2016 Election, News, Race, racism, Republicans, Uncategorized

Bullshit Sessions

Riddle me this: how can a man rejected by the Senate for a Federal Judgeship in the 80’s for being a racist anti-voting rights Southern Good Ol’ boy suddenly be not TOO racist to be the Attorney General of the US? The answer of course is that when the GOP control the Senate, racism on the job is a plus, but that is besides the point.

What has Sen. Jeff Sessions said that would lead so many people to vigorously denounce him and his candidacy? Well, let’s check the record, shall we?

Senate Judiciary Committee Hearing 1986:

Jeff Session was asked  about a white attorney he knew in Alabama, and what was allegedly said about his working for Civil Rights cases representing black clients:

“Trying to recollect on it the best I can recall was, and I say, well, he’s not that popular around town. I’ve heard him referred to as a disgrace to his race.”

This answer so rattled the Committee that he was called back for a second time a month later to “clarify” his remarks. Mr. Sessions, aware of how bad this moment of truth made him look, suddenly started whistling a different version of Dixie entirely:

“I am absolutely convinced that I did not call Mr. Blackshear [the attorney in question] a disgrace to his race, and I did not acknowledge it in any form.” 

During the same process, Mr. Sessions did a similar 180 on his admission he had once called the NAACP and the ACLU, both organizations renowned for their work fighting for the rights of African Americans, “un-American” and “communist-inspired” organization, first stating that it he hadn’t “mean[t] any harm”, but once more when given a second bite at the apple, denied he’d ever said such terrible, no good, dirty rotten things, mah word. (1)

Mr. Sessions interesting views on race and civil rights do not end there, however. Here a sample of Mr. Sessions, the man who is expected to represent ALL Americans as the number one law enforcement officer in the US, more “unconventional” views and thoughts and actions:

He voted to for the blanket BAN women in the military from receiving abortion services on their military base (2)

He “did not disclose his ownership of oil interests on land in Alabama as required by federal ethics rules”(3)

In response to Donald Trump’s admission he’d molested, assaulted, and grabbed the genitalia of women he said “I don’t characterize that as sexual assault. I think that’s a stretch. I don’t know what he meant.” (4)

Sessions, while prosecuting a case of the lynching of a black man in Alabama, made the following “joke” (which at the time he apologized for but now denies ever having said, contradicting the testimony he made to the Judiciary Committee in ’86): 

“I thought those guys [the Ku Klux Klan] were OK until I learned they smoked pot.” (5)

As a State’s Attorney in Alabama, Mr. Session said “I intend to do everything I can to stop” a conference on LGBT issues and civil rights by the Southeastern Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual College Conference from taking place at the University of Alabama, a stance that was in conflict with a Federal Court ruling. (6)

Sessions called the Federal Voting Rights Act “intrusive […] because you’re only focused on a certain number of states”, namely states with a long  history of violating the civil and voting rights of African Americans. (7)

Sessions claimed that efforts to remove the Confederate battle flag from statehouses and public monuments across the South was an attempt to “delegitimize the fabulous accomplishments of our country.” (8)

***

I could go on (and on and on and on…) but I think you get the picture. Sen. Jeff Sessions has shown through his words, opinions, and actions that he does NOT respect the rights of all Americans equally and CANNOT be trusted to represent ALL Americans as the Attorney General of the US

Sources Cited

  1. http://www.npr.org/2017/01/09/509001314/jeff-sessions-previously-denied-federal-judgeship-amid-racism-controversy
  2. http://www.ontheissues.org/SenateVote/Party_2000-134.htm
  3. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/sessions-failed-to-disclose-oil-interests-as-required-ethics-experts-say/2017/01/09/56fdce24-d67c-11e6-b8b2-cb5164beba6b_story.html?utm_term=.80595b1c0acc
  4. http://www.weeklystandard.com/jeff-sessions-behavior-described-by-trump-in-grab-them-by-the-p-y-tape-isnt-sexual-assault/article/2004799
  5. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2016/12/02/jeff-sessionss-comments-on-race-for-the-record/?utm_term=.8ecea749ad83
  6. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/trump-ag-jeff-sessions-fought-derail-gay-rights-conference-article-1.2895887
  7. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/jeff-sessions-voting-rights-act_us_587520a2e4b099cdb0ffc2c1
  8. https://theintercept.com/2015/06/29/push-remove-confederate-flag/
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2016 Election, GOP, history, Nations, News, Socialism, Uncategorized, Writing

