Wednesday, November 25, 2015

A Parable for Our Times

In 1943 Walt Disney turned a 100 year-old fairy tale, "The Remarkable Story of Chicken Little" into a cartoon short. He choose to underplay the fascism reference so it is a useful story for our Trumpism times.

Quotes from the book:
Foxy Loxy reads from a Psychology book. The quotes are drawn from Mein Kampf.
  • To influence the masses, aim first at the least intelligent.
  • If you tell a lie don't tell a little one, tell a big one.
  • Undermine the faith of the masses in their leaders.
  • By the use of flattery insignificant people can be made to look upon themselves as born leaders.
My question, is Donald Trump Foxy Loxy or Chicken Little?

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Initial Thought on the Turks Shooting Down a Russian Jet

This is the list of candidates who have advocated shooting down Russian planes in Syria.

Jeb Bush - "We need to have no fly zones. The argument is, well we’ll get into the conflict with Russia, maybe Russia shouldn’t want to be in conflict with us."

Ben Carson -  "We need to stand our ground with the airspace. I would establish a no-fly zone along the border with Turkey. In no way would I back off."

Hillary Clinton - "I personally would be advocating now for a no-fly zone and humanitarian corridors to try to stop the carnage on the ground and from the air."

Chris Christie - "My first phone call would be to Vladimir, and I’d say to him, listen, we’re enforcing this no-fly zone. And I mean we’re enforcing it against anyone, including you."

Carly Fiorina - "This is a tricky maneuver, it’s a dangerous maneuver, but it’s a maneuver that we must undertake. The Russians do not get to move into the Middle East and become the dominant outside power."

Lindsey Graham - "I don’t know if there’s anybody left to train, but a no-fly zone would be a great relief to the Syrian people."

John Kasich - "You enter that no-fly zone, you enter at your own peril. No more red lines, no more looking the other way. If any hostile aircraft should enter that, there will be a great consequence to them."

Marco Rubio - "The United States should work with our allies, both Arab and European, to impose a no-fly zone over parts of Syria."

Friday, November 20, 2015

A Test of Courage

Trump went there. "Absolutely" would he establish a database of American Muslims.
On January 21, 2016 President Donald Trump will issue an executive order requiring all Muslims or people with at least one-quarter Muslim heritage to report to their local post office and be registered with the federal government.

Here is your test. Would you go too? Christian, Jew, Buddhist, atheist - would you register along side your friends and neighbors? This is no idle act. Quite literally, it would put your lives, fortunes, and sacred honor at risk. I don't know that I would have that kind of courage. I like to think I would but there would be genuine fear once Trump's Thugs inevitably are given the registry.

But, yielding to the fear would only postpone the same result. In the eyes of Trump's Party, I am also a traitor. My time will come. Trump used to be a joke. He no longer is. Trump is now a genuine threat to the very concept of Americanism.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Is Trump Going There?

"We’re going to have to do things that we never did before. Some people are going to be upset about it, but I think that now everybody is feeling that security is going to rule." (source)

Donald Trump said that in answer to a question if he would support requiring Muslims to carry special religious identification with them and allowing warrantless searches of Muslim homes, businesses, and mosques.

I know I've violated Goodwin's Law repeatedly regarding Trump and not without reason. But this is as close to going full National Socialist as he has ever gone. What is more frightening (yes, some things frighten me) is that even the mainstream Republican National Review readers fall mostly into two camps: defending the stance as a negotiation ploy and saying it's a great idea.

I expect Ted Cruz (Trump's Mini-Me) to imply support for the concept in coming days.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Fear Itself

nameless, unreasoning, unjustified terror which paralyzes needed efforts to convert retreat into advance. ~ the rest of the sentence from FDR's famous "fear itself" speech
I am no more afraid of being killed by terrorists now than I was last week, which is to say not at all.  I am far more likely to die violently at the hands of a drunk driver. There is a tiny chance a mugger will kill me, but it is still greater than a terrorist. A nervous cop shooting me? Very unlikely but still more likely than a terrorist. A terrified concealed carry gunist popping a cap in me by mistake is improbable but more possible than a terrorist offing me.

