impulsive, mentally unstable and unbalanced individual who suffers from an inferiority complex.”

There are many reasons to be skeptical of this “leak,” but, in the end, whether true or not, it doesn’t tell us much that we don’t already know. There is ample evidence, articulated most clearly in the Senate Intelligence Report on Russian interference in the 2016 election, that Russia worked hard to get Trump elected in 2016.

source

The War on History Is a War on Democracy

Historian Timothy Snyder wrote an excellent extended piece in the NY Times recently entitled The War on History Is a War on Democracy. He goes over the recent history of “memory laws”, usually used by totalitarian states, and would-be totalitarians, to ban the teaching of inconvenient aspects of history in furtherance of their demand for citizen obedience. If you make cause and effect disappear you can convince ill-informed citizens of virtually anything.

These memory laws are counterfactual, since they deny things that actually happened, but they don’t need to make sense — they are strictly political in their intent. They’re intended to erase accounts and collective memory of bad things that actually happened, things the law may have shrugged at, held nobody accountable for, things essential to study if you hope to avoid the mistakes of the past. Erase the awful things done under color of law, et viola, a beautiful past, an inspiring and idealistic past, made to order!

Snyder points to the example of Putin’s 2014 “memory law” banning the discussion of Soviet war crimes during history’s deadliest war. The law claims that since all war crimes were adjudicated at the Nuremberg trials, bringing up alleged Soviet war crimes is actually “holocaust denial”. Of course, as Snyder points out, the Soviet Union participated in the prosecution of Nazi war crimes and no Soviets were tried, let alone held accountable for any of the massacres done by their troops, approved by their generals and by Stalin, but no matter. If you talk about any of that in Russia today, you are guilty of “holocaust denial” and in violation of the 2014 Russian memory law.

We have the same thing going on here, obviously, with the many new state laws proscribing the teaching of horrible, often racially motivated, moments of violence in our past, some little remembered to start with, that the law, and American historians, long winked at here. Ever hear of the New Orleans Race Massacre of 1866 [1]? You sure won’t now in any state that is determined to teach only an inspiring, patriotic history of our Exceptional USA. Mentioning an unspeakable horror like this massacre under current Florida law will get you in very hot water, very fast.

Snyder puts his finger on what is so destructive about these laws, designed to keep people in the dark about cause and effect in history.

If it is illegal in Florida to teach about systemic racism, then aspects of the Holocaust relevant for young Americans go untaught. German race laws drew from the precedent set by Jim Crow in the United States. But since Jim Crow is systemic racism, having to do with American society and law, the subject would seem to be banned in Florida schools. 

Timothy Snyder

Well-done and well worth reading. If you can’t read it at the link above, shoot me a comment and I’ll be happy to cut and paste the entire piece for you.

Nothing bad ever happened to this man for any “systemic” reason..,

 [1]

The New Orleans Massacre of 1866 occurred on July 30, when a peaceful demonstration of mostly black Freedmen was set upon by a mob of white rioters, many of whom had been soldiers of the recently defeated Confederate States of America, leading to a full-scale massacre. 

Wikipedia

We learn, (unless in a Florida classroom, apparently):

By the end of the massacre, at least 200 black Union war veterans were killed, including forty delegates at the Convention. Altogether 238 people were killed and 46 were wounded.

source

How did this happen?

The New Orleans Massacre, also known as the New Orleans Race Riot, occurred on July 30, 1866.  While the riot was typical of numerous racial conflicts during Reconstruction, this incident had special significance. It galvanized national opposition to the moderate Reconstruction policies of President Andrew Johnson and ushered in much more sweeping Congressional Reconstruction in 1867.

The riot took place outside the Mechanics Institute in New Orleans as black and white delegates attended the Louisiana Constitutional Convention. The Convention had reconvened because the Louisiana state legislature had recently passed the black codes and refused to extend voting rights to black men. Also on May 12, 1866, four years of Union Army imposed martial law ended and Mayor John T. Monroe, who had headed city government before the Civil War, was reinstated as acting mayor. Monroe had been an active supporter of the Confederacy.

