Thursday, February 28, 2019

Fake News And Real News

This just in!

Wasn’t that great news we learned from the House Oversight Committee hearing? 

No, not from Cohen. He’s a liar. So what if he lied to protect Trump? After he admitted it, and expressed shame and remorse, the Republicans repeatedly reminded him he was a liar. They were righteously upset about Cohen the rat telling lies. I get angry just thinking about it, don't you?

That's all we needed to hear.

But that’s not the big news.

The big news is "non-racist" Republican Mark Meadows PROVED Birther Trump is not a racist! 

We knew it all along!

That’s right. By producing one silent prop, an unqualified black woman who works for "non-racist" Birther Trump, he proved "non-racist" Birther Trump can’t possibly be a racist.

When his stunt was called out by some nasty woman of color, "non-racist" Meadows got angry. As he should have, because as an angry white Republican, HE was the real victim of racism.

And of course, the nasty woman of color was the real racist. The highly offended "non-racist" Meadows raged, “It’s racist to suggest I asked her to come in here for that reason!”

He should know. "Non-Racist" Birther candidate Mark Meadows told crowds, “We're Going to Send Obama Home to Kenya”.

So there you go. Cohen LIED about "non-racist" Birther Trump being a racist. 

That’s settled. 

Why don’t those racist Democrats get out of the way and let "non-racist" Birther Trump make America great again?

That’s the real news.

Don’t get distracted by all those revelations of election campaign felonies, bank fraud, insurance fraud, charity foundation fraud, Moscow Trump Tower negotiations during the campaign, foreknowledge of wiki email dumps, and foreknowledge of a Trump Tower meeting with Russian agents.

Pay no attention to all that trivial, boring, fake news from the enemy of the people.

There may be even bigger news from the Hanoi meeting between the North Korean dictator and the "non-racist" Tangerine Tyrant.  

A tremendous deal is in the making.

If all goes as planned, we just might have the groundwork in place for a Pyongyang Trump Tower!

Do you feel the love yet?

But that’s not all. "Non-racist" Trump's beloved new friend will be getting a fantastic deal!  In addition to a generous commission for the Pyongyang Trump Tower, Kim will be appointed a special place of honor. 

We are extremely happy to report that Kim Jong Un will be named our new Director of National Intelligence. 

You read it here first. MAGA! MAGA! 

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Con-servative Terrorism

There is a truly deadly menace loose upon us, we the people of the United States . 

It has been intentionally spawned and inflamed by the ideologues, politicians, media, and operatives of the far Right. It has become a vast cult of ignorance and evil across our country.

Hate crimes have risen 20% in the past two years. This very real, and very deadly, national emergency is the fetid fruit of con-servatism. 

The sooner we recognize this, the better.

The racism, resentment, anger, and hate is fed constantly by Trump, his party, and their media. Their war on decency, equality, justice, democracy and voter rights is designed to disenfranchise and marginalize minorities first and foremost. All else who oppose their extremist far Right agenda are also targets of lies and demonization. 

And their war is lethal. It has bred homegrown terrorism. Racist white nationalism has become the loyal and brutal arm of modern con-servatism.

The horrible deaths of Americans by Right wing terrorists are becoming routine.  

Unitarians were murdered in a Tennessee church. Blacks were massacred in their church in Charleston. A woman was killed and others were injured in Charlottesville. Jews were slaughtered in their synagogue in Pittsburgh. The MAGA Bomber attempted to kill Trump’s opposition and journalists.

The list of innocent victims is only getting longer. The bloodshed continues.

The latest terrorist, a former Marine and Coast Guard lieutenant, has been apprehended before he could unleash his racist, and far Right political, terrorism. This happened as Trump once again accused the New York Times of being the “enemy of the people”.

This terrorist MAGAt’s hit list includes Democratic politicians Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Sens. Chuck Schumer, Cory Booker, Richard Blumenthal, and Kamala Harris, and former Rep. Beto O'Rourke. Other intended targets included CNN journalists Don Lemon, Chris Cuomo and Van Jones and MSNBC's Chris Hayes, Ari Melber and Joe Scarborough.

His goal was death for all who publicly criticize the Tangerine Tyrant.

So don’t give me that “mental illness” crap. It is pure evil. And it is not just racism. This is far Right, politically motivated terrorism too. 

This man's beliefs are shared by countless other Americans on the far Right. I'm not saying all Trump voters are evil. Many are duped by the evil. That is how fascism and tyrants seize power.

This is an evil that infects a large percentage of the US population, and it must be called out for what it is.

This facts need to be stated every day.

Trump fuels hate. Trump is a pathological liar. Trump is a racist. Trump is willfully ignorant and indifferent to human suffering. Trump is fond of dictators and extra-judicial killings.

