Friday, July 29, 2016

Clinton v. Trump - We versus I

Presidential campaigns work best if they have a central theme around which they are built. Both campaigns have settled on central themes that couldn't be more different.

Clinton - "We Are Stronger Together"
The noun, We, is the key. It speaks of inclusiveness, a national family, working together to better ourselves. Hillary sees herself as part of something larger than herself. Something we are all a part of. It is a theme at the core of the concept of democracy.

Trump - "I Am Your Voice"
The noun is I. Trump is the √úbermensch, the superman. He speaks for you, you need not speak for yourself. "I alone can fix it." You need not lift a finger because I stand alone, the colossus who will do everything for you. It is a theme at the core of the concept of authoritarianism.

It is a stark choice. We Americans have a choice between being part of a larger community or pawns to a strongman who will dictate his will upon us. 

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rudy's Yellow Badge of Cowardice

Trump's mad monk, Rudy Giuliani, has proposed forcing Muslims to be electronically tagged by the government. This builds on Trump's early proposal that all Muslims in the United States, including US citizens, be required to wear special identification of their religion.

Rudy, Trump's terrorist advisor, didn't go into details where the electronic device would be. Would he force them to all wear ankle bracelets like paroled sex offenders, place RFID chips in their religious ID badges, or forcibly insert a device in their arm?

Rudy would restrict the electronic surveillance to Muslims on the terrorist watch list, a list certain to grow exponentially once Trump is elected, which we are supposed to consider reasonable. Unanswered is whether the movement of those people tagged by the government would be restricted. Perhaps they would be required to stay within a walled ghetto, Trump builds the best walls.
This wall was build in 1940 to keep members of a "dangerous" religious minority separated from decent people.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Will 'Never Clinton' Bernbots Vote for Trump?

The petit bourgeois Social-Democrat and the trade-union boss will never make a National Socialist, but the Communist always will. ~ Ernst Rohm, the leader of Hitler's Brown Shirts (the SA), circa 1930
The sight of some of Bernie Sanders most enthusiastic supporters booing their hero at the Democratic National Convention for the crime of endorsing Hillary Clinton reminded me of the above quote. They seem more interested in punishing Clinton, even if that means getting absolutely nothing they want, than getting most of their agenda.

When I did something stupid out of childish greed my mother would tell me I was cutting off my nose to spite my face. So it is with these holdout Bernbots. At this point I can't even tell what they want. Sure, they hate Clinton. I get that, I dislike her too. But they seem to have no goal other than hate and that plays directly into Trump's tiny hands.

I remember the Democratic PUMAs of 2008 who vowed to vote McCain instead of the evil man who defeated their beloved Hillary. For the most part they returned to the fold leading to Obama's victory. Perhaps these Bernbots will do the same. Or perhaps they will turn their enthusiasm to the only man remaining who shares their hatred even though he promises to destroy everything they hold dear.

The meaning of the above quote is that the Communist will easily become a Nazi, his exact opposite. The shared hatred that Nazis and Communists have for moderates will bond them. Even though Hitler ended up sending those same Communists to the concentration camps.

I refer you to something I wrote in March, Trump's True Believers. Trump succeeds if a plurality of voters gravitate to his campaign of hate. If the hate obsessed among Sanders supporters end up throwing the election to Trump then they will be the authors of their own destruction.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Email and Foreign Election Influence

The best advice I have ever given was to a friend and newly elected city councilwoman.
Never put anything in an email you wouldn't want to see posted on a bulletin board in the city hall lobby.
That was a couple decades ago and the advice is even more relevant now. Email is convenient but so is every other fucking booby trap ever invented. It is no place for ill-considered musings or secrets. No firewall is a certain defense against hacking The DNC learned nothing from Watergate (Republicans like spying) and Battlestar Galatica (isolate your computers from the web).
Trump's Best Friend.

Which brings us to the indisputable fact that the Russian government is trying to influence the US election in favor of Donald Trump. Trump's ties to Russia are deep. His campaign manager is a known Russian agent and Trump's financial stability is tied to massive loans from Russian banks. Trump has gone so far as to openly suggest he would stand by passively and allow a Russian invasion and conquest of NATO eastern European countries as Putin rebuilds the old Soviet Empire.