Notes Under The Pavement: 1/10/17

The US media, or at least that vast Nixonian [un]silent majority that represents the media Left of Center to  Right of Center and every CNN & TIME Magazine in between, now seem content with dryly reporting the bare facts of Trump’s misdeeds pre-Presidential misdemeanors with aw shucks faux shock. The insufferably bourgeois hip-Left news dumping ground Huffington Post (or “HuffPo” to the denizens of the portmanteau saturated social media world) posted a headline, Trump Denies Mocking Reporter With Disability, Even Though It Appears He Did, attached to a bricolage of links and tweets mixed into a brain dead snark-filled navel gazing exercise disguised as click-bait. “Appears” to have? APPEARS TO HAVE? Not only did “HuffPo” plaster the drooling, spasmodic pantomime performed by Trump all over their front “page”, they lionized themselves for their moral superiority in denouncing this obviously horrid abuse of his privilege & power for weeks on end. Giving even the hint of self-doubting deference now to a living, toupee abusing example of confirmation bias shows how low the media mojo has sunk in the age of right wing reactionary driven”Facts are what you FEEL” information nihilism.

This Barney Fife approach to media due diligence may keep their readership (or the firewall flouting “Nine of Ten articles remaining this month” group which plays the part well enough) mollified & with enough full of self-righteous pride to keep clicking past the pleas to subscribe & keep the first amendment alive, but it is not what a republican system descending into kleptocracy needs to survive. There is such an  air of affected incredulity emanating from the offices of the Times, Post & Co. that one would be forgiven in believing Claude Rains’ ethically pragmatic Capt. Renault had returned from the dead in order to run the UPI wire.

The refugees from the erstwhile Grand Obama Coalition are still milling about, shiftless, abandoned by their great Pant-suited Hope, desperate for a political gong to bang which will summon forth a new New Deal (or at the very least a new Great Society) but settling instead for gloomy Wednesday (Thursday, Friday…) quarterbacking over an election that was lost as soon as the rust belt & the Jim Crow 2.0 voter suppression Governors heard dog whistle to end all others, “Make [White] America Great Again.” With the swearing in of Trump less than two weeks away, the White Liberal base is getting more and more enamored with token gestures of “Resistance”, lapping up the trickle down pat public declarations and demonstrations of safe, easily retweeted self righteous indignation by aging and burgeoning Progressive Icons™ like Meryl Streep, Mark Ruffalo, and Rob Reiner, or Elizabeth Banks. All the while, the newly panicked Liberal popular vote majoritarians continue, as they always do, to ignore, turn up their noses to, or pay lip service towards true examples of resistance and push back from the radical Left, LGBTQ, Black, and Native American communities. Ms Streep gets a million twitter bromides and a heroic profile on every major media front page while the concrete, community driven direct revolutionary actions of Black Lives Matter or the continuing pogrom against Trans women of color are brushed aside with a heart emoji or a generous “like”.

To top it all off, Russia has emerged once more as the Great Foreign Adversary of the moment, bedeviling the inexorably collapsing Pax Americana with the specter of sexy Russian spy/spin masters & crafty hacker-warriors electronically burgling an electronic Watergate. we are told to be afraid, very afraid for our “democratic values”, which are only ever invoked when they are justifiably sneered at by our fellow nation states/Masters of the Universe. This time it is the turn of the Liberal Left to take up the McCarthyite torch, and they are not wasting any time red-baiting grammatically and intellectually challenged Right Wing Depolorable media personalities, whose only familiarity with Lenin consists of their belief that he declared long ago that “Happiness is a Warm Gun”. Ostentatious Patriotism is once more the hobby horse of jack-asses.

