GOP Gun Bravado — Justifying piles of dead kids

GOP Gun Bravado

Justifying piles of dead kids

May 25th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Stephen King tweeted today, “The cable news washing machine is asking what motivated Salvador Ramos to kill all those children. The answer is simple: He did it because he could.”

King is in the unfortunate position of feeling some responsibility for school shootings. Back in 1977—yes, 45 years ago—he wrote a novel, “Rage” under the pseudonym of Richard Bachmann. School shootings were nearly unheard of back then, and King wrote it both as a horror story and as a cautionary tale. He’s not to blame for the horror that envelops our lives now, no more so than “All Quiet on the Western Front” was responsible for World War II.

But King is an expert on the dark side of human nature, and when he wrote “Rage,” he knew the potential was there. Unlike stories about vampires and other-dimensional westerns, this depended on just three elements: the rage that lies within many teens, the vulnerability of school children, and the American love affair with guns. King felt responsibility because at heart he’s a decent human being: but the school shootings we’ve seen would have happened whether he wrote “Rage” or not.

But there’s the thing: even if some child assassin stood up and declared, “Yes, I shot those kids because I was inspired by ‘Rage,’” King’s moral and ethical positions would still be better than that of nearly every elected Republican in the country.

Yes, King described a possible horror with considerable psychological and mental accuracy; there’s a reason he’s one of the best-selling authors of all time. He accurately portrays the human condition. But as school shootings became common, he acknowledged his role, and took “Rage” out of active sales. And he has been one of the strongest voices in the country for gun control.

Compare to the heartless, gutless, cowardly Republicans who lean on increasingly empty talking points to justify their inaction in the face of the ongoing slaughter of children. (Read that line again and ask if it’s even possible for a human to find a lower stance to take.) None of them will say, “It’s time to address the problem.” Most will try to pretend it isn’t a problem they can address, and prattle on about mental illness, or video games, or protecting us from government—yes, the same government they are a part off. Kids are getting shot to protect them from government officials who let them get shot because second amendment, which is there to protect the kids from feckless politicians like…um, them.

The reason it has taken so long to identify the dead is that AR-15 bullets, which turn humans into hamburger, left many of the bodies unrecognizable. They had to depend on DNA for a lot of the piles of guts on the classroom floor. Lots of closed-casket funerals coming up, thanks to the Republican Party.

As many have pointed out, other countries have people who are mentally ill, video games, and have oppressive governments. If you want to annoy one of those paranoid nuts who believe the constitution was written by people who wanted the government they created overthrown violently, just point out that the USSR, one of the most repressive regimes on Earth, fell to an unarmed populace with only a few dozen shots being fired. Meanwhile, we have idiots running around pretending they can protect us from the military, robbers, and apparently, ten-year-old children.

There’s no lower position a human can take. They would need to climb a very tall ladder just to reach the level of cowardly filth.

But they are cowards. The best way to change their minds is to make them open to the same risks they inflict on us.

Therefore, I call on the NRA to allow anyone who wants to to carry a loaded weapon into their convention Friday. Just like they can just about anywhere else in Texas. I don’t want to see more death, so I’ll be happy to keep my fingers crossed for them. I’m sure the NRA will welcome all thoughts and prayers, both in advance and in the event of any bloody aftermath.

Republican politicians, tell your guards and police escort to take a few weeks off. Go out like a normal person, and take the same risks that you want the rest of us to take. Is that too much to ask?

They let our children die because they are moral and ethical cowards. There is no inner humanity to reach within them. Abbott, Cruz and Trump made that clear already this week. Let Trump bloviate to the NRA with a room full of loaded guns and no Secret Service. Oh, they can have a security guard—he’s entitled to the same amount of protection school children can get. He can have fun explaining how he was the greatest president of all time because one of his first acts was to make it easier for the mentally ill to get guns, all the time sweating profusely whilst scanning the room, ready to duck behind his little wood rostrum In The Event Of. The amount of grotesque gun bravado espoused by this lot will vanish quickly.

I don’t want an assassination—that would only make things worse. But I do want him to feel the same fear every schoolkid is feeling tonight.

They are cowards, these gun heroes. Trump alone is a novel of cowardice in action.

Make them take the same risks the rest of us face, and watch them cave like Halloween pumpkins in January. Unlike King, who is courageous, they will crumble if they have to accept responsibility for their actions.

Facing Fascism — By their crazy ye shall know them

 

Facing Fascism

By their crazy ye shall know them

 

May 21st, 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

 

More and more, we’re seeing a dangerous rise of the racist, neo-Nazi right, as witness the horrible shooting in Buffalo last week where one of the spawn of Fox News and the GOP massacred 10 people who were doing nothing more criminal than a bit of grocery shopping.

We’re also seeing a rise in the sheer lunacy of the people the far-right is putting up as their voices and leaders. It isn’t just Trump and the idiotic trolls that infest Congress; it’s people who say utterly insane things to disguise what they really are.

On the Christian fascist front, as god-floggers in dozens of states race to convert the United States into a 12th century theocracy, one of the great movers and shakers of this poisonous movement appeared before Congress, to explain, under oath, why abortion needs to be illegal. Since there’s no sane secular or religious reason to support this point of view, she had to wax inventive—under oath, no less.

She said, “Bodies [are] thrown in medical waste bins, and in places like Washington, D.C., burned to power the lights of the cities’ homes and streets.”

Americans United for Life President Catherine Glenn Foster proclaimed.“Let that image sink in with you for a moment,” she continued. “The next time you turn on the light, think of the incinerators, think of what we’re doing to ourselves so callously and so numbly.”

OK, I thought about that. If the street lights have a bluish glow, they are running on little boy fetuses. If it’s little girl fetuses being burned, the lights are pinkish.

And if it’s the brains of right-wing god-floggers, the lights are dark.

She proclaimed this amazing idiocy under oath. To the House Judiciary Committee. She gets paid $190,000 a year to justify the actions of the Christian fascists’ most hateful and paranoid anti-choice group. The group claims “We are the voice for millions, a nonpartisan force working to create lifelong connections between persons of all ages, backgrounds, and beliefs.” People of all white race, male, stupid and anti-women beliefs, of course. The rest of us can go hang. We’re burning fetuses to power streetlights, you see.

The Democrats should charge this nut with perjury and contempt of Congress. Granted, she’ll probably get off on a sanity clause plea.

Chip Roy of Texas, because of course Texas, wanted to know if it was OK to abort a baby as it was being born. This is a favorite lurid fantasy of the far right religious nuts; that a woman will go all the way to term and then decide on a whim to abort. That they believe that this can even happen, let alone is a common occurrence, just shows the utter moral and mental bankruptcy of this movement. After the second trimester, abortions only happen if there is something gone catastrophically wrong—the fetus is dead, or both are unlikely to survive birth. But these pseudo-religious whacks like to believe the very worst in others so they can tell themselves they are superior.

Republicans proved what utter hypocrites they are. Even as they pushed to make all abortions and even contraception illegal, they unanimously voted against a bill to increase the supply of baby formula in the face of a critical shortage created by criminal corporate malfeasance. The GOP motto is “every fetus is sacred—until birth. At that point, fuck it.”

Democrats in the House reintroduced a bill to increase government response to domestic terrorism. Last year, the same bill got a majority of GOP votes, and in fact was sponsored by three GOP members.