This is not the first time an American presidential candidate conspired with a foreign government to help his election. In 1980, the Reagan campaign held secret negotiations with Iran's mullahs. Iran agreed to hold until after the election the embassy hostages they had taken, thereby making them a debilitation millstone around President Carter's neck, in return for billions of dollars in weapons.

Friday, July 22, 2016

RNC Impressions

I've crawled out of my hole. I admit I didn't go cold turkey like I promised, I took occasional hits of convention news from Huff Post and Talking Point Memo, but I stayed away from the hard stuff like the network coverage. What I saw.

Ingraham Salute

Sure looks like the traditional fascist salute followed by waving at the crowd. Her defenders say she was just visually misquoted so let us take a step back. Where was she facing when she snapped off that famous stiff armed hail?
Okay. She was saluting a bigger than human image of her Leader. From this angle there can be no mistaking the message. She was throwing red meat to the rabid white supremacists who worship Trump and signaling that she and he were unified with them.

'Lock Her Up'
In what sort of country does one political party promise to imprison and execute the leaders of the opposition party? Yet that exact thing was the theme of much of the convention. The Trump Republican Party is promising an authoritarian rule where opposition to Trump is treason.

The Baltic States
Trump clearly signaled to Vladimir Putin that under Trump, the United States would stand aside if Putin wants to rebuild the old Soviet empire by reconquering the independent Baltic states of Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia. The irony is that for seventy years the Republican Party has aggressively, frequently crazily, fought against Russian expansionism. Republicans under Trump are now a meek and subservient kitten to the Russian bear.

Trump also criticized the United States for preventing Korean unity. This is bizarrely true. Were it not for American interference North Korea's invasion of South Korea in 1950 would have succeeded and the entire Korean Peninsula would be under the brutal control of Kim Jung-Un.

That Cruz Thing
Ted Cruz's non-endorsement of Trump went off just like Trump wanted. He wanted a second virulent lynch mob display like the previous "lock up" Clinton frenzy. It was a World Wrestling Federation type of frenzy that Trump considers the height of entertainment.

Conclusion
It was worse than I thought possible. This was a rally of enthusiasts clamoring for an authoritarian dictatorship.These four days in July are the days that laughter died.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Where Are the Clowns? Don't Bother, They're Here

The Republican Convention is starting so I'm finding a deep hole, jumping in, and burying myself. As a news junkie and I know I'll try to score a fix but this shit is a hot mess that will fuck me up bad (Really, Paris Hilton wannabe Tiffany Trump is on the speakers list).

So I'm going into hiding and hoping to survive with my sanity intact.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Turkey's Decadal Coups

Kamel Ataturk, founder of modern Turkey. Buca, Turkey.
When you strike at a king, you must kill him. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
The Turkish coup failed in its first moments when they didn't capture or kill President Erdogan. Since he is extremely popular in his country, a free Erdogan was able to rally the people against the coup plotters.

Americans on the 24-hour news channels were prattling for hours yesterday how unprecedented a military coup in a NATO country was. Poppycock. Turkey averages a coup every decade. Kamel Ataturk founded Turkey in 1922 (in a coup) as a secular democracy and since then the army has seen itself as defender of secularism.

1960 - The army stages a coup in reaction to lessened restrictions on Islam and a deep economic recession. The prime minister is arrested and executed. The army rewrote the constitution and held power for 16 months.

1971 - The army chief of staff announced a coup via a memo sent to the civilian government. This was a time of global unrest and violence (picture now times 100) and the army sought to restore order. For two years the army controlled the government, repeatedly installing brief periods of martial law to quell turmoil.

1980 - In the preceding years the civilian government would call for martial law because of clashed between right and left wing gangs and political assassinations at a rate of ten per day. This coup has a violent aftermath with hundreds of thousand of people arrested and tortured by the military government. Officially, the military returned governance to civilians in 1983 but they kept the government on a tight leash long afterwards.

1997 - Another memo coup. The army sent a memo to the prime minister ordering him to resign or face a coup. He resigned and the army, having reasserted its control, did not bother dissolving the rest of the government.

2010 - The first failed coup against then Prime Minister Erdogan. The coup plot, Operation Sledgehammer, was discovered before it could be implemented and the plotters arrested.

There you have it. A coup a decade for over sixty years. Mark your calendars, you can expect another Turkish coup sometime after the year 2025.