Hate is evil. Pathological lying is evil. Racism is evil. Being willfully ignorant and indifferent to human suffering is evil. Dictators and extra-judicial killings are evil.

Trump is evil.

Those who support Trump wittingly, or unwittingly, support evil.

Friday, February 8, 2019

Trans-National Con-servatism

It's not just here in Trumpistan. Authoritarian far Right Con-servatism is a global pathology, infecting large swaths of humanity with resentment, fear and hate.

For a change, I thought I'd analyze one of the Right's Canadian propagandists who is more clever and articulate, and offers a smoother pitch than the echo chamber of low-brow, hate spewing, white nationalist thuggish Americans like Limbaugh, Breitbart and FOX(R).

Peterson is intelligent, and he presents a calm and rational demeanor. These attributes are perfect for propagandists who target an audience outside the base. As numerous youtube videos indicate, Peterson, like Ben Shapiro, can easily outmaneuver less bright or emotional college students, their favorite prey for indoctrination.

Peterson had to frame conservative limits of intolerance with a Jew denouncing Nazis and William Buckley, "because Buckley, when he put out his conservative magazine, the David Duke types kind of attached themselves to it, and he said, “No, here’s the boundary. You guys are on the wrong side of the boundary. I’m not with you.” And Ben Shapiro recently did this, for example, as well in the aftermath of the Charlottesville incident."

Well Buckley's long gone, and he sure as hell would not have voted for Trump or denied climate science. And for obvious reasons there are not many white nationalist Jews. But like Ben Stein, they love to play their "commie card" against liberals. And they have their share of far Right authoritarian personalities in Israel, like the corrupt Netanyahu and his Likud Party.

Con-servatism isn't necessarily anti-Semitic or white nationalist. Their bigotry extends outward from their particular group. We have Nation of Islam bigots in the US. And I've never seen a European white nationalist, or Canadian such as Peterson, attack universal healthcare as some fatal leap into Stalinism. Those are just manifestations defined by the native culture and geography of the con. They are still authoritarian to the core. They all fear and demonize liberals, progressivism, equality, and multi-culturalism. They all have more difficulty with different cultures, the unknown, nuance, ambiguity, and uncertainty.

It's not just an American disorder. It is global. It is why there is war, and institutionalized bigotry and cruelty. Right wing British amygdalas are just as over-active as Right wing American amygdalas. This has been measured.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Canadian Con-Servatism?

Con-servatism, like white nationalism, is hardly native to only the United States. Other forms of extremist far Right ideology span the globe. 

I’ve spent a lot of time discussing the modern American far Right and its innate anti-democratic, anti-general welfare, anti-regulatory, and anti-tax positions. 

I’ve shown they are against all of these provisions that are embedded into our Constitution, because none of them adhere to their opinions and world-view. 

Yet somehow they deem themselves to be the only “true” Constitutionalists.

Let’s step back and take a broader look at a proponent of conservatism from outside the US, and see how he adheres to, or differs from, his American cousins.

Prominent conservative Canadian psychologist Jordan Peterson represents such a respected voice of conservatism, at least to fellow travelers on both sides of the border.

He takes two important positions that conform with the American far Right. He said he would have voted for Trump, but admitted Hillary was more conservative regarding the status quo. This moves him beyond the domain of traditional conservatism. 

His other significant ideological position is denial of global warming. "You can't trust the (global warming) data because too much ideology is involved". 

Interestingly he seems unconcerned with the peer review process of science, and the political ideology of the Republican Party and their polluting corporate owners.

Now we’ve established some similarities in American and Canadian con-servative beliefs.

Next, we’ll examine Peterson’s perspective on other ideological positions.

As I have documented abundantly, the Right loves to define the Left. Often this requires them to unilaterally define terms. Peterson is no exception.

In this case we have Peterson’s discussion of:

The fatal flaw lurking in American leftist politics: What is liberal America's big, and possibly fatal, mistake? Failing to recognize its own extremists.”

He knows just what's wrong with our thinking. True to form he quickly conflates American liberals with Marxist ideologues:

“But the force that’s driving the activism is mostly the Marxism rather than the post-modernism. It’s more like an intellectual gloss to hide the fact that a discredited economic theory is being used to fuel an educational movement and to produce activists.”

In other words, the same old “Commies control higher education” hysteria.

He employs this tunnel vision to reach the conclusion that “the Left” wants to impose a Russian or Chinese style communist dictatorship. In fact, the Left strongly supports voter rights,  democracy, and fair representation. Somehow that is ignored.

He went so far as to invoke French Marxists from the 1960s as counterparts to American progressives. Same old same old. Liberals are just commies or commie wannbes.

There’s so much evidence that had come pouring in from the former Soviet Union, from the Soviet Union at that point, and from Maoist China, of the absolutely devastating consequences of the doctrine that it was impossible to be apologetic for it by that point in time.

