Thursday, December 01, 2016

OPEN THREAD THURSDAY.

Image result for field negro image You can holla at me about trump's victory tour, that wingnut reporter from FOX sticking his foot in that college president's door to get a story, or the trump supporter and surrogate declaring that there is no longer any such thing as facts. 

Of course, as always, you can tell me damn near anything that's on your mind.


Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Populism? Or "Revolutionary-era elitism drawn along racist lines"?

Image result for bannon imagesThe first thing that struck me when I read the article that I am about to drop on you is this:

Looking at Steve Bannon, how could he even think that he is genetically superior to anybody? I mean just look at him. He is the before guy in a before and after gym membership commercial.

So now to the aforementioned article written by Laurel Raymond for Think Progress.

" Former Breitbart head Steve Bannon has been a national lightning rod ever since he was appointed CEO of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. At-issue: Bannon’s deep ties to the growing white nationalist movement, which provided some of Trump’s earliest and most fervent supporters.

On Sunday the New York Times published a profile on Bannon, casting him as a “combative populist.” Buried deep within the profile is an account of Bannon talking about his belief in the “genetic superiority” of certain people and his support for restricting voting rights to only property owners.

A former colleague of Bannon’s, Julia Jones, recounted her interactions with Bannon to reporter Scott Shane:
Ms. Jones, the film colleague, said that in their years working together, Mr. Bannon occasionally talked about the genetic superiority of some people and once mused about the desirability of limiting the vote to property owners.
“I said, ‘That would exclude a lot of African-Americans,’” Ms. Jones recalled. “He said, ‘Maybe that’s not such a bad thing.’ I said, ‘But what about Wendy?’” referring to Mr. Bannon’s executive assistant. “He said, ‘She’s different. She’s family.’”
Jones also previously described Bannon’s comments about voting to The Daily Beast.
Restricting voting to only property holders would take the country back centuries to its founding — when only white, male property holders could vote in most states. Today, such a restriction would disenfranchise huge swaths of people, including students, people of color, young Americans, many city dwellers, and low-income populations.

Far from populism, this is Revolutionary-era elitism drawn along racist lines. And for white nationalists, it’s a familiar goal.

Former KKK wizard David Duke, for example, has been proclaiming on Twitter that Trump’s election and cabinet picks are the first steps toward “taking America back” — that is, taking America “back” from anyone who isn’t descended from fair-skinned Europeans. In white nationalist ideology, only white Americans have a true right to the country — and the rights that go along with citizenship, like voting.

Bannon’s musings on voting restrictions are a dog-whistle to white nationalists. The same goes for his reference to “genetic superiority,” a view that Donald Trump also has said he shares.
Trump has repeatedly connected his success to his “good genes,” as ThinkProgress previously reported. He’s said that his children “don’t need adversity” to build character or skills, because they share his good genetics. In an interview once, he went so far as to compare himself to a “racehorse” and discussing his “breeding” at length.

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are a hallmark of white nationalism.

Bannon’s musings on white nationalists are a dog-whistle to white nationalists. The same goes for his reference to “genetic superiority,” a view that Donald Trump also has said he shares.

Trump has repeatedly connected his success to his “good genes,” as ThinkProgress previously reported. He’s said that his children “don’t need adversity” to build character or skills, because they share his good genetics. In an interview once, he went so far as to compare himself to a “racehorse” and discussing his “breeding” at length.

The belief in the genetic predisposition of qualities like intelligence are a hallmark of white nationalism." [More here]

Hmmm, "intelligence". I am looking at some of the picks for his administration, and all I can say is that Donald trump is giving intelligence a bad name.  

*Pic from Wonkette.com

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

To burn or not to burn......

Image result for burn flags images   No long post tonight, field hands. I just need your opinion about something.

Do you agree with Donald trump that people who burn the flag should lose their citizenship and spend up to a year in jail?

Keep in mind that what Herr trump is proposing is against the law and a violation of the 1st Amendment, but I just wondered what your thoughts were on the subject.

As someone said earlier on twitter: It's kind of ironic that trump has a problem with flag burning, but has a man who is cool with cross burning sitting at this right hand.

Carry on.

*Pic from youtube.com

Last night's post.

*The following is an updated version of the second part of my post from last night. 

Sorry about the glitches. 

This might be a good time for you to read the following essay from Roger Guffey. A man from Lexington, Kentucky no less. (There might be still hope for fly-over country.)


" Psychologists have long recognized rationalization as a defense mechanism that people use to excuse unacceptable or offensive behaviors by offering some pseudo-logical reasoning or self-serving explanations.


Perhaps we justify that sumptuous dessert because we have earned a reward for sticking to our diet. Or we tell our boss we are sick, when we really want to go to the last game of the season. Some of these excuses are harmless, but far too often they are not.