According to Raw Story: “Senate Republican Minority Whip John Thune of South Dakota immediately poured cold water on a just-passed House bill to help fight rising domestic terrorism, in the wake of his past weekend’s massacre of ten Black people in Buffalo by a self-avowed white nationalist and antisemite and a California church shooting deemed a ‘politically motivated hate incident’ by local law enforcement. The House bill passed with all Democrats and just one Republican voting for it. 203 Republicans voted against the legislation that would establish new offices across three federal agencies to help identify and combat domestic terrorism. Three of the Republicans who voted against the legislation are original co-sponsors of the bill, and many who voted for a very similar bill two years ago voted against this bill Wednesday. The final tally was 222-203. Conservative Tom Nichols, interviewed on the Joy Reid Show, said, ‘there is a nihilistic, fear-driven alliance here with a group of opportunists, and I want to get back to this issue of about Hungary, the really dangerous thing here is that some of these people believe very deeply in — in some of this stuff and yet others, and I would say people like [Tucker] Carlson and Matt Schlapp and some of the other people capering about in Budapest, don’t believe in any of this and don’t believe in anything of this other than the extension of their own personal power and wealth. And when you have this coalition of shallow, empty opportunists along with with a group of paranoids, basically, then you have a really dangerous movement because each side has to keep upping the ante to kind of justify why they are doing the things they are doing,’”

So the stance of the GOP is this: They don’t want to work against bad domestic terrorists because it may inconvenience some of the good domestic terrorists. If people are slaughtering Americans in the name of the Koran, or Karl Marx, or Xi, then it’s OK to prosecute them. But if they are home-grown cowards and murders, waving the cross and the flag and avidly watching Tucker Carlson for tips on how to annoy liberals by behaving like Nazis, well, that’s just political persecution, isn’t it? Republican mass murderers good, other mass murderers bad.

Tucker Carlson and CPAC are meeting in Hungary this week. Featured guest of honor was Viktor Mihály Orbán, the dictator of Hungary. Tucker and his crowd worship this five-and-dime tyrant, you see.

Orbán this week made it illegal to call him a dictator. No, really—he did. There’s a technical term for leaders who make it illegal to call them dictators. That term is “dictator.” Orbán pretty much personifies it.

Trump addressed this dumpster-fire remotely, joining a line-up that included Zsolt Bayer, who likes to refer to Jews as “stinking execrement.” Now, I realize Trump is the most trash president America has ever had, but “stinking execrement?” Well, this is the level of crazy Carlson and Fox News have brought us to. Remember, Donnie: if you march with Nazis, you are a Nazi.

OK, these people are crazy, and stupid, and about half of them are play acting for malevolent ends. But they are dangerous.

Nations routinely fall to fascism, both religious and secular. There really isn’t much difference, except religious dictatorships usually move quicker to open concentration camps to “protect us all” from non-believers, which is usually a majority of any given population.

But getting rid of these pests is nearly impossible. It usually requires great amounts of sacrifice, blood, death and misery, because they will never relinquish power voluntarily.

If this lot take over, expect to see your children sacrificing their lives to overthrow them. The only thing worse would be to see your children shooting people in the name of God in a vile new regime.

 

 

White Inferiors — Two individuals roil America

White Inferiors

Two individuals roil America

May 15th, 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Yesterday, a racist gunman, armed with an AR-15 and wearing militia gear, entered a Tops Friendly grocery story in Buffalo and shot up the place, killing 10 and injuring three others. The gunman had a camera strapped to his helmet and videoed the assault for two minutes until his social media outlet caught on and shut the recording down. Payton Gendron, 18, has been accused of the crimes. He supposedly posted a 109 page tract on social media, citing the “Great Replacement Theory” a paranoid white racist conspiracy theory, as the reason for attacking the mostly black victims at the grocery story. He supposedly drove 200 miles from Conklin, in central NY state, to commit this action, which suggests to me that he had some sort of history with this market. No matter how stupid a white racist you are, there are few places in the US where you have to drive 200 miles to find black people to kill.

It happened within 24 hours of the announcement that far-right Ruby Ridge icon Randy Weaver had died. Weaver had resisted arrest on illegal gun trafficking (Gendron had gotten his WMD legally) and federal marshals tried to serve a warrant, which resulted in a couple of gun fights, in which Weaver’s wife and son died, along with a federal marshal.

Weaver highlighted a serious issue that roils America to this day: cops of all kinds are far too likely to shoot and kill in situations where force isn’t even required. The movement that sprung up in support of Weaver did so originally for the exact same reasons why Colin Kaepernick took a knee and Black Lives Matter sprung up. If you think Randy Weaver was a martyr to excessive police force but Duane Wright, George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Eric Garner and hundreds of others were not, then you are a fucking racist. You’re a coward and a cheat. Go away.

Weaver had legitimate grounds for resisting, and his family certainly did not deserve to die. But Weaver was a fairly poisonous individual who believed, amongst other things, that Jews are imposters and white Protestants are the true descendants of Israel, that the Founders meant for the United States to be under a white Christian god, and that interracial marriages were a sin. Note that it neither a crime nor a provocation to police to hold such views. You may be a dirtbag with dirtbag views, but you are a constitutionally protected dirtbag.

But Weaver’s views make him a hero not only to skeptics of government overreach, but the whole Christian Identity movement, the Sagebrush Rebellion clowns, and the neo-Nazis. Ruby Ridge supposedly inspired Timothy McVeigh to blow up the Oklahoma Federal Building a couple of years later.

The horror and revulsion of that act drove the militia neo-nazi types back under their rocks for some time. Their philosophy turned up in the diatribes and screeds of various mass killers over the years, but there were so many mass murderers acting on so many different behavioral syndromes that it just became another part of the gun lunacy in America.

But then Obama got elected and the racist right lost their collective minds (small change, I admit.) Paraphrasing Blazing Saddles, they screamed, “The new President’s a [clang!]” and came piling out to protect the White Race from being replaced by mud races.

Obama served two terms, during which time the haters multiplied and gained a major foothold in such ethically weak parts of the country such as Fox News and the Republican Party. The 2016 nominee for president was a vicious racist, Donald Trump, who among other things demanded the execution of the Central Park Five EVEN AFTER THEY WERE EXONERATED OF THE CRIME, and promoted the paranoid racist theory that Obama was born in Kenya.

Like most adherents to such a broken and twisted philosophy, Trump himself was a broken and twisted man and he promoted scum like himself to high positions, not just in party ranks but in the courts and among the allies he could find in the media.

It will come as a surprise to nobody that in the days prior to the Buffalo mass shooting, two of the more twisted creatures of the Nazi right, Tucker Carlson and Elise Stefanik, openly promoted the Great Replacement Theory. While this carry-over from Nazi Germany was aimed primarily at Jews, the American neo-Nazi right have included Muslims, Mexicans and other foreigners, gays, scientists, writers, historians, trade unionists and liberals. If that sounds familiar, it’s exactly the approach Hitler took in the twenties and thirties to consolidate power in Germany. Another term for Great Replacement Theory is Final Solution, the term Hitler used to describe his plan to rid the world of those he considered sub-human.

The results would be pretty much the same.

It’s horrifying that people like Trump, Carlson and Stefanik are making the same claims and offering the same solutions that Adolf Hitler did. Or that much of the Republican party, lacking any courage or resolve, meekly follow such creatures.

They must be stopped.

They will kill you if they seize power.

When A Party Hits An Iceberg — Back up and ram that sumbitch again!

When A Party Hits An Iceberg

Back up and ram that sumbitch again!

April 23rd, 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

For the Republicans, this was a week they would probably love to forget. For the Trump crowd in particular, it was an unmitigated disaster.

