Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Cool your wheels

No, don't even try to criminalize white racists or their speech per se.

No, don't pretend the antifas, committed to initiating violence against people speaking, demonstrating, or otherwise supporting ideas or agendas they hate and label, almost always falsely, as fascist, are on the side of the angels because they oppose a particular tribe of devils.

The Communists, after all, opposed the Nazis.

Somebody at MSNBC seems to have decided to take their side, to proved that there is no "moral equivalence" between the antifas and the Nazis.

Roughly speaking, the only reason that's true is that the Nazis have a program to do immense harm to nonwhites and also many whites, while the antifas only have a program to harm the Nazis.

Well, all right.

Their program makes them annoying beyond that.

But not on anything like the same scale, eh?

Really?

If every time you call somebody a fascist you have to write another essay explaining what the hell you mean by that, this time, maybe you're just wasting all our time with your silly pretense that words mean whatever you, in particular, want them to mean. This time.

Fascism in Charlottesville

The things people claiming to be rational claim to believe

Conservatism’s Damaging Game of Footsie with the Alt-Right

Jonah Goldberg famously claims that the Nazi and Fascist movements were actually leftist because the right in its essence reveres and protects the untrammeled market and the independence and power of corporations and plutocrats.

That is the meaning of "the right" to the faux conservatives of the United States of Amnesia, a country that was governed by an institutionally secular republic from birth and that never after had to endure or rebel against even lingering traces of a hereditary monarchy and aristocracy with Lords both Temporal and Spiritual.

Anyway, this narrow-minded radical who lies to himself that he and those like him are conservatives wrote this.

During the campaign, when Trump attacked the ethnicity of an American judge or the parents of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier, the response from his defenders on the right was usually, “At least he fights!” 

Such amorality was warranted, many explained, because if Clinton had won, America would be “over.” 

National-security official Michael Anton, then writing from the safety of anonymity, dubbed it a “Flight 93 election” and argued that conservatives must do anything for victory or accept certain death. 

In an interview with New York magazine, Anton went further. 

“If we must have Caesar,” he said, “who do you want him to be? One of theirs? Or one of yours (ours)?” 

The election is over. 

Yet that spirit not only endures, it has intensified. 

Trump’s conservative critics, or “apostates” as Conrad Black calls us, face the same ultimatum. 

“The choice, for sane conservatives,” Black writes, “is Trump or national disaster.”

GOP defenders of white heritage

City of Memphis to sue Tenn. to get Confederate statues removed

FOX13 asked Reverend Jesse Jackson about Memphis' Confederate statues when the Civil Rights icon was in town on Monday.

"There are no statues of Hitler in Germany today. The losers are vanquished. We have one American flag. The heroes are those who fight to save the union from secession. Who fought to end slavery. The best America is the America without slavery," said Rev. Jackson.

Tennessee is not alone.

In several red states with blue cities, the red state governments have passed laws effectively preventing local authorities from taking down monuments to the Confederacy.

Why would anybody think the GOP is the party of the Klan without the hoods?

"Proud of our heritage"

This is white racist code for "proud of our race and it's racist heritage."

Even at the cost of Pence?

Pence being a real conservative, both fiscal and social, I thought from the day he was elected a Trump presidency would hurt the country less than a Pence presidency, and might actually weaken the conservative project for the future.

No more.

The question now is whether getting rid of him, the process, would do too much more harm than good to be worthwhile.

How do we minimize the damage?

"We are so over!"

Stephanie Ruhle of Trump closing his Councils to head off mass resignations.

"It's like you know your boyfriend is coming to your house to dump you so you text him 'We are over! We are so over!'"

Hilarious.

Totally not convincing

White guys protesting they are not neo-Confederates, Nazis, or racists and claiming their vigorous insistence on preserving Confederate monuments is about preserving their heritage.

Hmm.

Would that work to defend statues of Nazis in Germany, I wonder?

Update.

White racists use that expression as code for their heritage of white supremacy and racism.

A vaporware government

Asked where they are on infrastructure responsible officials in the White House say "Nowhere, there is no bill, no legislative proposal."

Same about tax reform.

Of course, stirring the pot and keeping the chaos going suits the Dems and their supporters to a tee.

Don't cite WFB to prove conservatives aren't racist

Really?

Calling on the memory of WFB chasing out the Birchers to defend conservatives, saying they must equally drive out the racists?

WFB defended white supremacy in the American South, in the then Rhodesia, and in South Africa.

I don't know that I'd want to claim WFB as a noble ancestor of conservatism while trying to defend conservatism against charges of racism

Right now on MSNBC, Rev. Al Sharpton and Craig Melvin arguing with Larry Kudlow.

Ali Velshi broke in announcing a presidential tweet dissolving two Councils of CEO's, one of them by the vote of the CEOs.

Kudlow fully embraced the GOP myth of trickle-down economics, saying what's important to him and the congressional GOP is getting to the agenda.

Tax reform, he said, - and it's well known that this is about big top-end and corporate tax cuts - will boost the rate of American economic growth to 4 %.

Velshi cut him off with scorn, saying there was nothing in the GOP plan that could do anything remotely like that, that he would grow an Afro before the US economy grows at 4 %.

Velshi is bald as a billiard ball.

More people exemplify the sticker, "I'm NOT with Bozo"

Military chiefs check in against the racists.

US military leaders condemn racism after Charlottesville violence

In spontaneous tweets.

Two more CEOs leave the Council, Campbell Soup and 3M.

Now there are unconfirmed reports the Council has been disbanded (by the White House?) to head off the further embarrassment of leaders continuing to leave, one at a time and in small groups.

Former Presidents H.W. and W. Bush denounce racism in wake of Charlottesville

Former Presidents George H. W. Bush and George W. Bush joined the chorus of lawmakers speaking out to condemn the racist violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend.

. . . .

"America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms. As we pray for Charlottesville, we are reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city's most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights," they said in a joint written statement on Wednesday. 

"We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country."

The Breitbart view of the movement to take down the Confederacy

Baltimore Removes Four Confederate Statues Under Cover of Night

In a stealth purging of history, the city of Baltimore removed four Confederate statues from city property under cover of night early Tuesday morning.

Roger Taney, Robert E. Lee, and Stonewall Jackson.

Also eliminated in the middle of the night were monuments to Confederate soldiers and sailors and the Confederate Women’s monument.

Not significantly different from the view of Ann Coulter, Pat Buchanan, and apparently The Duce, himself.

Nor of the most repugnant folks of the alt.right, which allows the left to gladly put in the same sack the purely economic opponents of immigration with the latest Imperial Wizard, and opponents of what used to be called "forced busing" and affirmative action in the same corner with the Aryan Brotherhood.

Not that Breitbart, Coulter, Buchanan, or The Duce are either purely economic opponents of immigration or merely opponents of forced busing and affirmative action.

Several articles in Breitbart today opposing the movement to take down the monuments.

Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, for instance.

Meanwhile, in Germany

Angela Merkel Condemns Charlottesville Violence as ‘Racist’ and ‘Evil’

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany denounced the deadly violence that erupted around a demonstration by white supremacist groups in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend as “racist,” “horrifying” and “evil,” and called for far-right violence to be condemned worldwide.

“It is racist, far-right violence and clear, forceful action must be taken against it, regardless of where in the world it happens,” 

Ms. Merkel said in an interview with the German public broadcasters Deutschlandfunk and Phoenix. 

