Chernobyl – Stunning HBO Docudrama about nuclear disaster

[Note: Portions of this also appear in my review of HBO’s Chernobyl, available at Electric Review ]

The glowbugs aren’t going to be happy. Any time there is an online discussion of nuclear power, they show up, insisting that everything we think we know is a result of anti-technology hysteria and ignorance. The tone often is extremely condescending; I’ve been asked if I knew the sun was radioactive, or if I knew the difference between an atom and a molecule. Some are just trolls, others are there to try to massage the conversation about nuclear power, make it more industry-friendly.

I find them annoying, so I’m not entirely upset that they are consternated when something comes along, such as The China Syndrome, or more pertinent to reality, the Fukushima disaster, to mess with their cultish servility to the god of fission.

One of the more legitimate beefs the glowbugs have with the Jane Fonda/Jack Lemmon movie is that the accident happened because a water pressure gauge got stuck, resulting in a reassuring but incorrect reading. Lemmon gets suspicious and taps the gauge, which corrects, revealing the true reading, and at that point it is ON, baby.

Pretty silly, I agree, but that’s Hollywood.

The terrifying thing is that what happened at Chernobyl was nearly as silly. The control rods at the type of reactor at Chernobyl had graphite tips, and in a sequence of events very carefully described in the fifth and final episode, this led to a massive power spike when the system was put in emergency shutdown, resulting in instant vaporization of the coolant and precipitating an ‘impossible’ explosion.

In the 1980s, the Soviet Union was a nation in deep decay: not just the economic, industrial and military sectors, but in the leadership, which consisted of fearful, strutting groups of apparatchiks whose deepest instincts are to lie and downplay news that would upset the party leaders.

Comforting lies, when they become a way of life become a way of death. When the explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear plant happened on April 25th, 1986, valuable time was lost from misinformation; that this type of reactor core could not physically explode, and that the emissions from the ruined plant were a hazardous but survivable 3.6 roentgens per hour.

High-end dosimeters were destroyed or missing in the rubble, so only the low-end ones could measure the radioactivity levels; and those maxed out at 3.6 roentgens per hour. The actual emissions were closer to 20,000 roentgens per hour. Between incorrect engineering theory and the mistaken readings, plant managers initially concluded that the core was intact, and that it was probably a hydrogen explosion. They dismissed highly radioactive chunks of graphite lying in the parking lot, used as cladding for the control rods, as being just charred concrete.

Lies that stem from ignorance, confusion and panic are understandable. As the catastrophe unfolded, the lies became systematic, deliberate, designed to protect a political system deemed incapable of error.

Another, similar plant in Lithuania, the Ignalina plant, very narrowly escaped a similar catastrophe in 1983, and had the people at Chernobyl been informed of this, they might have avoided the steps that led to the meltdown. Had the political system not intervened, the discovery of the graphic-tip design flaw would have been known to the engineers at Chernobyl. But it was classified as a state secret.

Even after people on the ground realized the enormity of the Chernobyl disaster, Moscow kept getting comforting lies from below for another couple of days. In another time and in another place, the national leader might have been hearing happy chirps about how Chernobyl was emitting isotopes of freedom. It’s a matter of blind luck that the meltdown didn’t reach ground water, producing a reaction that would have killed all chordate life forms for 600 miles around and permanently poisoning most of Europe and a large chunk of Asia, making them uninhabitable.

It wasn’t the first nuclear disaster in the USSR. In 1957, a reactor near a small town called Kyshtym had its cooling system fail and blew. Bad as the Soviet government was in 1986, it was even worse back then. The plant was dumping contaminated water and waste directly into a nearby lake. The government refused to acknowledge the accident, even as they slowly began evacuating towns in the area, some as long as two years (!) after the event. They eventually declared the exclusion zone a Natural Preserve (!) that was closed to the public, as it is to this day.

It came to light later that a secret city of some quarter million people, Chelyabinsk, was nearby, and heavily contaminated. In 1977 Soviet dissident and exile Zhores Medvedev wrote Hazards of Nuclear Power which mentioned the disaster and was subsequently derided, not only by the Soviet government but by western nuclear industry ‘experts’ (the glowbugs of that era). Medvedev then wrote Soviet Science, which provided irrefutable proof of the event. The Soviet government lied. So did the American nuclear industry and its government councils.

A statistical analysis made in 1997 revealed that the region irradiated by the Kyshtym disaster resulted in some 8,000 deaths from cancer above what might be expected. Medvedev’s first writing of the accident has anecdotal accountings of hundreds of people suffering severe radiation burns in the immediate aftermath of the disaster. Some estimates put the death toll as high as 20,000.

So the response of the Soviet government in the Gorbachev era was actually an improvement of sorts. They held a show trial to try and blame the event on ‘operator error’ and Valery Legasov, in charge of dealing with the immediate aftermath of the disaster, told the stunned court of the design flaw. The Soviet government responded by ghosting him, leaving him his title and his office but entirely isolating him from all other professionals in his field.

He recited everything he knew on to audio tape and smuggled it out to the scientific community, and that’s the only reason we know exactly what went wrong at Chernobyl. The Soviet government quietly re-engineered the design flaw over the next several years in order to maintain their perfection and restore their virginity.

There are estimates that between 9,000 and 22,000 died as a result of Chernobyl. The official death toll remains 31, and glowbugs here dispute even that low number, clinging to an ideology that nuclear power is incapable of error and that anyone who says otherwise is clearly an enemy to physics. They must maintain their pure virginity, you understand.

There are hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world (including 11 surviving sister plants to Chernobyl) and that while they might be safe, they are not fool-proof, and people with vested interests will disregard inconvenient truths for comforting lies. I expect to hear a chorus of derisive disapproval from western glowbugs, with the industry flaks being contemptible and the sincere believers dangerous.

The western world is rapidly falling into a dangerous mindset of authoritarianism and ideological rigidity, not dissimilar to the Soviet Union under Khrushchev and Gorbachev. That makes the horrible potential toll of accidents far higher than they need to be, and HBO’s Chernobyl serves as a warning that we should maintain a deep, healthy skepticism about any project where politicians have invested power and prestige; if the news isn’t great, then they will start lying.

At your expense.

The Big Lie – How the Right Wing Controls Millions

June 1st, 2019

Robert Mueller appeared on TV and told the nation “If we had had confidence the president clearly did not commit a crime, we would have said so.”

Watching it live, I didn’t think there was anything unusual in that quote. After all, he says the same thing directly in his report. Anyone who read the report…oh, right. Most of the members of Congress haven’t read the report. And they’re the ones responsible for acting on the information it contains. It’s a sign of the times when the best thing you can say about your Congressional representative is that he is too lazy and illiterate to function. But Mueller really didn’t say anything that wasn’t in the redacted version of his report. I’m amazed how many people didn’t know that.