It started when the Kansas City Star, one of Missouri’s biggest papers, blasted the disgusting Josh Hawley, who disgraced himself by promoting the blood libel against now-Justice Jackson and liberals in general with loud brays about being soft on child porn. Turns out that when Hawley was Attorney-General in his state, not only did the office do little to chase down child pornographers, but Hawley simply dropped cases when he left office to run for the Senate. The editorial concluded, “Loud. Attention-grabbing. Do-nothing. A lime green leisure suit on a hanger. We challenge Sen. Hawley to take a fresh look at the crimes against children committed in his own state, including allegations against elected officials in his own party, and actually do something to protect kids.” Ouch.

Steven Miller, strutting pink dome of the American fascist movement, publicly admitted on Lou Dobbs that they tried to get tens of millions of votes tossed as part of their campaign to overturn the election. Just another of those “operational control” boasts, I guess.

Then Trump blew up the Ohio primary by ignoring urgent pleas from party members in the state and endorsed the reptilian and unelectable JD Vance. Informed that Vance once referred to Trump as “America’s Hitler” Trump shrugged it off, saying everyone “said shit” about him. Could it be that Trump has finally grown a thicker hide? Or was he too far gone mentally to come up with anything?

Then, the Republican National Committee voted unanimously on Thursday to withdraw from its participation in the Commission on Presidential Debates. Granted, the way the parties conduct those debates has been pretty much a joke since 1960, but at least the Republicans were pretending to care about elections and accountability to the public. That’s drowned in a fascist tide of black and red ink, it seems. The only surprise is that they give up an opportunity to spew the endless hate and lies that they have substituted for public policy.

Florida’s Ron DeSantis, racing toward a sort of a Nazi Disneyland, banned 29 math books for containing “critical race theory”. People examining the books have absolutely no idea what the hell Florida’s five-and-dime Hitler is talking about. He then unilaterally rewrote the state’s congressional districts, awarding his party four seats and eliminating at least one black district. Having done that, he proclaimed Florida to be a “free state” because it’s illegal to admit that gays or transgenders exist any place a child might hear it. He made them unpersons, just like Hitler did with the Jews.

The other demented state governor, Greg Abbott, unilaterally decided to have Texas conduct “safety inspections” of trucks that bring produce and other Mexican goods into the state. The resulting line of trucks had to wait up to thirty hours to cross the border while perishable contents rotted. Hundreds of millions of dollars died so the guv could look like he was Doing Something. Abbott, before climbing down from the pose, declared he was just trying to stop drugs and illegal humans from entering the state. There’s no evidence the stops caught any.

The American Accountability Foundation was dragged out from the shadows by Jane Mayer,the author of the acclaimed 2016 book Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right. The AAF is dedicated to blocking all Biden nominees, and fuck what it does to the country. Meyer believes they are the source of the disgraceful “soft on child porn” claims brought to bear by trashier elements of the Senate GOP in the Jackson hearings.

Donald Trump on Easter Sunday wished a “Happy Easter” to everyone, including what he said were “radical left maniacs.” Jesus only died for right wing maniacs, it seems.

Another god-struck clown, one John Carlos, running for school board in Nevada, said, “I believe the Constitution. I believe in our — our — the way our founding fathers believed in this country: life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.” It was bad enough that he thought the Constitution said that, but he continued, “That means that homosexuals cannot procreate. This goes against our Constitution and this goes against what parents want in the school district, and this is only one book out of thousands.” So apparently this nut thinks if you don’t have kids you are violating the Constitution, or the Declaration of Independence, at least. George III is gonna be so ticked if you don’t pump those kids out for god and the king!

No week of GOP embarrassment is complete without Lauren Boebert weighing in. She said, “comprehensive sex education” teaches that one “can choose your gender” and “abortion is a form of birth control.” Bit surprised she didn’t claim sex ed was child molestation. Perhaps she didn’t want to annoy her husband.

Memphis resident Peter McIndoe jokingly invented the Birds Aren’t Real conspiracy theory in January 2017. The notion is that all the birds died—wind mills, presumably—and were replaced by drones. In terms of sheer silliness, it’s right up there with the conspiracy theories that JFK Junior and Princess Di are all secretly alive, or that Trump is the Second Coming. It’s making inroads in the GOP, a report Tuesday said.

Then the really big pratfalls began.

US district judge Kathryn Kimball Mizelle, in Tampa ruled that public carriers could not mandate masks. The “judge,” a Trump appointee, heard no arguments and simply wrote the order. It strikes down any effort to ensure reasonable safety of passengers against any sort of communicable disease. The ruling, much like the “judge” herself, is utterly insane. She was deemed “not qualified” by the American Bar Association, but McConnell’s GOP whooped this 35 year old nut onto the bench for life on a party line vote.

Hima Kolanagireddy filed to run for Michigan’s 6th Congressional District on Tuesday. Normally that wouldn’t be news outside of Michigan, but Hima, an Indian immigrant, has a unique theory as to how Trump had the election stolen from him. All Chinese look alike, it seems. She said, “I think all Chinese people look alike. So, how would you tell? If some Chow show up, you can be anybody and you can vote,” Um, “Chow”? I’m used to hateful GOP idiocy, but on this one I can’t even…

Michigan Republican Lana Theis accused a Democratic state Senate colleague of being a pedophile because she supports LGBTQ+ equality. It’s the usual vicious crap Republicans, fed their two minutes of hate by the American Accountability Foundation, have been spewing for several weeks. But she picked the wrong target in Sen. Mallory McMorrow, a diminutive representative more than willing to stand up for her rights and her personal integrity. In a fiery speech that rocketed around the net, she said, “I sat on it for a while wondering why me? Then I realized… I’m the biggest threat to your hollow, hateful scheme. Because you can’t claim that you’re targeting marginalized kids in the name of ‘parental rights’ if another parent is standing up and saying no. So, you dehumanize and marginalize ME. You say I’m one of THEM. You say she’s a groomer, she supports pedophilia, she wants children to believe they were responsible for slavery and to feel bad about themselves because they’re white. Here’s a little background on who I really am…I learned that SERVICE was far more important than performative nonsense like being seen in the same pew every Sunday or writing ‘Christian’ in your Twitter bio and using it as a shield to target and marginalize already-marginalized people.”

Ted Cruz, always willing to be inappropriate and weird, decided that what Disney cartoons really needed was a spot of the old Rule 34*. He said, “I think there are people who are misguided, trying to drive, you know, Disney stepping in, saying, you know, in every episode now they’re gonna have, you know, Mickey and Pluto going at it. Like, really? It’s just like, come on guys, these are kids, and you know, you could always shift to Cinemax if you want that. Like, why do you have—it used to be, look, I’m a dad. You used to be able to put your kids on the Disney Channel and be like, alright, something innocuous will happen.” He should have suggested Goofy and Pluto ‘go at it.’ At least they’re the same species. The GOP probably doesn’t approve of interspecies romance.

Trump decided to sue Hillary Clinton for fraud and racketeering in relation to the 2016 election. It’s hard to guess what he hoped to accomplish, but Hillary, no fool, will probably just grin and announce she’s fighting the suit. It makes all of her—and Trump’s—activities in the 2016 election open to discovery, including all the things Mueller couldn’t include in his report.

Tennessee GOP members kicked Trump’s endorsed candidates off the ballot as well. “Morgan Ortagus, Baxter Lee and Robby Starbuck were voted off the primary ballot by the party’s executive committee, Tennessee Republican Chairman Scott Golden confirmed Tuesday. Republican officials last week confirmed official challenges had been filed against the three, which triggered a technical removal from the ballot per party bylaws,” the Tennessean reported.” Oops.