She expressed her condolences for the family and friends of Heather D. Heyer, who was killed in the violence.

The chancellor declined to criticize the United States, noting that her own country still struggles with anti-Semitism and far-right extremists.


“Before we point our fingers at others, we need to take care of that which is happening at home,” Ms. Merkel said. 

“Of course that country is torn,” she said of the United States, “but what needs to be condemned is any form of violence, especially any forms of extreme or aggressive violence.”

About the problem in Germany.


Euroskeptic immigration opponents on the rise.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Show your colors

Woman charged in toppling of Confederate statue in NC

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper issued a statement Tuesday calling for the removal of more Confederate monuments.

"I don't pretend to know what it's like for a person of color to pass by one of these monuments and consider that those memorialized in stone and metal did not value my freedom or humanity," he said. 

"Unlike an African-American father, I'll never have to explain to my daughters why there exists an exalted monument for those who wished to keep her and her ancestors in chains."

Cooper said the legislature should repeal a 2015 law that prevents the removal or relocation of monuments so local governments and the state will have the authority to decide.

A state agency has been asked to determine the costs of removing Confederate monuments from state property and find alternative spots for their placement, Cooper said.

Cooper said he will also urge the legislature to defeat a bill that grants immunity from liability to motorists who strike protesters.

Trump channels Buchanan, Hannity, and many others

The Imperial Wizard in the White House, angry and shouting, demands of the press.

Hey, what about Washington?

What about Jefferson?

The first 6 presidents of the United States were slave owners, what about them?

So, I don't know.

But did any of them try to destroy the Union to preserve slavery?

Are any of them celebrated for nothing but trying to destroy the Union to save slavery?

Racists celebrate Nathan Bedford Forrest for his role in founding the KKK, despite his second thoughts in later life.

Democrats and partisans of inclusion celebrate Jefferson for the Declaration, and Lincoln for ending slavery, saving the Union, and penning the Gettysburg Address, and neither of them for their sins.

Hmm.

Or course it's not about whether we remember, but how

Fox News reporter in Charlottesville glorifies Nazi murder suspect as a ‘white vigilante’

Sure, remember your great granddaddy the horse thief.

But not with pride.

With shame?

Well, no, you didn't do it.

But still.

The story.

During a report from Charlottesville, Virginia, [Fox News reporter Doug] McKelway noted that anti-Confederate activists were destroying Civil War statues in Virginia and other surrounding states after James Alex Fields, Jr. was accused of using his car to kill 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

“The crisis is going to be brewing in other cities,” McKelway said. 

“Those who find the system of slavery to be so abhorrent that we should have no memories of it whatsoever to those who believe that what their great-great-great-great granddaddy did in the Civil War should be remembered and preserved.”

“And then, this ventures into the area of airbrushing of history,” the Fox News reporter continued. 

“A tactic of totalitarian governments, a common practice in the former Soviet Union where people who fell into disfavor in the government were literally airbrushed out of history.”

Yup, that's one of those annoyingly figurative uses of "literally".

And those who want these monuments gone are a bunch of lefty goddam totalitarians, right?

McKelway added: “We’ve also learned when the funeral service will be held for Heather Heyer, the young woman, the 32 year old that was killed by the white vigilante who mowed down people in downtown Charlottesville on Saturday.”

A vigilante?

I suppose it's no surprise that CNN (the Communist News Network, according to the right), and MSNBC are so frankly on the side of those who want to get rid of these monuments and flags, while Fox joins Breitbart in defending them.

This is why the Republicans and the conservative movement can't get away from the charge they harbor racists and are at least soft on racism, when they aren't openly supportive of it.

They do.

And they are.

The idiocy of calling them fascists and anti-fascists

Look, the clash between the alt.right and the antifas is just not about what form of government is best for a modern society.

It is not the mid-1930s and they are not arguing about Spain, Italian politics, or Hindenburg handing Germany's Weimar republic over to the tender mercies of Adolph Hitler.

Nor is theirs a clash of theorists citing Aristotle, Polybius, Montesquieu, Locke, Rousseau, Machiavelli, or Hobbes against Hitler's, Franco's, or Mussolini's tame intellectuals, disputing the relative merits of the mixed state, the role of the separation of powers, representative democratic republicanism, constitutional monarchy, and ideology-driven party dictatorship.

What they oppose each other about, the actual issues between them, are race, racism, racial equality, racial supremacy, racial pluralism, racial exclusivism, the most primitive tribalism versus the most principled universalism.

The mislabeling of the anti-racist cause as anti-fascism and the racist cause as fascism is just stupid.

Please stop.

Thank you.

A Trump kind of guy

Joe Arpaio

The first paragraphs of the Wikipedia account say it all.

This guy is beloved of the nationalist (er, racist) and anti-immigrant right.

And The Duce.

Trump 'seriously considering' a pardon for ex-Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Trump retweets Fox News story on potential Arpaio pardon

A Trump Pardon of Joe Arpaio Endorses Racism Against Latinos

Pull them all down

The names of Confederate leaders should appear on nothing, no streets, no schools, no statues, no military bases, no ships, no buildings, and no monuments, apart from their own headstones in the cemeteries where they are buried.

Taking advantage of the topic of the moment and the August congressional recess, MSNBC is putting in a good amount of time on the issue, explaining how widespread these memorials to the Confederacy are and how they were put up during waves of exceptional terrorism by the Klan in the South and across America.

It is a disgrace to the country that the South and its racism were influential enough all over America that even after all the states outside the South together fought a war to prevent the formation of a slave empire in North America and ended slavery in our country, the triumphant North accepted the simultaneous rise of Jim Crow, widespread segregation, and public institutional reverence all across the South for the Confederacy, its leaders, its war, and its cause.

It is time to put an end to any hint of public reverence for enemies of our country who would have destroyed the Union to maintain forever the enslavement of black Africans and the racist ideology that sustained it.

Meanwhile, MSNBC is by no means ignoring that the racists celebrate not only the Confederacy and its ideology but the European evils against which America and others fought the greatest war of the 20th Century, the Nazi ideology and regime of Adolph Hitler.

What the alt.right and their ideological kin stand for and celebrate is not America but two of our country's most deadly historic enemies.

This is the Breitbart take.

Founding Fathers in Peril

And here is the word from the leader of the pack, Pat Buchanan.

If We Erase Our History, Who Are We?

Pat Buchanan defends his heroes of the Confederacy and the loons at Charlottesville who revere them by implicating the entire history of the US, the age of colonialism and imperialism, and as much of Western Civilization and its history as he can in the deepest and most shameless racism.

It is not the history of the West as the story of liberty, as the rise of Enlightenment, as the birth and flourishing of scientific and industrial civilization, as the rise and spread of democracy and equality.

It is the history of the West as told in past years by Gobineau, by Houston Stewart Chamberlain, by Oswald Spengler, by Adolph Hitler, by the American Nazi party, and by the American Ku Klux Klan.

It is the history of the West as told, nowadays, by the disgraceful and shameful racist slugs whose influence on it has been its ugliest stain and its most bitter enemies, including people whose own racism is of the bitterly and deeply anti-white kind.

We might call its mildest version the Howard Zinn/The Guardian version of history.

