USA, More Weimar Than Weimar

A few years ago it was hot to compare the USA to the short-lived Weimar Republic of Germany, the one that was replaced by the nazis.  The situation in Germany was largely attributed to the punitive treatment of country after World War One.  Somehow (demonizing socialism, never meaningfully addressing any crimes the US committed, never willing to face the hateful core of America’s real values), we did this to ourselves, no major military loss necessary.  Congrats?  Anyway, the comparison never stopped being valid.

Right now we are even closer to nazi rule than we were under Trump himself.  The way power is structured in this country guarantees the GOP a seat at the table, and they’ve gone full goosestep.  Many states are already falling under laws that are equivalent to the book burning at the Magnus Hirschfeld’s Institut für Sexualwissenschaft.  Don’t say pronouns law?  Rampant book banning?  The dismantling of a single university in Florida under that state’s governor?  The exact mirror of Bolsonaro’s raids on universities in Brazil.  Expect it to go nationwide as soon as we have a nazi president.  I’d say republican but at this point that is fully redundant.

The howling jackals of fascism are gearing up for total conquest, and all they need is the executive branch to clinch the end of our weak-ass imitation of a democracy.  It’s just a matter of time.  They will get the presidency again.  One possible way to prevent a future nazi president from devastating this country with executive orders would be to curtail the powers of the president substantially.  I’d like to see that happen, but power fucken looooves power, and will never put meaningful restrictions on new powers that have been allowed.  The same way we can’t make meaningful taxes happen on the rich once they’ve been given breaks.

I was put in mind of this by the way there are good things happening right now, mostly from executive action.  There are executive orders, but also appointed heads of government agencies making progressive policies within their remit – like the way you can, for the moment, change your gender marker on your Social Security card or passport without need for proof documents.  Expect all of that to be reversed with a single pen stroke under the next nazi president.

It’s best to just be prepared for it, emotionally and physically.  Think, what will my role be under nazism?  We can’t all be armed fighters.  Some of us will have to settle for smaller acts of resistance.  As republicans expand their hate campaigns and shore them up in the legal systems of their states, anybody who murders a trans person, no matter how flagrantly, will be let off the hook – like Emmett Till’s killers.  For that matter, expect all reproach or rebuke for killer cops to end.  Many who have already been jailed will probably get pardoned.  At least the white ones.  Under a republican president, we may see concentration camps for trans people (we never stopped having them for immigrants), probably gay folk as well.  The idea has already been floated, in Arizona I think?  Jewish people will be far from safe.  I have no idea what kind of crack fucks like Ben Shapiro are smoking, that they are willing propagandists for the nazi side.

That’s the obvious stuff, the stuff they’re already announcing as future plans.  But what about the stuff that hasn’t been stated yet?  That is historically part of the fascist agenda?  Military conquest.  Fascism fucks a country up, and to maintain the illusion it’s a reasonable way to do things, they need to sack resources from other countries.  The easiest targets will be Cuba, Haiti, and other Caribbean countries.  Might see an Axis-type alliance with Brazil if things go sideways there again.  Ultimately Canada and Mexico would be occupied territory.  Hopefully no nukes will be used, but given the expansion of first strike capabilities under Trump, it’s anybody’s guess.  I’m guessing the Mexican resistance will do some righteous terrorism on our asses.  Maybe the resistance under Vichy Canada will also impress?

Eventually US fascism will fall to whatever nonsense comes next.  But consider this.  Even in nazi germany, some people could live almost sorta kinda normal lives.  Have love, have children, work, nurture, make art, etc.  Bad things will happen on a terrible scale, but life will go on, and eventually the worst things will pass.  Fight if you can, live if you can’t.  Don’t give up hope, because, ultimately, anything can happen – including your own happily ever after.

As always, long live the fighters.  Death to fascism.

Antisemitism and Phishing

They say the misspellings and shoddy construction of phishing emails are specifically to weed out potential bites from people clever enough to do fraudsters some damage.  It seems every conspiracy except for the real ones trace back to antisemitic beliefs – flat earth, qanon, hollow earth, pizzagate, 9-11 truth, antivax, gender crit, foreign infiltration, whatever.  “They” are always, at the end of the day, “the jews.”  It makes me think, in this moment, what if antisemitism serves a similar function?  If you can believe “the jews” are up to no good on that level, you can believe any wack thing.