Abbott had another own goal when the NY Times revealed that he had been lavishly funding the non-partisan group Crime Stoppers, and suddenly their message got a whole lot more partisan. According to a New York Times report, “Crime Stoppers of Houston has been blasting out a different, more political message: Activist judges are letting ‘dangerous criminals’ out of jail to threaten the safety of law-abiding residents. On television, Twitter and videos, the traditionally nonpartisan nonprofit organization has been condemning more than a dozen elected judges — all Democrats, four of whom lost primaries last month — while praising the crime policies of Gov. Greg Abbott of Texas, a Republican.” It’s estimated that Abbott funneled $6.4 million to the group. A pity, really: they used to be a socially valuable outfit.

Well, that would be a pretty disgraceful week in politics, even for the GOP. But no, we’re just getting started.

Jonathan Martin and Alexander Burns released a book called This Will Not Pass: Trump, Biden and the Battle for America’s Future. In it, they claimed Kevin McCarthy and Mitch McConnell, the two top Republican leaders in Congress, privately told associates that they believed Donald Trump should be held responsible for the attack. “I’ve had it with this guy,” McCarthy told a group of Republicans in the immediate aftermath of the attack. McCarthy immediately and vociferously denied the claims.

But oops. There were tapes. Rachel Maddow, wearing a wide grin, played them on her show that night. We’ve long suspected that McCarthy was a liar and a fool who had lost control of the wingnuts in his caucus, but now we have proof. Typical of Republicans, rather than demand McCarthy resign in disgrace (a few did, but only a few) most are trying to ferret out who released the tapes. At first Liz Cheney was considered a prime suspect, but unlike most Republicans, when she says something, it tends to be the truth. She denied having, or releasing the tapes. Suspicion now rests on Rep. Elise Stefanik, who is rumored to be gunning for McCarthy’s job. She would be no improvement, but that’s neither here nor there. Trump and McCarthy put on a kiss-and-make-up show, but reports are Trump and McCarthy are both furious. Rick Wilson semi-joked that Stefanik might want to invest in a good food taster for the next few months.

Rioters at the 1/6 “peaceful demonstration” continued to drop like flies. According to Raw Story, “Two members of an accelerationist neo-Nazi terror network accused of plotting to attack the power grid in preparation for an assassination campaign have pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the government’s prosecution…Paul James Kryscuk, a former porn actor who used the alias ‘Deacon’ while active in the neo-Nazi group BSN from 2017 through 2020, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to damage an energy facility on Feb. 10, with the possibility of receiving a reduction from a 15-year prison sentence in exchange for ‘substantial assistance’ in the government’s prosecution in the case.

Following Kryscuk’s plea, Marine Corps veteran Justin Wade Hermanson aka ‘Sandman’ entered a guilty plea for conspiracy to illegally manufacture, ship, transport and receive firearms on March 8. Like Kryscuk, Hermanson’s plea deal includes an agreement to cooperate with the government’s investigation and testify against his codefendants should they go to trial. Both men pleaded in the Eastern District of North Carolina, where the case is being tried.” A lot of defendants are trying to blame Trump for their misdeeds, claiming the ex-president goaded them into it. It isn’t helping them, but when Trump is eventually tried, they will be an embarrassing impediment to his claims that he wasn’t trying to start trouble. Twelve hundred right wing nuts can’t be wrong, right?

New York Attorney General Letitia James has referred contempt charges against Donald Trump with the Department of Justice. Your move, Merrick Garland.

Now, when people think to the sexual probity of the GOP, they don’t think of saving schools from critical race theory math perverts. They think of Giuliani in drag, or propositioning an underage girl while being filmed by a comedian. They think of Ted Cruz in his assless chaps. (Yes, and I’ve seen the picture. More bleach for my eyes, please.) Madison Cawthorn made headlines a few weeks ago by claiming the GOP leadership kept inviting him to cocaine-and-sex orgies. This week, images emerged of old Maddy, apparently at a wild party that greatly resembled those GOP church meetings, wearing women’s lingerie. While not politically important (Cawthorn’s career is deader than disco) it was a kind of a capstone to the pyramid of Republican hypocrisy and duplicity when it comes to safeguarding the public morality.

Finally, Marjorie Taylor Greene had to testify in a civil suit yesterday about her words and actions in relation to January 6th, facing a suit to have her barred from running again on 14th amendment grounds. It did not go well for her. She flat-out denied that she had called Nancy Pelosi a traitor, and when the lawyer asked for video #5 to be shown, she stammered, wait! Um…I meant she was a traitor because she wasn’t securing the southern border.

Her poor lawyer tried claiming that laws against insurrection applied to Civil War traitors only, and then in a truly bizarre twist, claimed executive privilege on Taylor-Greene’s behalf. Now, I’m not a lawyer, don’t even play one on TV, but I’m pretty sure that the only person who can claim executive privilege is the sitting US president. If you want to get a big grin out of Joe Biden, Marge, you could ask him to claim executive privilege on your behalf. Biden has a good sense of humor—he’ll enjoy hearing that one.

Wow—2,500 words, and I had to skip a few rounds from the GOP circular firing squad. Next time some bozo tries saying the two parties are the same, ask them when the last time was the Democrats had a week like this.

And then ask yourself why America hasn’t simply laughed the GOP out of existence.

Rule 34*: “If it exists, there’s a porn version of it on the web.”

The Sump Pump that is Trump — Garbage in, Sewage Out

The Sump Pump that is Trump

Garbage in, Sewage Out

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

March 30th 2022

In any other Democracy, and at nearly any other time in US history, Donald Trump would be in prison by now. In a place like China or Russia, he might well have been executed.

Trump’s career has been an amazing journal of privilege and contempt for people, a rapacious and degrading odyssey of greed, venality, and lawlessness. Historians will never understand how anyone as openly tawdry and corrupt as Donald Trump somehow became President. While the ensuing events have historical parallels, his ascent to office does not.

The open treason against the country that created this monster was pretty much inevitable, but the reaction of the country, like his ascent, defies reason and logic.

Yesterday, Trump came up with the most tone-deaf statement he’s uttered to date, In an interview on some right wing outfit that was widely spread on social media, Trump called for Putin to release dirt on the Biden family right now since now “he’s not exactly a fan of our country” during an interview with Real America’s Voice.

You read that right. He’s counting on what he hopes is Putin’s rage and malice toward America’s reaction over the Ukraine invasion to do his buddy Trump a solid and smear Hunter Biden and by extension, his family. Hey, people who aren’t “exactly a fan of our country” gotta stick together, right?

The GOP is dead silent on this, but I expect that from the cowardly and craven pack of goosesteppers who sold out America in favor of power under Trump. But the Democrats and the Justice Department and mostly just wringing their hands and dithering over how it would look if a former President had to be punished for the things he said and did.

We experienced this lack of resolve disguised as higher tone in 1974, when Gerald Ford decided it would look bad and demoralize the country if Nixon were held to account and tried in public. So he preemptively pardoned Nixon…which looked bad and demoralized the country. Justice never was perfect in America, but this high-sounding lack of resolve and determination has turned it into a corrupt joke, a system that favors the rich over the poor, the powerful over the powerless, white over black, and flag waver and bible pounders over people with self-respect and dignity.

So we look at the mountains of evidence and prima facie guilt surrounding Trump, and we wonder why he hasn’t been indicted yet, let alone tried and convicted. Siding with an adversarial leader in hopes of gaining political favors and attacking the President’s family would get him hanged in some countries.