For the last eight years, people who have mounted despicable attacks on President Obama and his family have tried to rationalize their bigotries. Consider these examples:

A Republican candidate here in Kentucky won a legislative seat, even though he had posted images of the Obama family as a band of monkeys, but he says he is not a racist.


A public official in West Virginia said she will be glad to have a dignified white first lady, instead of seeing an ape in high heels. But she says she is not a racist.

Yes, you are.

In Sheridan, Ind., people made a parade float of President Obama in a toilet, but said they are not racists.


Yes, you are.

A mayor in Pennsylvania ran a picture of Michele Obama on a wagon of orangutans under the caption ‘Move-in day at the White House’, but denied being a racist.

Yes, you are.

The people who insist that President Obama is not a native-born American deny they are racists.


Yes, you are.

A candidate in Tennessee posted a billboard with the caption “MAKE AMERICA WHITE AGAIN,” but he denied that he is a racist.

Yes, you are.

A mayor in Washington State ran an image of Michelle Obama as a gorilla, saying she could be attractive only to another monkey like her husband. Of course, he says he is not a racist.

Yes, you are.

When a gorilla escaped from a zoo in South Carolina, a GOP politician in South Carolina posted a Facebook page telling people to be on the lookout for Michelle Obama’s ancestor, but he says he is not racist.

Yes, you are.

After the 2008 election, some right-wing extremists circulated bumper stickers, quoting Psalm 109, that pray for God to kill President Obama, leaving his wife a widow and his children orphans, but they denied they are racists.

Yes, you are.

One of my favorite Abraham Lincoln stories relates his encounter with an elitist lawyer who, during a trial, dismissed him as a rustic bumpkin. Lincoln posed him a simple riddle. “If we call a tail a leg, how many legs does a horse have?’ The smug lawyer replied, “Five.” Lincoln corrected him. “No, he still has four legs, because calling a tail a leg does not make it one.”

People are free to engage in self-delusion if they wish, but if it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and swims like a duck, it is a duck, and these comments are racist. But perhaps these bigots should heed the poet Robert Burns’ advice in the poem “To A Louse. 'O would some power the gift give us to see ourselves as others see us.’'' [Source]

There is more. But I think we all get the point.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

The president-elect declares our votes illegal.

Image result for picture trump doesn't like images  Man this trump guy has really jumped the shark. Now he is claiming that some two million people voted illegally because they didn't vote for him. The man is really delusional, but in a dangerous kind of way. There is nothing worse than delusion mixed with power.

Let's be honest, this recount effort will not change the final outcome of the 2016 elections, but it would be interesting to see if there was any shady stuff going on. (I personally believe that this Russian hacking story is far more serious.)  Hey, we are talking about republicans here, they have done everything in their powers to win elections by any means necessary.

Still, you have to wonder why trump and his minions are so upset about this talk of a recount in a couple of states. Why not just let the process play itself out? Isn't this what we do in a democracy?

Of course that's wishful thinking on my part. Donald trump doesn't necessarily believe in our democracy as we know it.  To him, it's all about Donald, and this whole recount thing is raining on his parade.

"In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."

Someone needs to just lock him in a room for the next four years.

Finally, check out this essay from Matt Bai;

"I’ve written a lot of pretty rough things about Donald Trump over the last 18 months. I’ve called him an entertainer and an emotional extremist, a guy with a black hole at his center. I’ve likened him to P.T. Barnum and a dime-store psychic.

Not once, though, have I suggested that Trump is, personally, a racist or an anti-Semite, which are labels people throw around too often these days. He’s always struck me as an opportunist more than anything else — an act in search of an audience, which he just happened to find in some of the darkest corners of the American psyche.

I figured that if a loud chunk of conservative voters had been anxiously agitating for someone to champion, say, antipoverty programs instead of a wall, Trump would have jumped on that horse just as quickly. Whatever his flaws, I didn’t take him for a devoted bigot.

It’s only now, after another staggering week in our fast unraveling society, that I find myself asking a question I really never imagined asking.

Does the president-elect of the United States feel some genuine kinship with the white nationalists he’s managed to embolden? Or does he just think it’s not a big deal if a bunch of crazy guys go around saluting him like Nazis?

To be clear, I’ve never managed to get very excited about the white power folks who pop up in the news sporadically, marching in parades or holding little conferences in some backwoods Best Western. They’ve always seemed more sad than menacing to me, like the clowns at some crumbling, last-ditch carnival.

But if you haven’t yet watched this video of white nationalists “heiling” Trump in Washington last weekend, you should, because it’s really something.