One Republican did read the report, a Republican from Michigan named Justin Amash. He immediately declared that Trump should be impeached, becoming the first Republican to favor impeachment. He held a town hall in his district to inform his constituents of why he reached the decision he did, and to defend it. Not your typical Republican, most of whom avoid their constituents these days. He wound up getting a standing ovation from an initially hostile crowd when he laid out his case.

According to Brad Reed over at Raw Story;

In an interview with NBC News, Michigan Trump voter Cathy Garnaat said that she went to Rep. Justin Amash’s (R-MI) town hall this week to challenge his view that Trump should be impeached — and she got caught off guard when he directly quoted from the Mueller report to justify his views.

I was surprised to hear there was anything negative in the Mueller report at all about President Trump,” she admitted. “I hadn’t heard that before.”

Garnaat went on to explain that none of the news shows she watches or listens to have ever gone into depth about the contents of the Mueller report.

I’ve mainly listened to conservative news and I hadn’t heard anything negative about that report and President Trump has been exonerated,” she explained.

In an earlier incident of truth meeting conservatives, Bernie Sanders went into the lion’s den, a town hall on Faux News, and laid out his case for universal health care, a high minimum wage, free college, and a system of not-for-profit banks through the Post Office. Serenely confident that Sanders had only made the case that he was an American-hating Commie, the host asked the audience to indicate their displeasure with Sanders. They gave him a standing ovation.

Don’t be surprised.

The vast right wing conspiracy has been working for decades to section off a segment of the American population and essentially turn them into a cult, suspicious and disdainful of any outside information. In fact, the morning Mueller made his announcement, so damning to Trump, I was curious and looked to see how Faux News was playing it. Their header was “ “Special counsel makes rare public statement to resign, says team was unable to charge Trump” No mention of the reason why he didn’t charge Trump. Faux News viewers are ignorant, and Faux News spends a lot of time and money to keep them that way.

While Rupert Murdoch’s media empire has always presented a grave danger to western democracies, and is inimical to freedom and the non-wealthy, Murdoch is hardly functioning in a vacuum. For years, a nest of think tanks, blogs, radio networks, trash political “Christian” televangelists, along with corporations snapping up local newspapers, radio and television, have devoted themselves to being one seamless propaganda machine.

One favored way is social media memes. Prior to that, they were mimeographs and copies in their twentieth generation, passed around at bars and water coolers and in chain letters.

The method of transmission has gotten more sophisticated, but the propaganda tactics remain about the same.

I got one passed along to me the other day, and in a time when the Republicans are working to lie their way to success, it seems a really good example of the messaging used by them.

This one (replicated in full below) is putatively written by a family mother who is distraught because her children are supposedly being driven out of California by draconian policies promoted by Gavin Newsom, the rookie governor of the state.

I’m not worried about copyright infringement. It’s anonymous, which is an odd thing for a public letter to a political figure, and its actual provenance is open to considerable speculation. It may have been written by one of the stable of writers they keep at Heritage Foundation, or Regnery Press, or perhaps somewhere in Russia. It’s so ham-fisted I think it could be a Russian troll outfit.

I doubt very much the actual authors are going to step forward and demand credit.

The opening lines are unalloyed pathos: “The boxes are filled. The bags are packed. The hearts are breaking. My family is about to be divided, separated, perhaps forever. I wish you cared.” Oh, the heartbreak! Did any family ever suffer so? Why, this is as bad as the Trail of Tears, or the railroads to Auschwitz!

But it gets worse: these innocents, driven from California by the cruel whips of Governor Gavin, are just one of millions, perhaps even billions, being driven from California!

But there is hope! They are leaving the foul pestilence of the Golden State and headed for a shining beacon of hope: “The Real America”. She doesn’t describe this real America, but I have the impression it’s something like Pleasantville before the colored folks showed up and ruined it. It is, however, in a “southern state” where people show their patriotism by flying the Confederate flag. Apparently it differs from all of California in that it doesn’t have dog feces and hypodermic needles on the sidewalks. That right there eliminates most southern states.

The author cites a rise in communicable diseases, which while unfortunately true, isn’t climbing as steeply in California as it is in the south (CDC). Children are at grave risk, it seems, but again, the South, which the Polly Klaas Institute identifies as having 38% of non-family/kidnapping child abductions) has a far higher rate than the West (28%). It would seem our refugees are leaping from the frying pan and into the fire.

The author concludes the first litany of grievances by telling the governor, who had nothing to do with the imaginary complains, that “[Y]ou’re concerned that I might ask for a plastic straw.” Overuse and misuse of plastics is a growing crisis, one that will eventually kill more people than kidnapping, drug users, and Fresno combined. As far as I can tell, it hasn’t hurt anything except plastic straw manufacturers, but for the noble Republican princess writing this, it’s the cliché that broke the camel’s back.

The woman (or study group, or St. Petersburg sweatshop) bitterly blames Newsom for not caring about the middle class. Which is being destroyed in America, it’s true, but one can thank thirty years of Reaganomics and supply-side nonsense for that. Granted, California did inflict Reagan on the land, and we’re trying to live that down. But Newsom is continuing Brown’s policy of shifting the tax burden upward to the wealthy, and increasing wages. That’s how you build a strong middle class. You don’t get one by giving your pension and half your income to your employer and hope they’ll build a museum in your town or something.

California, the whine continues, has car thefts and car chases. And that it does, most assuredly. But her answer, which seems to involve locking up millions more people, has been proven not to work. At one point, California’s “tenth largest city” was the prison population, and all that did was breed gangs, hardened criminals, and organized crime. The author complains about the high rate of recidivism (61% in California, compared to 60% nationwide), but offers no solution beyond, “lock them up.”

Next on the laundry list of whines is taxes. Yes, California has high taxes on gasoline, sales tax, etc. Part of the problem is that millions of wealthy Californians are protected from property taxes and wealth taxes. That has changed in recent years, and California is catching up from decades of Republican “feed the rich” misrule.

And yes, California has a problem with homeless people. But again, Newsom didn’t create that problem, and has been working to address it for years. One wonders what the fictional author of the letter has done to address the issue. Besides putting an apartment up for rent by moving out, that is.

It goes on in this vein, an unending and self-pitying whine about how horrible California is, and how wonderful the South is. Gas is only $2.00 a gallon! According to the writer. Except that the cheapest gas in the country is Mississippi, nobody’s idea of paradise. California’s gas is $1.50 a gallon more than Mississippi’s, but California state taxes on gasoline amount to 35 cents a gallon. Mississippi’s is 18 cents a gallon. Obviously something else is at play here, such as price manipulation by the oil industry.