The January 6th committee released the phone logs from the date in question, and there’s a mysterious 7 ½ hour gap in them. Part of it can be explained by the fact that Trump was riling up the goons and loons, promising the nutsis and natsis that he would lead them to shut down Congress and prevent certification of the vote. (He lied about leading them, of course). But what of the remaining five hours? We know that at least a dozen members of Congress spoke with him during that period. We know he called at least a half dozen. We know the contents of some of those calls. But they aren’t in the logs. Perhaps Trump used a burner phone. He claimed that he didn’t even know what a burner phone was, but John Bolton promptly said that he and Trump had discussed using burners in the weeks prior to the assault on the Capitol. The lies never stop, do they?

We’re seeing similar weakness regarding Clarence Thomas. Most Dems rub their knuckles and say, “Oh, he really should consider recusing himself in cases where his wife may be criminally complicit. But we don’t want to pressure him.” And a handful—AOC and Elizabeth Warren, for example, say he should resign or be impeached which is what is supposed to happen to judges that are openly corrupt.

If Trump gets away with it, if Clarence Thomas gets away with it, the US is done as a functioning country. It’s just an empty shell, nothing but flags and bibles and bigots, and will sink, slowly and painfully.

Still there is some hope. The select committee has been doing an admirable job of holding the right feet to the right fires. And the Justice Department, which had been so quiet people were openly wondering if the Department had been hopelessly compromised by the foul and venal previous administration, showed signs of movement today.

The Washington Post on Wednesday published a major new report on Attorney General Merrick Garland’s investigations. The paper reported, “The criminal investigation into the Jan. 6 attack on the Capitol has expanded to examine the preparations for the rally that preceded the riot, as the Justice Department aims to determine the full extent of any conspiracy to stop Congress from certifying Joe Biden’s election victory, according to people familiar with the matter. In the past two months, a federal grand jury in Washington has issued subpoena requests to some officials in former president Donald Trump’s orbit who assisted in planning, funding and executing the Jan. 6 rally…”The development shows the degree to which the Justice Department investigation — which already involves more defendants than any other criminal prosecution in the nation’s history — has moved further beyond the storming of the Capitol to examine events preceding the attack,” the newspaper reported. “Grand jury subpoenas are a legal mechanism used by prosecutors to gather information for a criminal investigation, and a subpoena in and of itself doesn’t mean any particular recipient is under investigation or likely to face charges. But the subpoena demands issued in recent weeks do indicate that the aperture of the investigation has widened, after Attorney General Merrick Garland pledged in a speech this Jan. 5, the day before the first anniversary of the attack on the Capitol, to follow the evidence wherever it leads.”

OK, that’s what we want to hear. We don’t want mob justice, or political vendettas. But we do want justice. Real justice. Without it, you don’t have a Real country.

Still in the Fog — War continues to Russia’s detriment

Still in the Fog

War continues to Russia’s detriment

March 29th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

While the usual caveats about “the fog of war” still apply (nothing said by either side is true until proven) there are some things we can determine from the actual evidence.

Putin’s dream of a quick blitzkrieg takeover of Ukraine is in tatters. The battle lines haven’t moved in over three weeks now, and there are reports that Ukraine has actually recovered small amounts of ground back in a couple of areas. While actual numbers are not available, it’s clear that the Russians have paid a very heavy price in terms of both personnel and materiel, and the Ukrainians have suffered large civilian losses, mostly from the wanton shelling and bombing of civilian centers.

Russia has lost at least ten thousand soldiers, including six generals. There are unconfirmed reports of large defections and desertions, and one confirmed report of a Russian colonel who was fragged by his own troops, apparently by being run over by a tank. Not subtle, these Russians.

Peace negotiations are expected to open in Istanbul in a couple of days, and it’s widely believed that Putin is seeking a compartmentalization of Ukraine, as was done in the 50s in Korea, or the 60s in Vietnam. DMZs, in other words, with Russia holding a strip of land linking them with Crimea, which they already stole. There’s no reason to suppose that would work out any better than previous DMZs did, unless Putin is prepared to following in the footsteps of the Kim dynasty of North Korea and inflict such horror and deprivation on the people in his region that they remain too weak and cowed to put up any real resistance. Granted, as we learned with the Chechnyans, Putin is quite willing to engage in ongoing domestic terrorism against the populace.

Putin claims Russian bombing and shelling campaigns against Kyiv and other cities in the north will abate, although neither the Ukrainian government nor the west are inclined to believe that. Putin has already suffered an embarrassing set-back; he may not want to risk looking weak in the bargain.

Biden came out and said of Putin, “This guy has to go.” He later explained that he meant exactly what he said, but that it did not reflect a formal change in policy. The media is trying to describe that as a backing away from the original statement and twittering about how undiplomatic it all is, as if America didn’t invent the expression “regime change” back in the 90s. Meanwhile, Donald Trump, the heart and soul of today’s GQP, suggested (and I’m not making this up) that America fly planes painted with Chinese markings into Russia and bomb them, in hopes of sparking a major war between the two major powers. Perhaps he’s hoping for lower land prices in both nations that he can exploit. And today—today!–he publicly asked Putin to drop whatever he was doing and dig up dirt on Hunter Biden. Aren’t you glad we got rid of that loon? One down, one to go.

Putin’s response? “It is time for us, for our people, to call on the people of the United States to change the regime in the U.S. early,” Russian TV host Evgeny Popov said, “And to again help our partner Trump to become president.” State TV being the bastion of independent journalism that it is, you know.

In the meantime, at least ten million civilians have been displaced in the Ukraine, with an estimated four to five million having fled the country altogether. The US has vowed to accept 100,000 refugees, and Canada has a three-year refugee status program with no limit on the number of refugees. The UK is offering £350/month to any household accepting refugees. While a welcome move, it’s unlikely to address the needs of more than about 10% of the refugees. Poland is taking the brunt of the exodus, and they are poorly equipped to handle it, and anti-Russian sentiment will only last so long as a buffer against Poland’s notoriously xenophobic culture.

And there’s also the possibility that the war will reduce one or both sides to pauperized failed states. Russia has been shown to be far weaker in terms of economy and morale than expected, and Ukraine is suffering bombardment the like of which Europe hasn’t seen since World War II. (American campaigns against Korea, Vietnam, and Iraq were far worse, of course, but the victims weren’t white, you know.)

One of the curious items is the reports that two negotiators in previous talks with Russia came down with symptoms consistent with novichok poisoning. The Guardian had a piece on this today, writing,

Guardian reporter based in Kyiv, Shaun Walker, brings us this analysis piece, asking: Why is Abramovich playing peacemaker after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine?

Sanctioned billionaire Roman Abramovich is not officially part of the Russian delegation, but has apparently played a major role behind the scenes, jetting between Moscow, Kyiv and Istanbul since Russia invaded Ukraine.

Further questions about what role Abramovich was playing, and why, were raised on Monday, when the Wall Street Journal and investigative outlet Bellingcat claimed Abramovich and a Ukrainian MP were among three people to fall ill with symptoms consistent with chemical poisoning, during a round of negotiations in Kyiv in early March.

A source confirmed to the Guardian that Abramovich had fallen ill after the meeting, and had lost his sight for several hours. He soon recovered and was able to take part in later rounds of negotiations.

Aside from the poisoning claims, the emergence of the publicity-shy oligarch at the heart of peace negotiations has also surprised many.”

The West has brought many sanctions to bear, many aimed at Russia’s plutocrats. Perhaps they are having an effect. Certainly Putin uses kompromat and extortion to control his billionaires (including, it’s rumored, Donald Trump) but that can only carry him so far in the face of ruin.

Biden is right: no matter what happens in Ukraine, this guy needs to go. He won’t stop with an eastern partition of Ukraine. You can take that to the bank.

