Friday, July 16, 2021

The GOP has become a 'death cult'


   Those are strong words.  What, in reality, is a 'death cult'? 

   Well, let's try to sort it out.  For starters, it is a group of people who have accepted the idea that some of its members...and most of its enemies....will have to die in order to achieve their goals.  A very good historical example exists in Hitler's SS.  The Shutzstaffle, translates as 'the protection squadron', but the reality was ever so much more than merely a bodyguard for Der Fuhrer.  There was a component of the SS intended for that purpose, the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler.  And, they were indeed a small but very elite--even in the SS--body of troops especially trained and detailed to keep Der Fuhrer, safe.  There was also an SS Panzer division that went by this name, but that was a component of the Waffen SS, the military branch of the SS.

   In terms of their overarching mission, the SS was responsible for eliminating any and all resistance to National Socialism.  It was, in essence, a private military answerable only to the Nazi hierarchy and to Hitler himself.  They committed murder with complete impunity and were the instrument of a terror program that really was terrifying to almost all Germans.

He wants to be president for life. He's said so.

    So, here comes Donald J. Idiot, with his grandiose pretentions of becoming a 'president for life' and a full-on dictator.  He needs people who will act as his agents in eliminating opposition to his agenda.  But, this is not Germany in the 20s and 30s.  That was a nutrient rich soup full of societal, for instance, runaway inflation and unemployment...ripe for despotism.  The country was in such dire straits that it was just a petrie dish waiting for the right 'microbe' to come along.  And, the Austrian corporal was just perfect for the job.  He had the skills to communicate and his speeches were magnetic...unlike Donny Boy, who never gave a speech in which he didn't just dwell on his own complaints.

  What Donald J. Idiot needed to achieve his agenda was and remains very different.  He instinctively knew that he had no case for his leadership unless he could convince a large swath of the population that America is in deep trouble too.  But, to do this in a country where affluence is still very widespread--and legions of people drive SUVs that cost what a house used to cost--it was clearly necessary to weave a web of lies, to create an entire narrative that, while false, was somehow least by the throngs of gullible white people who feel terrified that they're losing their dominant status in America.  Donny Boy made them  believe that the 'Brown Wave' is coming, and they're going to take over and the country will be destroyed as they attempt to turn it into a Socialist--read 'Communist'--welfare state for the unwashed masses.

  And, if you connect the dots, you can begin to see how this path led to January 6th, the first attempted violent overthrow of the United States government in modern history.  Groups of angry and threatened white Americans have been proliferating at a record pace. You have the, by now, standard MAGA KoolAids, the OathKeepers, the Proud Boys, the various neo-Nazi identified cells, and then you begin to get into the really nutso groups, like QAnon.  The Southern Poverty Law Center catalogs such groups, under 'hate groups' and their list is swelling fast.

   We have already established how far off the deep-end Q is, but they are not alone.  And, now, because the Idiot has stuck to his Big Lie, that the election was stolen from him....despite mountains of evidence that prove it was not....more than a third of the American people believe it was.  They firmly believe that Joe Biden is an illegitimate president, and that the country is in dire straits, even as Uncle Joe does his level best to undo the extensive damage that the Idiot inflicted on it during his four years of mayhem. There was almost nothing that did not receive his destructive attention.  One of the last things he did was to okay the slaughter of wolves on federal lands.  You name it, he shat on it.  That's his style, eh.

  And, now, we are standing here looking over a cliff.  If we are unable to pull together and create enough resistance to prevent it....and that is a big question-mark at this point....we will watch as the GOPs steal and destroy our democracy.  The reams of voter suppression measures they are putting in place at the state level will work.  They will make it so difficult for poor and disadvantaged people to vote that many will quite likely just fail to make the added effort.  The GOPs know beyond any doubt that they cannot win a fair election in which all Americans have the opportunity to vote.  They turned out what they thought was a tsunami of voters....and the Dems topped it with a SEVEN MILLION vote margin.  They are screwed unless they cheat.

  And, cheat they will.  

  Of course, this doesn't really present any kind of moral or ethical challenge for them because they are so used to lying by now that it is like falling off a log.  True. The sites that check facts for a living, Snopes, Politifact, and others....all document that particularly Fox but also OANN and NewMax...lie their asses off.  Fox lies 87% of the time....nary a qualm of conscience about it.  Occasionally, however, somebody on Fox does get tired of all the lies and calls them out.  Notably Shepherd Smith (since left) and Chris Wallace have drawn a line.  But, most of them, even to the point of lying about vaccines and potentially killing people who listen, lie like a rug.  

  So, how can a political party take a position that will clearly result in getting some of its members killed and.....NOT be a 'Death Cult'?  


Monday, July 12, 2021

The Precipice we are teetering on......