Why isn’t she just joining her family and moving? After all, there’s no reason for her to stay in California, and every reason to move. Doesn’t having to pick hypodermic needles out of her flip-flops and paying $1.50 because state taxes are 17 cents higher get old?

But the nature of this letter isn’t to portray a real situation. The woman does not exist. Her situation does not exist. Many of the items she lays at the feet of Gavin Newsom either don’t exist, or are things he has nothing to do with. They are blatant manipulation, with a glorious disregard for accuracy or truth.

The intent of the letter is to inflame, and arouse feelings of resentment against California, a state that has, since 2008, consistently performed better economically and socially than the rest of the country. It is a success story of liberal governance, and the right wingers must pump out endless lies to vilify it and make it look like one of their own disasters, such as Kansas or Wisconsin.

The article is written with scant regard for any truth whatsoever, and uses almost ridiculous levels of emotional manipulation to try to inflame the reader and shut down critical thought.

The right wing has been spewing this nonsense by the thousands over the past 40 years or more. One thing they did learn from the Nazis and the Communists was that propaganda is a powerful tool, if applied unremittingly and relentlessly.

The Cathy Garnaats of America—and there are millions of them—aren’t vile deplorables who take glee in Trump’s viciousness and contempt for American values. They don’t hear about that. Instead, they hear about how Trump is a victim of anti-American forces who hate and despise everything they hold dear. Today’s minute of hate is Meghan Markle, princess and wife of Prince Harry. She doesn’t want to meet with Trump in London this week, and so Faux News is gleefully leading a chorus on their site of racist and sexist abuse. The deplorables, little better than Nazis, love it. The cultists, usually possessed of a more human core, turn from the viciousness, but wonder how Markle could be so disrespectful to such a wonderful president. They really do.

They may have been born ignorant, as all of us have, but the right wing has used emotional manipulation and lies to keep them ignorant. Many, like Garnaat, need only be confronted by reality. Others will refuse to accept it and have a highly negative reaction.

The propaganda won’t end, because when you have to lie to the people to get your own way, they have to be big, simple lies, repeated endlessly.

But if Trump is indicted for his crimes in the House (which is what Impeachment is), the propaganda machine will break down in the face of a mountain of evidence, and won’t be able to prevent the Garnaats from seeing what is true.

In the meantime, read the piece attached. It’s a good lesson in finely honed propaganda, and a chance to hone your own reasoning skills.

Chico Republican Women


Chico Republican Women

May 20 at 10:11 PM ·


The following is an open letter from a friend of mine here in CA whose anger and frustration at the ongoing destruction of the state has boiled over. It reflects the feelings of so many people I know here, myself included. My friend would like this to remain anonymous but hopefully get widespread attention, so please feel free to share:

An Open Letter to Governor Gavin Newsom 5/20/19:

Governor Newsom,

The boxes are filled. The bags are packed. The hearts are breaking.

My family is about to be divided, separated, perhaps forever. I wish you cared.

Our wonderful daughter, along with her husband and their two young children has given up on life in California. The only place they’ve ever called home has become intolerable for them. They’ve found a new home in a southern state, far away from here, in the real America.

I’ve heard the story innumerable times- people leaving, or wanting to leave, what was once the paradise of the West Coast. Not so long ago, kids could walk down to the corner store, or to school, without their parents worrying about their safe return. No more.

You once could visit a neighborhood park, and not fear for your life. No more.

Walking across the street did not require careful examination of the pavement to avoid feces or used hypodermic needles. Now it does.

Illnesses are again being seen in this state that had been rare or non-existent until recently. Typhus, Tuberculosis, Mumps, Measles, Hepatitis A, B, and C are all here again. A worker on the upper floors at L.A. City Hall recently came down with typhus, spread by rats living in the disgusting conditions around the Civic Center.

But you’re concerned that I might ask for a plastic straw.

Your priorities for managing this state are crystal clear, and the middle class is nowhere near the top of the list. I learned in Civics class years ago that the primary job of government is to keep the people safe. What happened? When did our safety and well-being fall off the radar? Not too long ago, my daughter had her new vehicle stolen from her driveway, in the short time it took her to walk the kids to school. Someone was watching, waiting for them to leave. It gives me chills just thinking about it.

You release violent criminals back onto our streets to terrorize our communities, you proudly remove the death-penalty as an option, sending a friendly message to the worst of the worst, and you handcuff our law-enforcement officers, challenging their every move. Officers now must take an extra moment, perhaps just a second, questioning their training and best judgment, before using any amount of force to apprehend a violent criminal. When this results in another dead cop, and it will, the blood will be on your hands, sir.

A few weeks ago, we watched on television as a violent felon led police on a three-hour pursuit, destroying property and narrowly missing pedestrians and other vehicles. We saw him brutally beat his female passenger while driving close to 100 mph. Then last week, a murder suspect shot at police out the window of the car he was being pursued in. It’s a miracle nobody was killed. Turns out, both suspects were free on “early release” through AB-109, that you and other politicians (who all live behind walls, with armed security) forced upon us in the name of compassion. Where’s your compassion for law-abiding citizens, Mr. Governor?

And don’t get me started on taxes and regulations. The amount of money taken from us by this state is criminal. Just living here is expensive enough, but imagine trying to run a business and stay afloat. We have the highest gas prices/taxes in the country, and still our roads are a mess. I recently hit a pothole and the damage to my car was over $1000. We pay you enormous sums to manage the state’s affairs, yet people by the thousands sleep on our streets at night. Homeless encampments are everywhere, in neighborhoods we never imagined they’d be. And still, you want more. There’s a move now to weaken Prop. 13. No doubt it will pass. And I just read that you want to tax online sales now, too. Along with proposals to tax water, telephones, dairy products, fertilizers, health care, and more. But taxing those things will not affect the “super rich 1%”. They’re just more hits on the middle class. You Sacramento politicians have an insatiable addiction to other people’s money. But many citizens have had enough and are walking away.

Which brings me back to my family. They’re closing their business here. You’ll get no more of their hard-earned money. They’ve purchased a home in their new state, big enough for the four of them and a dog or two. Maybe even a horse. The kids will get a great education. They’ll be able to leave a window open at night, knowing that the criminals are the ones who are afraid- afraid of the police, afraid of the courts, and afraid of the citizens who exercise their right to defend themselves. Oh, and gas there is about $2 a gallon.

Somehow, they’ll have to survive without a Fantasy Train to nowhere, but I’m sure they’ll find a way to get by. Meanwhile, your tax base shrinks and Atlas shrugs. Soon the only people left here will be the very rich and the very poor. It’s almost as if you planned it that way.