So the French intellectuals in particular just pulled off a sleight of hand and transformed Marxism into post-modern identity politics. And we’ve seen the consequence of that. It’s not good. It’s a devolution into a kind of tribalism that will tear us apart on the Left and on the Right.”

It’s interesting how selective he needs be in order to ignore FOX(R) and hate radio’s responsibility in their own identity politics and tribalism that is tearing us apart. 

Damn those French intellectuals!

Let’s go with Mirriam-Webster’s definition of Identity Politics: “politics in which groups of people having a particular racial, religious, ethnic, social, or cultural identity tend to promote their own specific interests or concerns without regard to the interests or concerns of any larger political group.”

Dare I suggest the white nationalism of Trump’s base is “identity politics”? Ignoring this appears to be more selective interpretation. Or is it just simple projection?

Peterson goes on to suggest the Right has boundaries of decency the Left ignores. Um, Trump???

Never mind. He wants to make this point:

On the Right, I think we’ve identified markers for people who have gone too far in their ideological presuppositions. And it looks to me like the marker we’ve identified is racial superiority. I think we’ve known that probably since the end of World War II, but we saw a pretty good example of it in the 1960s with William Buckley, because Buckley, when he put out his conservative magazine, the David Duke types kind of attached themselves to it, and he said, ‘No, here’s the boundary. You guys are on the wrong side of the boundary. I’m not with you.’ And Ben Shapiro recently did this, for example, as well in the aftermath of the Charlottesville incident.

Of course we’d expect a conservative Jew to condemn Nazis.

So what’s interesting is that on the conservative side of the spectrum we’ve figured out how to box-in the radicals and say, “No, you’re outside the domain of acceptable opinion.”

Right. Except the racist birther he would have voted for called those in the Tiki Parade, “very fine people”. Trump denied knowing who David Duke was, and only after public outcry, he reluctantly “disavowed” him. And that man is supported by his party and over a third of the country.

And what about the lack of basic human decency and honesty on the Right? Apparently Trump’s endless stream of lies and threats to lock up his opponent are not “outside the domain of acceptable opinion.”

Let’s look at that projection again:

What is liberal America's big, and possibly fatal, mistake? Failing to recognize its own extremists.

Peterson continues:

Now here’s the issue: We know that things can go too far on the Right and we know that things can go too far on the Left. But we don’t know what the markers are for going too far on the Left.

At least he admits he doesn’t know, so that’s being honest.

How difficult would it be for him to find liberals condemning violent protests? How difficult would it be for him to find liberals condemning Stalinism, Maoism and communist dictators?

Does he think we advocate for that? Is his field of vision that narrow? 

Apparently. “Liberals are commies” is much easier to suggest to the willfully blind ideologues on the Right.

And I would say that it’s ethically incumbent on those who are liberal or Left-leaning to identify the markers of pathological extremism on the Left and to distinguish themselves from the people who hold those pathological viewpoints. And I don’t see that that’s being done. And I think that’s a colossal ethical failure, and it may doom the liberal-Left project.

Perhaps he doesn’t WANT to see it. I would suggest that is a “colossal ethical failure” on his part. And Trump gets a pass...

To his credit, Peterson does want to show us he “gets it”.

The Lefties have their point. They’re driven fundamentally by a horror of inequality and the catastrophes that inequality produces—and fair enough, because inequality is a massive social force and it does produce, it can produce, catastrophic consequences. So to be concerned about that politically is reasonable. But we do know that that concern can go too far... The doctrine of equality of outcome.

And where is this “doctrine” proposed? Apparently demanding equal pay for women doing the same work as men “can go too far”.

You cannot win if you play identity politics. (Trump did just that.) There’s a bunch of reasons like—here’s one: “Let’s push for equality of outcome.” All right, who measures it? “A bureaucracy.” You have to set up a bureaucratic inquisition to ensure that that’s the case...An example of equality of outcome are attempts being made now to implement the legislative necessity to eliminate the gender pay gap. You have to set up a bureaucratic inquisition to ensure that that’s the case.

In the case of the gender pay gap, a paycheck measures it. As with minimum wages, simple legislation would ensure it. Nobody I know is advocating “a bureaucracy” to measure it. In fact it is already measured.

It seems the word “equality” threatens the Right. As it should, They have a long history of enforcing voter inequality, income inequality, economic inequality, and social inequality.

If “equality of outcome” is limited to equal pay for equal work, we are guilty. It’s just basic fairness. But propagandists on the Right have gone so far as to accuse the Left of wanting "equality of outcome" as equal pay across all occupations.

They’re dishonest and/or delusional, of course. And that is the fatal flaw in conservative ideology.