I’d Prefer Abe Simpson…

The 72 year old Tiny Tyrant finally went there: “Get offa my lawn!” Just for the record, if there were desperate, frightened people standing on my lawn, I would do whatever I could to help them.

Source. You can see other choice responses at RawStory.

Oh, That “Dumbest” Law, My, My.

Ted Lieu (@tedlieu): Dear @realDonaldTrump: The “dumbest” law you refer to is called the United States Constitution. Specifically the 14th Amendment which provides due process to all persons, not just citizens.

You took an oath to the Constitution at your relatively small inauguration, remember?

In response to:

@realDonaldTrump

When people come into our Country illegally, we must IMMEDIATELY escort them back out without going through years of legal maneuvering. Our laws are the dumbest anywhere in the world. Republicans want Strong Borders and no Crime. Dems want Open Borders and are weak on Crime!

What in the fuckety fuck can one say anymore? I’m surprised people aren’t dropping dead from fatal eyerolls.

Source.

The Chains of Intolerance.

Andrew Ellis Johnson, “The ICEman Cometh” (2018, detail), ink, charcoal, wax, graphite.

Andrew Ellis Johnson, “The ICEman Cometh” (2018, detail), ink, charcoal, wax, graphite.

Art and artists most definitely have a place in answering wrongs, great or small, and everything in between. Andrew Ellis Johnson has a searing piece up at Hyperallergic. It’s well worth seeing and reading.

Tea for Trump.

Women adorning fancy hats celebrate President Trump's birthday over tea at an event hosted by Virginia Women For Trump at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on June 24, 2018. (Photo: Jared Holt).

Women adorning fancy hats celebrate President Trump’s birthday over tea at an event hosted by Virginia Women For Trump at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on June 24, 2018. (Photo: Jared Holt).

Tea for Trump. Uh huh. I’m just going to include choice quotes here, because reading the whole article made me feel rather ill.

The Trump International Hotel’s largest ballroom was packed wall-to-wall with Republican women donning ornate hats and fascinators made of mesh, lace, ribbon, and feathers, at the Virginia Women For Trump’s “Tea for Trump” event yesterday, which celebrated the belated birthday of President Donald Trump. Organizers repeatedly insisted that the idea that women do not like Trump was “fake news.”

[…]

Prior event descriptions claimed that a member of the Trump family was expected to attend, although none appeared to be on-site for the tea celebration. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders was also rumored to be attending in order to receive an award, but did not make an appearance.

Rather, those in the crowd who had traveled from as far as California and paid at least $100 per person had a chance to gaze upon pro-Trump fashion designer Andre Soriano’s 45 gowns meant to commemorate Trump’s election as the 45th president of the United States. One dress was dedicated to Trump’s meeting with North Korean officials in Singapore and a young girl wearing one of Soriano’s dresses earned widespread applause.

A model adorns a dress premiered at “Tea for Trump” that designer Andre Soriano fashioned as a tribute to Trump’s meeting with North Korean officials in Singapore. (Screenshot / YouTube).

A model adorns a dress premiered at “Tea for Trump” that designer Andre Soriano fashioned as a tribute to Trump’s meeting with North Korean officials in Singapore. (Screenshot / YouTube).

YouTube duo Diamond & Silk (Lynnette Hardaway and Rochelle Richardson), who testified before Congress earlier this year after Facebook mistakenly flagged their fan page, were perhaps the biggest draw of the event and stepped on stage to a standing ovation. At the podium, the duo showered praise on Trump, at one point asking, “When I look at how our president has built this particular hotel. If he can do this and that, then why can’t he make America great again?”

The Tiny Tyrant did not build the hotel. He scammed a lot of cash to have it built, then turned around and refused to pay a lot of those people who did the actual work. When it comes to this country, he hasn’t changed tactics much.

The Deplorable Choir performs a brief song at Virginia Women For Trump’s “Tea for Trump” event at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on June 24, 2018. (Screenshot / YouTube).

The Deplorable Choir performs a brief song at Virginia Women For Trump’s “Tea for Trump” event at the Trump International Hotel in Washington on June 24, 2018. (Screenshot / YouTube).

The “Deplorable Choir” vocal trio made a surprise appearance while bearing a guitar that was not strummed once during their brief song. The lyrics were as follows:

Well, we love God and family,

We support our troops through everything,

We got Trump 2020 on the back of our pickup trucks,

We back the blue and the NRA,

We’re for pro-life and American-made,

Raise your hand if you’re proud to be damn deplorable.

Um…well, ladies, I wouldn’t be terribly proud of those songwritin’ skills you’re flaunting about. Perhaps if you learn how to play that guitar…no, wouldn’t help.

