Thursday, August 17, 2017

Anti-Fascists Are Heroes

Reading rightwing website (Redstate, National Review, Hotair) there is a divergence of opinions about Trump.
  • Some say he was right about both sides having fine people, that there must have been one or two innocent yokels that didn't realize that all those torch carrying thugs doing Hitler salutes and shouting hatred toward Jews were Nazis.
  • Others contend Trump didn't mean to give aid, comfort, and support to white supremacists because he is just so inarticulate and stupid.
  • And a rare few admit Trump is a racist who is dragging both the Republic Party and the nation into the gutter.
But there is one thing that all Republicans seem to agree on, anti-fascists (ANTIFA) are worse.

I'm here to tell you that anti-fascists are great.
Belgian underground resistance fighters
During World War II, my father's bomber was shot down over Nazi occupied Belgium. He was rescued by anti-fascists in the Comet line (Réseau Comète) who protected him for months from SS forces hunting downed American flyers. Several of these Belgian patriots were captured by the SS, tortured for information of Allied flyers, sent to concentration camps, or executed.

Because of the heroic actions of the anti-fascists, my father survived the war allowing him and my mother to conceive me. Although, now that I think about it, there are many Republicans in this Trump era who would look at me, a liberal Democrat, and wish my father had died at the hands of the SS so I wouldn't be alive to write this.

Anti-fascists are my heroes. I celebrate and honor the brave men and women opposing Nazi thugs in the streets and Nazi sympathizers in the White House.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

There Is No Such Thing As a Fine Nazi

Trump felt the need to mend fences with his white supremacists supporters today. Today he reiterated his initial, limp dick, statement. He defended Confederate rebel statues and said that there are "are very fine people on both sides."

Bullshit!

These are very fine people.
French Resistance fighters
Jewish partisans defending the Warsaw Ghetto
American soldiers landing at Normandy

Heather Heyer, died defending freedom, Aug. 12, 2017
who fought for liberty, often at the cost of their lives - their Last Full Measure of Devotion.

These are pieces of shit.
After forcing the Jewish women from the Polish Mizocz Ghetto to strip naked, Nazi machine gunners killed them en masse. Then these two men walked among the bodies shooting any survivors.
German soldier, with scores of his comrades watching, shoots a Jewish man so he will topple into a mass grave. Vinnitsa, Ukraine
SS soldier shooting baby.
Nazi paraders, Charlottesville, Aug. 12, 2017
There is no "both sides" here. There is good and there is evil. Trump is choosing the side of evil.

Monday, August 14, 2017

It's Happening Here

A significant political movement, the Trump base, are happily goosestepping the nation to its doom.

The Walmart tiki torch parade in Charlottesville was a clear homage to the Nazi torchlight marches of the 1930's. (We're here, we're proud, we're going to finish what Hitler started.)

After Ivanka Trump denounced white supremacy by name commenters attacked her as a Jew traitor. (Fascist marchers in Charlottesville shouted "Jews will not replace us.")

The blame-both-sides crowd condemn anti-fascists, saying their counter protests were to blame for the fascist violence. (Anti-fascists are the real villains here.)


A nation's leader responds:
The scenes at the right-wing extremist march were absolutely repulsive ― naked racism, anti-Semitism and hate in their most evil form were on display.
Unfortunately, that wasn't from the American president but from German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

This is only a beginning as Trump obliquely encourages his supporters to march for "blood and soil" ethnic cleansing. 

Friday, August 11, 2017

Why Trump Thanked Putin

After Congress imposed sanctions on Russia, Putin kicked out 755 US diplomats. And Trump thanked him.

Why say something so obviously demeaning?

In sadomasochism, the submissive is expected to thank his master for the torture he receives.

Trump was merely fulfilling his role as the gimp in the relationship.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

He's Only the President, Don't Listen to Him

The most interesting thing out of Trump's "fire and fury" rant is that the White House, meaning John Kelly, let it be known to the world that it should ignore what he said. It was "improvised" and not official policy.
That was doubled down by reports today that the Government in general is ignoring his statements on the theory that his short attention spaans he will quickly forget what he wanted. The White House is making it crystal clear that Trump is meaningless and that people should wait until they hear from Tillerson or Haley or Mattis or someone else with actual authority.

Mooch Can't Quit Being a Clown
Tony the Mooch has decided his 7½ minutes of fame hadn't made him a big enough laughingstock. He's beginning the late night comedy show circuit. And, no, I shan't watch, I don't like my laughter seasoned with vomit.

In other Moochnews, he is comparing himself to Monica Lewinsky which I assume means he is impressionable young bimbo and not that he gave Trump a blowjob.

Trump Making Friends
I'm guessing Trump never read this book because I seriously doubt that gratuitously attacking a man you need to help you if you want to get anything passed by Congress is one of the chapters. To be fair, Trump is just parroting what Steve Bannon whispers to him.

Wednesday, August 09, 2017

Madman On the Button

I've mentioned before that I developed a nihilist approach to nuclear conflict growing up during the Cold War having existentialist discussions with my elementary school friends during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Hiroshima, 1945.
I've also mused what war with North Korea will look like.
If there’s going to be a war, it’s going to be in the region, not here in America. ~ Sen. Lindsey Graham
Basically, Seoul wiped from the face of the Earth (along with your Samsung product warranties), millions dead, and Russia possibly using the chaos to invade eastern Europe triggering World War III.


Retired Gen. Barry McCaffrey was on MSNBC last night and, while acknowledging the apocalyptic lose of human life, predicted a Korean War would last only six months.