There are definitely holes in that.  The spelling errors are there from go, in your spam trap.  Sometimes the antisemitism is buried kinda deep; it can’t be the gateway drug.  Just a random thunk on a random day.

Disparity in Politically Motivated Murder

Some politically left people are hard line against killing anyone for any reason, especially in Europe these days.  Some of those make allowances for self-defense or waging defensive war or whatever.  These attitudes are very much lacking in the USA.  We are all about the murder.  The states that do manage to abolish the death penalty often find that reversed by the vagaries of democracy within a few years.  I can’t speak for Canada, but it seems like they also might be more into murder than, say, Germany is these days.  Don’t know about other countries either.

But even with our comparatively bloodthirsty attitudes, with the tall talk we make about willingness to pull the trigger on those we regard as evil, where are the bodies?  US lefties have an incredibly meager body count to our name, compared to right wingers.  I sit here and say, yes, I will proudly and easily kill nazi sumbitches, put a knife in their soulless faces.  I can think that, I can say that, I can dream about it.  But at the end of the day, the vast majority of politically motivated violence comes from right wingers.

I have no problem attributing that to inherent goodness.  When you were a little rough with an animal or a sibling, and mommy rebuked you for it, did you feel bad?  Did you feel like you’d been justly reprimanded, that you would do what you could in life, from that day forward, to not be a bad person?  I have no problem saying that is a good thing.  Good people should not want to hurt people, let alone kill them.  The extent to which the evils of white supremacists make me want to shred their bodies with nail bombs or just break their faces?  Is the extent to which they have made me a worse person than I’d otherwise be.

And could I do those things?  If the scumbags get the war they’ve been gagging for since 1860, let’s hope that we all can do what needs to be done – and with gusto, why not?  But in these times of peace, whatever turmoil is happening, the people generating corpses right now are right wingers.  Might be that changes at some point, but I think those particular numbers will always be on their side.

They valorize cruelty.  They despise compassion.  This informs much of what they do and say in life.  Indeed, a common reason for people born into red states to become politically opposed to their own culture is from suffering the cruelty they inflict on their own.  If I saw a man in pain, mortal terror in his eyes, I might take my knee off his neck.  But white supremacists don’t do that.  Right wingers don’t do that.  They want to hurt and to kill.

I can say I’d kill every last Rittenhouse with a smile on my face and piss on their corpses, but at the end of the day, would I?  The numbers suggest that we just aren’t like that, and whatever violence is ultimately necessary to do in the defense of goodness and humanity, the fact it isn’t our first recourse is surely directly connected to our own goodness and humanity – whatever we have left of that – and it might be a good thing.

There’s a separate topic that came out of the discussion that spawned this post.  Is guns bad?  I don’t like them.  I have liked them in cinema an awful lot, but the reality is unpleasant.  Have you ever had a suicidal or homicidal thought, however fleeting, in your life?  How should you then feel about having a “make person instantly die” button in your fucking hand?  Like standing at the edge of a cliff with somebody.  I don’t like how it feels.  If you can’t dig my position, eat shit.  Step on up for a ban.  I’m generous with those.

Or you can listen to my follow up statement.

If you’re somebody who has never felt like I feel, or who managed to suppress that long enough to become comfortable with firearms, and you use them responsibly?  I have no problem with that, or even with saying that it is possible for you to be a good person.  I’m not saying that comfort with guns inherently makes you a bad person.  I personally believe no private citizen should ever be legally allowed to have an assault weapon, will side-eye the fuck out of you if you say otherwise, but that’s a difference of opinion I’m willing to hold without thinking of you automatically as a bad person.

But you have to admit, it’s easier for bad people to get cozy with killing machines, which again, might have something to do with the great disparity between murders by fascists and murders by their opposition.  I hope you won’t take offense to the statement of some plain facts here, and will spot me a roscoe when the soup goes down, comrade.  Thank you.

