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Gender: Do not display
Hometown: New England, The South, Midwest
Home country: USA
Current location: Chicago
Member since: Sat Mar 5, 2011, 12:32 PM
Number of posts: 22,668

About Me

Human. Being.

Journal Archives

Republican AG John Ashcroft, Robert Mueller's Boss In 2001, Said This To America

Today and hereafter, Lindsey Graham, his partisan colleagues and other "wall" supporters, should heed John Ashcroft's uncompromising declaration to the Senate Judiciary Committee.

To those who pit Americans against immigrants, citizens against noncitizens, to those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve.

From Garret M. Graff's The Threat Matrix, The FBI At War (2011)

Turncoat Republicans were once the defenders of this country whose president, Reagan, gave amnesty to millions, and allowed the borders to operate with full funding.

Norquist bag men let their theocratic extremist wing quote Ezekiel and Matthew to make this "wall" part of some prophetic end times story. They hate democracy and love theocracy.

Every chance I get I'll quote Ashcroft to every Republican I meet.


"It's A Wonderful Life, Comrade, by Renegade Cut

Not the traditional, off-the-mark analysis.

This holiday season, knowledge is a weapon, and our adult vigilance is a gift.


FROM "HE WOULD HAVE BEEN A FASCIST" by Some Concerned, Brow Furrowing Dipshit

My Millennial son sent this to me on Facebook.

This essay is not what I wanted to read, but I needed to read.

I thought I'd share it with DU.

Trump would have been a fascist, many Americans would have let him, and his base truly wanted it. Hear me out here: they don't get to walk away from that like it's no harm no foul, but they will be trying to, very soon.

The one thing that I think will underscore how terrible this presidency truly is, as we search for meaning in the historical retrospective of this agonizing time, is that we'll come to conclude – and please put this in the galaxy's largest quote marks: that the ""positive side"" of this horrible period in American history will turn out to be that Trump 'at least' couldn't be the biggest inhumanitarian, rights-shredding butcher of all American presidents, simply because, well, he was mentally incompetent and temperamentally deranged.

He wanted to do all this horrible, terrible stuff, he totally would have, but he was profoundly mentally incapacitated, increasingly suffering from dementia, a pathological liar and narcissist, and you couldn't get him to pay attention to anything for longer than ten minutes and he spent most of his presidency sundowning, rambling out insane ideas, and shouting at televisions like a tertiary syphilitic.

Conservatives still desperately propped him up for (so far) two whole years of this excoriable horrorshow, but Trump was literally just too incompetent for them to manage.
In the end, Trump will still have been the worst president of all time, but he won't be the most successfully horrid. Trump 'at least' won't have delivered us the butcher's bill of presidents like George W. Bush, who were at least functional enough in their role as republican figurehead to successfully start forever wars that killed millions upon millions more people than Steven Miller's concentration camps could have ever hoped to.

It's like, sure, hooray? "Yeah," we'll be telling high schoolers in 20 years, "conservatives elected and then furiously, eternally stood by a vile asshole, but, uh, at least they elected a vile asshole who was mentally and temperamentally incompetent and you couldn't even get him to read things or pay attention to anything longer than ten minutes or so, so he blew his wad early and we didn't go full Gilead." Then the high schoolers will set our cities on fire and flip our cars over because we left them with an utterly and permanently wrecked climate, and we'll deserve it.

But we really seriously need to remember how scary this whole thing is, especially because conservatives will be desperately trying to rehab their image forever after this, and part of that necessarily involves pretending that the rest of us were ridiculous for having been so scared at all. "Ooh, what's the matter, did you really think America was becoming 'fascist?' Wow, what overblown hyperbole." Yeah, no, it's fucking not? Trump is an evil fascist! Nobody gets image rehabilitation points for being a failed attempt at evil fascism! This was bad!