—L’Ennemi

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2016 Election, essay, Funny, Satire, Uncategorized

A Crude Speculative Freudian Sketch of Donald Trump

 

The following is

a thought experiment

derived from some musings on Twitter. Conclusions are my own & are in no way to be taken as anything more than speculation. The following should not be read by anyone (with apologies to Matt Stone & Trey Parker)

***

Mark my words, one reason Ivanka is getting a White House office is so she can more easily facilitate her affair with 

  1. Ivanka was the only child to stick by father after he allegedly raped his wife Ivana. I think they’ve been having incestuous affair for years

    I’m pretty convinced is having an affair with his daughter Ivanka, which probably started out, unfortunately, as abuse

    when she was a child, but Ivanka is now using the physical relationship w/ her father as way to leverage power for herself & her husband

    Trump relates to life libidinally; see the way he relates to & thinks of women & how he sees his business dealings as a practiced form of conquest/domination of others, witness also his obsession w/ phallic structures & possessing superficially attractive objects & people & his obsession with carrying on his (father’s) name

    Camille Paglia was derided for aptly analyzing libidanally & understanding, but not buying into, his raw psychosexual power

    Trump relates to himself as a product of his own will, he is constantly “building” himself into something more “valuable” & expanding his “brand”. His family is the ultimate product of his brand: he lives in a purely Freudian world where his sons are extensions of himself (his penis) & his daughter is the ultimate sex object (product)

    Like many narcissists he has an essentially self-loathing core & is therefore is often most truthful in his off the cuff moments in public & online, where he’s admitted, among other things, his sexual attraction to his daughter. He communicates his true thoughts through projection

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2016 Election, opinion, Politics, Uncategorized

Fascism, American Style

 

If you think pogroms and concentration camps and purity laws and the destruction of political dissent and the full rollback of liberal human rights protections cannot happen here, that is what they, the liberal, secular, intelligent, open minded folks, thought in Germany in 1933. There were no grand messages of warning from God or sages, no fiery crosses in the sky to warn of the coming civil apocalypse. There were warnings, there were worries, there were possibilities, but in the end it happened because it was allowed to happen.

Fearful armed white men walk around feeling they are protecting people from “outsiders” and “thugs” and “criminal elements” while a demagogue they support is winning in the election polls denouncing a tiny minority of the population as a source of the nations ills, while ineffectual liberal leaders tear themselves apart fighting over pie in the sky solutions to problems.This sound familiar? It should. It is what happened in Germany in 1933 and it is what is happening in the U.S. in 2016. It can happen here because it IS happening here. The fascist element in U.S. society sees this election as the last chance to hold on to power and to implement its nationalist and xenophobic policies in the face of a nation that is no longer a purely white supremacist system. This is a dangerous time.

I truly believe that the open/concealed carry movement is the moral equivalent i.e. the unique American manifestation, of the xenophobic/nationalistic/fear based chauvinism that led to the creation of the Black Shirts in Italy and the Brown Shirts in Germany. Look at it: they take the law and the “protection of the public” into their own hands, they target, physically and rhetorically, minorities who they see as “destroying the fabric of our society”, and they act as though they have a legal and moral mandate that comes from the foundational documents/values of the nation state. The German and Italian versions started out as very loosely organized but eventually came together as an actual force under the auspices of regimes (Mussolini in Italy, Hitler in Germany) that harnessed their fear and anger, legitimized it through their power that was gained through ostensibly democratic/civil means, and unleashed it first on the “enemies of the people” as understood by the militia/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups themselves. After this was accomplished, the power of these groups was then used to attack and suppress (and eventually liquidate) enemies of the regime, the regime that was now seen as the personification of the nation and the values that the militias/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups held most dear to begin with.