And now, my family is broken. As are countless others. No more school plays, no more little league games. No more weekend breakfasts at IHOP or Thanksgiving dinners. I’ll happily burn a ton of fossil fuel to go visit them at their new home as often as I can. But, I won’t be there as an instant babysitter when needed on short notice, and I’ll actually notice their growth from visit to visit. I’ll pray every night for their safety and happiness in the years to come. And I’ll cry that I can’t hold them tight. I’m angry as hell, and I miss them desperately already.

But they’ll get no going away card from you and no apologies. You simply don’t care.

Name withheld.

Decompensation – Trump is at his most dangerous

May 23rd, 2019

According to Dorland’s Medical Dictionary, decompensation, among other things, is “failure of defense mechanisms resulting in progressive personality disintegration.” Basically, if a person with mental illness is confronted by a reality that shatters the comforting lies with which he has cocooned himself, he shatters, both mentally and emotionally.

Donald Trump appears to be in a state of decompensation and seemingly can no longer sustain the pretense of being a functional person able to interact with others.

Yesterday was remarkable enough. In a pre-planned meltdown (and one apparently vigorously opposed by his aides) he declared that he would not be interacting with Congress on legislative negotiations at all until the investigations of himself were ended. That was astonishing.

He concluded this utter spectacle by declaring grandly, that he was “the most transparent president in history, who doesn’t do cover-ups.”

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called the performance “jaw-dropping” and it’s pretty hard to take issue with that.

By way of example, three presidents before him have faced serious impeachment proceedings: Andrew Johnson, Richard Nixon, and Bill Clinton. All three continued to do their jobs and even on the eve of impeachment votes, continued back-and-forths with Congress regarding major legislation. They had a job to do, and they all had the courage and character to do the job, no matter how bleak their political futures appeared.

He had already declared that investigating him was treasonous, and today he doubled down on that, declaring that James Comey, Lisa Page, Peter Strzok and Andrew McCabe were the traitors he had in mind. The reporter asking him that added, “Sir, the Constitution says treason is punishable by death. You’ve accused your adversaries of treason. Who are you talking about?” Trump didn’t seem to have any problem with the inference that he would want to have those four individuals put to death.

At a rally last night, he declared that William Barr, his lickspittle and contemptible Attorney General, was “looking into” investigating Trump’s political foes.

This is Nazi dictator stuff that is happening here.

Trump’s entire world is collapsing. He is a man who not only has lived a lie, but has been an utter lie since he was about three years old. He loudly proclaimed (and presumably believed) that he was a great businessman and one of the best negotiators on Earth. In the past fortnight, a stunning investigative piece by the New York Times revealed that not only was he a poor businessman, but in terms of money lost, the worst businessman in America over a ten-year span. Despite his efforts to utterly stonewall all investigations, Congress has his bank records from Wells Fargo and TD banks; Rex Tillerson gave hours of secret testimony about his pathetic meetings with Vladimir Putin, and he is losing court case after court case, unable to even use litigation as a delaying tactic.

Imagine the thing in your life that most defines you as a person, and is something your entire self-respect and self-image relies upon. Maybe you know it’s a lie, and maybe you don’t, but suddenly, you are totally and utterly exposed in such a way that the whole world knows about it. This is far worse than dreams about no pants in school, or getting caught downloading porn of 14 year olds. This is something that utterly smashes your entire public persona.

That’s what happened to Trump.

Now, I’m not trying to present him sympathetically. His is a tawdry, sordid, vicious life in which he has coldly and even joyfully hurt and cheated many people. He was utter sociopathic scum before he became president.

He also had Nazi proclivities. During the campaign, people warned that his bedside reading material consisted of one book: “My New Order” by Adolf Hitler. He admitted to this readily enough, but claimed that it was OK because the person who loaned him the book was Jewish. (He wasn’t, and it doesn’t exactly explain why Trump would fixate on a book that, along with many of Hitler’s speeches, provided a step-by-step description of how he attained and consolidated his power.) Even without Trump’s blatantly and viciously anti-Semitic, racist, bullying and dishonest tactics, the fact that he would put in considerable amount of his time studying this particular book is deeply disturbing.

So we have a President who is a sociopath and deeply admires a murderous long-dead dictator, and has a self-evident trait of finding and wanting to kill scapegoats. His actions in the wake of Puerto Rico’s hurricane should have put us all on notice: he doesn’t mind killing people.

Now all the rest of his defenses are crumbling. He is losing court case after court case, and even some Republicans are beginning to distance themselves from Trump. One, a Michigan representative, Justin Amash, called for impeachment hearings, meaning that Trump will want to try and execute him for treason. Pelosi is openly goading him into overreacting to the point where even Congress will have to consider removing him, not through impeachment, but on 25th Amendment grounds. She called on the GOP, his cabinet and his aides to stage an intervention, the way you might with a nephew who just got popped for drunk driving for the third time.

The worst of it is that Trump has toadies in Congress such as McConnell who will do nothing to stop Trump. He has frantically populated the Justice Department and the courts with stooges, and doubtlessly hopes his two appointments to the Supreme Court might shield him. It’s horrifying to realize that Gorsuch and Kavanaugh might do just that; they never were anyone’s idea of independent and impartial jurists, and Trump loves to use the Russian tactic of kompromat; who’s to say what he has on those two? It’s unlikely he would have named either without a file with nasty personal information.

Make no mistake: facing utter personal and professional ruin, Trump is at his most dangerous. He is capable of casually horrific acts; now he has, from his perspective, unlimited reason to employ such tactics.

Brace yourselves, people: the next chapter in this story is going to be very, very ugly, and quite dangerous.

Aborting America – “Pro Life” shows its pro-death face

May 15th 2019

Imagine if some religious cult sprang up that declared that cancer was God’s way of calling his children home, and thus it was a sin to do anything to treat cancer. Thus anyone trying to eliminate cancer, including the removal of tumors, should be punished, up to 99 years in prison.

If that sounds pretty whack-a-doodle, reflect on the strange things the mainstream religions in America teach. Bible literalists have to believe such utter nonsense as the talking snake story in Genesis, the Ark story, and the sun holding still in the sky for three days. Non-literalists have to accept such oddities as virgin births, miracles, and power of prayer as being a real thing.

So having a group rising up and declaring that blastomas are an expression of God’s love and must be protected at all costs really isn’t all that far fetched.