Trump absolutely wanted to do horrendous things, and conservatives as a whole would have let him. Given half the capacity to, he would have been an angrier, more insecure, pettier and crueler Duterte. He would have been a fascist, a Maduro-esque tyrant of petty conveniences and power assurances turbocharged by the stature of American empire and the strength of the armed forces.

It's not even that hard to source, even if you're dealing with people who sidestep the reality that Trump has overwhelming 90%-ish support among conservatives, who across the nation still ghoulishly enjoy, support, and encourage every new trial balloon he ever inflated in the direction of straight fucking tyranny.

He would have literally given conservatives the Muslim Ban, if he could. He would have been happy to. They would have loved it. This is not hyperbole.

He would have forced those uppity football players to stand at attention or lose their jobs, because they angered him and he just absolutely fucking hated black people.
He would have built the actual fucking wall because he absolutely fucking hated Latinos.
He would have turned ICE into a burgeoning new Stasi, formally equipped to operate anywhere and disappear just about anyone darker than cardboard, because he actually just hated people who weren't white.

He would have actually gone to war with the media – please be sure of that. Please. Don't look at his deranged tweetstorms at SNL and try to pretend otherwise. He absolutely would have seized control of entire television networks over "unfair" coverage or mockery of him. He legitimately objected to its presence and desired it to be torn to shreds.

And conservatives would have wildly, overwhelmingly approved. This is what they wanted. They keep telling us that! They keep supporting Trump in overwhelming numbers, heaping praise on him when he tries anything like these things, and openly saying "We wish he would do more like that!" They tell us exactly who they are, and it is insanity not to believe them.

Trump is insane and he is evil and he has the overwhelming nationwide backing of conservatives and they would have seen this through to the historically expected end if they had been able to, and we can't just put that all behind us and tolerate people mocking us and/or having mocked us for being so concerned about it. "Oh, that's ridiculous," says every Principled Republican in 2021, discounting every eminently reasonable worry of any sane human being through this entire debacle. "Of course Republicans wouldn't have, we have so much more principles than that, what overblown puffery."

Never listen to these people again, until what they are saying is "I'm sorry, and you're right, and I shouldn't have made your fear into a subject of my reflexive derision, also I will be wrestling skunks with my face live on youtube as fully deserved penance." Then, you can totally listen to them or possibly even upvote the video.

Yes, we are fucking worried, holy hell. Trump would have been a fucking dictator, and he would have effortlessly become so out of a known, celebrated, demented, and furiously privileged frailty. Trump is a broken man with a broken need to fill his absolute black hole of a heart with attention and respect and submission and validation, and the requirements of that need grows commensurate to the power and privilege he obtains. It would have grown to fill the powers of a dictator.

He is evil, and he's the sort of evil that abhors separation of powers when the powers involve the ability to khashoggi his critics. Shout it from the rooftops. Trump would have been a dictator, and this was one of his greatest appeals to American conservatives.

Even as the degenerate husk of the Grand Old Party starts slithering away to a desperate, expected phase of image recovery, even as they gaslight to pretend this bullshit never happened quite the way we remember it, assuring us that Trump "wasn't who we are as a party," desperately retconning their cravenness and years of mendacious complicity, as they reach out for a period of "healing and national unity" hoping to "put this behind us," remember.

Remember. They would have banned Muslims if they could. They would have literally built the wall. They would have abducted children from refugees and put them in concentration camps as an intentional policy for dissuading migrants seeking asyl – oh, wait, my bad, that's one of the one they still got away with for real. I forgot this is the hellworld timeline, and that this is something they did actually do, and it was, hang on, let me check polls and facebook here, ... yup, overwhelmingly supported and cruelly, ubiquitously celebrated on social media by conservatives.

Again, one of the most important coherent messages of repudiation that we need to hold on to in the coming decade is to remind anyone trying to rehabilitate the rightfully demolished pretensions of American conservatism can miss us with the idea that our fears were overblown. Trump wanted to be a dictator, fucking period. End of questions. He would have banned Muslims. Don't you forget it. Conservatives would have loved him for it. And don't pretend that wasn't the case. They will, but don't make it easy for them.