Of course, the movement to tear down the monuments of the Confederacy and reject racism and its celebrants is not an attempt to erase history but partly to outlive it and live it down.

It is a refusal to revere those enemies of our country and the promise of universalist social and political egalitarianism, the leaders of the Confederacy and of Nazi Germany.

It is a refusal to revere figures from the past of this country whose agendas and values are simply not our own, expressly and officially for those alien values and rejected agendas.

As for the Founders, that's a mixed heritage and we'll figure out how to remember it and how and how far to revere it, and black and Indian and Asian and other nonwhite or not quite entirely white Americans will play a role in working out how.

The truth is, after all, that the America of today is not the America of 1860, 1789, or 1620, and the differences are all to the good.

And that, of things political pertaining specifically to race and identity, the most valuable things in the American past were and are the promises of equality and inclusion captured in the Declaration and saved from ruin by the Union victory over the Confederacy.

Just as Barack Obama said.

Business leaders flee Manufacturing Council

4 business leaders left Trump's manufacturing council following Charlottesville

Hmm.

Not how business leaders treated the Council of the original Mussolini.

Threats in public, pressure in private

It’s ‘Game On’ for War If North Korea Strikes Guam, Mattis Warns

In case anyone wasn't sure the DC defense establishment is right there behind the president about Korea.

North Korea Says It Won't Fire Missiles At Guam After All

Good start.

Now, about those nukes.

Well, aren't you special?

This morning on the radio news a story about the oh so frustrated GOP voters in Alabama, choosing a senator to replace Jess Sessions.

Gee, they are so frustrated and so angry that even with both houses of congress and the White House in the hands of the GOP they are still not getting all the political goodies they have wanted for years, if not decades.

Gee, that makes them so unique and so special.

Wow.

Frustrated, are they?

Can't always get what they want, huh?

Well, I have wanted congress to plug the holes in Medicare that cost elders their life savings if they get sick since I knew they were there, three or four decades ago.

I have wanted congress to fix Social Security since I realized decades ago that people pay all their lives into a government mandated and controlled retirement system and it pays so piss-poorly that you can't retire on it, no matter how modest your needs.

I have wanted the states or the feds to man up and make quality education available to all from K through 16 and beyond, to professional and graduate school, and to cover other forms of vocational and trades training, too.

All of these have been goals of progressivism since Teddy Roosevelt articulated them in 1910, preparing for the historic election of 1912.

Are we there, yet?

No?

Gee, maybe I'll drive a car into a crowd.

And the media can be oh so sympathetic and commiserate with my entirely understandable frustration and entirely justified anger.

Jeez.

Because it's August

Congress has gone home and it's a slow political news period.

Media need a story and extremists need attention.

White racists and their opponents, who do not include only liberals and Democrats but also opposing extremists, see their chance.

Another white nationalist rally planned, this time in Texas with Richard Spencer

Spencer has become a star of the movement.

Did you notice how many of the white nationalists at rallies look like Mormon missionaries?

Or is it Hitler Youth?

Anyway, when Congress gets back the media will again mostly ignore these loons and their frequently loon enemies.

Better for everyone. Except the loons.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Can its racism reduce the GOP to a permanent loser?

Will this so alienate enough whites who are non- or anti-racists but generally vote GOP for other reasons as to reduce the party to a popular vote loser not only for the presidency but for other public offices?

Jonathan Capehart, with boundless unjustified optimism, suggests as much.

But nah.

For too many whites racism is not a bug but a feature.

And for too many other whites it's not much of a bug.

Right now on MSNBC a national leader of the NAACP, Sherrilyn Ifill, president of their Legal Defense Fund, is on Andrea Mitchell and she is just great, talking about white supremacy and what is expected of presidents in connection with that sort of thing.

Andrea is letting her talk and she is sharp as a whip, sharp as a tack, and loaded with true political history, speaking clearly on the side of the angels.

Jonathan Capehart said if the president comes through and damns white supremacy specifically for what happened Saturday it will actually be too late.

On the same point, no one will believe his heart is in the right place, said Ms. Ifill, unless he fires Bannon, Miller, and other alt.right racists in the White House and stops the policies of his administration.

Andrea raised the question of disallowing demonstrations by bigots, but nobody took up that unAmerican cause.

Update.

Later that same day a spokesperson for Black Lives Matter urged that the First Amendment does not protect hate speech.

That is a position increasingly urged on the PC, SJW left.

That is not the view enshrined into law over the years by the Supremes and not the view championed by the ACLU, over the years, and not the view accepted by anyone who thinks the US is all the better for not criminalizing hate speech, as the EU and others have done.

Greenwald, again.

Is that quite it?

When is a crime a hate crime and when is it terrorism?

Terrorism:

The world has never really settled on standard definition of 'terrorism,' but the US Code of Federal Regulations defines it as "the unlawful use of force and violence against persons or property to intimidate or coerce a government, the civilian population, or any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives."

But it needs to be clear that it is terrorism only if it is intended by the perpetrator(s) that the intimidation or coercion resulting from the force or violence move some organization, some segment of the population, or members of some segment of a population to do something, or not do something, where it is the doing or not doing that serves the agenda.

The 2004 Madrid train bombings were aimed at getting Spain out of the Iraq War.

Attacks on abortion clinics are generally aimed at getting providers to stop providing or abortion seekers to stop seeking, or both.

It may also be intended to terrorize communities into opposing the presence of such clinics out of fear for public safety.

The demonstrations in Charlottesville by the racists were intended to defend and advance the causes of white racism and white supremacy in a variety of ways, and their violence was intended to discourage and retard the agendas of their opponents.

That includes not only the fights with sticks and bats but the car killing of Heather Heyer.

Hate crime:

The FBI says a crime becomes a hate crime when there's an added element of bias. 

For example, if the victim was killed because of his or her race, religion or sexual orientation.

"Hate crimes are different from other crimes. They strike at the heart of one's identity," former FBI Director James Comey said in a speech at the Anti-Defamation League National Leadership Summit in 2014. 

"They strike at our sense of self, our sense of belonging. The end result is loss: loss of trust, loss of dignity and, in the worst case, loss of life."

While often true, none of that is really necessary, though owing to wording a hate crime law may forbid hate crimes only against persons on account of their supposed possession of certain specific traits.

It may criminalize hate crimes on account of race, sexual orientation, or religion, for example, while omitting to criminalize hatred on account of sex, national origin, or other characteristics.

They're motivated by bias, said David Stacy, government affairs director of the Human Rights Campaign.

"In a hate crime, the victim is targeted because of his characteristics," Stacy said. 

"These are bias-motivated crimes, and often they are much more violent than traditional crimes."

It could be any characteristic.

It is only necessary that the motive be hatred of all who share the characteristic.

Usually, they are crimes of violence but, in principle, any crime could be a hate crime.

The ultimate sources

The ultimate sources for the total submergence of humans in wretched and harmful error are the credulity of the well-meaning and the malevolence of the rest.

The credulity makes it too easy.

The malevolence makes it inevitable.

It was his racism

Johnson's racism is what led him to oppose, and oppose bitterly, the egalitarian aims and policies of the Radical Republicans, from land for the Freedmen to votes for them.

He was terrified of "Negro supremacy."

Would in fact the Radical program of Negro enfranchisement and rebel disenfranchisement have resulted in some states in Negro majorities among voters?