Sloppy Slappy – And his nutball souse, Gin-soaked

Sloppy Slappy

And his nutball souse, Gin-soaked

March 24th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

Back in the early nineties, in the wake of the Anita Hill testimony during the confirmation hearings for Clarence Thomas, a fellow named Bartcop, host of a website then known as “Rush Limbaugh: Lying Nazi Whore” (eventually Bartcop.com) bestowed an ineradicable nickname on Thomas: “Slappy.” Bartcop, sadly, has since died, but I still use the nickname he bestowed gleefully.

Various right wingers have tried telling me that calling him “Slappy” is racist, somehow. One fellow even tried telling me that it was a veiled reference to vaudeville comedian Slappy White, an allegation that collapsed when it came about that the only thing remotely racist about this almost-forgotten comedian was his last name.

“Slappy” is demeaning and vulgar, but Slappy has that coming, now more so than ever. Bartcop used it to refer to the man’s predilection for pornography. He knew, as many of us did, that Slappy would always be a bad joke on the court, a result of the Republicans sneering effort at tokenism, replacing the brilliant Thurgood Marshall with the notion that one Negro is just as good as any other Negro. Just the fact that Slappy lacked the self-respect to balk at an open slap at African-Americans told us he was intellectually and emotionally unsuited to the position. The thinly veiled racist antics of the Senate committee, the same as what we are seeing now, included Joe Biden and Ted Kennedy. It was a disgraceful performance, one that the Senate has made a standard rather than a failure.

On January 19th, 2022, the Court ruled 8-1 that Trump must turn over emails and texts to the Select Committee for Investigation into the events of January 6th, when Trump supporters attempted a coup against the United States.

Slappy was the lone dissenting vote. By itself, that wasn’t too noteworthy. Slappy is often the lone dissenting vote in what might otherwise be ‘slam the door, Katie’ cases, based on his inimical opposition to rights, especially of minorities, and a deep misunderstanding of what the Constitution stands for. We just waved our hands and muttered “Slappy” in the same tone of voice we use when the neighbor’s dog craps in the yard.

Today more of the texts and emails Trump had to turn over despite Slappy’s opposition came to light, and it turns out that some of the most damning ones were between then-Chief of Staff Mark Meadows and…Slappy’s wife, Virginia “Ginny” Thomas. Let’s just call her “Gin Soaked.” I have no idea if she has a drinking problem, or drinks at all, but she sure behaves like someone with a serious emotional and mental impairment.

According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, The messages – 29 in all – reveal an extraordinary pipeline between Virginia Thomas, who goes by Ginni, and President Donald Trump’s top aide during a period when Trump and his allies were vowing to go to the Supreme Court in an effort to negate the election results.

On Nov. 10, after news organizations had projected Joe Biden the winner based on state vote totals, Thomas wrote to Meadows: ‘Help This Great President stand firm, Mark!!!…You are the leader, with him, who is standing for America’s constitutional governance at the precipice. The majority knows Biden and the Left is attempting the greatest Heist of our History.’”

Among Thomas’s stated goals in the messages was for lawyer Sidney Powell, who promoted incendiary and unsupported claims about the election, to be ‘the lead and the face’ of Trump’s legal team.”

Some of you may remember Sidney Powell. She is the “release the Kraken” conspiracy theorist who was in fact the litigious face of Trump’s efforts to overturn the election until her antics caught up to her and she was sanctioned for “a historic and profound abuse of the judicial process.”

The emails, by themselves, are prima facie evidence that Gin-Soaked was complicit in efforts to overturn, negate, and otherwise rescind the election (‘rescind’ was the word Trump used in conversations with former ally Mo Brooks on numerous occasions). Gin-Soaked may end up being subpoenaed to explain some of what she wrote, and asked about how involved Slappy may have been in this. It’s even possible she could face criminal charges.

Were it not for his vote to hide the emails, which included hers, Slappy may have survived this disgrace as he has survived so many others. But his vote, a clear and self-evident conflict of interest, would have been a criminal act on any other court in the country. Only the Supreme Court is self-excused from the standards expected of every other judge in the country.

In a normal, non-corrupt government, a Supreme Court Justice embarrassed by such wanton and outlandish antics of a family member would resign. But Slappy is a sad little creature, bereft of self-respect and clinging desperately to his unearned power. He won’t resign.

And the Senate won’t impeach him. Far too many Republicans are too corrupt, too cowardly, too contemptuous of the American people. This week’s hearings for the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson showed the depraved ethical and moral depths Republicans have sunk to, between vicious racial attacks, ridiculous flouncing and performance art, and the unbridled efforts of Christian fascists to block people of impure faith, which would be about 85% of the country. They couldn’t impeach Trump, who belongs in prison. They won’t impeach Slappy.

No, the members of the Supreme Court are going to have to sit down with Slappy and pressure him to resign. Some of them—including some of the right wingers—are uneasily aware that their credibility is hanging by a thread, and if the Slappy scandal goes the way I think it will go, it may destroy the consensual basis that the Court needs to function. Only they can do it.

Clarence “Slappy” Thomas must go.

Jan 6 No Trump — Bridging the year

Jan 6 No Trump

Bridging the year

January 7th 2022

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

I feel a lot better this January 7th compared to the same date last year. Back then, I was wondering if the United States had any sort of future, or was destined to fall into neo-Nazi fascism headed by one of the most vicious and corrupt swine ever to hold public office.

We’re a long way from out of the woods, of course, but at least it stopped snowing and the wolves seem to have buggered off. Yes, the Republican party is now a fully-formed death cult, and yes, Trump is still in the news a lot, but they aren’t quite as scary as they were the day they tried to destroy America. And America seems to be gaining a bit of a lease on life, at least until the mid-terms.

Biden and the Democrats seem to be finally taking the gloves off. Biden gave a barn burner of a speech on the anniversary, pounding Trump into the ground without ever mentioning him by name. How effective was the speech? Well, two days later, and Trump is still yowling like a cat shitting a porcupine. Fox “News” couldn’t even bear to discuss the speech, instead trying to pretend the assault on the Capitol was no big deal really, BLM and Antifa were worse, and why hasn’t Biden controlled inflation and COVID? The Lord Haw-Haws of that propaganda pit have their loyal viewers, of course, but it’s eroding as Trump’s Big Lie continues to shrink under the assault of facts and evidence.

Merrick Garland also gave a speech, detailing why the Justice Department investigations were flying under the radar, and reassuring people that the trials and convictions of the small fry at the riots was only the opening act. In the state of New York, at least two Trump whelps, Donny the Lesser and Ivanka the Skanka, have been subpoenaed, and there are reports that Melania the Melanoma has been selling off some of her wardrobe and other personal possessions to make ends meet.

Things aren’t going well for Trump loyalists, either. The Brownshirts have lost a really big civil case in the wake of the Unite the Right rally and are being sued out of existence. Devin Nunes, Trump’s biggest cow in Congress, suddenly quit in order to run Trump’s social media empire. If you’re asking, “what social media empire?”, my answer is “exactly.” The January 6th Commission has shown it isn’t screwing around, and is handing out subpoenas left and right, including Bannon, Meadows, Alexander (“Victory or Death!”), Ali with subpoenas expected for various members of Congress who might have to be forced to testify under oath, such as Gym Jordan (OH! Jimmy!), Marjorie Taylor Greene (Ga.), Paul Gosar (Ariz.), Lauren Boebert (Colo.), Mo Brooks (Ala.), Madison Cawthorn (N.C.), Andy Biggs (Ariz.) and Louie Gohmert (Texas.). It occurs to me that just by tossing those eight out of the House and into prison would raise the average IQ of Congress by at least 10 points.

