Americuh — Means exactly what you want it to mean

Americuh

Means exactly what you want it to mean

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

September 18th 2021

Kristi Noem, the religious loop that is the more-or-less governor of South Dakota, opposes even allowing children to wear masks at school to prevent spread of COVID. She does, however, want to force them to pray. There isn’t a single documented case of prayer preventing, let alone curing COVID. But Noem figures that this is America, and so she can uphold the rights of the governed by making them perform useless genuflections as they sicken and die. Children in particular, because Jesus was an American.

Right wingers love Americuh. Ask them what they love about America, and if they don’t violently attack you for having the effrontery to even ask the question, will rhapsodize about god and the flag and Ronald Reagan. Some will mention Donald Trump, and at that point you might as well walk away, because nothing sane or non-sickening is going to follow.

There actually was a poll a few years back that asked “What do you love most about America?” Most of the answers seem to have come from people who have seen too many truck ads. “Sunsets” “Good dogs” (Good dogs?) “Fields of grain” “Endless highways.” Some seem to think America is a conglomeration of fast food joints: “hot dogs” “hamburgers” “barbeques.” Others tie their national identity to pro sports. “Football.” “Basketball” “Baseball” “Hockey.” Yeah, that last one is mostly Canadian, but these people see Canada as a suburb of Minnesota where the snow ploughs empty their loads in the winter. Music will provoke distinctly American responses: jazz, rock and roll, heavy metal, but usually not r&b, hip-hop or swing. Great literature gets mentioned: Batman, Spiderman, Captain America, at least before he turned Nazi and worse, African American. The Jury is still out on Superman, who arrived here without a green card, and Wee Hughie and Butcher don’t sound like they’re from around here, do they?

Basically, Americuh is just a symbol. A coalition of vacuous gases, an empty shibboleth upon which any meaning or emotion may be imposed. In other words, just like Jesus, the flag, or cat facial expressions. It just sits there looking pretty to the beholder because it is the projection of what the beholder deems to be pretty.

While this sort of goofy, mawkish type of pseudo-patriotism isn’t limited to the right, the right have used it for a sleight of hand that dates back in its present form to the McCarthy era, and in a darker form to the earliest days of the Republic.

You see, they have a little secret: they love America till the cows come home. (Cows are Americuh, too. Moo!) Love, love, love, just caint git enuff of thet Americuh!

But they hate the United States. It showed up in that poll I mentioned. All the stuff people loved about America, but you had to scroll down a long way, far down into the single digits, before you started seeing things like “Bill of Rights”; “The Constitution”; separation of church and state; voting; freedom of speech; freedom of the press; or rule of law. The stuff that made the United States unique to begin with, the things many other countries since 1789 have emulated. Some of them didn’t even get listed.

If you point this out to a right winger, most will indignantly deny it. In fairness, many will be sincere. Most sane conservatives respect and adhere to the Constitution and understand that it, not religions or corporations or good dogs, is the moral, legal, and foundational underpinning of the United States of America.

But to many right wingers, even though they can’t say so out loud, the Constitution is the enemy of what they stand for (that great nebulosity, Americuh). The Constitution is government. The Constitution is rule of law. The Constitution is civil rights for all. The Constitution recognizes obligations just as it recognizes rights. It is a profoundly liberal document.

It also represents the strong desire of the Founders to keep churches out of the government, and in return, governments out of the churches. Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of Independence, held his proudest accomplishment the separation of church and state in his Constitution for the State of Virginia. He, along with most of those who wrote the Constitution, understood the horrors of theocracies and theocrats, and resolved to never let it happen here. They didn’t want a country under god or any other imaginary religious symbol. They respected the rights of people to believe, but assigned no right to impose their beliefs on others. The Constitution, in language that exempts it from any amendment, forbids religious tests for any position of public trust.

To the far right and the MAGAts and that crowd, the United States is the enemy of all they hold near and dear. It doesn’t let them subjugate minorities or non-believers and justify their stances by turning the terms oppression and oppressed on their heads, inverting their meaning.

That explains how the people who want to tear down the democracy—the Trumpenproletariat, the Religious Freaks, and the neo-Nazis—can all do what they can to destroy the United States, but wave flags and bibles (Stars and Bars alongside Stars and Stripes, no less!), and simultaneously proclaim they are patriots because they “luv Americuh.” They love a largely mindless symbol and hate the reality.

It allows them to wave flags as they try to destroy the country.

Kristi Noem doesn’t want to “impose” social efforts to protect children (which the constitution strongly stands for) but she does want to impose her trashy little religion. She is the epitome of the far right, the lost Americans who threw away their social and historical background to live in a truck commercial.