An interesting experiment, that.

"Third Annual Message," December 3, 1867

Reading John David Smith.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A martyr or a passerby?

Paralegal killed during protest of Charlottesville white supremacist rally

Looks like the former, but it's not entirely clear, yet.

Might have been collateral damage, like the victims of Muslim car and truck attacks in Europe.

Update.

Not a passerby.

A participant.

Mother Of Charlottesville Victim Heather Heyer: ‘I’m Proud Of What She Did’

Heather Heyer ‘Murdered While Protesting Against Hate’ In Charlottesville, Friends Say

Charlottesville a reminder of what we don't know about what The Duce really thinks

Watching MSNBC about the Charlottesville mess, the wife recalled this to me.

Is Trump really a Nazi?

Remember this story about his bedside reading?

Recall his birtherism about O?

Remember his campaign for mass deportation of 11 million illegals and for a total ban on not only Muslim immigration but Muslim travel to the US?

Newt G was on TV today angrily reminding Big, Evil Media that Trump "explicitly disavowed" the racists and the Klan during the campaign.

See this about that.


The theme of their march was "Unite the Right"

Charlottesville sorts patriots and cowards

Note how many self-identified Republicans, conservatives, and right wingers defend the people who came to Charlottesville to protest removal of monuments to the Confederacy, its cause, and its heroes, referring to them as "conservatives" and "the right".

And consider again who those folks were and what symbols and flags they carried amidst their Confederate battle flags and regalia.

They were Klan, they were neonazis, they were militia, they were white nationalists and identity types of many sorts.

That's who they were, and the theme of their march was "Unite the Right," and numerous are the rightists who evidently agree with their self-estimation, that these fans of The Turner Diaries and Nathan Bedford Forrest and Adolph Hitler are today's America right, or a legitimate part of the Republican coalition, deserving of all the respect and solidarity owed to other members like the sociocons, the Evangelicals, the Koch plutocrats, the libertarians, and the Wall Street global capitalists.

Many members of the Republican establishment, the Congressional leadership, have come forward to utterly damn these racists.

But a whole lot of others, the sort who routinely condemn the Republican establishment and Congressional GOP for letting them down and being part of the swamp, the sort who seem to be the core of Trump supporters, are openly on the same side as the nazis and the Klan.

Interestingly, Breitbart rejects them, claiming (they must have taken Jonah Goldberg to heart) they are not part of the right but of the left.

Insufficiently true-blue to the market and to capitalism, you know.

And that's a defining trait, you know.

Essential.

A litmus test.

Flynn: Untie the Right from ‘Unite the Right’ Charlottesville Nutters

The White House, its spokesmen, and Trump himself are still praising the loons with faint damns and covering up for the nazis with implicit false equivalences, emphasizing the line that on both sides some people came to rumble.

David Duke, who was there, has been on TV several times saying the marchers supported Trump and would bring about the fulfillment of his agenda.

The Duce, the White House, etc., have said nothing to indicate Duke's endorsement is unwelcome and his understanding of Trump's agenda is repugnant.

Neither he nor they have yet said a word to condemn the mosque bombing of a week or so ago, which a controversial White House staffer has said might after all have been a leftist provocation.

All of this is the most recent fruit of the Southern strategy in response to which the racists of the South and of the whole of America left the Democratic Party of JFK, LBJ, and their successors to join the Republican Party of Barry Goldwater, Richard Nixon, and their successors.

White Racial Terrorism

Charlottesville car murder

Ohio man faces charges in fatal Charlottesville vehicle attack

An Ohio man is being held on charges related to the car crash that left one dead and 19 injured in Charlottesville, Va., in the wake of of a white supremacist rally, authorities say.

James Fields Jr., 20, is being held at the Albermarle-Charlottesville County Regional Jail on suspicion of second-degree murder, malicious wounding and failure to stop in an accident that resulted in death. 

A jail official confirmed Fields was being held there Saturday evening.

Obama's Justice Department would already be all over this.

Trump's?

Maybe not so much.

Assuming authorities are right and this was intentional rather than some weird accident and we are not surprised with some unexpected alternative motive, this young man is almost certainly a white nationalist who killed people because they wanted statues of his heroes taken down,  people who opposed what he loved and rejected his entire agenda.

It was a hate crime, then, and, given the apparent political occasion and motives - to protest, stop, and deter the removal of public statues celebrating heroes of the Confederacy and its cause - , an act of terrorism.

Too, if he wasn't there to visit his grannie or his high school sweetheart, it seems likely he drove to Charlottesville, Virginia from Ohio in the first place to participate in these racist demonstrations, possibly with the expectation and intention of participating in violence, though perhaps without any intent to kill or, specifically, to drive into a crowd.

All those details are yet to emerge.

But even now it is likely to have been outright, right-wing, racist terrorism, strictly speaking.

Where is the Justice Department?

Update, MSNBC says the FBI and the Justice Dept are on this, now, conducting a "civil rights investigation".

Update.

Charlottesville crash suspect James Fields brandished shield for Vanguard America hate group before attack

That's him in the middle.


More here on him and his victim.

He told his Mom he was going to an alt.right rally.

Not the outcome they were looking for

Kentucky city mayor: Confederate statues to come down after Charlottesville

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Right and Wrong

Trump -- once again -- fails to condemn the alt-right, white supremacists

Trump made a statement in front of the cameras.

He condemned "all sides" involved at Charlottesville equally and left it at that.

He should have condemned all sides for violence but then separately and also the racists whose bigotry and hatred has no place in America.

He should have said frankly that the Confederacy existed to fight a war to preserve race slavery, and that that is not a cause any American should be proud of.

He should have commended the Charlottesville authorities for taking down monuments to the causes of racism and slavery, and expressed pleasure America was finally taking another step away from that.

But he knows full well that prominent among those who celebrate him and support him are those who celebrate the Confederacy and retrospectively support it.

And he has thrown stage winks in their direction all the way through his campaign and his presidency.

But men like David Duke, possibly the most famous white nationalist, directly tied Saturday's protests to Trump.

"We are determined to take this country back. We're gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump," Duke said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Saturday in Charlottesville. 

"That's why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he's going to take our country back."

When Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday that everyone "must be united & condemn all that hate stands for," Duke grew angry, feeling that the man who help bring white nationalist to this point was slamming them. 

He urged Trump -- via Twitter -- to "take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists."

Though earlier in the day Trump billed Saturday's event as a press conference, the President declined to respond to shouted question that would have allowed him to directly take on white nationalists.

"Mr. President, do you want the support of these white nationalist groups who say they support you, Mr. President? Have you denounced them strongly enough," one reporter shouted.

"A car plowing into people, would you call that terrorism sir?" another asked.

Trump walked out of the room.

Orrin Hatch, Marco Rubio, and several other GOP leaders condemned the president for not expressly condemning the racists.

Paul Ryan and John McCain were also forthright.

Ryan wrote on Twitter Saturday that "the views fueling the spectacle in Charlottesville are repugnant."

"Let it only serve to unite Americans against this kind of vile bigotry," he continued. He later added "White supremacy is a scourge. This hate and its terrorism must be confronted and defeated."

McCain issued a passionate statement Saturday evening in response to the rally and the car attack.

"Our Founders fought a revolution for the idea that all men are created equal," his statement read. 