While Republicans are still working feverishly to try to turn the next American elections into a Soviet-style joke, they aren’t making the headway they were hoping for. Cyber Ninjas, the redoubtable firm in charge of the of-course-it’s-legitimate! Arizona recount, are facing $50,000 a day in fines for refusing to turn over records that are in the public domain regarding how the count was conducted. Given that the count not only confirmed the results, but actually gave Biden a couple of hundred votes he didn’t have before, you have to wonder how much gaming and cheating went in to achieving a result that was only slightly unfavorable to their cause. And how much of that was flat-out illegal. None of the dozens of other state audits seem to have gained much traction. Even notoriously corrupt Wisconsin seems to have given up on party-run recounts as a bad idea. In the meantime, Republican efforts at gerrymandering seem to have stalled out. In places like Texas, it’s because it was already so gerrymandered they could no longer maintain plausible deniability. And I suspect some Republicans, aware of the growing fragility of the Trump cult, are hedging their bets.

For all we hear about Trump “running out the clock” in hopes Republicans can take the House and make the January 6th commission go away, other legal proceedings that the House cannot interfere with are continuing apace. Garland already made that clear in his speech, and there are a swirl of well-informed reports that the State of New York is going to be dropping the hammer on Trump in the immediate future. Tax fraud, tax evasion, corrupt business practices, it’s a very long list. And remember, Trump’s most efficient henchmen are gone; Former CFO Weisselberg is fighting to keep his own ass out of jail, and former torpedo Michael Cohen is an active enemy gleefully providing evidence (many, MANY skeletons in THAT closet!) against Trump. Trump, in Cohen’s mind, tried to kill Cohen by sending him back to his cell in the height of the pandemic last year. He didn’t appreciate that.

A lot has been made of the poll showing that only 21% of Republican voters think Biden won legitimately. Granted, there are a lot of brainwashed fools and just plain fools in the GOP, but I suspect a lot of them are joining that chorus not from any personal belief, but because they know the cost of disloyalty to the party. “Don’t ever be the first to stop applauding.” The GOP have been a lot like Russia’s Communist Party for many years, and should the party destroy democracy and become, like the USSR, a one-party state, there would be a dear price for showing disloyalty. Nobody doubts the viciousness and cruelty of the GOP, but if they can’t seize power, support for them will erode like cotton candy under Niagara Falls. Conviction persists; fear cannot.

A lot of that will erode as the legal investigations dissect GOP efforts to stage a coup. Fox News might ignore the stories and whine about Hunter Biden, but the rest of America’s media will not ignore it—and even Fox will turn when they can no longer sustain their fear of Trump and start to fear the American people instead.

So on this anniversary, we’ve gained a lot of ground in defeating Trump and his swinish followers. Much remains to be done, and of course, any number of things could go wrong. Remember, we are saddled with a major party that WANTS things to go wrong.

We’re not home free, and won’t be for some time to come. But we’re at least moving in the right direction.

Like what you read here? Show Uncle Zepp some sugar! https://www.Paypal.me/zeppjamieson

Pearl Harbor — And other attacks on government facilities

Pearl Harbor

And other attacks on government facilities

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

December 11th, 2021

I wrote a piece the other day about the burning of the Christmas tree in front on the Fox News New York headquarters that was mildly sympathetic to Fox.  I pointed out that they could turn the arson into a positive by reaching out and helping the homeless man accused of setting the fire in the spirit of the holiday. OK, we both know that was never going to happen.  I like teasing fascists.

Instead, Fox went into breast-beating and garment-rending mode.  They gave it more air time than they did the Jan. 6th attack on the Capitol.  They praised themselves for having the courage to stand up to this assault on everything is good and decent and pure.

Then they tried comparing it to the attack on Pearl Harbor.  Inspired, perhaps, by the fact that the man accused of setting the blaze is Hawaiian.

If you have a sufficiently depraved mind, one capable of pulling up phrases that would make Satan blush and Trump avert his eyes awkwardly, then you can guess at what my attitude toward Fox News is now.

Pearl Harbor.  Christ…

OK, the arson did occur on December 7th. Going by that logic, if I sneak into one of their loos and drop a cherry bomb in the crapper, blowing it up, that would be comparable to the nuclear bombing of Hiroshima if I did it on 6th August? My mum was born on January 6th. If word gets out, will QAnon make her a saint?

If we want to mess with these people, we could dump a bunch of ladyfingers under Mar-A-Lago along with a picture of Amy Comey Barrett on November 5th. Just have some rando Englishman explain it to you. Make sure it’s a real Englishman and not just some Brit. You want the full piquancy of the arched-eyebrow condescension.

OK, moving on…

What? You wanted a dissertation on the morals and ethics of Fox News? Well, they don’t got none. Finito! Moving on. Delivered in the tone of an archaeology professor explaining for the fifth time why the story of Noah’s Ark isn’t in the syllabus.

We done with “My dog is plotting against me” type nuttiness. Now we’re going to Kesey’s ever-loving bull goose loony assortment. But which I mean, a version, perhaps THE version, of the 32 page Power Point memo the GOP were passing around on how to overthrow the government and destroy the United States. The official title of this document, dated January 5th 2021, wasElection Fraud, Foreign Interference & Options for 6 JAN” If you want to read it for yourself (and it’s actually about three typewritten pages long) then you can find it at Archive.org 

The talking points show the direction this is headed. “The Chinese systematically gained control over our election system constituting a national security emergency – The electronic voting machines were compromised and cannot be trusted to provide an accurate vote count – To restore confidence the “failsafe” of counting the paper ballots must be used to determine who won the election for President, Senators, Congressional Representatives – Hand counts reported by the media are not really hand counts and easily subverted.”

Got all that? The Chinese Communists (who are actually capitalists), headed by that noted Chinese Leader Hugo Chavez (who was at least a socialist, but still not a communist) subverted the election by using Chinese voting machines made in the well-known Chinese province of Canada.

It goes downhill from there.

Back in 1954, there was a book, How to Lie with Statistics by Darrell Huff. The title is pretty self-explanatory. Someone needs to write a similar book, “How to bullshit with charts.” The FF, FI & O tries strenuously to do just that. On slide 5, for example, there are charts purporting to show huge Trump leads in states he subsequently lost, alluding to a “pause” in the counting. There’s nothing to show where the charts came from, when they were tabulated, or what the “pause” was. But boy-howdy, they shore looks like real honest-to-gaw charts. A series of charts purporting to show “fixing the vote” follows, all with official looking and undescribed synoptic lines beneath to make it look like someone was using actual arithmetic. This is followed by “The Algorhythm” which is a more complicated chart designed to awe and impress Republican Congressmen smart enough to know what a chart is but not what it’s supposed to do. This is followed by “Where and How It’s Done” which would look right at home on a corkboard in a basement, with random paper clipping and scribbled notes connected by red yarn with a big box saying “Illuminati” in the middle. This is followed by a page, ironically advising, “One Tactic that is part of a larger Strategic Plan. Other tactics include riots, threats, censorship, looting, etc.” Eek! Scary! “Riots, Threats, Censorship, Looting, etc.,” you say? Oh, what’s a poor Republican to do! Summon the Proud Boys! They’ll protect us!

It then dips back into the tin-foil helmet zone. “China has leveraged financial, non-governmental and foreign allies including Venezuela to acquire INFLUENCE and CONTROL US Voting Infrastructure in at least 28 States. KEY Issue in 2020: Critical Infrastructure control utilized as part of ongoing globalist/socialist operation to subvert the will of United States Voters and install a China ally.”

Well, here you were, all fat, dumb and happy, and you had no idea your will had been subverted by Hugo Chavez. Pretty smart for a dead guy! You have to give him credit.