Terrorists want to instill terror - the occasional random attack is just a means to that end. The pants pissing reaction of Republican governors and legislators is their submissively yielding to the terrorists. It is pathetic, cowardly, and shows all the emotional maturity of a three year-old screaming in horror at the sight of a birthday clown.
Actually, this makes more sense.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Great Nativist Competition

Republicans are battling each other to absurd degrees to be crowned the most intensely racist nativist and thereby win their party's nomination for President.
1903 - "The Unrestricted Dumping Ground" opposed immigration from southern and eastern Europe, calling them criminals and terrorists. Familiar?
Nativism has a long history in American politics. The target of the xenophobia changes with the times. Protestants hated Irish Catholic immigrants. Irish hated Italian and Jewish immigrants. Just about everybody hated Chinese immigrants.

Ben Carson, the only African-American in the race, has hired a notorious white supremacist to chair his Mississippi campaign. Carson has stated that Islam is inherently incompatible with the US Constitution. This is a clear echo of the 19th century Know Nothing Party accusation that Catholic immigrants would follow the Pope's orders to destroy America.

Circa 1900 - "Pauper" immigrant labor will inevitably steal food from the table of the American working man.

Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio are two second generation Americans with Spanish surnames who are locked in a battle over who will keep more Spanish surnamed immigrants out of the country. Both use the argument that poor Mexicans are stealing the jobs of hard working Americans.

1919 - "Put them out and keep them out." Keep terrorist Europeans out of the US.
Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz both recently suggested a religious test for refugees - Christians in, Muslims out. Religious exclusions are a recurring theme in American history. The Know Nothings were anti-Catholic. The Red Scare in the 1920's excluded and even expelled Eastern European Jews suspected of socialist beliefs.

Operation Wetback was one tenth the size of the Trump deportation plan.

Donald Trump is, of course, at the top of the dung heap. Most recently he has suggest closing mosques to curtail terrorism, like that wouldn't just radicalize more people. He wants to engage in the greatest mass deportation of humanity since Nazi Germany, but do it "humanely." Even the right wing Federalist has called Trump's plan hardcore pornography for nativists.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Paris Terror: Winners and Losers

Wiser people than me will decided on the whys and responses to the horrible attack on Paris last night. I will look at a simpler question.

Obviously. They successfully struck back at one of the nations fighting their den of thieves and rapists. Also, they may be able to stop the depopulation of their Caliphate.

10,000 attend anti-immigrant protest in Dresden, Germany
They are the biggest winners, to the point I briefly considered that Marine Le Pen's National Front was behind the attacks. They are still a tiny factor in French elections, just two seats in the national assembly, but these attacks will greatly increase their appeal.

Other anti-immigrant parties that will get a boost are UKIP and BNP (United Kingdom), Freedom Party (Austria), NDP (Germany), National Revival (Poland), and the Northern League (Italy). So far, most of these are insignificant legislative parties, Austria is an exception, but the combination of terrorist attacks and the flood of refugees could change that.

In the United States we can expect another bump in Donald Trump's support.

Yeah, here too. France, especially, is going to want bloody revenge.
Tremble, tyrants! and you, traitors,
The disgrace of all groups,
Tremble! Your parricidal plans
Will finally pay the price!
~ lyrics of La Marseillaise not usually sung
Syrian Refugees
The doors are being closed to new refugees and there will be great agitation to expel those already in Europe. Thousands of innocents will be punished for the sins of a handful if the refugees are sent back into the jaws of ISIS.

Muslims as a Whole
The Charlie Hebdo attack in January triggered anti-Muslim protests. This attack is exponentially worse and will probably bring more violent protests.