That there is no biblical basis for such a belief is pretty irrelevant. After all, ‘God’s Will’ has been used to justify most wars, even against other Christian enemies, an unending bitter strife over mostly worthless land in the middle east, slaughter of indigenous tribes in Africa and the Americas, and even the massacre of cats in Europe (led to the plagues, that, as the rodent population exploded). Jewish and Islamic countries have (and still have) similar atrocities stemming from similar beliefs. Indeed, many of the worst elements of religious savagery in all three main faiths stem from the same source—the Mosaic Law of what Christians call the Old Testament.

But religious-based lunacy can exist independently of weird texts translated hundreds of different times that were originally written by people who didn’t know the Earth was a globe or that lobsters weren’t fish.

This leads to the abortion movement. In America, the Catholic Church always opposed abortion on grounds similar to my hypothetical pro-cancer faith; they thought all human seed was sacred, an expression of divine love, and thus it was a sin to waste seed. At various times and in various places, the church punished and even executed men for the ‘sin’ of masturbation.

When fundamentalists glommed on to the notion of stopping abortion in the wake of Roe v Wade, they brought their own brand of fundamentalist lunacy to the table. Every zygote possessed a soul and was an expression of God’s will.

Years ago, I came across a ‘public service announcement’ put out by some of the religious lunatics that featured an animation of a full-term baby being aborted, and as she (curly blonde hair and pink bow in her hair, the way most female babies are born) is dying, she’s screaming “Mommy! Mommy! Why are you doing this to me? Don’t you LOVE me?”

I laughed at the sheer absurdity of that cartoon, but here we are, 30 years later, and millions of Americans believe a truly savage blood libel spread by Republicans and Fox News that babies—real, actual babies—are being aborted after they are born because that is what Roe v Wade demands.

John Oliver had a clip of some intellectual abortion standing in the Alabama Legislature, droning on about “Baby Fetus” and even providing supposed quotes from this etymological absurdity. Two days later, Alabama passed a draconian law banning all abortion and providing life sentences to anyone performing or getting an abortion.

There’s an old saying: “People who can be persuaded to believe absurdities can be led to commit atrocities.”

It’s not even Biblical. The Bible doesn’t mention abortion, although it does condone ripping babies from the wombs of the women of vanquished foes and dashing their brains out against a rock. The New Testament has nothing to say about abortion, even though Nazareth had no shortage of midwifes who had abortifacient herbs and crude tools to physically induce abortion. Further, in many levels of society in that time and place, it wasn’t uncommon for female babies to be drowned or used to break rocks because female children were expensive and of limited use. For some reason, Jesus never did have an opinion on that.

Dressed up as a religious and moral crusade, the anti-abortion movement is neither. It doesn’t really care about “the life of a child,” as witness the fact that few if any of the people running the movement have any provisions whatsoever for the care and feeding of these involuntary children, or helping the mothers in any significant way, or otherwise assuming any responsibility.

It is, instead, a naked authoritarian power grab. It places a large segment of the female population in a precarious role where they can be effectively enslaved, either by pregnancy or the mere fear of pregnancy. If Alabama’s law is allowed to stand, the move will be on to ban birth control of all kinds. In the name of God, of course.

It’s a political movement, as well. The brownshirts of the GOP have long used the religiously insane as a handy bludgeon to enforce their more authoritarian dictates, such as enforced worship of the police and military, and to justify discrimination and segregation.

And if you take a look at the states joining the rush to knock down Roe v. Wade, with the exception of Ohio, all are in southern states with long histories of repressive authoritarians backed by the iron dictates of corrupt pastors.

It’s time to recognize the ‘pro-life’ for what it is: it’s not pro-anything. It’s anti-women, anti-choice, anti-individual, and anti-freedom. It opposes everything America stands for, including the right for every person not to have someone else’s religious dictates imposed upon them. No woman should be enslaved by some politician lying about God’s will. Nobody should have to follow the religious taboos of some church if they don’t want.

They are anti-America, and should be treated, not as voices of some god, but as enemies to American rights and freedoms.

Biden His Time – Trump’s gone fishing

May 12th, 2019

Yesterday, Rudy Giuliani called Trump’s Attorney General, William Barr, “independent, brilliant and honest.” Translated from Giulianese into Realspeak, that means that Barr is a servile flunky, dull-witted, and corrupt. Translating Giuliani is pretty easy, as it turns out. Just take whatever he says and invert it. Black is actually white, up is down, and Trump is wisdom and integrity personified.

But then after about five minutes of speaking, Giuliani’s 32 kilobits of RAM is depleted, his buffer is empty, and the inadvertent truths start tumbling out. His eyes go blank, he starts sweating profusely, and Fauxnews suddenly has to go to commercial.

He is the face of an administration that exists on typos, lies and cruelty. He’s a perfect match.

So why is he yakking about the Barrbarous One, anyway?

Well, Rudy managed to get his tail in a real crack this week. He planned to travel to the Ukraine as part of a mission to dig up dirt on the present leader of the Democratic thundering herd, Joe Biden.

Well, not Joe, actually. His son, Hunter. Hunter Biden.

Now, Hunter isn’t an angel. He got popped for cocaine in 2014 and got kicked out of the Naval Reserve as a result. He also joined the board of Ukraine’s largest natural gas companies, Burisma Holdings, owned by Mykola Zlochevsky. Burisma in general and Zlochevsky in particular have been under a dark cloud of official suspicion of corruption for years, culminating in the Serious Fraud Office of the British government seizing some $23 million in Zlochevsky’s assets.

However, doing a fraud investigation on a Ukraine company is a bit like fishing for a particular turd in a septic tank. It’s dark, and there’s nothing to make a particular turd stand out. The Crown, confronted with systematic intransigence from the Ukraine government, eventually abandoned the investigation, unlocking the assets and paying the legal bills. That removed the legal liability, but not the suspicion. To give you some idea of how bad things are in the Ukraine, Zlochevsky, president of a natural gas company, had been the Minister of Ecology under the now-exiled Viktor Yanukovych.

It’s nearly as bad in the Ukraine as it is in Trumpistan, the former United States.

It doesn’t help that Hunter has close associations with Morgan Stanley and other Wall Street outfits. That doesn’t reassure as regards his business ethics and scruples. He’s was also banging his late brother’s widow after the brother, Beau, died. He proclaimed his love publicly, but this still had a fairly high element of creepiness about it. They broke up earlier this month, just about the time Daddy announced he was running for President. Pure coincidence, I’m sure.

Since the Ukraine activities ceased, he founded a hedge fund in China called Bohai Harvest RST, and the three billion dollar fund has involvement in various unsavory activities, such as mass surveillance and harassment of Moslems in China.

So it’s not too unreasonable to have questions about the activities of Hunter Biden.

But there’s never been any evidence that Joe Biden was involved in any of this. Indeed, as this was going on, his other son, Beau, was dying of brain cancer, which ensured Joe’s attention was elsewhere.