You can read the whole nasty mess at Right Wing Watch, although I don’t recommend reading with a full stomach.

Behind the Iron Curtain part 11 – Ownership of the Means of Production

These are my recollections of a life behind the iron curtain. I do not aim to give perfect and objective evaluation of anything, but to share my personal experiences and memories. It will explain why I just cannot get misty eyed over some ideas on the political left and why I loathe many ideas on the right.


It can be argued that the regime in former Soviet bloc was never communist. I would agree with that and so did the regime itself. However to argue that it was not socialist or leftist would be false. The regime did try to provide for people and take care of them. And whilst it was agreed that the ideal of communism was not achieved yet, the means of production did belong to the people. Sort of.

The argument presented to us at school was a simple syllogism: Means of production belong to the state. The state consists of the people. Therefore the means of production belong to the people.

As it often is, it never is that simple and it did not work out. And the experience convinced me that ownership of the means of production by the people cannot work on grand scale. I think it might work on small-scale, on a scale of up to a few dozen or perhaps a few hundred people, not more. This is about the maximum where people can function as internally cohesive society (commune, if you wish), because at this small-scale people can manage to keep internal tabs of tits for tats. So cheaters and slackers can feel the negative consequences of their actions quickly either by being shunned by those they wronged, or by not getting their share of the produce etc. Thus people keep connection to each other and to the consequences of their actions, because those consequences – both social and economical – are nearby both in time and space.

I have already mentioned slacking at work, because nobody was motivated to work too much. What has thrived on the other hand was black market for labor. So for example if you wanted a house repaired, via official means it might take years and not be done properly. The only way to get things done was often to have “friends” help you to repair it in their free time. Such helps were paid cash without paper trail and artisans like plumbers, electricians etc. were highly sought after – and such illegal work was for them the only means to get extra money. So they skived off of work and often even stole materials from the state in order to make untaxed money on the side (immediate and personal reward – and also immediate and personal punishment if the word got around that one does a sloppy job).

Rarely anyone ever felt this is wrong. There was a great emotional disconnect between the State and its people. The above mentioned syllogism was not convincing enough. I mentioned the saying “who does not steal from the state, steals from their own family”. It was perceived by many people that since everything belongs to the state, it also belongs to ME and therefore I am entitled to help myself when the opportunity presents itself. One teacher tried to explain to us that such is not the case, that by stealing for example a sack of cement from the state of ten million people means one is only taking one tenth of one millionth of said sack that is their own, and the rest is stolen from the remaining 9.999.999 people, but I have noticed that none of my schoolmates was affected much by this logic. Those 9.999.999 people are a faceless crowd, an abstract concept too big to fit into human mind.

The problem here, as Terry Pratchett once brilliantly stated in Night Watch, was not the wrong kind of government, but the wrong kind of people. People on average are not kind-hearted, altruistic and rational. They are petty, selfish and short-sighted. Trying to make them connect with something as grand as a “state” or “nation” only works as long as they are personally and immediately affected. It cannot keep them motivated for long and for a reward that might only affect their grandchildren when the communism finally arrives and money is not needed anymore.

 

This Black Cloud Called Trump.

Brenda Goodman, “Impending” (2018), oil on wood, 80 x 72 in (courtesy of the artist). © Brenda Goodman.

Brenda Goodman, “Impending” (2018), oil on wood, 80 x 72 in (courtesy of the artist). © Brenda Goodman.

Fifteen months ago, Trump was just beginning to embrace his new position of power but now he’s well into the dismantling of our democracy. My emotions are whipped around all day long. Mothers are torn away from their babies at the border. Families living good, productive lives here are sent back to “where they came from” — a place some of them hardly know. The reversal of all that Obama put in place to protect our environment. The destruction of an educational system that was once the best in the world. The attack on our press, which is treated like an enemy. Taking away our rights as he edges closer and closer to a dictatorship. And the lies. The constant lies. So that we can hardly find truth anymore. So many gut-wrenching changes.

I have nothing to add here. You can read more at Hyperallergic.

Oooer, A Psy-Op Blender! Wait…

Wow, Coach Dave is on one hell of a trip. His latest lunatic screeth is quite long, and so full of batshit, it’s hard to know where to begin. What’s all the fuss? The latest royal wedding – it’s a major psy-op to enforce the worst of the worst: the blending of white people with :gasp: people of colour!

Daubenmire, who has declared that he is “proud to be white” because “white, heterosexual, Christian” men represent America’s only hope for survival, has fretted about the threat of white genocide, and has fumed that interracial marriage weakened this nation “because multiculturalism is spiritual AIDS [that] has brought an infection into what was once a great Christian American culture,” said that the marriage of Prince Harry to a woman of “mixed blood” is an attempt to corrupt the pure bloodline of House of Windsor.