Recalling Newsom — Trumpenproletariat have a(nother) bad day

Recalling Newsom

Trumpenproletariat have a(nother) bad day

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

September 16th 2021

I was hoping for a 57-43 result in Tuesday’s California recall election. I had little doubt Governor Newsom was going to survive the recall process, but I wanted to see him get a convincing win. He got 60% of the vote in the last gubernatorial election, and between some instances of bad judgment, a rocky economy, the pandemic, and the fires, I expected to see some ‘slippage’ in support. Newsom isn’t perfect, but he’s at least reasonably competent. So I figured 57% of Californian voters would consider him worth keeping.

It looks like he won it with over 63% of the vote! Turnout state wide was 42%, slightly higher than I expected, and that may have been part of it. But I suspect that a lot of voters who didn’t have strong opinions on Newsom one way or the other came out and voted because they absolutely despise Trump and Elder and all their violent, vicious, and arrogant followers. People are horrified and appalled at stories of people being attacked for wearing masks—even kids at school—and hospitals being sued for not trying to treat COVID with worm medicine. There’s a growing realization that a large number of followers of Trump are fascists at best, Nazis at worst, and deeply oppose democracy and freedom for anyone other than themselves. Elder had the crack-brained notion that Newsom could be blamed for the fires and didn’t seem to realize that most people understood that it was climate change that has made the fires so much worse—and that Elder was one of the strongest voices claiming climate change wasn’t real.

Obviously there are Republicans who don’t subscribe to the filthy and corrupt views of Trump and Elder. But they didn’t apparently didn’t bother to turn out to vote. Elder got 42% of the ‘replace’ vote, and the second two candidates, both conservative moderates, failed to get 9% apiece. And most of the rest of the field were absolute clowns, ranging from Jenner who managed to support a woman’s right to choose AND the Texas anti-abortion law, to the goofball with the bear for a running mate. Elder, a poisonous blend of Trump, Rush Limbaugh and Uncle Ruckus, was the candidate of choice of a large plurality of Republicans.

The GOP is a diseased and ethically broken party, antithetical to normal American values and standards, corrupt, cruel and convinced they deserve to rule us. Less than 20% of them found a way to vote for a normal candidate who wasn’t trying to destroy the United States and disenfranchise most Americans.

As the results rolled in, Newsom tweeted, “Californians voted ‘YES’ to, ‘Women’s rights. Immigrant rights. The minimum wage. The environment. Our future.’ Newsom added that voters ‘rejected cynicism and bigotry and chose hope and progress.’”

I think that’s a pretty fair assessment, and kudos to Newsom for realizing that Californians saw a bigger picture than the political future of Gavin Newsom. Trump and his filthy acolytes weighed heavily on the minds of voters. They looked at the partisan and corrupt hacks Trump had put on the court and wanted no part of it. (And no, Amy Coney, saying you aren’t a partisan hack at the McConnell center doesn’t mean you aren’t a partisan hack; it just means you can make such a ridiculous claim in such absurd surroundings with the total lack of self-awareness of the standard religious zealot.)

Californians looked at the utterly demented verging on murderous actions of various red-state governors and realized that Governor Larry Elder would be killing thousands of Californians with the same lunatic adherence to the gospel of Saint Donald.

People who lived among the chaparral fires of central and southern California got tired of being told it was their fault because they didn’t manage the forest properly. And those of us in the forested areas got tired of being told that proper management meant cutting the mature commercial stuff and leaving the doghair and understory.

The vote came against a backdrop of scandal and mobs at the gates. The fencing went back up around the capital against possible violence during Saturday’s J6 rally. Cases against the insurrectionists were delayed, not because of Republican foot-dragging, but because the amount of evidence against them continues to grow at a pace the lawyers can’t keep up with. Reports came out that a top American general, Mark Milley, told the Pentagon to clear it with him in the event that Trump would order a nuclear strike in the final days of his presidency. Think about that for a minute. Trump and the Republicans turned the military into a comedy by Stanley Kubrick.

Larry Elder showed that he was entirely a creature of Trump by posting on his website, declaring he had unearthed hundreds of case of malfeasance and fraud at the polling stations all across California. Most people, aware of the duplicitous and dishonest efforts of Republicans to overturn the results of the 2020 election, would have been doubtful anyway. But Elder couldn’t even be arsed waiting for the actual voting to occur: he posted all this the day before the election.

Elder doesn’t think his supporters are idiots. He knows they are.

Trump and the idiot trumpenproletariat that support him aren’t going away soon. In addition to religious nuts, there is no shortage of corrupt and partisan hacks, and bountiful flat-earthers and anti-science clowns to keep Trump going for some time to come.