The semi-functional protections of our creaking, intentionally sabotaged republic did crop up to stop Trump's Dutertian analogues from time to time, where and when they hadn't been institutionally pulverized into submission (yet) by the intentional antidemocratic predation of the Republican Party.

Where they did, like in the recent 5-4 decision that basically ruled against being illegally heartless ghouls to people fleeing violence, they only did so because the Conservatives just haven't quite have enough time to destroy any systems of justice that would have stopped Trump – an agenda which they had already been setting up for their own convenience. Why, if only they had just gotten one more justice appointed. Republicans would have done this, and don't forget it.

They absolutely did their goddamndest trying to set up the conditions that would have made Trump safe, but they just hadn't yet turned the judiciary into an accessory to the conservative party. They hadn't quite finished the whole thing where courts were stacked explicitly and sufficientlybwith the wildly whiteass selection of federalist society type weirdos selected mostly to let state and national level GOP institutions be autocrats with managed, noncompetitive faux-elections. A Supreme Court not yet sufficiently stacked with Brett Kavanaughs and Wendy Vitters and Ryan Bounds offered some challenges and repudiations to Trump's heavier trial balloons and at least managed to set up general boundaries of his executive actions, but only because the GOP had simply not done enough damage yet. Just some. A lot, really, which will be torturing our forward progress for decades. But not enough.

All this really has proven to us is that America is simply unequipped for what would have happened if Trump was not literally in a medical sense deranged and incapable of taking advantage of the GOP's craven complicity to his authoritarian attempts.

Trump may not sit in the Oval Office for much longer, but whenever he leaves, he leaves us with a painfully important question – "So how's this going to turn out if we do it with a competent autocrat?"

- by Some Concerned, Brow Furrowing Dipshit

End of year celebrations tell us It Will Get Better.

Add to that the fact that today is another great day of Justice in the U.S.

Thanks to tireless efforts of millions to bring us back to the light of democratic government, even this atheist feels on the move and in step with the spirit of future days.

"The Caravan! Coming Soon!" from Stephen Colbert

Girrrl, Let Me Pull Over To The Side Of The Road ! -- OPRAH ENDORSES STACEY ABRAMS

Glenn Greenwald On What Western Countries Can Learn From the Balsinaro Election

Openness, at this point, about other countries' swing to the right, is useful.

One way I see this: Why GG seems to endorse the end of a center left democracy, and how he understands retrograde fascist governance, coincides with the way the Kochs want the U.S. to understand the failures of democratic majority rule.

Another way I see this: Understanding is the booby prize. Even if it's a current events lesson.

Enjoy your divided population's class war, Glenn.

I'll be watching what good your politics does for Brazil's People, and how the establishment class deals with you.

Youth -- Our Inspiration

Here I am, stuck on this couch
Scrolling through my notes
Heart was broken, still not growing, nah

Waking up to headlines
Filled with devastation again
My heart is broken
But I keep going

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate
No, I won't let it change me
Never losing sight of the one I keep inside
Now, I know it
Yeah, I know it

You can't take my youth away
This soul of mine will never break
As long as I wake up today
You can't take my youth away

You can't take my youth away
This soul of mine will never break
As long as I wake up today
You can't take my youth away
You can't take my youth away

It's hard to sleep at night
Knowing what's outside
Feeling hopeless
I need focus

You hit me with words I never heard
Come out your mouth
To be honest
I don't want it, no

Pain, but I won't let it turn into hate
No, I won't let it change me

You can't take my youth away
This soul of mine will never break
As long as I wake up today
You can't take my youth away

Divide and Conquer -- Transforming Citizens into Mobs -- Begins With "Lock Her Up"

Campaign messages that were once temporary have now become daily news propaganda.

