Friday, June 22, 2018

The First Concentration Camp

The Defense Department will house up to 20,000 unaccompanied migrant children on military bases in coming months, a Pentagon official said Thursday. ~ Washington Post, June 21, 2018
Dachau
The first concentration camp in Nazi Germany was at Dachau, founded in 1933 just weeks after Hitler became Chancellor. Its purpose was to house political prisoners, liberals and communists, for "reeducation." Its location in Bavaria was chosen because it was where Nazi support was strongest and the local population was unlikely to protest. It evolved, in time, into a forced labor death camp.

The first concentration camp specifically for murdering those the Nazis deemed subhuman, like Jews, was Auschwitz–Birkenau. Auschwitz was opened in 1940 in occupied Poland to hold Polish political prisoners. The Birkenau extermination camp annex was built in 1941. Fully operational, it could kill and cremate 20,000 people in a day.

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Tower of Evil

There are several levels to the evil that is the Republican Party's immigration crimes.

Base - Craven Cowards
The majority of Republicans in Congress know that what is being done to immigrant families is evil. Yet they stay silent. They are afraid to say so either in public or in private. They are terrified of confronting their god-king Trump over what they know is wrong. They cower in hiding to avoid being asked questions and, if questions are asked, they babble some incoherent nonsense and scurry away.

First Level - the Sociopaths
By definition, sociopaths are incapable of human emotions like compassion or empathy. They can fake it sometimes, awkwardly. Their attempts to fake compassion are rehearsed and lack the natural humanity of you or I. An obvious example is DHS secretary Kirstjen Nielsen whose stilted bureaucrat-speak efforts at sympathy would be funny if they were not so clearly evil.

Second Level - the Psychopaths
Psychopaths are capable of something resembling human feelings in that they exalt in orgasmic glee at the suffering of others. Take Corey Lewandowski, who couldn't suppress a joyful laugh at the torment of a Down Syndrome child ripped from her mother by Border Patrol and thrown into the terror of caged confinement. 

Third Level - the Architects of Evil
Stephen Miller crafted the plan to address the Hispanic Problem in the same way that Adolf Eichmann designed the solutions to the Jewish Problem. First dehumanize them by calling them animals, vermin, and infestations. Then deport them. Then imprison them in inhuman camps. The final solution, of course, is to murder them.

The Spire
Atop the spire at the apex of the tower sits the god-king. Call him Hitler or Trump or Pol Pot or Satan, he is the fount of all evil.  All beneath him bathe in the vile corruption that flows from him. 

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Kirstjen, She Wolf of ICE

The blond hair, distinctly Aryan features, and aggressive defense of obscene cruelty toward children, DHS chief Kirstjen Nielsen fits the title role of a softcore porn movie of the of the 1970's.
Ilsa is every so loosely based on a real life female concentration camp guard, Ilse Koch, known as the Witch of Buchenwald. Koch would select prisoners and order them killed because she wanted to add their tattoos to her collection. She would walk provocatively in front of male prisoners and viciously beat any who looked at her.

Koch received a life sentence from a West German court for her crimes against humanity. In her later years she was tormented by delusions that the ghosts of her concentration camp victims would attack her in her cell. She committed suicide to escape her ghosts.

Which leads me to wonder, how well does Kirstjen Nielsen sleep? In her sleep, does she hear the crying children she ignores while awake?

Monday, June 18, 2018

'Kill and Scalp All, Big and Little; Nits Make Lice'

they could be murderers and thieves and so much else. ~ Trump, June 18, 2018

When Donald Trump sees this mestizo toddler he sees a murderer, an animal who must be caged from the earliest moments of his life to protect good, decent, white Americans. Trump believes that all Mexican children are potential murderers and rapists.

The quote in the title is the justification used by Col. John Chivington in 1864 to explain his order to merciless slaughter and mutilation 105 women and children at a Native American village in Colorado Territory. An event known to history as the Sand Creek Massacre.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

ICE and the Disappearing Children

The story of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) separating children from their parents, ostensibly for baths, never to return the children triggered me as a historian.

In the Nazi concentration camps the gas chambers were disguised as showers. The victims were told they were going to take delousing showers so they would peaceably enter the chambers.
The plumbing looked right so they had no suspicions until hydrogen cyanide gas started spraying from the shower heads.

Children's concentration camps is not entirely a Trumpian invention.
The Nazis liked to put children in separate camps. It made selection for their medical experiments easier when there were no adults around to protect the little ones. But mostly separating children from parents is integral to the psychological torture of both adults and children that gives psychopaths their joy.

ICE has earned itself a Gestapo-like reputation where ripping children from their parents arms and placing them in inhuman kennel-like conditions may be the least of their human rights abuses.

ICE routinely kick in doors and arrest whole families for the crime of having Hispanic surnames. Even if they are American citizens. Even deporting American citizens to foreign countries. Even shooting citizens in their ethnic cleansing purges.

Then, you knew I'd get there, we have ICE "losing" over 1500 children. They have plenty of excuses from being lousy bureaucrats who've simply misplaced  hundreds of kids to all the children are criminals who have gone into "hiding."

Of course, "losing" their children could be just another psychopathic torment ICE is inflicting on parents. Or it could be infinitely worse. Disappearing children was a weapon of the fascist dictatorship of Argentina in the 1970's. It was a weapon so potent that it still torments mothers 40 years later.

Has ICE begun killing illegal immigrants? We know ICE is evil, there is ample evidence for that. With all they do already, murder is not too big a step deeper into depravity. I'd like to believe that they have not begun killing innocents but I am certain there were many Germans in Frankfort in 1941 who liked to believe their countrymen were not murdering Jews in Poland.

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Christmas In June

Kim Jong Un had a short wish list and got everything he wanted from Trump.

End US-South Korea military corporation
Trump agreed to halt all joint military exercises. The next step in Kim's plans is the withdrawal of US troops from South Korea.

Appear equal to the US president
Kim got effusive praise from Trump, something he denies US allies like South Korea.

Give up nothing but vague promises
Done.

Make Dennis Rodman cry
Okay, that was probably not on Kim's wish list but he got it so...Kim for the win.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Trump Tariffs, Trump Deficits = Trump Inflation

Four German marks would buy one dollar in 1921. By 1923, the exchange rate was four trillion marks to the dollar.
Economics can be devilishly complicated but there are rules of thumb.
  1. Deficit spending is inflationary.
  2. Tariffs are inflationary.
  3. Recessions/Depressions are deflationary.
This is why the Federal Reserve during the Nixon/Ford/Carter presidencies hiked interest rates to usurious levels, nearly 20%. They wanted to induce a severe recession to, in the words of Gerald Ford, Whip Inflation Now!

Trump is flipping two inflation triggers at the same time.

His tariff wars against Europe, Canada, Mexico, China (the entire world except Russia) will cause the inflation of prices of imported goods and domestic goods built using imported materials. Also, by removing price competition, retailers will increase prices just because they can.

Trump's deficits will exceed $1 trillion a year by the end of his term. Double that if the US goes to war with Iran. Double it again if the Fed hikes interest rates to induce a recession.

There is one more rule of thumb that applies.

A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.

If you need something, buy it now. Every day you wait the price will go up and the value of your savings will shrink.
There is a story of a man in Duesseldorf bringing a wheelbarrow of cash to the market to buy food. He ducked into the store for a moment to find out the current price of bread, it changed hourly. When he went back outside to fetch his cash he found the wheelbarrow had been stolen but the money had been dumped on the ground, The thief thought the worthless reams of cash weren't worth the effort of stealing.