As a delegation of 130 black New Orleans residents marched behind the U.S. flag toward the Mechanics Institute, Mayor Monroe organized and led a mob of ex-Confederates, white supremacists, and members of the New Orleans Police Force to the Institute to block their way. The mayor claimed their intent was to put down any unrest that may come from the Convention but the real reason was to prevent the delegates from meeting.

As the delegation came to within a couple of blocks of the Institute, shots were fired but the group was allowed to proceed to the meeting hall. Once they reached the Institute the police and white mob members attacked them, beating some of the marchers while others rushed inside the building for safety.

source

Or as Trumpist governor Ron “DeathSantis” would say to any Florida teacher allowing this kind of anti-American propaganda in her classroom “YOU’RE FIRED!”

Reischstag Moment

General Mark Milley, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is quoted as calling the last days of the Trump presidency, after the lost election of 2020, as well as the months before the election, when the ex-president openly considered invoking The Insurrection Act to have the military round up his enemies, a “Reichstag moment”. He also referred to the Trump dead-enders who were advising the increasingly desperate Trump as Nazis and was determined not to let them win.

Of course, to appreciate what a Reichstag Moment is you need to know a snippet of history. If you are on the right you will also be very skeptical toward the comments of the disloyal Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff as reported, and framed, in an influential newspaper owned by a supremely greedy billionaire Satanist pedophile cannibal who pays no tax. This account of General Mark Milley’s reaction to Trump inner circle authoritarianism really got my attention. Nobody has been sued over the account in the book, reprinted in the article, including some Milley quotes that could have been uttered by me, so there’s that too.

The Reichstag is the German Parliament building. After Hitler came to power, with a 37% share of the electorate, he was part of a coalition government, initially hemmed in by an eighty-six year-old general (the chancellor) and other determined (but overmatched) traditionally conservative functionaries. Within a few weeks the Reichstag went up in flames. Hitler was not surprised when he arrived on the scene (Nazis almost certainly set the supremely useful fire) but angrily vowed quick restoration of law and order and a fight to the death against the perpetrators of this shameless communist provocation [1]. The members of the Reichstag quickly granted Hitler emergency powers, as authorized in the Weimar Constitution for times of national emergency, which in this case was to last the entire twelve increasingly murderous years of the Thousand Year Reich.

When someone who knows a bit of history mentions the “Reichstag” it is usually in the context of a terrifying atrocity done to enable a radical political change. Once they burn your seat of government you’re allowed to go to a very different rule book for fighting these motherfuckers, as the former president might say. Which, frankly, he did say, when using his monumental lie about a stolen election to incite the MAGA riot:

The Washington Post article, entitled “Joint Chiefs chairman feared potential ‘Reichstag moment’ aimed at keeping Trump in power” begins:

In the waning weeks of Donald Trump’s term, the country’s top military leader repeatedly worried about what the president might do to maintain power after losing reelection, comparing his rhetoric to Adolf Hitler’s during the rise of Nazi Germany and asking confidants whether a coup was forthcoming, according to a new book by two Washington Post reporters.

As Trump ceaselessly pushed false claims about the 2020 presidential election, Gen. Mark A. Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, grew more and more nervous, telling aides he feared that the president and his acolytes might attempt to use the military to stay in office, Carol Leonnig and Philip Rucker report in “I Alone Can Fix It: Donald J. Trump’s Catastrophic Final Year.”

Milley described “a stomach-churning” feeling as he listened to Trump’s untrue complaints of election fraud, drawing a comparison to the 1933 attack on Germany’s parliament building that Hitler used as a pretext to establish a Nazi dictatorship.

“This is a Reichstag moment,” Milley told aides, according to the book. “The gospel of the Führer.”

A spokesman for Milley declined to comment.

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The article continues:

. . . as military and law enforcement leaders planned for President Biden’s inauguration, Milley said he was determined to avoid a repeat of the siege on the Capitol.

“Everyone in this room, whether you’re a cop, whether you’re a soldier, we’re going to stop these guys to make sure we have a peaceful transfer of power,” he told them. “We’re going to put a ring of steel around this city and the Nazis aren’t getting in.”