Why? To transform a united country into a divided one through political war.

At a designated campaign time, Democrats began with "I'm With Her".

In the now-permanent campaign time, Republicans continue with "Lock Her Up"!

Continue with identity issues begun a century ago.
Lead the drumbeat against women in public service.

Have Mike Pence, Michael Flynn, Chris Christie, Jeff Sessions, whip up mobs' drumbeat of chants, from the Cleveland RNC to Iowa to Phoenix to Montana to Michigan to Maryland.

Brainwash crowds with the media as "enemies of the people"; stir fear about race war, immigrant invasions; then scale up to hit half the population -- women -- not just Hillary.

By midterms, have the Mob President take over the fake democratic wrestling match with the drumbeat chants of his mobs.

For American women the end game used to be about locking you OUT; now it has become about locking you UP.

Why mob politics?
To end law as access to justice, establish lack of tranquility with permanent political campaigning, and create minority rule.

Re-cut old gender division wounds among and between women (over issues like "which gender has the greater moral call to 'protect' the unborn, men, other women); combine that new cuts among their male allies (who are true men? what makes women human? equal? deserving of equality? protection?)

To slice and dice identities within the body politic on a much bigger scale can re-brainwash citizens with ancient animosities faster than the 'old school' scheduled campaign seasons have.

“Her” was never just about Clinton.

"Her" was always about the male dominance by public incrimination of women -- from professional or in elected officials -- Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Dr. Christine Blasy Ford, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi -- to trafficked immigrant children.

"Her" is about mockery, stigma, incrimination, punishment of women
-- who dare call any male opponent a gullible puppet,
-- who decry any male sexual predators,
-- who refuse to accept male excuses that sexual assault talk is “locker room talk,” "bragging rights," "just jokes."

"Her" is about slapping alien status on all women, girls, boys, too, who refuse to accept the patriarchal yoke. Those who bear that yoke are allowed to "come to papa."

From Iowa to Michigan to Cleveland to Pennsylvania to Maryland, mobs won't say it, maybe don't even know it, but through their crowd fun, they send male dominion messages to all women, girls and boys.

Trump, as mob president, has whipped up 20 or more mobs with the following messages to:

-- Women who aspire to run for office. Message: Men made laws for themselves, not for you.

-- Women who obtain high positions in business and government. Message: Men made order for themselves; you serve only that order.

-- Women currently in government. Message: your days are numbered on the power stage men built; watch your back.

-- Women and girl migrants come to America to flee danger. Message: there is no protection for women and children here.

-- Women try to exercise their reproductive rights. Message: neither you nor your doctor have private rights to reproductive health.

-- Women who speak about sexual harassment and abuse. Message: no one will believe you.

-- Women turn to law enforcement for rape, with 200,143 still untested rape kits. Message: justice and freedom are for men.

Out loud the 20+ mobs have said: You're with HER? Lock HER up!

Keep in mind George Orwell's "Politics and the English Language" --

When "alt-" is the standard, truth is subversive.

When "mob" is the standard, citizen is subversive.

When "men" is the standard, non-man is subversive.

Viggo Mortensen reads Albert Camus' Lecture, "The Human Crisis"

Key ideas: suffering; learning what the human crisis is; how we change to solve it worldwide; hope

To skip introductions (context), start at 16:22

Full transcript: https://www.scribd.com/document/341261228/The-Human-Crisis-Albert-Camus-Lecture

A communion among men that had to be defended and sustained. With that in mind, we knew how to act and we learned that people, even in situations of absolute moral degradation, can find sufficient values to guide their conduct.

Once people began to realize the truth lay in communicating with each other, and mutual recognition of each other’s dignity, it became clear that this very communication was what had to be served.

To maintain this communication, men needed to be free, since a master and a slave have nothing in common. And one cannot speak and communicate with a slave. Yes, bondage is a silence. The most terrible silence of all. To maintain this communication we had to eliminate injustice because there is no contact between the oppressed and the profiteer. Need is also relegated to silence.