But the Ukraine thing was four years ago. Investigations went nowhere, and that particular turd eventually decomposed.

But now this month, Giuliani planned to go to the Ukraine in hopes the present Ukraine government could dig up some dirt on Joe Biden. It’s illegal to solicit campaign interference from a foreign government, but Giuliani probably looked at Trump and figured that if the President does it, it must be legal, and blabbed his intentions to the press.

I think the poor fool was honestly amazed at the reaction he got. In any event, he hurriedly canceled the trip, blaming Democrats and, weirdly, the Ukrainians.

Well, lo and fucking behold, here comes that Lion of Liars, the Parson of Persiflage, the Trumpty of Dumpty, Captain Pissmop himself, who declares grandly that Hunter Biden’s activities in the Ukraine need to be investigated, and is ordering his Attorney General, the “independent, brilliant and honest” William Barr, to open an investigation.

Yes, four years after the fact, and long after other investigations had closed on the matter.

Trump obviously feels that nobody should be near the White House who may have solicited illegal campaign meddling from foreign governments and been involved in shady financial dealings in the countries run by such governments. Why, to Trump, such a horrible situation was totally unthinkable.

So that’s why Giuliani was suddenly calling the sluggish William Barr “independent, brilliant and honest.” He needs some cover, and having Trump’s pet oaf of an A-G throw shade at Biden by attacking his son struck him as wise and patriotic (remember to translate from Giuliani to realspeak, now).

The remarkable speed with which Trump came up with the notion of having Barr investigate Hunter Biden tells us this: Trump originally told Giuliani to go to the Ukraine and get dirt from their government on the son of the now-leading Democrat he might have to face in 2020. If Trump hadn’t already known about it, he would have done what he usually does when Rudy does something exceptionally stupid and unexpected, and just left him to twist in the wind. The fact that he overreacted so quickly tells us he’s looking to cover his own ass, at least to the extent that he’ll give Rudy enough cover that Rudy won’t panic and blow the whistle on Trump.

And we think the Ukraine is corrupt.

If I ever run into Robert Mueller, I’m going to have to ask him what bait he uses to go fishing in the Trumpistan septic tank for a particular turd.

Well, Mueller will be appearing before Congress later this month. I don’t guess he’ll have any thoughts on Hunter Biden, but he will tell us about life in Septic Washington.

There was music in the cafés at night – And revolution in the air

May 7th 2019

It’s a bit strange right now, comparing the headlines in the news with the general calm in the population at large. Trump and the Republicans are actively staging a coup against the United States, and seemingly inviting a revolt with their open sneers at the Constitution and rule of law.

But for now, people are just going about their business, outside of the cable stations and general media. Folks watched Game of Thrones the other night, and if they drew any correlations between Cersei and Trump, they didn’t speak of it. John Oliver did discuss what he calls “Stupid Watergate,” but the balance of his show was on the topic of lethal injections.

Some people are watching closely, of course. Even a majority of Americans are watching now. In the cesspools of Faux News, the viewers and readers are being assured that this is a plot against the wildly successful, patriotic and deeply Christian Donald Trump by Democrats seeking revenge for the Clinton impeachment or something. They have succeeded in making their audience so self-isolated that they can tell them anything, no matter how objectively ridiculous it is.

Just to show how insular and divorced from the mainstream this Republican cult really is, a fellow named James McDaniel set up a fake ‘right wing news’ website that featured stories of Hillary Clinton sacrificing children and Barack Obama running a secret coup from an underground bunker in Washington DC. He then promoted the site on actual right wing sites, mostly by forwarding his fake news stories.

In just two weeks, his site received a million unique visits, and hundreds of thousands of likes and shares. He said, “If I wrote about CNN being fake news and connected to ISIS, readers would agree wholeheartedly with my fabricated article. If I wrote about a black liberal or Obama supposedly saying something controversial, the response was unbridled racism and hatred. When I wrote about Hillary Clinton’s new emails that proved she was a child sacrificing maniac, people screamed for her head.”

Alarmed by the type of response he was getting, he posted a message saying everything on the site was fake, and added a disclaimer to every news story. Didn’t help. He wound up parking the page because right wingers kept right on believing the fake news stories.

So it’s not surprising that about 35% of the population has been brainwashed into supporting what amounts to open treason against the United States. But what’s going on with the rest of America?

In light of the Mueller report, in which the redacted version shows such a vast array of criminality and corruption on the part of Trump that over 700 federal prosecutors have signed a document stating that the evidence was so compelling that anyone who was not a sitting president would be facing multiple indictments right now, his popularity has actually improved somewhat, from a -16 on the aggregate polls in late January to a -10 now. Fully 78% of Republican voters believe the Mueller Report cleared Trump of any wrongdoing. Pfft! What do 700 federal prosecutors know, anyway?

Part of this response, ironically, is a tendency of people to ‘rally round the flag’; the thinking, if that’s the word for it, is that our president is under attack, and we must forget our partisan differences and defend the country. If you think that it requires a stunning level of ignorance to achieve that mindset, you are in a minority; relatively few Americans know who William Barr is, or even Mitch McConnell. These vaguely ‘support the President’ sorts take pride in “not paying attention to that political stuff” so all they know, in a dim sort of way, is that Congress and the President are having some sort of tiff, and it’s along party lines. They know who Trump is, but Jerry Nadler is just some Democratic politician they never heard of, so they side with Trump. And they are lacking the intellectual and educational tools needed to understand just how serious Trump’s defiance of the Constitution is, and how grave the consequences for them might be if he should succeed in his drive to become a dictator.

That still leaves over half the voting population of the US unaccounted for. And one of the strangest things about the coverage of all this is the utter lack of attention to what the voting public thinks about all this. Outside of the right wing sewers, media response is all but unanimous and vociferous: rule of law must be upheld, Trump must be held to account. But you can search the web in vain for reports of any outcry amongst the public. The aggregate polling sites ask if people think Mueller ‘cleared’ Trump or not, but not how the feel about what is going on. Activists sites such as MoveOn are rabid about the contempt Trump is showing for America, but not discussing actions outside of the power of the subpoena.

It’s perplexing. In just about any other country, a situation like this would result in massive rallies in every city, and talk of general strikes. Hotheads would be discussing revolution, and broadcasters would be urging calm.

Let me be clear: nobody sane wants a revolution, and I’m talking about rallies, not riots. (I don’t trust the right not to stage riots, either on their own behalf or provoking riots at rallies just for purposes of ratfucking the rest of us). But the country is in a very clear and immediate danger, and if Trump wins this, the only likely outcomes will read like the plotline from Game of Thrones. We can either move peacefully now and help save America from Trump and the Republicans, or face far less palatable options later on.