     If you pay any attention to the news you already know that the conservative freak-show, CPAC, is underway in Dallas.  And, it really is an over-the-top gathering of those who love Trump's lies, his bombast and his desire to be an overlord. They overwhelmingly believe that the 2020 election was, as he endlessly lies, stolen.  Despite mountains of hard evidence that it was NOT, they would rather believe a man who lies as easily as most of us breathe. So, he used his speech to this gathering of broken people to lie again and again....about every damn thing.  He's an idiot, but he's THEIR idiot and a hero of the masses....despite all indications that he could give a crap about the 'little people', and has just learned how to manipulate them and get them to think he's on their side against the world. 

This is the face of Evil in our time.

   As one would expect, the speakers are all pushing their listeners to reject vaccination, and the audience is cheering when they wax effusive about how evil it is to ask people to get one.  This is being compared, rather predictably, by Moron Taylor Green, as akin to what the Nazis did during the Third Reich.  One blithering idiot, Madison Cawthorn, tried to sell the idea that vaxxers coming to peoples' doors might mean they would, "...take your Bible,".   

  You have to wonder how stupid he thinks conservatives really are.  So, somebody is going to knock on your door and tell you to hand over your Bible, and by the way if you get don't get vaccinated you will end-up in Auschwitz. I don't know if there is a descriptive pejorative lower than, 'Clown Show', but if there is, it would be applicable here.  

  So, imagine that you live in a parallel universe.  One day the authorities announce that there is a pestilence loose on the planet that will kill millions of humans.  It is invisible, but it most certainly is putting people in dire distress and they're dying in droves.  Then an expert on such diseases announces that vaccines have been developed and if you just go get one you won't least not from this rapidly growing menace.  So, people line-up by the millions and get this 'miracle' shot, and even a follow-up....and, it so happens that the expert was right....people who have this shot are no longer ending up in hospitals and dying.  It really is almost miraculous.  But, there are some nattering nabobs in the population who have decided that the vaccine is actually a plot to take over the planet. Once you get the shot(s), you have nanobots in your bloodstream and the government now has full control over what you think and do.  Eeeeegads! 

  But, those who listen and refuse the shots continue to get sick and die. Many of them, sadly, express their regret that they didn't listen to the experts and get the shot....even as they are dying.  

  So, one must wonder what the agenda is on the part of those who are spreading false information about the shots.  Are they seriously okay with letting people DIE because of their inability to trust science? How is that not the quintessence of EVIL?  To do something consciously that you know will get people sick and even kill them, is, in fact, a good working definition of the concept of 'evil'.  

  This is one more occasion where I am drawn back to Chris Hedges previously quoted essay,   "Welcome to the Asylum", because it bears repeating.  In his opening paragraph, he quotes the poet Louis-Ferdinand Celine, "At times when the page is turning, when history brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!"

 And, this is precisely what you are watching happen at CPAC.  Insanity is operating at a frenetic level in plain view of the world.  People are cheering for speakers who are promoting suicide by telling listeners that vaccinations are a hoax designed to control them. 

  A second even darker theme is being heavily promoted as well:  that Donald J. Fucking Idiot will be reinstalled in the Oval Office next month.  The whacko pillow guy, Lindell, along with the ding-dong pesudo lawyer Sydney Powell, and so many others are all certain that there will be some miraculous shift that will cause this to happen.  Of course, there is no legal means of making this so.  There just isn't.  But, since when do whackos like Powell and clown-prince Rudy Giuliani, stop at facts?  Never going to happen.

  So, what emerges out of this insanity is the idea of a repeat of January 6th but on a more organized and more lethal level.  There are Proud Boys, Oathkeepers, neo-Nazis, and many more...who would absolutely be willing to take over the government by violent coup-d'etat.  Oh, yes they would just love to do that, all the while believing that they are in the 'right' to do so.

 As the title of this piece implies, we are tip-toeing in some very dangerous territory.  If the government and people across the nation do not accept that these forces for evil are multiplying and gaining currency as they do, we could be in for a situation that directly mirrors what happened in Germany in the 30s.  Many Germans were taken by surprise when Hitler suddenly emerged as Chancellor.  The Nazis never did hold a majority in their congress, the Reichstag.  But, they knew how to maneuver and Hitler sucked up to Hindenburg all the while knowing the old war horse was going to die soon.  

  So, a country renowned for it's contributions to science, philosophy, literature, art and religion...became a totalitarian nightmare state in very short order.  Suddenly, it was worth your freedom and even your life to speak against the regime.  You might easily disappear into the 'Nacht und Nebel', the 'Night and Fog' of the terror state.  Once the Gestapo had you in their sights it was terrifying, not merely for you, but for your family, friends and even your community.  Sippenhaft was a Gestapo policy that means 'clan arrest' and so even your loved ones could end up in Dachau or a similar camp. In almost no time at all, there were KZs, Konzentration Lager, all over Germany.  We hear about the huge camps, like  Auschwitz-Birkenau, but there were approximately 2500 smaller camps that constituted a 'feeder system' for the large death camps.  It was a true nightmare.