An authoritarian regime becomes a totalitarian one when it taps into the fears and anxieties of the former ruling class/caste/race and uses its historical militant agency for its own purposes, and institutionalizes these civil pathologies into technocratic systems and actions. The militias/armed vigilantes/paramilitary groups still operate under the belief that they are “free men” fighting for a “free society” when in fact they have be co-opted to serve a regime and a system that will eventually turn on them as soon as all the less powerful enemies have been eliminated. The gun culture of the United States, while benign enough in its origins, is ripe for this sort of manipulation. The open/concealed carry fanatic sees “his” nation being “taken away” from him and fears for the safety of “his” property and “his” women and children, usually at the hands of a hated or feared minority or minorities, in the case of the U.S., black men, non-white immigrants, and Muslims. He must, then, take it onto himself to “remedy” the situation, to constantly be on the look out for those who would “stab the nation and its people in the back” and to “take back what is ours” from people they at best do not trust and at worst actively fear and despise. It took hundreds of years of conscious and unconscious cultural programming to get the German and Italian populations primed for the sort of grass roots fascism cum systemic totalitarianism that the Fascist regimes were eventually able to create and control.

I think, I fear, that it would not take nearly as much programming for this sort of thing to happen in the U.S. We already have a history of race based terror, violence, and systemic abuse of minority rights and dignity. Combined with a conservative impulse to obey and trust authority, an easily manipulated rugged, machismo individualism, and a propensity towards armed violence, and you have the foundations of a very potent fascist system that could come about almost entirely through grassroots and institutional democratic means. Trump is tapping into that, and he is succeeding, while the media and culture that is obsessed with celebrity, wealth, and prestige is too busy gawking and laughing at the funny man-boy with the silly hair (the funny former artist soldier with the silly mustache) to see that he understands fully what he is doing and who he is appealing to and by what means. Trump is a fascist in the grain of Hitler and Mussolini, it is that simple. They only reason he is not acting outright exactly like they did is that he does not yet have the legitimized political power. He is on the verge of getting that power, and the scared, armed, xenophobic white men who will give it to him are just waiting for their time to finally take revenge on the blacks, the immigrants, the liberals, and the Muslims who they feel have taken “their” nation away from them. The only question remains, can Trump win through legitimate means, and if he can, how soon after that will the Reichstag mysteriously catch fire amidst streets strewn with broken glass?

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history, Immigration, Politics

The Great Wall of Trump

great-wall

There has been a lot of blabber lately, from the far right in general and Donald Trump worshipers in particular, about building an enormous wall between Mexico and the United States so as to “stem the invasion of the ‘illegals'”. The Great Wall of China is often named dropped as an example, or rather, THE example of how a wall can be used successfully to maintain the supposed integrity and security of a large nation. You see, there is just one little problem w/ using the example of the Great Wall this way: It didn’t work, or at least not the way people have been led to believe.

China (or more accurately, the areas of China populated and controlled by the Han ethnic and cultural group) was invaded successfully by the Mongols, the Hsi Hsia (Tanguts), the Tibetans, and the Manchu. The wall, or rather serious of walls (made variously of stone, wood, and earth at different places along its length) and border forts linked by trade and communication networks and manned by pickets and conscripted militias along with the Imperial military, was basically a giant propaganda tool and a way to martial large amounts of labor resources and maintain control of frontier regions, protect against bandits, and control import/export trade. So, long story short, walls don’t work as ways of keeping large amounts of people out of large nations and they are almost never effective at “controlling” the flow of migrants. People are like water; they will always find a way through even the most tough and powerful looking barrier.

Also (talking to you here Mr. Trump and your supporters) China never made the other nations that were meant to be kept out by the wall pay for the wall. China tried the whole bravado/middle finger technique against the Mongols, and, well, the Mongols invaded China, killed 20 Million people, burned many of its largest cities to the ground, and ruled it as conquerors for 150 years. So there’s that. Unless we are willing to post tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) of armed to the teeth soldiers on and around the 2000 mile border permanently (like the Israelis in Palestine, the Soviets in East Germany and North & South Korea on the DMZ) said wall is not going to solve the “problem” of unregulated immigration into the United States from Mexico and Central America. And even THEN, as the China examples shows, it wouldn’t work. Only a “giant loser” would think otherwise. 

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