"The heirs of that revolution fought a Civil War to save our nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to that revolutionary proposition. Nothing less is at stake on the streets of Charlottesville, Virginia, where a violent attack has taken at least one American life and injured many others in a confrontation between our better angels and our worst demons."

"White supremacists and neo-Nazis are, by definition, opposed to American patriotism and the ideals that define us as a people and make our nation special," McCain continued. 

"As we mourn the tragedy that has occurred in Charlottesville, American patriots of all colors and creeds must come together to defy those who raise the flag of hatred and bigotry."

Virginia governor to white nationalists: 'Go home ... shame on you'

Here are some marchers from this "Unite the right" rally.

The pic is from Huffpo.


A car plowed into the counter protesters killing one and injuring 19.

Police are looking at this as deliberate homicide.

A reasonable guess is that it was a white nationalist act of terrorism.

Tweet reactions

The Duce and Melania tweeted deploring the violence and calling for us all to "come together."

Paul Ryan tweeted a direct disavowal and condemnation of the bigots on the scene.

Melania and Bozo did not do that.

But it is only the ideology and agenda of these racists that is fundamentally incompatible with modern America, American liberty, and the American republic.

Antifa?

The news describes them as organized, dressed in black, wearing masks and some of them helmets, and here to rumble.

Successors to yester-year's anarchists?

Meanwhile, according to the MSNBC newsie on the ground, armed white militia were here early on and police, far from disarming them, checked them in and let them form up early in the day to provide security for rightist demonstrators.

I've no idea where they are now or what involvement they may have had in clashes, if any.

This image of some antifas is from Huffpo.


Violence in Charlottesville

Repeated and widespread incidents of violence, mostly but not only rightists attacking leftists, shown on MSNBC's live coverage.

Police have ordered everyone to disperse and broken up the original rally for unlawful assembly, but this small town is full of these people, walking around, looking for trouble.

The point has been made repeatedly that many in the crowd on both sides are armed with bats or fighting sticks, wearing loaded gloves, wearing helmets, or carrying shields, and the police should have disarmed them as they got off their buses but did not make any attempt to do that.

But many of the attacks have involved chemical mace or pepper spray.

According to the MSNBC newsie on the ground, armed white militia were here early on and police, far from disarming them, checked them in and let them form up early in the day to provide security for rightist demonstrators.

No hints of any involvement they may have had in any clashes.

Somewhat disingenuously, the left commentariat are blaming Trump and his campaign for the rise of this sort of stuff, omitting reference to the equally recent movement all across the South to remove monuments to the Confederacy, the very thing these rightist white racists are here to protest.

Probably the latter had a lot more to do with setting off these folks.

All the same, it says nothing good about America or the South that those monuments were erected in the first place and allowed to stand for all this time.

Reminds me of Mark Twain

The death of the internal combustion engine

"Reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

Who is making this controversy a "racially tinged" one?

Hint: Not the white guys who like Bernie

Inside the fight that could derail the Democratic Party

The Hillary supporters during the campaign bashed Bernie's people for being way too white and way too male.

They never went away, and neither did their racism and misandry.

As for Kemala Harris, I think she might have a future but is too much of a lightweight for 2020 or even 2024.

Not every nonwhite one term Democratic senator is a rock star.

But for some activists among the Democrats the candidate has to be a woman and has to be mulatto or black, a rule that can only contribute to keeping race rather than class at the center of American politics - though that, of course, is exactly as many of these folks would want it.

As for Bernie, I would rather he and his ilk not take over the Democratic Party, of course.

Their emphasis on class politics is all to the good, and it would be good to move our politics away from race.

But neither Bernie nor his supporters are actually Democrats - not even progressive Democrats - in outlook or loyalty, and are just flat out too far left, with their hatred of capitalism and vacuous, utopian blather about socialism.

Not to mention their Zinnism about the American past.

And I do not assume, as the Sanders folks do, that failure to support Bernie's characteristic agenda of 2016 rather than Hillary's would or should doom either a prospective candidate or the Democrats, in 2020 or beyond.

Oh, and the self-righteousness of these people is utterly repulsive, with their endless self-congratulations for "speaking truth to power".

Talk about nauseating.

Cannot be described without epithets

This CNN piece is not news coverage of this event.

It is news coverage of expressions of hatred for the people participating, condemnations of their ideas and aims, and claims to popular visceral reactions to them like nausea.

This is the sort of propaganda instead of news that the left demanded of the press in connection with Trump during his campaign, and that MSNBC and others are providing that fellow who got fired from Google for crimespeak.

Charlottesville remains on edge ahead of 'Unite the Right' rally

All the same, these folks are seriously out there, types who could have chummed around with Tim McVeigh.

'Increasingly Nazified' white nationalist rally descends on Virginia amid expected protests

Chanting about Jews? Really?

It's as though these loons were trying their best to narrow their potential fan base to the criminally insane.

I suppose it's an open question how far these people actually are fascists, and even the neo-nazis seem to have little if anything in common with the real nazis (who actually were fascist, though that was, if not the least of their sins, then certainly among their lesser sins) but an admiration for their uniforms and their vast program of state-organized violence against Jews.

Remember The Turner Diaries?

The aim of fascism was a dictatorial reorganization and modernization of the nation state, along with considerable state control of private associations and life.

The sort of thing people used to call "totalitarianism," a term far more accurately descriptive of Communist regimes than of Mussolini's Italy or even Hitler's Germany.

The aim expressed in The Turner Diaries was global genocide of all nonwhites.

Not the same thing, at all.

Pure altruism

If not a serious blunder, that's what American intervention in Venezuela would be.


There is little danger this example of Bolivarian madness will prove contagious, and it poses no threat to us, though it is every bit as committed to hatred of the capitalist Occident as is ISIS.

Still, the Bolivarians have enough support for intervention to face an uncertain welcome.

It might just result in more mess.

Not likely anywhere near as bad as Iraq or Afghanistan, but still.

Friday, August 11, 2017

Like something from Plautus.

Chapter One, section 3.

Very amusing, almost laugh out loud.

Don't know if that's intended.

Veroshka's outburst to Julie in section 6 is admirable; Julie's reply is comic.

The family clash in 7 over the proposed marriage to Misha would bring down the house, put on the stage.

Can Chernyshevsky really have intended this to be funny?

Again, the entire first paragraph of section 8 about the maids seems like a scene from Moliere.

Is this book generally thought of as comedy?

The authorial intrusion in section 7 was rather preachy, as was his preface that was also cheeky.

But the intrusion in 9, when he berates his heroine for naivete as she refuses Misha, would have cheered Fielding.

As would the end of chapter one, where the author advises his readers how he will - or rather how he won't - resolve his characters' predicament.

Reading What is to be Done?

Timeline on the current crisis in Venezuela

A Timeline Of Venezuela’s Months Of Protests And Political Crisis

There was never a vote on whether to reform the constitution, or whether to have a constituent assembly, or on what powers it would or should have if called.

Maduro is doing to Venezuela something similar to what Allende tried to do to Chile, though circumstances are different.

If anything, Maduro is less threatening, his movement and supporters are less clearly committed to old fashioned Communism, and anyway the Soviet Union is gone so he cannot be an ally or focus of power for our quondam Cold War enemies in this hemisphere.

Interestingly, notably more of the left seems opposed to him than opposed Allende, back in the day.