Why the ongoing silence?

Barrbarian Rhatsophy – Barr belongs in jail—next to Trump

May 2nd 2019

William Barr, career criminal and putative top cop of the country, refused to show up before the House for testimony on the Mueller report today. Some wag on the Democratic side replaced the doughy and misshapen Trump stooge with a bucket of Kentucky Fried Chicken. It was an improvement, insofar as the bucket of chicken at least promised to provide some content.

The Republicans, who have descended below the level of kindergarteners in trouble with the teacher, tried blaming the Democrats for Barr’s refusal to testify. One major moron in waiting, Doug Collins, a Republican of Georgia, opined that “The reason Bill Barr is not here today is because the Democrats decided they did not want him here today.”

See? It was all the Democrats fault! Why, they wanted to ask Barr questions about his contradictions and lies, and to explain why Mueller was so pissed at him. That’s all. I’m sure there were reasonable explanations.

Other Republicans blamed Hillary Clinton because they couldn’t think of anything else to say. After all, it’s not like they would ever force Clinton to testify for 11 hours in response to loaded, ideological and dishonest questions. Given the perfect fairness and civility Republicans showed, is it too much to ask that Barr be given a pass?

Perhaps the best rationale came from the perjurer-in-chief, who is of the opinion that the suspect in a criminal trial should be free to refuse to be questioned by authorities if he felt the questions might be biased against him or cause embarrassment.

OK, fair point. When the LAPD asked Charlie Manson if he stuck a fork in Sharon Tate’s belly, that showed great insensitivity and even some microaggression on the part of the police. Better a mass murderer should be allowed to run free rather than to have to deal with impolite and even overbearing police!

Only an overprivileged moron like Trump could, with his bare face hanging out, demand the right for a suspect in a criminal investigation to determine what questions he might have to answer.

And poor Donald has so many other distractions to deal with. Both his nominees to the Fed imploded over the past couple of days, one because he couldn’t handle his household finances, let alone a world economy, and the other because he was the most stupid fucking bastard this side this side of a pile of dog shit. Indeed, Trump nominees implode with such regularity and to such comic effect that it reminds you of that episode of “Russian Doll” where the protagonist dies a couple of dozen times in the space of five minutes. Or Sideshow Bob with the garden rakes.

Now that the clown rodeo has closed for the day and there’s no longer any doubt that Barr is a criminal Trump stooge, the question arises: what is congress going to do about it? Even Pelosi flat-out called Barr’s actions criminal. Dozens of Democrats want him punished: arrest or impeachment, or both.

Make it march, guys. Arrest the guy. If he quits and thus can’t be impeached, he’s still going to face criminal charges. And Trump is starting to realize that the power of the pardon is a dangerous tool, as witness the fact that even as he was schmoozing with the psychotic murderers of the NRA, and despite Vladimir Putin’s howls of outrage, he was letting Maria Butina rot in jail.

If Congress orders Barr’s arrest for contempt of Congress and perjury before Congress, Trump may not dare intervene.

In fact, Trump being Trump, he’ll probably start calling Barr weak, stupid, fat, and a host of other adjectives, and create an enemy where he had an ally. We’ve seen him do that dozens of times before, with Sessions, Cohen, Manafort, and Ryan. It’s a gift, I tell you.

Meanwhile, the Department of Justice is threatening to sue to prevent Mueller from testifying before Congress. Think about that: the DoJ appointed Mueller to do exactly what he did, with the intent of giving his report to Congress, and now they are suing themselves to prevent Mueller from giving his report to Congress. It’s the sort of clownery you expect from inept authoritarian regimes, whether Rufus T. Firefly or Donald J. Trump.

Mueller to Pissmop – Yes, you are fucked

April 19th 2019

Back on May 17, 2017, Confederate Pixie and then-AG Jeff Sessions told Trump that Rod Rosenstein had just appointed Robert Mueller to be a special prosecutor looking into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. Trump slumped, and said, “Oh my God. This is terrible. This is the end of my Presidency. I’m fucked.”

It’s a side of Trump we don’t see very often: the one that is capable of doing an honest and forthright analysis of a situation. Usually all we get from him is demented and hateful gibberish, a trashy and despicable President playing to a trashy and despicable base.

Much has been made of Trump’s reaction. Not in the morally upside down world of the Republicans, where if Obama had said ‘fucked’ they would have impeached him for using cusswords in the White House. However, Republicans normally would think it’s OK for Trump to do so because he’s bravely fighting immoral people who might say “fuck” in the White House. But they’ve been strangely silent for other reasons.

Trump’s reaction is, prima facie, the reaction of a man who knows he is guilty. It’s the kid snapping his hands behind his back as the teacher walks in the room, the husband slapping off the computer screen as the wife walks in, the guy turning his face away as a police cruiser goes by. It’s not an admission of guilt, but it is the reaction of someone who is guilty.

The rest of the report, even Bawdlerized by Barr, makes it amply clear that Trump repeatedly and knowingly obstructed justice. There’s at least a dozen felony actions by Trump detailed in the report.

And yes, Mueller felt the Department of Justice could not indict a sitting president, and that only the House, through the power of impeachment, could do so. He strongly urged the House to do so, since he believes that no man is above the law—or in Trump’s case, in the sewers below the law.

We now know that in an action that is a felony in and of itself, Barr conferred with the Trump administration on what to censor in the report. Barr needs to be indicted and prosecuted for tampering with evidence and obstruction of justice, and die in jail.

But what we’re seeing now is what Trump felt he could get away with the public knowing. He has utter contempt for the resolve of the American people or their ability to stand up to an self-entitled millionaire autocrat. We do not yet know what remains hidden in the report.

Yes, there’s no doubt that some is hidden for legitimate cause; because it may interfere with other ongoing investigations. (Remember how war criminal and traitor Oliver North was able to skate because of Congress’ reckless release of evidence from a grand jury?) And there may be items that could harm national security if made public.

But this is the corrupt, self-centered and morally bankrupt Trump dictating to his loathsome toady of an Attorney-General what should not be allowed into the public eye. There remains stuff the public is entitled to know, and it’s probably the worst stuff of all. Congress must get the full, unredacted report. I’m happy to say the Congressional subpoena has been issued.

While other legal investigations into Trump’s tawdry life continue, the political battle is now joined.

Some Democrats are still saying it’s too early to consider impeachment. One of them is a presidential candidate, Cory Brooker. In a bizarre show of equivocation, he is saying that Congress should not impeach until the evidence is in, apparently unaware that impeachment is the gathering and evaluation of evidence of presidential misconduct.