But the recall election shows the actual political weakness of Trump’s fools’ parade, and the results deeply undermine their claims to be the heirs to the American dream.

Court Cowards Create Constitutional Crisis — A preview of American life under fascism

Court Cowards Create Constitutional Crisis

A preview of American life under fascism

September 2nd, 2021

Bryan Zepp Jamieson

They did the deed in the dead of night, of course. The Court refused to issue a stay on a state bill that was blatantly unconstitutional; so egregiously so that it wasn’t until 24 hours later that they issued a paper—NOT a ruling, saying that five of the nine justices decided not to issue the stay. It was cowardly, it was despicable, and it was exactly what we expected from the GOP’s decades-long struggle to pack the Court with anti-Constitutional fascists. The ones that McConnell herded onto the court were especially bad—a drunk, a child of a deeply corrupt family, and a god-struck loon.

The bill, a product of Texas’ demented and nearly criminal legislature, made it a felony to get an abortion after 6 weeks. Never mind that hundreds of similar bills, put up by obsessive religious nuts, have been struck down by court after court after court as being unconstitutional: this 5-4 joke of a Supreme Court decided to not do its job and let the bill stand. This is a court that has no interest at all in the law, precedent, or the Constitution. It is an outlaw, criminal court, interested only in securing power for the churches.

An even more insane element of the bill—and this could only happen in Texas, a state that is fucking nuts by design—is that it effectively deputizes every citizen to turn in any woman or doctor who tries to skirt this law in any way, with a $10,000 bounty!

Maybe those crazy Texans will arrest God: over two thirds of all abortions are spontaneous. He kills tens of millions of blobs every year. Be sure to call the state snitch line to report God and collect your $10,000.

The law that the Court pretended to ignore is insane and unfair and violates the rights of women, but that’s not the worst of it.

The worst is that the Court has reintroduced the policy of Nullification. Anyone who has taken American history knows the term (and it will probably vanish from American history books if the CRT crowd have their way and remove anything from history books that they don’t like). It was the belief, prior to the Civil War, that states had the right to nullify any federal law that they felt violated their state constitution, or they just found inconvenient, like the notion that Americans of African descent needn’t be slaves. The Civil War pretty much settled that dispute, but decades later it emerged from the fever swamps of the Koch right wing as “State’s Rights.” Ask a right winger if states’ rights isn’t just a painted over version of nullification, and if he even has the faintest clue what you’re talking about, he’ll turn himself inside-out trying to explain they have nothing in common. One is a relic of the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, where the states could tell the feds to butt out, and the second is a relic of the first constitution, the Articles of Confederation, where the states could tell the feds to butt out. See? Nothing at all alike!

The Articles of Confederation basically created a shell of a nation consisting of thirteen sovereign states. States were free to impose tariffs, have wildly differing laws, and there was no basic system of rights for the people nor powers for the government. Instead of one nation, it was thirteen little pisspot nations, just sitting there waiting to be gobbled up by the French, the English, or even the Spanish like popcorn.

The Constitution of 1787 repudiated that, declaring itself to be the Supreme Law over the states, and giving the federal judiciary the power to negate state laws that violated the Constitution. More stuff you won’t be hearing about if they get rid of the CRT stuff.

In effect, Nullification repeated the errors of the Articles. It took a Civil War to bury that particular vampire idea. And in more recent times, the power of the federal judiciary enjoyed the support of both parties and most of the citizenry. So they buried the idea under a bunch of pseudonyms, such as states’ rights, or community standards, and now, with an outlaw Supreme Court, the notion that the Court can just ignore any state law it doesn’t want to consider, no matter how egregiously unconstitutional that law may be on the very face of it.

This court is the result of fascists, led by Mitch McConnell and former president AAX, to stuff the court with fascists, in addition to the two clowns already there; Clarence Thomas, for years the least qualified judge to sit on the court, and John Roberts, a weak conservative who thinks the far right is just as respectful of the law as the rest of the country, despite all evidence to the contrary. Add the three disgraces forced on us by Mitch McConnell, the GOP, and the malevolent AAX, and you have a recipe for disaster.

Congress must act on this. Impeach the unqualified most recent appointees, all of who deliberately and maliciously lied to get their seat. Failing that, pack the court, 15 if need be, to negate the damage the fascists of the GOP have done.

And an aroused citizenry can do wonders to make the GOP back off. Fascists may be determined, but at heart they are sneaky little cowards. They might back down. For now.

In the meantime, point to Texas, and point to Afghanistan, and warn people that this is what we all can expect under religious authoritarian rule.