With luck, the Bolivarian Revolution will be disposed of in a way that does not involve a Venezuelan Pinochet.

It did fail, and that's why we're here

Sure Enough, Fox Is Blaming Obama For North Korea Crisis

The GOP is blaming not just O but all previous administrations for policies that have failed to stop NK developing nukes with which to hit the US.

That they have failed is undeniable.

That because they failed the US may now be forced to choose between preemptive military action or acceptance that the looniest regime on Earth can attack our cities with nukes is also undeniable.

Of course, what they are not saying about the failed years of diplomacy and economic pressure is the same thing everybody does not say discussing the failure of appeasement at Munich to head off World War Two.

It was worth a try, it was the right move at the time, it is senseless to opt for war when other means have not all been exhausted.

But that was then, and this is now.

Meanwhile, the Siberian President thanks Putin

Trump thanks Putin for expelling U.S. diplomats, infuriating State Department

Silent for days, this is The Duce finally addressing the issue of Putin expelling over 700 US diplomats, reportedly half the staff, in response to the sanctions bill Trump so publicly did not like.

President Donald Trump on Thursday thanked Russian President Vladimir Putin for expelling American diplomats from Russia on the grounds that “we’re going to save a lot of money,” prompting dismay among many of the rank-and-file at the State Department.

“I want to thank him because we’re trying to cut down our payroll, and as far as I’m concerned I’m very thankful that he let go of a large number of people because now we have a smaller payroll,” Trump told reporters at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey, according to a pool report.

“There’s no real reason for them to go back,” he added. “I greatly appreciate the fact that we’ve been able to cut our payroll of the United States. We’re going to save a lot of money.”

Russia recently announced that it would expel hundreds of U.S. diplomats from its soil to retaliate for sanctions the U.S. put on the Kremlin. 

Those sanctions are in response to Russia’s suspected attempts to meddle in last year’s U.S. presidential election through a disinformation campaign and cyberattacks on Democratic Party officials.

The Duce on a roll

Invigorated by making clear and, apparently, perfectly serious threats to North Korea, Trump has blasted away at Mitch McConnell and demanded he move forward on health care, on tax cuts, and on his infrastructure proposals.

He seems to feel so much better, having got that off his chest.

Trump to Kim: Fire on Guam and I'll fire on you!

Trump warns N Korea that US military is 'locked and loaded'

"Military solutions are now fully in place, locked and loaded, should North Korea act unwisely. Hopefully Kim Jong-un will find another path!" he tweeted.

And in another place, in person, to the cameras, he specifically warned that the planned and ready military response would occur if Kim fired on Guam.

As to the broader issue of NK pursuit of nukes to hit the US with, Trump did not say military action would not happen if Kim did not fire on Guam.

It's not just about Guam.

The Duce's first warning of unprecedented "fire and fury" came before the North Koreans started threatening Guam.

American media are still treating this as an occasion for mocking, correcting, and bashing Trump and not seeing this has become every bit as serious, in its regional way, as the Cuban missile crisis, and more serious than the runup to Bush the Elder's invasion of Iraq.

What Trump is doing is scary but not foolish and not without reason, no more than what Kennedy did about Cuba and rather less than what Bush pere did to Iraq.

So far as any attention is given to possible military events the focus, previously on what Kim's artillery would do to Seoul, is now on what his missiles would do to Guam in just 14 minutes.

Zero attention is being paid to the threat facing North Korea and what American forces could do, very quickly and without question, to Kim, Pyongyang, North Korean forces, and the North Korean nuclear missile program.

References are numerous to the much less threatening language of others in the administration, as though everyone had forgotten we only have one US President and he, not his staff and not his department heads, is the Commander in Chief and calls the tune.

The Secretary of State is not the President, the National Security Advisor is not the President, Donald Trump and only Donald Trump is the President.

Yet the cable networks' military experts are talking as if Trump's threats were of course mere bombast and certain not to be fulfilled, so that what actually would happen if NK fired on Guam would be very little, and at most defensive moves such as use of anti-missile systems to knock down NK's shots.

Contrast all that irresponsible foolery with the utter seriousness with which the press treated every word out of Bush the Elder's or Jack Kennedy's mouth, about what the US would do and was ready to do, about their crises.

And with the reactions of China, Russia, and South Korea.

China warns North Korea: You’re on your own if you go after the United States

China won’t come to North Korea’s help if it launches missiles threatening U.S. soil and there is retaliation, a state-owned newspaper warned on Friday, but it would intervene if Washington strikes first. 

The Global Times newspaper is not an official mouthpiece of the Communist Party, but in this case its editorial probably does reflect government policy and can be considered “semiofficial,” experts said.

Russia does not accept a nuclear North Korea – Lavrov

“Now [North Korea] claims that it has legal rights to make nuclear weapons and has already [done so],” he said. 

“But you know our position: we don’t accept the fact that North Korea could possess nuclear weapons.”

Both Russia and China have a “range of proposals” aimed at preventing what could become “one of the deepest conflicts” and a “crisis with a big number of casualties.”

According to the Russian foreign minister, there is the strong risk that Washington and Pyongyang could engage in military conflict.

South Korea Says U.S. Promises Coordination in Standoff With North

Of course not thrilled, SK is nevertheless not complaining of what Trump is doing, or demanding he stop, withdraw, or moderate his warnings to Kim.

This is a quiet but public assurance that they are on board.

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Do not be too sure Trump was bluffing

McCain did the US no favor by immediately expressing skepticism that Trump was actually prepared to fulfill his threat.

I should say the likelihood right now that Kim will fire missiles at Guam is better than even money.

And the chance Trump will heavily retaliate if he does - though not with nukes - is even higher.

North Korea details Guam strike plan and calls Trump 'bereft of reason'

North Korea has defied threats of “fire and fury” from Donald Trump, deriding his warning as a “load of nonsense” and announcing a detailed plan to launch missiles aimed at the waters off the coast of the US Pacific territory of Guam.

A statement attributed to General Kim Rak Gyom, the head of the country’s strategic forces, declared: “Sound dialogue is not possible with such a guy bereft of reason and only absolute force can work on him”. 

The general outlined a plan to carry out a demonstration launch of four intermediate-range missiles that would fly over Japan and then land in the sea around Guam, “enveloping” the island.

“The Hwasong-12 rockets to be launched by the KPA [Korean People’s Army] will cross the sky above Shimani, Hiroshima and Koichi prefectures of Japan,” the statement said. 

“They will fly for 3,356.7 km for 1,065 seconds and hit the waters 30 to 40km away from Guam.”

The statement said the plan for this show of force would be ready by the middle of this month and then await orders from the commander-in-chief, Kim Jong-un.

The authors of an article at Vox contemplate the possible use of air defense missiles if NK actually fires missiles at Guam.

Pyongyang is calling Trump’s bluff, and the stakes are getting higher.

But they seem to completely disbelieve Trump's threat, and such public incredulity could encourage a serious error by NK.

Too many people are forgetting Trump's endless, joyful mockery of O's failure to carry out his dire Syrian "red line in the sand" threat, and his own gleeful drop of the hammer when the Syrians used gas a few months ago.

Update, 08102017, 1515 hrs EDT.

However much you and I are prepared to dis and mock Trump, it is very important the North Koreans get the message.