Nazis did get in, some very fine Nazis (now being persecuted by radical leftists in power illegitimately), and the ring of steel Milley talked about did not stop tens of thousands of them from gathering to cheer the audacious lies of America’s Greatest Liar and then, the most audacious of them from storming and ransacking the Capitol to halt the peaceful transfer of power in what many call an insurrection (the GOP calls it patriotism), but, as Milley predicted, our institutions held, even if barely.

As Democracy Now! summarized the same revelations today:

Top U.S. General Mark Milley feared then-President Trump could attempt a coup to remain in power, and compared Trump’s rhetoric in the final weeks of his presidency to that of Nazi Germany. The revelations come in a new book by Washington Post reporters, which says Milley described Trump as a “classic authoritarian leader with nothing to lose.” Milley also reportedly called Trump’s baseless claims of electoral fraud his very own “Reichstag moment.”

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Is it hyperbole to call people Nazis merely for being willing to use violence to overthrow a fair election out of undying loyalty to a bullying, constantly lying leader?

You be the judge, here’s my recently composed synopsis of Nazism in action:

They calculatingly used the rage of a suffering populace to fuel a right wing revolution in Germany and install an anti-democratic one-party government. Nazis were pioneers in the now popular technique of the Big Lie — an audacious and incendiary lie (Biden, the Clintons and Tom Hanks all fuck children and drink their blood, BLM and antifa stole your president from you!!!) to keep the rage and fear levels high. They employed street violence (brown shirt squads, kicking ass and taking names!) which they defended as necessary to save the nation from radical leftists who wanted to destroy Germany. They called for the execution of all critics of Nazism (and soon got around to doing it). They had the backing of many of Germany’s top industrialists, who feared socialist reforms in poverty-stricken post-WWI Germany more than they did street violence in the name of the free market, militarization and, soon, vastly increased profit from Nazi government slave labor programs and the like. They instituted loyalty pledges and purged all non-Nazis from public positions, judiciary, civil service, professorships, medicine, law. They went along, step by step, first “euthanizing” people in mental hospitals, then conducting nationwide pogroms against a hated minority, then taking the citizenship away from classes of citizens, then detaining them, confiscating their property, deporting now stateless “resident aliens”, etc. It was years until they had everyone ready for what they became famous for during the last three years of the war, high tech mechanized mass murder of some nine million hated subhumans (four million Jews, five million others apparently were killed in death camps). The Nazi one-party police state advanced step by step, with the support of millions of purposefully deluded Germans and the willing connivance of a fully Nazi judiciary.

As for very fine people on both sides, on both sides, it’s impossible for me to see any very fine people on the Nazi side, or the Klan side, or the Trumpist side, for that matter. Most likely because I am a judgmental hater, as so many of my ilk seem to be.

You are a judgmental hater, sir

[1]

A dim witted Dutch communist was quickly tried and executed as the sole perpetrator. This van der Lubbe, who in spite of his modest intelligence was apparently a gifted athlete who sprinted, breaking all speed records, to the various spots in the large building that were simultaneously set ablaze to turn the Reichstag into a dramatic bonfire.

The chilling breeze of history

The best people only hire the best people, it’s like a thing among the best people, to surround themselves with only the very best people. At the same time, the best people often need to be the smartest person in the room, so if they are of average intelligence they’ll wind up choosing the best people who are not as smart as them, meaning they’ll be surrounded by spineless toadies, many of them dumb as a post. Makes sense.

Here are three of the best people in Germany, right after the failed Beerhall Putsch, an early Nazi attempt to overthrow German democracy [1], and the well-publicized trial for treason, before a right wing judge sympathetic to Nazi aims, that made one of them an international symbol of militant nationalism (the photo was taken in Landsberg Prison during their short stint there):

[Fuck, I love the mandolin, I just saw it. Not only the best people, but at least one of them loved music! He seems to be actually fretting a chord. Can you hear these best people singing along? I can.]

Mediocre minds often dream desperately grandiose dreams. It is not possible that destiny created me just to live out an obscure life, greatness is in my soul, leading the masses to glory is my birthright! I have been chosen, I am the Chosen One, the Savior, the only One who can make things right, the only One who can lead the terrible fight against PURE EVIL!