Here’s a recognized leader of the so-called from which Trump has drawn support and counsel, a guy who wouldn’t look at all out of place as a swastika-clad extra in “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” doing a little Hitler impression in Trump’s honor and railing against the media in the original German. (“One wonders if these people are people at all,” he says, which sounds to me like an invitation to violence.)

And this isn’t in some drab Southern banquet room, but rather in the Ronald Reagan Federal Building, a few blocks from the White House. (You’d think these people would at least have had the decency to walk across the plaza to the building named for Woodrow Wilson, who would have agreed with them when it came to mixing races.)

To keep this in perspective, which is important, we’re talking here about maybe 200 white guys in a country of 300 million-plus; it’s not like they’re goose-stepping through the streets by the hundreds of thousands. It’s also not like Trump endorsed the rally or sent a video expressing his gratitude.

But it’s not as if Trump has nothing to do with the brazenness of it, either. Even Republicans have to acknowledge that in his rhetoric and rallies throughout the campaign, Trump relegitimized a kind of racism and xenophobia that had been finally relegated to the margins of public life. He behaved like a human Ouija board, unleashing spirits better consigned to the netherworld.

This is distinct from your run-of-the-mill resentment in white, working-class enclaves, your basic backlash to political correctness gone badly awry, for which I actually have some sympathy. This is taunting Jewish journalists about going to the ovens. This is swastikas popping up again in our cities and suburbs.

This is ordinary citizens walking down the street and being told to go back to their own countries because they aren’t white. This is grown men who run around bullying every guy who doesn’t accept the superiority of white males by calling him a “cuck,” whatever that means.
This is new, or at least resurgent, and it is profoundly frightening to an awful lot of Americans at the moment.

So what is Trump’s response, now that he’s taken on the task of making America great again?
Well, he certainly had no problem summoning outrage this week. On Twitter, he railed against the impertinent cast of “Hamilton,” which he called an overrated show, and against “Saturday Night Live,” which he thought one-sided and not funny. He found time to bitterly complain to the president of NBC News about a photo that made him appear to have a double chin. (Reality is rough, even for a reality TV star.)

But when it came to leading white supremacists raising stiff arms to him as if he were Hitler reincarnate, Trump at first said nothing, and then, under pressure, allowed his spokeswoman to release a terse statement tepidly disavowing their support." [More here]

He disavows. *wink wink*







 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

CAPTION SATURDAY.

Image result for castro images

I need a caption for this pic.

Example: Will I see you on the other side or not? 

*Pic from cruxnow.com

Friday, November 25, 2016

Is this an exceptional American?

Image result for trump images double chinNow that American exceptionalism has been  exposed as a myth with the election of Donald trump, it might be time to reexamine who we are and do some soul searching as a nation.

I say this because Americans, by and large, chose to make this man their leader with all of his warts and ample baggage. (Although one could argue that most Americans chose the other candidate since she got over two million more votes.)

As is to be expected, supporters of Donald trump have been spiking the ball over and over again in the end zone. And they have been making sure that the "libtards" know who is in charge of the country in the most boorish, course, and vulgar of ways.  Some of it has been downright scary.  

Which leads me to another fine essay written by Charles Blow. Mr Blow is one of the few opinion writers I will choose to read in the age of trump, because unfortunately I kind of feel like he is the only one who gets it.

"Donald Trump schlepped across town on Tuesday to meet with the publisher of The New York Times and some editors, columnists and reporters at the paper.

As The Times reported, Trump actually seemed to soften some of his positions:

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t seek to prosecute Hillary Clinton. But he should never have said that he was going to do that in the first place.

He seemed to indicate that he wouldn’t encourage the military to use torture. But he should never have said that he would do that in the first place.

He said that he would have an “open mind” on climate change. But that should always have been his position.

You don’t get a pat on the back for ratcheting down from rabid after exploiting that very radicalism to your advantage. Unrepentant opportunism belies a staggering lack of character and caring that can’t simply be vanquished from memory. You did real harm to this country and many of its citizens, and I will never — never — forget that.
As I read the transcript and then listened to the audio, the slime factor was overwhelming.
After a campaign of bashing The Times relentlessly, in the face of the actual journalists, he tempered his whining with flattery. 

At one point he said:

“I just appreciate the meeting and I have great respect for The New York Times. Tremendous respect. It’s very special. Always has been very special.”

He ended the meeting by saying:

“I will say, The Times is, it’s a great, great American jewel. A world jewel. And I hope we can all get along well.”

I will say proudly and happily that I was not present at this meeting. The very idea of sitting across the table from a demagogue who preyed on racial, ethnic and religious hostilities and treating him with decorum and social grace fills me with disgust, to the point of overflowing. Let me tell you here where I stand on your “I hope we can all get along” plea: Never.