To maintain this communication we had to eliminate lying and violence. For the man who lies closes himself off from other men, and he who tortures and constrains imposes an irrevocable silence. From the negative impetus that was the starting point of our revolt, we drew an ethos of liberty and sincerity. Yes, it was the act of communication that was needed to oppose the murderous world. That’s what we understood going forward, and this communication must be maintained today if we are to protect ourselves from murder.

As we know now, we must fight against injustice, against slavery and terror. Because these three scourges are what makes silence reign among men, what builds barriers between them, what renders them invisible to one another and prevent them from finding the only value that might save them from this desperate world: the extended of man’s struggling against fate.

At the end of this long night, we finally know that what we must do in the face of this crisis torn world.

What must we do? Call things by their name and understand that we kill millions of people each time we agree to think certain thoughts. You don’t think badly because you think you are a murderer, you are a murderer because you think badly. Hence, you can be a murderer without ever having killed, and this is why we are all more or less murderers.

The first thing to do is simply to reject in thought and action any acquiescent or fatalistic way of thinking.

The second thing to do is to unburden the world of the terror that reigns today and prevents clear thought...

The third thing to do, whenever possible, is to put politics back in its true place, a secondary one. We need not furnish the world with a political or moral gospel or catechism. The great misfortune of our time is precisely that politics pretends to provide us with a catechism, with a complete philosophy, and sometimes even with rules for loving. But the role of politics is to keep things in order ...

The fourth thing to be done is to seek out and to create, on the very foundation of our negativity, positive values that will reconcile negative thought with the potential for positive action. That is the work of philosophers, which I have barely touched upon here.

The fifth thing is to fully understand that this attitude means creating a universalism in which all people of good will can come together. To leave solitude behind we must speak. But we must always speak frankly and on all occasions never lie and always say everything we know to be true. But we can only speak a truth in a world in which it is defined and found in values shared by everyone. It isn’t Mr. Hitler who decides what’s true or false. Nobody in this world, now or ever, should have the right to decide that their own truth is good enough to impose on others ... The freedom we must finally win is the freedom not to lie. Only then can we discover our reasons for living and for dying.

So here is where we stand, and I probably took the long way there, but after all the history of mankind is the history of its errors, not its truths. Truth is probably like happiness, simple and without a history ...

We can’t pretend to escape from history for we are in history ... We want only to rediscover the paths to civilization where man, without urning his back on history, will no longer be enslaved by it. With the obligation each person incurs with regard to others will be balanced by time for reflection, pleasure, and the happiness every person owes themselves.

In a situation like ours, optimism seems scandalous.

We know that those of us who are dead today were the best among us, since they appointed themselves. And we who are still living must remind ourselves that we are only alive because we did less than others. And this is why we continue to live a contradiction. The only difference is that this generation can now join this contradiction to an immense hope for humankind ...

I have spoken about have great respect for your humanity and your taste for freedom and happiness, which can be discerned among the faces of great Americans. Yes, they expect from you what they expect of all men of goodwill: a loyal contribution to the spirit of dialogue that they want to infuse the world with.

Our struggles, our hopes, and our demands seen from afar may appear confused or futile to you. And it is true that on the road to wisdom and truth, if there is one, these men have not chosen the straightest or the simplest path. This is because neither the world nor history have offered them anything straghtforward or simple. They are trying to forge with their own hand the secret they could not find in their given condition. And perhaps they will fail. But I am convinced that if they fail, so will the world.

In a Europe still poisoned by violence and deep seated hatred, in a world torn apart by terror, they try to save for mankind what can still be saved. And that is their only ambition. If such an effort can find some expression in France, and if this evening I have been able to give you a faint idea of the passion for justice that inspires all French people, it will be our sole consolation, and my humblest source of pride.

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