It’s Time: Nail Youtube’s Ass to the Wall

People have been talking about how Youtube‘s reliance on traffic-driving recommendation algorithms has turned the site into an engine for extreme right wing recruitment.  We’ve been talking about it, but this looks like the perfect moment to really press the issue.

The latest white supremacist terrorist name dropped a youtube goon right before killing people. It may seem venal to use a moment like this to push a political agenda, but that’s only if your brain is back in 1995 treating politics like opinions. This is life and death. Breaking this messed up machine can save your children from becoming killers, or from being killed.

Youtube. I can tell you exactly why this happened. Hate sells. It drives excitement, which drives clicks and page views and view time. So your blind robots see a neo-nazi channel and it just looks popular, looks commercially successful, and tries to send as many people that way as possible. I see less of that stuff on your front page than I used to, so I suspect you’re doing a little damage control. But it isn’t enough.

You need to de-platform these people. Anyone who talks about white genocide, about immigrants as invaders, and so on. If you can program robots to copyright block anyone who accidentally produces the wrong chord progression, you can figure out a way to block hate speech.

You built the nerd-to-nazi pipeline. It’s high time you tore it down.

Perspective and Nazis

Content Warnings: Anti-semitism, Mass murder, Racist terrorism.

A creepy antisemite killed some people the other day, in the usual way. It was at a synagogue during a religious occasion. According to tumblr user prismatic-bell:

“You know, the news is really sheltering gentiles from the full horror of what happened this morning when they keep using the phrase “Brit Milah.” Yes, that’s what was happening in the synagogue this morning, but do you know what it is?

It’s a baby naming.

Every bit as important as a christening or first birthday.

That is what this shooter opened fire on. A baby naming with people praying for that baby’s health and happiness and future.”

And what did Robert Bowers, the mass murderer have to say about the baby-blessing business?

“HIAS likes to bring invaders in that kill our people.

I can’t sit by and watch my people get slaughtered.

Screw your optics, I’m going in.”

There’s a little bit of unexplained lingo in the terrorist’s tweet (or was it a “gab”?HIAS is an organization that helps immigrants, originally dedicated to helping jewish people escape pogroms and the like, now helping refugees more broadly. Nazi conspiracies have it that all those immigrants from south of the border are hot to kill the white man and take his women.

To the terrorist, those baby blessers were inhuman wizards, summoning an army of orcs to take out the magical people of light. Where is the evidence that refugees kill people? Recently Faux News helped Cheeto Hitler through a rough week by hyping a story about a young lady murdered by a shitty boyfriend who happened to be an immigrant.

No haps from them that week about how often white men – especially veterans god bless the troops – murder the ladies in their lives.  It paints a picture for people like our nazi terrorist du jour, this lopsided reportage, in combination with less accountable news sources on facebook publishing flat-out lies.

Anti-semitism is baked into Western civilization, like, oh, say, blood in a loaf of bread. As something of a cultural outsider – a neglected destitute child of two mentally ill black sheep – I missed the memo that I’m supposed to hate jewish people. But because of these centuries of persecution, wild folklore, pogroms, general shittiness in christendom, it’s really easy for many culturally christian people to buy these murderous lies about jewish ethnic groups.

I suspect the people in our fuhrer’s clique that are capable of being semi-thoughtful would really rather not have anti-semites be their main supporters. To them, it’s about oppressing negroes, which is much more politically safe in the United Snakes.  But they can’t hit one target without causing splash damage to jewish people. They try to stoke anti-latin prejudice and nazis figure out a way to blame it on “The Jews.”

But leaving aside the reason he believed jewish people were murdering whitey, he seemed quite convinced of it.  And if you care about a group of people who are being murdered, wouldn’t you want to go to bat for them?  I see jewish people actually being murdered, and could come back with a very similar train of thought to this creep:

“Nazis like to kill innocent people.  I can’t sit by and watch my fellow humans being slaughtered.  Fuck trying to look socially acceptable, fuck my personal safety, I’m gonna whack those fools.”

That makes perspective the main difference between this terrorist and me at my worst.  I don’t like that.  And that perspective makes me think maybe I should try to be more peaceful in life, in the struggle, despite the violent oppression of our times.  I don’t like that either.