You are an aberration and abomination who is willing to do and say anything — no matter whom it aligns you with and whom it hurts — to satisfy your ambitions.

I also believe that much of your campaign was an act of psychological projection, as we are now learning that many of the things you slammed Clinton for are things of which you may actually be guilty.You slammed Clinton for destroying emails, then Newsweek reported last month that your companies “destroyed emails in defiance of court orders.” You slammed Clinton and the Clinton Foundation for paid speeches and conflicts of interest, then it turned out that, as BuzzFeed reported, the Trump Foundation received a $150,000 donation in exchange for your giving a 2015 speech made by video to a conference in Ukraine. You slammed Clinton about conflicts of interest while she was secretary of state, and now your possible conflicts of interest are popping up like mushrooms in a marsh.
You are a fraud and a charlatan. Yes, you will be president, but you will not get any breaks just because one branch of your forked tongue is silver.

I am not easily duped by dopes.


I have not only an ethical and professional to call out how obscene your very existence is at the top of American government; I have a moral obligation to do so.

I’m not trying to convince anyone of anything, but rather to speak up for truth and honor and inclusion. This isn’t just about you, but also about the moral compass of those who see you for who and what you are, and know the darkness you herald is only held at bay by the lights of truth.

It’s not that I don’t believe that people can change and grow. They can. But real growth comes from the accepting of responsibility and repenting of culpability. Expedient reversal isn’t growth; it’s gross.

So let me say this on Thanksgiving: I’m thankful to have this platform because as long as there are ink and pixels, you will be the focus of my withering gaze." [More here]

My sentiments exactly.

*Pic from crooksandliars.com




Thursday, November 24, 2016

Turkey day shout out.

MORE DISCLAIMERSFor all you people who are feeling like it's the end of the world because racists now hold the seat of power, consider this, it could be worse, you could have been a turkey today. If you can read this post you have something to be thankful for.

Enjoy your families.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Turkey dinner.

Turkey day is almost here. It's a day when Americans stuff themselves silly, watch two bad teams play football on television, and then go to bed with all the food that they just ate stuffed into their stomachs. They do this so that they can get up early the next day and spend money on marked up (and then slashed down) items that they think they are getting deals on.

I suspect that there will be a lot of awkward conversations over the turkey. Some family members will believe (and rightfully so) that the turkey sitting in the middle of the table would have been a better president than the orange one who is soon to be sworn in. They will look at the other family members who voted for the orange turkey and think: How could you?  

If any of you white folks out there have black family members, don't be surprised if they take a pass on the family dinner this year. "Son where is Kadisha? Oh she is home mom, she has a serious headache and she won't be making it this year. Of course she offers her sincerest apologies. Oh I am sorry to hear that son. How long has she been feeling this way? Since around November 8th, mom." 

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

American autocrat.

Fuhrer trump has not been officially sworn in as yet, but the man and his business cronies are on a roll. (Rules? What rules? We don't need no stinkin rules.) The Donald is already meeting with foreign leaders and cutting deals favorable to his business interests. This, my friends, might be the biggest confidence game in history. Donald trump has made himself the most powerful man on earth, and there is no one left to check him.

According to Mr. trump there is no conflict of interests when the president does these sorts of things, because...he is...well, the president. He honestly believes that these rules don't apply to him.  

Just today we found out that his foundation was breaking the law by skirting IRS rules. Think about that for a minute. Your president-elect is involved with a scheme to defraud the IRS. Of course it would have helped if we could have seen his tax returns before electing him, but hey, when you are a professional con man you tend to find your way around these little problems.

Little problems like the Trump University fiasco, for instance. The man was forced to settle the law suit and pay out millions of dollars to the thousands of poor people that he defrauded out of their hard earned money. He did so without admitting wrong doing, so knowing Donald, this is what he will hang his hat on. But I blame the attorney generals who went after him, not the merits of their case. I suspect that they were as anxious to settle as he was. No one wants to pick a legal fight with the most powerful man on earth. Especially one who as litigious as trump.

Donald has been calling in the press and reading them the riot act over the past two days. He will not tolerate an unfavorable article or pictures that paint him in a less than flattering light.  And he has officially  declared war on America's most noteworthy newspaper, the New York Times.

So we are looking at a man who uses his power to enrich himself, crush dissent where and when he can, and who lashes out at any media outlet that is not favorable to him. Oh, and just for good measure, keep in mind that he hasn't had a press conference since last summer. (YouTube videos don't count.)

All of this is right out of the autocratic playbook.

His hero in Russia must be so proud.





Monday, November 21, 2016

Open thread.

No post tonight, field hands. I am on my grind doing some other things.

But I would love to hear your thoughts about where we are now as a country, and if we have anything to fear from the alt-right, and white supremacist movement that will soon be taking over in Washington.