Yes, Coach Dave is a fully paid up member of the White Patriarchal Assholes™. He’s also astonishingly dense, as we shall see.

“Let me just lay it out there, because most people won’t say it because they don’t want to sound racist,” Daubenmire said while wearing a literal tinfoil hat. “Prince Harry’s wife is half-black. Now, wait a minute. That ain’t that royal bloodline lineage there, is it fellas? Isn’t there a little bit of mixed blood coming in there?”

Pretty much everyone on the planet has a someone in the woodpile who comes as a bit of a surprise. Now royalty everywhere does have a perturbing history of inbreeding in an attempt to keep things within the right class, but I’d happily bet there are some right interestin’ people in those bloodlines. Royalty has also spent a lot of time breeding like out of control bunnies, and there was seldom much concern about all those babes born on the wrong side of the blanket, and there were a fucktonne of them, too. History, Coach Dave. Try learning some.

“Did you see who performed the service?” he said. “Was it the Bishop of Canterbury or some official WASPy guy? Was it? Did I miss something? Or did we see the ultimate—umm, how do I say this?—a blending of the races; one new world order, one-world government, the blending of the [races] in the House of Windsor coming together for the first time.”

Bishop Curry is the ultimate blending of the races? How on earth do you figure that one, Dave? It’s not as if Bishop Curry was getting married to Harry. You might be unaware, Dave, but there have been people of colour in England for a very long time. A really long time. There have even been people of colour at the royal court, going waaaaaaaaaay back. I did hear that Bishop Curry preached about love, and I rather expect that’s what got under your skin. As for the whole new world order blahblahblah blending of races in the House of Windsor, uhhhh, it was one wedding. I don’t think it even qualified as a herald to all that nonsense.

Daubenmire insisted that since Prince Harry is sixth from the throne and very unlikely to ever become King of England, he was allowed to marry Meghan Markle in order to send a message endorsing mixed race relationships.

Oh, all that idiocy has been downgraded to an endorsement now. Gotcha. Who the hell knows who is going to end up on the throne? I can’t be arsed to care. As it stands, Elizabeth might live to be two hundred years old, given her death grip on that throne. People aren’t influenced by this kind of thing as much as you seem to think, Dave. For most people, it’s a matter of falling in love, and skin colour doesn’t enter into it.

“I’m going to tell you something, if there was any chance that Harry was ever going to be King of England, do you think they really would have let him just choose any woman he wanted?” Daubenmire said. “Of course not. So what’s the message that is being sent to us? … Is it a psy op that now, all of a sudden, sixth to the throne, he ain’t never going to be king, now it’s okay for the crown to be diverse?”

Yes, I expect Harry would have been allowed to marry who he wanted to marry. Even royalty has to make concessions to the current reality. If there was an obstacle, Harry could always choose to abdicate, it’s been done before. No, it is not a “psy-op”. Harry is not “all of a sudden” sixth in line. As for the crown being diverse, yeah, it’s just fine. There’s no reason it shouldn’t be.

RWW has the full story and video.

Are You Ready For Alt*Hero Crackdown?

Do you all remember Vox Day’s quest to “rescue” comics from the horrible, evil machinations of SJW thinking? If you don’t, it’s all here. Well, the comic is out:

Goodness me, lookit that stew of crackpot sciency stuff! I’ll just bet you’re all riveted now, right? Right?

Here’s the amazon link to the comic, if your tastes run to idiot. I do believe I’ll pass. Fascists are bad enough in reality, I don’t need them pretending to be entertainment, too.

ETA: Looking at that cover, it’s not awful, but those breasts! I’ll assume Vox Day is at least familiar with them, and they don’t work like that. They aren’t actual balloons.

On Bigoted Use of the Word Nazi.

A few weeks ago I had a visitor at my lab from our other plant in Germany. We did not have too much work to do at that time so after i have shown him around we had some time to chat about this and that.

One of the things that transpired was that he is married to a woman who is of US American / German descend.  He said her Texan grandfather took it rather badly and commented it along the lines “I was fighting against Nazis in war, and my daughter and granddaughter both married one.”.

I looked at him after this and asked the first question that popped in my mind: “Is your grandfather in law per chance a Republican and did he vote for Trump?” To which his answer was yes on both accounts.

I was astounded at this blatant display of a lack of self-awareness.

I mean, it is not uncommon to hear something similar in CZ. Even some of my close friends sometimes ask me – and only half-jokingly – if I still work “for Nazis” or in “Naziland”. Even I said such things.  The German nation will in minds of many Czechs never ever get rid of the black stain the horrors of the WW2 have made on its reputation, not to mention previous thousands of years of mutual enmity between Slavic and Germanic nations and the two hundreds years long attempts at Germanization of Czechs. History cannot be denied or ignored, and its consequences do and will reach far into the future.