He eliminated himself from any support from myself with that statement. What is the point in replacing Trump with a man who was unable to stand up against Trump when the time came to do so. What do we gain from replacing Trump with someone who is afraid of Trump?

We’re hearing the usual political arguments against impeachment hearings, of course. “Democrats are cowards and won’t start a fight they can’t win.”

Well, yes, some Democrats are cowards. And some, like Brooker, are just far too fond of political calculation. But if the Democrats aren’t willing to join this battle now that the time has come to begin fighting, then they will not win in 2020, or ever again.

There were politicians in England and France who, even after Hitler’s invasion of Poland, urged against a declaration of war against the dictator because Hitler had a massive military and England and France were too weak to beat him. In fact, that was the case, but the politicians who still urged appeasement are forgotten to history, because because while they were right in terms of the immediate situation, they were so horribly, horribly wrong on the bigger picture.

Dems who argue that impeachment must not happen because Republican will never support it need to realize that we’ve passed the Polish invasion point of the opposition to Trump, and that political headcounting no longer protects.

Republicans can also count heads, and some of them are cowards. They know, first hand, the political calculus of an impeachment, and how it can blow up in their faces. But they also know that this is a whole lot bigger than the man in the White House lying about getting a blow job. Trump is a felon hundreds of times over, and a serious and immediate threat to the continued existence of the United States. To not act is treason.

Even the redacted Mueller report makes it clear that we are at the point where we must impeach. We’re long past any reasonable excuse to let the Trump regime continue.

Yes, Pissmop: You are fucked.

Trumpanazi – American descent into Nazism continues

April 13th 2019

The Premier League of Britain has a problem with some of its fans. Granted, footies have never been a particularly sedate lot, sometimes preferring to discuss the friendly rivalry between clubs with clubs, or chains, or shivs.

There have always been racist and bigoted assholes in their ranks, who delight in throwing bananas at black players, or shouting some of the particularly lurid racial abuse that is the hallmark of British hooligans.

But in recent times, the nature and frequency of these attacks has sharply increased. WestHam United is in the process of banning fans who videoed themselves singing racist ditties about the Jewish players on that night’s match rival, Tottenham. Two days earlier, Chelsea supporters sang anti Moslem chants about a player in Slavia Prague, and attacked one of their own fans who objected to the vile chants. And on the same night, Arsenal fans screamed anti-Islamic abuse at players on the other club, in a match in the Emirates. Those fans were lucky; most Islamic countries have notoriously little patience for slurs against Allah or his followers. Public whipping is the local equivalent of community service.

Of course, it isn’t just soccer. The number of such incidents has been on the rise throughout Europe and in North America. In Québec, a player, Jonathan Diaby, a 24-year-old defenseman for Marquis de Jonquière of the Ligue Nord-Américaine de Hockey, and his family who were watching him play were subjected to such intense racial abuse from the filth in the stands that he was pulled from the game and he and his family escorted from the stadium for their own safety.

And unfortunately, it’s not just sports where this is happening.

Nazism—and let’s stop pretending it’s anything other than Nazism—has been on the rise, and emboldened by political power in many parts of Europe and the United States, Nazis come out from under their rocks in force. This is how they behave when they think they can get away with it.

It’s a phenomenon that puts us all at risk. Yes, even if you are a member of the so-called ‘master race’, male, and Christian. It’s not a political philosophy, not that such are especially coherent or good at attending to the interests of their own followers. It’s a mental illness, and an ethical vacuum using hate as a substitute for faith and strength. It eventually destroys everything in its path.

Hitler famously executed 12 million people, including six million Jews, between 1936 and 1945. No matter what the Nazis say, that happened. And among the six million he killed who were not Jewish, many were white, ‘pureblood’ Germans, who happened to be communist, socialist, atheist, liberal, intellectual, or just not approving of Nazism’s murderous tactics. And of course, the actual fighting killed even more of the very people who supported Hitler, beginning with the Brownshirts. Nazis killed many people, and resulted in many more being dead.

So if you’re sitting there watching Faux News, smug in the certain knowledge that Trump and his ilk will only target groups you hate, read some history. He’ll get you killed, too, one way or another. If you don’t flunk some unseen test for ideological purity, you’ll die in the fighting, or in the starvation after Trump and his kind have destroyed the country and the economy. You are as much at risk as any Hispanic immigrant, or Moslem, or African American. Your death may just be later, rather than sooner.

Hitler was able to con the German people—his followers—into believing he was acting on their behalf. The war nearly destroyed them, but even without the war, he would have gotten around to putting them in work camps and then death camps after he used up all the groups he hated and needed to feed bodies to the endless maw of his nationalistic ego. The millions who died because of him are nothing compared to the hundreds of millions he envisioned killing.

Trump—and there really is little difference between Trump and Hitler at this point—doesn’t even pretend to be addressing the needs of his followers. His “tax reform” was a vicious cheat that targeted the lower middle class, the source of much of his following. He proposes to make massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, and to dismantle what remains of Obamacare. Probably about three quarters of the people who voted for him will be hurt by those proposals. Many will be killed.

But Trump doesn’t care. They served their purpose. They voted for him once. Like Hitler, that one election is all he needs. Once he consolidated power, Hitler’s only use for ‘the common man’ was that of cannon fodder.

Trump is trying to stage a coup against the United States now. He purged the department of Homeland Security last week, leaving the reptilian spawn of Goebbels, Stephen Miller in effective control of an organization capable of jailing millions. The bitch who threw children in cages wasn’t vicious enough for Trump, you see. He is defying Congress on its request for his taxes—a demand Congress unequivocally has a right to issue. He is using his lapdog Barr to try to bury the Mueller report, and its doubtlessly damning contents.

He tried to threaten ‘sanctuary’ cities with sending them what he considers to be animals and subhumans—immigrants. To the credit of the American people, most of those cities said they would welcome Trump’s castoffs. And his goosestepping followers won’t even stop to consider the mad logic behind protecting America from immigrants by sending immigrants to major American cities. Bigotry and hatred don’t run on logic.

He’s attacking a member of Congress for her Islamic faith. He tweeted twice a falsehood that she was dismissive of the attacks on 9/11. Never mind that Trump rejoiced in the attacks, claiming that it left him with the tallest building in New York City. (It’s a truism that when Trump attacks someone, he almost always ends up describing his own behavior). Equating someone with 9/11 for no other reason than that they are Moslem is exactly the same as claiming that Jews like to drink the blood of Christian babies, or that African Americans live only to rape white girls.

They are blood libels, these threats and smears. It’s the sort of thing you expect to hear from Nazi filth.

And it’s what we now hear from the President of the United States.