Generals are always predicting wars will be short. Donald Rumsfeld said the Iraq War would last less than five months. Lincoln's Secretary of State thought the Civil War would be over in 60 days. World War I was supposed to be "over by Christmas."

The first Korean War lasted three years and ended in a draw. There were 140,000 American servicemen killed and wounded and 2.5 million civilian casualties.
If we have them [nukes], why can’t we use them? ~ Trump, 2016
Then there are the madmen holding the triggers, and by the day it is getting harder to know which of them is more insane. One or the other may order a nuclear attack because of rampant paranoia or just because his hemorrhoids are acting up.

Sometimes, accepting the pointlessness of existence makes sense.

Sunday, August 06, 2017

What Happened on August 8, 1938

I recently read the Chicago Tribune from 79 years ago. It was a fascinating look into the past.
Nazi Bible
This was what I was looking for, an article written by Rev. John Evans. In the 1930's, Nazis decided to remove all references to Jews from the Bible. Gone was the entire Old Testament. Jesus was no longer descended from the Hebrew King David, his origin was now Germanic.

Concepts like "thou shall not kill" and "turn the other cheek" are nowhere to be found, to be replaced by the commandment to "keep the blood pure" and "Honor your Fuehrer and master." Cries of "Hosanna" were changed to "Heil."  Nationalism replaced peace as the driving command of faith.

Chicago Aliens Rush for Citizenship
Page five had an article on the doubling of people becoming naturalized citizens. This was considered a good thing. The bulk of the new citizens were Polish, escaping likely invasion from Germany and Russia, as well as refugees from fascist Germany and Italy.

Southern Invasion
Also on page five was an article about 2500 National Guardsmen practicing to defend Chicago. The scenario for this war game was that nine states of the old Confederacy split from the Union and, allied with a foreign power, invade the north to secure its industrial cities.

Palestine Troubles
Barclays Bank in Hebron, Palestine firebombed in 1938.
Tucked way back on page 16 is the story of British Colonial Secretary Malcolm MacDonald's secret mission to Palestine to witness the continuing violence of Jewish terrorists and Arab rioters. MacDonald, in a statement, pledged to restore peace to the region.

War News
While Germany wasn't involved yet, World War II was already raging in Asia and Spain.
The battle of Ebro in Catalonia would continue for several more months. On this day, the Loyalists had driven back the fascist Nationalists, reversing gains that had been made with the support of the German Luftwaffe.

Russia's Red Army was engaged in skirmishes with Japan along the Russia-China border. Both sides warned against this leading to full scale war.

In Sports
Both the Cubs, who would eventually win the pennant, and White Sox split doubleheaders. Dodgers firstbase coach Babe Ruth was thrown out of the game for arguing with an umpire. Detroit slugger Hank Greenberg was ahead of Ruth's 60 home run record; he would end the season with 58 homers.

Money
The Dow Jones Average was at 145.67, up from its Depression bottom of 41.22 but it wouldn't reach its 1929 high until 1954. You could buy a mink dyed muskrat hair coat for $125 while Persian lamb coats sold for up to $495. Men's suits sold for under $50. A ham sandwich, with pickle, was advertised for 15 cents at the Triangle restaurant on West Randolph.

Cars
A 1932 Nash was going for $75 while a brand new Buick convertible would cost $1500.

Want ads 
Grinding horseradish at a Jewish fruit and veg store in Chicago, 1938
"Day work, Colored" at $2.50 a day, experience and references required. Experienced salesmen, men only, could expect $30 to $40 a month. One ad was looking for a male clerk for a fruit and vegetable store, Jewish preferred. Another wanted a 15 year-old Gentile (no Jews) boy to train as a typesetter. A plant superintendent could expect $6000 annual salary.

Women had limited job opportunities. A private secretary with bookkeeping experience could get $110 a month while a typist topped out at $70 a month. A good housekeeper would be worth $25 a month or $7 a week plus carfare. Then there is the ad for fifteen cocktail waitresses, must be very attractive, who will get 25 cents an hour plus tips.

Rooms could be rented for $8 a week or $30 a month and up. A five room Portage Park house was being offered for $5000. Other homes were going for $400 down and $29 a month, so if you could scrape together the down payment it was cheaper to buy than rent.

Letters to the Editor
Complained about high taxes, disrespected doctors, and junk mail.

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

Trump the Absurdist

When I was young I studied the Theater of the Absurd, plays by writers such as Samuel Beckett and Eugene Ionesco. I didn't think that research would have much practical benefit, until this year.
2013 Broadway production of Waiting for Godot.
Some of the characteristics of Absurdist theater is that rationality is useless to understanding reality. The dialog tends to babble, flooded with random non-sequitors, as the words spoken seem to lose their natural meaning (i.e. Trumpspeak).

Action, when there is any action at all, is arbitrary, illogical, and devoid of any reasonable purpose. Petty, meaningless acts are trumpeted as if they were profound and important.

The characters in the plays range from clowns (Tony Scaramucci) to realistic (John Kelly). The character's relationships are confused, friends and enemies are interchangeable and unrecognizable. The characters lack growth, motivation, or obvious purpose.

We, the audience, the public, are alienated, teased, puzzled, and disturbed all at once. "Entertainment" is useless as the audience is meant to think, think that thinking is useless.

Trump's North Korea policy, for example, is the plot of Waiting for Godot with the possible alternative ending of nuclear annihilation.