Particularly bearing in mind that Trump did not actually threaten use of nukes.

That reading of his remarks was made immediately by his critics, but it is by no means necessitated by his actual words.

Trump escalates 'fire and fury' threat to NKorea

President Donald Trump says that perhaps his 'fire and fury' warning to North Korea "wasn't tough enough." 

Trump is issuing a new warning over the North's development of nuclear weapons.

Trump says North Korea "better get their act together or they are going to be in trouble like few nations have ever been in trouble."

. . . .

North Korea has said it may attack Guam in retaliation.

Some people are comparing this situation with the Cuban Missile Crisis.

It is worth recalling that, when the US blockaded Cuba, Castro, hopping mad, demanded Khrushchev launch the missiles at the US.

The nukes on Cuba were not Castro's to fire, they were Khrushchev's.

Khrushchev refused, and the only reason we were not nuked by Cuba is because Cuba did not have and control its own nukes.

And right now the issue is whether Kim, considerably nuttier than Castro ever was, will have his own nukes.

Too many people are taking this crisis as just another chance to beat up Trump.

It's not.

It's a very serious crisis about a very real threat posed by NK to our country.

Probable Cause

Near as I can tell, it means only "more likely than not, on the evidence we have right now".

Or, "probably, on the evidence we have right now."

A propos the dawn raid Manafort search.

More likely than not or probably, they would find evidence of a crime in his house.

More likely than not or probably, he would not produce it voluntarily and it would not be there to be found if he knew they were coming to get it.

So I gather.

Trump blames McConnell, GOP, for not getting it done

Trump-McConnell fallout over health care continues

"Can you believe that Mitch McConnell, who has screamed Repeal & Replace for 7 years, couldn't get it done. Must Repeal & Replace ObamaCare!" the President tweeted, his second tweet in fewer than 24 hours calling out the Kentucky Republican on Twitter.

MSNBCs house general: NK has or soon will have nukes they can hit us with. Get used to it.

General Barry McCaffrey.

The MSNBC CMW is that this is inevitable and no military action to delay or prevent it beyond pure symbolism is acceptable.

Certainly nothing that risks war.

They continue to urge diplomatic actions and sanctions as an alternative to military action, though they themselves at the same time repeatedly say they will not work.

Their solicitude for the civilians in Seoul whose city would (we are told) get clobbered by artillery in the first minutes of a general peninsular war far exceeds their solicitude for Americans who will soon face being nuked if the US actually attempted to defend SK from NK.

NK is right.

The day they can nuke San Francisco is the day after the last day on which they will face any significant danger of a war to force regime change on them.

And every day from that day forward is a day on which the US is much less likely than today to come to the aid of SK if NK invades the South.

Paper tiger, eh?

Oh, and nobody is even whispering reminders that Eisenhower ended the first Korean War by use of a totally believable threat to use nukes.

Veltri and Rule say he's a bigot and had it coming

No science to see here, so it's just his belief, so it's bigotry, so Google needed to fire him, because their policy that forbids harmful gender stereotypes, well, forbade him saying what he said.

Fired Google Engineer: Company Executives Smeared Me

He's suing.

He says the company policy stifles free expression and frank discussion of the issue.

Um, yup, exactly the point of PC prohibitions on speech.

Still, don't know that any court has ever held that the First Amendment protects people from being fired.

Excerpts from The Nation

Very enlightening.

From October 31, 1867.

In an article titled "The Virginia Election" the author deplores that black voters support Radical politicians who stand for confiscation of rebel slavocrats' lands for distribution to their freed slaves.

In an article titled "What shall we do with the Indians?" the authors urge that extermination of them all, all the way to the Pacific, would be prohibitively expensive.

They go on to argue for assimilation, citizenship, and the vote for Indians.

Reading John David Smith.

Despotism

It is hilarious that the imperial Russian authorities allowed Chernyshevsky to write What is to be Done? while in prison, passed it along to his publisher, and allowed publication.

Pretty far from the Russia of the Reds.

The book is regarded as a major feminist work, though in it the author expresses views of women comparable to those that earned Schopenhauer and Nietzsche reputations for sexism.

Reading What is to be Done?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

A point to consider

Some national security expert on Andrea Mitchell just said the NK regime is convinced the only way to prevent an eventual war to bring about regime change in NK is to obtain nuclear weapons to deter the US.

That may be true, but it seems more likely they realize their determination to obtain nukes with which to hit the US very much increases the likelihood of a US led war of regime change against them.

And if that is so the point of getting nukes, for them, is not to stave off such a threat but perhaps to keep the US out of, or diminish its participation in, a new war of conquest by NK against SK.

Absolutely nobody, that I know of, has publicly made that point.

But it seems to me the pretense that it's all about self-defense is just a smokescreen of propaganda to hide aggressive intent.

Is it possible to stop the NK program without actual military action?

Is it possible to stop the NK program with military action short of a general war on the peninsula?

If not, then a military attempt to reunify the peninsula by NK is coming as soon as their nuclear attack capability is in place.

How should we respond to that?

Tell SK we are no longer interested in defending them and start to remove our forces from the peninsula?

Launch limited military strikes intended to harm the NK nuclear program and convince them we are serious (but before or after we first prepare for a general war on the peninsula?)?

Begin preparation now for a general war on the peninsula in hopes that will itself dissuade them, but ready to pull the trigger if it doesn't?

Do nothing, hoping NK won't, when their nuke force is ready, actually attack the South and force really hard choices on us all?

Busy FBI

FBI searched Manafort home

Using a search warrant, agents entered his home in Alexandria, Virginia, to seize documents and other materials that could be related to Justice Department special prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Post reported.

Did Bozo threaten to nuke Korea in response to talk?

Trump's credibility crisis goes nuclear

From political, diplomatic, and historical perspectives, Trump's threat, delivered from his golf club in New Jersey, was an extraordinary moment and shattered years of national security conventions in apparently threatening to use nuclear weapons in response to an adversary's rhetoric -- rather than an existential threat to US security.

Sure, the writer forgets that the "adversary's rhetoric" was precisely a threat to nuke the US.

Still, The Duce did indeed threaten all this unprecedented fire and fury would be rained down on NK in response, not to attack or even some threatening action, but in response to threats.

But was Bozo on the golf course himself referring to use of nukes?

Do we have anything definite on that, or is that just interpretation provided by his critics?

Mixed reviews for Bozo's threats to NK

Remember the MOAB and his quick strike in Syria?

But bear all this in mind.

Why it could take months for the US to get ready for war with North Korea

Recalling it took months for the military to get ready for Bush Pere's invasion of Iraq.

And then it took Schwarzkopf about a week to completely crush Saddam's forces, despite constant predictions in the left wing media that his army would die in the desert at the hands of the third or fourth greatest military force in the entire world (Saddam's, that is).

It is interesting that Breitbart reports Bozo's remarks, but not on their front page, and has otherwise no comment on them.

Utter radio silence.

Those reviews:

‘God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un,’ evangelical adviser says

Texas megachurch pastor Robert Jeffress, one of President Trump’s evangelical advisers who preached the morning of his inauguration, has released a statement saying the president has the moral authority to take out North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“When it comes to how we should deal with evil doers, the Bible, in the book of Romans, is very clear: God has endowed rulers full power to use whatever means necessary — including war — to stop evil,” Jeffress said. 