Critical people will view these types as deluded, insane, but true believers will faithfully follow them into the jaws of death. It has been this way from the dawn of human history, those who can convince others that the force of history has chosen them will always find a ready army.

As horrible as the glowering faces of the most threatening monsters in human history are, their smiles are far worse. The smile on the face of a violent sadist is a sickening sight. There are few things more horrific, to those opposed to things like genocide, than a beaming Nazi. Check out these fucking faces.

The Poisonous Dwarf, Hitler’s Minister of Public Enlightenment, in a buoyant mood

I know, I know. These human expressions of happiness are familiar to us all, and on the faces of history’s greatest criminals they are particularly hideous. I always had the same feeling whenever I’d see the self-hating Stephen Miller (Trump’s would-be Minister of Public Enlightenment without portfolio) or Bagpiper Bill Barr (Mr. Trump’s pugnacious Hermann Goring-style gunsel) smiling. Before that the aptly named Dick Cheney’s rare, jagged, apparently painful smile always evoked that sick in the stomach feeling. The revulsion comes from knowing what makes this type smile, the triumph of their twisted views, the suffering of others, of people they passionately hate.

Hate and resentment is good for business, if your business is uniting masses of angry people. As long as hate rages anger remains unquenchable and the loop is endless. You cannot rest, if you truly believe powerful Satanist cannibal child molesters are out to turn your home into a totalitarian Marxist state where the blood of your own children will be lustily slurped down, after they are raped by these vampires, until you join an army to root out and KILL every last member of this evil cabal.

A passionate mob is capable of the most atrocious actions you can imagine. Their passion does not need to argue with anyone, it doesn’t require evidence or fact — only faith and passion. True believers, if Christians, may think of it like the Passion of Christ [2]. Many destructive, abusive people in power wrap themselves in the pious cloaks of their religion (e.g. Bagpiper Bill Barr, Mike Pompeo, Antonin Scalia, Osama bin Laden). Religion demands obedience to all-knowing, all-merciful God’s will. How do we know what God wants? Faith.

On the other side of the equation, we have decent people of good will wringing their hands, instead of taking the bold, decisive action that is needed to protect the rest of us from irrational maniacs hawking violence-inspiring lies and monetizing them. In history this has always been a recipe for the worst possible outcome. “Why won’t they accept the plain truth that we’ve proved ten times over?” they wonder. If only we could get things back to the way they were before everything was so out of control, they think, not really thinking things through.

Contrast these moderate, status quo embracing, nuance-appreciating institutionalists with the bold, passionate, reckless, history-making mold breakers admired by millions. The bold transactional liar acts with a game plan (to win it all) and lays out a worldview the average angry person can embrace. You can prove the guy is lying, but it makes no difference to the faithful, who see the world exactly as their leader does.

I’d always heard Hitler was a “failed artist” before he found his calling in German politics. This label always irked me, as I myself am a “failed artist” (though my army of fanatical followers does not begin to compare to Mr. H’s) since I stubbornly failed to monetize my talents in any way. I’ve seen few of Hitler’s art works over the years but here is one that, like Trump’s American Carnage speech (Blacks and the Socialist Left have reduced our cities to raging anarchist war zones), perfectly reveals the artist’s weltanshauung, his view of the world as a grim, scorched, treacherous battlefield for eternal struggle, a worldview that would inspire millions:

see FN 3

You can’t argue with that shit.

Fuck you, Widaen

[1]

Think of the January 6 MAGA riot/dress rehearsal at the Capitol.

[2]

The Passion of Christ is the story of Jesus Christ‘s arrest, trial and suffering. It ends with his execution by crucifixion. … The word Passion comes from the Latin word for suffering. The crucifixion of Jesus is accepted by many scholars as an actual historical event.

— the internets

[3]

The images above (with the exception of the soul-revealing shot of America’s Greatest Sore Loser) are all from episode one of Netflix’s new short series “How to Become A Tyrant”, narrated by the excellent, deadpan Peter Dinklage.