There is still also a lot of anti-slavic prejudice (not only) in Germany to this day. When Czech Republic entered in the EU, there was a lot of people near the borders who feared the influx of uncouth Czechs that would lead to a massive rise in crime-rate and stealing of jobs from proper Germans. Which of course did not happen.

It is therefore understandable that some Czechs view Germans as a whole with distrust and dislike, even though not justifying the over broad use of the term “Nazi” for anyone from Germany.

The current rise in nationalism spurred by anti-muslim sentiments, both in EU and in USA, seems to have led to a peculiar situation demonstrated by the Texan grandfather in law of my colleague’s. A lot of people seem to be putting an unqualified equal sign between the words “Nazi” (or “fascist”) and “German” in their minds whilst completely forgetting – or perhaps never even knowing – what this originally was about. And so subsequently they are voting for de-facto Nazis, who spout nazi rhetoric and try to propagate nazi policies, the whole package – unbridled racism and white supremacy, yearning for a golden age that never was, scapegoating and dehumanizing whole ethnic groups, wishing for concentration camps, firing squads and wars to beat opponents into submission (even the “traditional family values” and homophobia are in that package). All the while saying that “Nazis are bad” and thinking themselves opposing Nazis and nazism.

Yes, I know, one could quibble about whether the term Nazi really does fit Trump and the Republican party. One could discuss the minutiae endlessly and talk over differences in definitions and perspectives. There are differences. However I would argue that the term does indeed fit Republicans in general and Trump in particular much, much better than it does a typical German in these days, who most likely would feel ashamed and sorry for what Nazis have done and would despise them.

Lets not forget that not all (not even most) Germans are Nazis and not all Nazis are German. Lets not forget that first victims of first Nazis were Germans – German Jews, German communists, German mentally ill and handicapped and many just ordinary decent Germans. Using the term Nazi as a generic sneer against Germans is morphing into a form of bigotry of its own, an a dangerous one at that. Because as it usually is with such things, it shifts the focus from bad things people do on people who are perceived as bad whatever they do*.


  • I have not heard this yet, but I wonder if there is someone somewhere who dislikes Angela Merkel and accuses her of being a Nazi for accepting refugees? I know for sure there are people who accuse her of giving power to Nazis by doing it.

A Resolution Against Social Justice, It’s Evil!

Grady Arnold.

A group calling itself Godly America sent out a press release through Christian Newswire on Monday calling attention to a Southern Baptist pastor who “has submitted a resolution against social justice” to be considered at the Southern Baptist Convention’s annual meeting in Dallas in June.

Godly America, “a ministry to remind Christians of their rich heritage and history as Americans, and to call America back to the Judeao-Christian [sic] principles on which America is founded,” seems to consist of said pastor, Grady Arnold.

Mr. Arnold seems to be going his own way here, even to the heresy of embracing Glenn Beck, which I don’t see endearing him to other Southern Baptists, as they do not consider mormons to be christians. Here are some bits and pieces of the press release:

Within the resolution, Arnold states that social justice activism is “a vehicle to promote abortion, homosexuality, gender confusion, and a host of other ideas that are antithetical to the gospel.”

Mmmm. I’m good with abortion, and seriously promoting education, comprehensive sex education, and contraception. I’m all kinds of fine with acceptance of all queer folk, and there’s no confusion on the part of people who are inhabiting this century’s reality. Who gives a fuck about the gospel? Confining yourself to bronze / iron age views is not in any way good.

Pastor Arnold warns in his resolution that denominations that have embraced social justice have rapidly dropped in membership and have become more liberal in their theology. “If Southern Baptists are concerned with having conservative theology and want to avoid even further numerical losses, they need to talk to their pastors, local associations and state conventions, and tell them to take a firm stand against social justice.”

Oooh, comin’ into the 21st century! That’s a good thing. I suppose it’s always good to know just how much the religious reich does not at all care for people, of any kind. It’s always about power and oppression.

“If Southern Baptists don’t rise up and take a stand now, then in a few years they will be seeing books in their Lifeway bookstores promoting liberation theology, black theology, and feminism, and in their literature, they will be called upon to understand their ‘white privilege’ and the need to feel guilty about it.”

Oh my, could things possibly get worse than that? There’s zero need to feel guilty about white privilege. What’s needed is a clear understanding of it, and how it promotes systemic racism and personal bigotry, then working to be aware of it, and correct it.

RWW has the full story, with lotsa links.  The press release is linked above, and the full “resolution” can be found here.