“In the case of North Korea, God has given Trump authority to take out Kim Jong Un.”

Lawmakers slam Trump's 'fire and fury' toward North Korea

President Donald Trump faced criticism from lawmakers in both parties on Tuesday after warning that North Korea would "face fire and fury like the world has never seen" if Pyongyang keeps threatening the United States.

. . . .

Trump issued his warning to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Tuesday during a photo op at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey.

"North Korea best not make any more threats to the United States. They will be met with fire and fury like the world has never seen... he has been very threatening beyond a normal state. They will be met with fire, fury and frankly power the likes of which this world has never seen before," he said.

. . . .

But Democrats slammed Trump for a reaction they charged was "bombastic" and "unhinged."

"President Trump is not helping the situation with his bombastic comments," California Sen. Dianne Feinstein said in a statement.

New York Rep. Eliot Engel, the top Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, said Trump had undermined US credibility "by drawing an absurd red line."

"Make no mistake: North Korea is a real threat, but the President's unhinged reaction suggests he might consider using American nuclear weapons in response to a nasty comment from a North Korean despot," Engel said.

And Maryland Sen. Ben Cardin, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, compared Trump's comments to rhetoric that often comes out of Pyongyang.

"President Trump's comments were not helpful and once again show that he lacks the temperament and judgment to deal with the serious crisis the United States confronts," Cardin said. 

"We should not be engaging in the same kind of bluster and provocative statements as North Korea about nuclear war."

Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York similarly called out Trump's comments -- referring to them as "reckless."

"We need to be firm and deliberate with North Korea, but reckless rhetoric is not a strategy to keep America safe," Schumer said in a statement issued Tuesday.

Tillerson dials back rhetoric after Trump's North Korea 'fire and fury' threats

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has sought to allay fears of a military confrontation with North Korea after President Donald Trump warned he could unleash "fire and fury" on the pariah state.

Tillerson defended Trump's comments but said there was no sign that the threat level from North Korea had changed and that Americans should "sleep well at night."

Graham was totally on board for Trump and McCain's only criticism was that he feared Trump was not really prepared to pull the trigger.

Tuesday, August 8, 2017

What? They don't trust The Duce?

Five takeaways from the federal climate report

The New York Times on Tuesday detailed the conclusions of a major draft government study on climate change — and how scientists are preparing for pushback from President Trump’s administration.

The report is part of an effort that 13 federal agencies undertake every four years to report on the state of the climate and climate science.

It’s government-mandated, but the Trump administration has yet to sign off on the report, raising concerns that the administration could undercut some of its more dire observations and predictions. 

. . . .

Scientists who spoke to the New York Times — those involved in the report and those outside its process — said it was sent to the newspaper because scientists are afraid that Trump will suppress some or all of its findings. 

Voters are fools

MSNBC just interviewed a pair of Republican small business owners in Ohio who struggle to pay for individual policies for themselves in counties where only one company offers insurance at all, for about $700 a month with $20 copays and a $7,000 annual deductible.

The company in question was going to stop offering policies next year until the state stepped in and persuaded them to promise another year.

Both these people voted for Trump and Republicans, apparently actually expecting them to provide much better coverage for everybody in the country for less money, under the rubric, "repeal and replace".

They say that's what they actually believed and wanted from Bozo and the GOP.

Uh huh.

Another appeal to those deplorables Hillary mentioned

As of 1223 hrs EDT, he still has made no comment.

Trump still has not condemned the Minnesota mosque bombing. Muslim leaders are waiting.

Since a makeshift bomb tore through a Minnesota mosque early Saturday morning, President Trump has used Twitter, his preferred platform for communicating with the American people, to rail about “fake news,” attack a Democratic senator from Connecticut and insist that he’s working hard while vacationing in New Jersey.

One topic Trump has yet to address: the mosque attack at the Dar Al-Farooq Islamic Center in the Twin Cities suburb of Bloomington, where several people were gathering for prayer. 

Nobody was injured, authorities said, but the attack has left the Muslim community feeling unsettled.

And Minnesotans and others are still waiting for the president to condemn the attack.

That he has said nothing about this is rather a silent dog whistle to the bigoted asses to whom a Muslim ban, a Muslim registry, and increased federal, state, and local policing of Muslim neighborhoods all sounded great.

Monday, August 7, 2017

About that eternal return

There are books I am glad I have read but would not read again.

There are movies I am glad I have watched but would not want to see again.

I note these things in answer to the pessimists' challenge that no one would want to relive the same life, in endless repetition, for all eternity.

Does it matter that, ex hypothesi, you would each time have forgotten all the previous times, so that subjectively each time would be the first and only time?

Well, think again about reading that book, or seeing that movie.

Repeatedly, again and again, for all eternity.

I think the idea of eternal return of the same book, or the same movie, as disheartening as eternal reruns of the same life, even conceding that each time will seem like the first and only time.

And yet, still, I am glad I read those books and saw those movies.

And am glad to live this life.

The slide to chaos continues

Dueling factions in Venezuela stake claims at power

Absent a massively unlikely opposition coup, Maduro's government will continue to slide toward a party dictatorship headed by M himself as the actual boss.

At that point, foreign intervention, if quickly successful at minimal cost, would be doing the Venezuelan people a favor, though it is possible a majority, or close to that, of them would not see it that way and would flock to M's defense, much as most Cubans would likely flock to the defense of their Communist regime in the face of foreign intervention.

A point to ponder.

Points to consider

Trump's tariff will most adversely impact shoppers at Walmart, Kmart, and other big box sellers of low price, imported manufactured goods.

It will immediately benefit the rich payors of the income tax, whose rates will be reduced by the GOP Congress that wanted the import tax for that purpose, all along.

So, though it will massively hurt all the others, will any resulting moves of the affected industries back to the states resulting from Trump's tariffs help even many of those Walmart shoppers who might be employed or become employed by newly protected industries?

Not much, if at all, if it is true - and it seems so - that (a) many US manufacturers find robots or wholly unprotected illegal aliens cheaper than American workers, even at current wage rates; (b) Trump and the GOP are hard at work undermining unions, already much weaker than during their best days in the 20th Century; and (c) Trump and the GOP are withdrawing government protections for US workers as far as possible, and will lower or abolish rather than raise the federal minimum wage.

In consequence, if things actually are as they now seem to me (always a big if), the effect in net and overall of Trump's tariff will actually be to significantly harm "the forgotten (white, uneducated, rust belt, Appalachian) men" who got conned into voting for Bozo, last year.

What everybody forgets is that US auto, coal, and steel workers were our "labor aristocracy," and their wages and benefits were much above the norm for everybody else, back when the going was good for them.

That was possible because the relevant unions controlled those entire industries so that, in the end, only foreign goods could undersell the goods of unionized American producers.

Foreign cars and foreign steel were able to strike such heavy blows to American producers and take over large sections of our domestic market because those same industrial unions had made it impossible for any American producer to make and sell products on our markets at prices as low as theirs.

Seemingly, protectionism could have saved the positions of American steel and American auto producers, at least as regards their dominance of the American market, and at least for a while.

But only by forcing every worker in America who wasn't employed in those industries to pay a very handsome tribute to those much fewer who were, or by breaking the unions' control of those industries.

No American workers are going to be compensated like those labor aristocrats were, ever again.