It rants about perfidious Venezuelans, Chinese and Canadians for a bit, noting that like all commies, they have for-profit corporations (eek!). Then it gets around to “Perpetrators” Those are: “•Local Zealots –illegal ballot harvesting, illegal voter roles, counterfeit mail-in and absentee ballots, and illegal adjudication changes •Electronic Voting machines that shift votes from one candidate to another either through an algorithm or adjudications •Foreign Actors that shift votes and/or add votes all across the country either through adjudications or outright database overwrites •In this election, all 3 demonstrably occurred, but not necessarily in a coordinated fashion.”

Good thing they weren’t in a coordinated fashion. If only those zealots knew how to speak Cantonese, or even Mandarin!

You get the drift. This may not be the exact copy of the one shown to Republican congressionals on the 5th of January, but I’ll bet that copy is essentially the same. And they were advised to hunker down and expect a serious effort to stop the electoral college vote.

Psst! Think we should teach them how to spell ‘algorithm’?

It’s easy to laugh, but remember this: Hitler’s Nazis were widely seen as ineffectual, too nasty to get elected, and really, really ridiculous.

This lot are the same. Laugh, but don’t dismiss the threat they pose. These are the same people.

Fighting Fascism — The GOP and the 14 signs of fascism

Fighting Fascism

The GOP and the 14 signs of fascism

 

May 15th 2021

Back in 2003, Laurence W. Britt wrote an op-ed piece for Secular Humanism magazine called “Fascism, Anyone?” The magazine wryly notes that it is “the most reprinted—and most pirated—article in the magazine’s history.” It’s better known around the web as “The fourteen signs of fascism” and it serves well as a warning against any kind of extreme authoritarianism. Of course, fascism is almost by definition extreme authoritarianism, but ever since World War 2, fascists never, ever refer to themselves as fascists. In the US, they like to call themselves “conservatives” or “patriots.” They are neither.

I’ve used Britt’s essay several times in essays since it came out as it it has become a sine qua non for defining—and fighting—fascism.

I’m going to take the titles of each of the 14 signs and give a brief description of how this is a very nearly exact match for policies and practices of today’s Republican party. Readers are invited to take any of the 14 referents and argue how they DON’T represent what are laughingly referred to as “Republican values” these days. Those who like to use the tu quoque logical fallacy (whataboutism) will be happy to know that I’ll freely admit that some points do apply to Democrats as well as Republicans, although most do not. With Republicans, the score is 14 out of 14.

Here they are in the order Britt laid them out, with my own thoughts on how they apply now with the 2021 version of the GOP.

1. Powerful and continuing expressions of nationalism.

No politician dares appear on a stage without a dozen or fifty American flags in the background. It long passed the point of being ridiculous, but nobody dares say so—in either party. People are obliged to refer to America as a family member or a lover, rather than just a place. The United States is a country. America is a shit pot of cows and trees and Starbucks. It’s not illegal to say so. Or unpatriotic.

2. Disdain for the importance of human rights.

Three words. “Kids in cages.” Republicans kept kids in cages for weeks and even months, and committed the unspeakably cruel crime of permanently separating them from their families, just because of the common fascist belief that cruelty equals strength.

3. Identification of enemies/scape-goats as a unifying cause.

This week it’s Asians. And transgenders. And Hispanics. And Blacks. And the Poor. And intellectuals. And about 70% of the entire country, really.

.4. The supremacy of the military/ avid militarism.

I read an article that some 120 retired line officers—generals and admirals, all retired—signed a “stop the steal” petition. Bad enough that so many of them would gleefully sign on to what amounts to an act of treason, but that there are so MANY line officers in the first place shows how bloated, inefficient, top-heavy and corrupt the military has become. The military budget is nearly as large as the rest of the world’s combined, and yet it is suicide to suggest cutting their budget. They are the most expensive under-performer in the world. Fascist fetishism of the military does not win wars. And degrades the very military it’s meant to glorify.

5. Rampant sexism.

Gawd. Where to begin? I’ll just note that Marjorie Taylor-Greene is just the latest in a shameful parade of mentally disturbed women the GOP put in the public eye to do their dirty work for them. Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Ann Coulter, Nazi Barbie…the list goes on and on. The permanent sneer that accompanies Republican attitudes toward women is their desire to ban abortion and birth control, but not provide mothers with paid time off, free child care, preschool and neonatal and pediatric care, available in all civilized nations.

6. A controlled mass media.

As with corporations and the government in a fascist country, the issue of whether the media control the party or the other way around is nearly impossible to discern. Which is the puppet and which is the master? In this case, Fox News and the GOP are two facets of the same paste jewelry.

7. Obsession with national security.

How many “crisis at the border” situations have we had since 1992? How many were real? Even after electing a president whose regard for national security was problematic at best, Republicans continue to supercharge the notion that any dissident voices, no matter how patriotic or benign, are threats to national security. Black Lives Matter is a threat. The Naziesque Proud Boys are not. Well, Brownshirts protected Germany from the Jews in the name of national security, so there really isn’t anything new under that dark sun.

8. Religion and ruling elite tied together.

Authoritarian religion and fascism always have gone hand in hand and now is no exception. People who wonder how professed Christians could possibly align with a moral and ethical wastrel like Donald Trump haven’t read history. These people don’t worship God; they worship Power. And fascism is all about the power, baby.

9. Power of corporations protected.

Have you ever wondered why the Republicans seem to be on the wrong side of nearly all major social and economic positions? A decent minimum wage? Sick leave for all? Child care? Universal health care not tied to employment? Decent drug prices? That represents corporate power, which wants a weak and dependent labor force.

10. Power of labor suppressed or eliminated.

See #9. This isn’t a battle between capitalism and socialism; this is a war between the bosses—corporations and the aristocracy—and the workers.

11. Disdain and suppression of intellectuals and the arts.

The coronavirus pandemic highlighted the anti-science stance of the GOP. Intellectuals tend to ask awkward questions about such sacred cows as the role of gods and businesses in society, and scientists figure stuff out rather than making shit up, which angers the churches.

12. Obsession with crime and punishment.

The GOP have actually gone a bit quiet on this in recent years since Trump forced them to abandon the pretense that they were anything other than an organized crime cartel. They don’t mind calling for the death penalty for political dissidents such as BLM or the largely imaginary ‘antifa’ (and what political movement would hate a group for being antifascist, you ask?) but they have to remain resolutely silent about the criminality of Trump and much of his administration, or well-known figures in his circles such as Matt Gaetz or Jeffery Epstein. Many turn to conspiracy theories and projection, which allows them to remain resolutely ‘tough on crime’ whilst still stealing with both hands.

13. Rampant cronyism and corruption.

Two words: Trump family.

14. Fraudulent elections.

If the GOP has any central principle at all, it is that of stealing elections whilst loudly shouting that it’s the other guys who are stealing elections. From draconian Jim Crow-type laws to to gerrymandering efforts to overthrowing election results through manipulation of the electoral college through outright insurrection and threats of violent overthrow of the government, the GOP, who hate 70% of all the people in America, have realized they cannot win free and fair elections so they are doing everything in their power to prevent free and fair elections from interfering with their self-assumed right to rule.

Fascism attracts vicious autocrats who bend normal human reason and values in their lust for power. Even without the monsters of the second world war, fascism, with its authoritarian nature, have the same evil reputation that theocracies and other dictatorships have, and for the same reason. Power isn’t from the people: it’s power OVER the people, and it is without exception ugly and vicious and corrupt on all levels.

The GOP are authoritarian and anti-American. They ARE fascists. Do all you can to fight them.

error

Enjoy Zepps Commentaries? Please spread the word :)