 And, we want to believe that nothing like that could ever happen here.  In fact, most Americans cling somewhat desperately to the concept of American exceptionalism, that means such bad things might happen to a lot of countries....but, no way could that ever happen in the good ol' USA.

  I am telling you here and now that this is NOT TRUE. Not only could it happen here, we are well on the way to it happening.  The idiots who believe in QAnon and worship the most corrupt and immoral leader to ever emerge in American politics, also do not think it's wrong to steal elections, even if you need to do illegal and immoral deeds to make it happen.  They are not just so stupid that they deny science and believe in the Idiot's lies, they are utterly without morals that demand any level of honesty, kindness, service to the greater community and are, on top of it all, devoted to the idea of White Supremacy.  Oh, yes, they are.  Although most of them would deny it, it's just a fact that has been proven over and over again by their actions in the near past. 

  TIME TO WAKE UP AMERICA!  Never mind smelling the coffee, you need to smell the rot that is consuming the core of conservative America.  You need to make your voices heard and to get engaged. The time is past when we can watch what is happening in the halls of congress and simply shake our heads.  There needs to be a sense that this is a genuine EMERGENCY and keep it coupled to the facts of the matter.  

1. Conservative far-right Americans are willing to kill democracy.  No exaggeration at all!!!

2. They will do anything, legal, illegal, immoral and even do this and gain control of the country, despite being a minority.

3. Large numbers of these people are racist, mysogynist, anti-Semitic, anti-LBGTQ, and and are eager to inflict their beliefs on all others.

4. This is an existential crisis.  Yes, it means that the life of our democratic republic is in dire danger.

  And, if you don't see this, or worse yet, if you believe ANY of the crap that the conservatives are now pedaling, then you are a part of the problem.  

Thursday, July 1, 2021

On Good and Evil....


     Most people know by the time they're adults that the world is not a black and white place.  In fact, it consists of infinite shades of grey....and, as an artist I can tell you that the color 'grey' is anything but simple and straight forward.  It is subject to subtle and endless shadings of other colors, i.e. pinkish-grey, violet-grey, greenish, bluish, yellowish...and, that is not even beginning to explore the various permutations of grey that are darker or lighter than 'normal'.  

  So, harkening back to a discussion of 'right and wrong', we come to the realization that life can be a complicated affair and has endless nuances and shades of meaning that only reveal themselves when we stop to really examine a particular situation.  

  In the field of ethics, likewise, nothing is set in stone and able to be counted on for consistency.  Everything is malleable and potentially ready to change in response to external influences.  So, here we are, in 2021, and our sense of what is right and wrong is being sliced and diced in a way that has many people confused.  We are living in a time when, for a wide variety of reasons, people are making ethical choices that seem least, they do if one puts them alongside the conventions that have been in place for many generations.

  I don't believe for a second that all the people who have taken up the cause of the far-right, Trumpism, and even QAnon....are aware that what they are doing is destructive.  Quite the opposite, in fact.  They are very certain that they are in league with an entire segment of American society that believes they are working to 'save America'.  No, don't start looking for some logical explanation; you won't find one.  How they got so far around the bend is a matter that political scientists and sociologists...and the mental health profession in its entirety....will, doubtless be discussing for a very long time, for generations, in fact.

  It remains mysterious why QAnon has demonstrated such a strong appeal to as many people as it has.  They--the 'Qs' themselves--might not think it is odd, but, the rest of the world is just watching and shaking its collective head.  To recap just how far out there it is:  high-profile Democrats, all of them Satan worshipers and pedophiles, gather in a pizza restaurant in DC to molest infant children, extract life-prolonging adrenal substances (whatever the hell those are....unknown to science, of course) and then they eat the poor babies.  


  As I have expressed previously, if I were creating a conspiracy theory that would be competing for the title of 'most unbelievable', it would be something like QAnon.  It's not merely incredible, it's just off-the-scale FUCKING STUPID.  

  And, yet, I promise you that I could find a 'Q' without too much difficulty and when I asked why they have decided that this lame-brain idiocy is 'true', I would get the whole Tucker Carlson riff about how evil the left is and how the Brown Wave is here and about to steal any pretense of freedom from all white people.  They haven't given themselves to this foolishness lightly;  they conform very closely to a 'true believer' viewpoint.  And, along with this flight from reality...they have also adopted some of the views that are now not just ugly and stupid...they are DANGEROUS. 

  Just this morning, on, an article reported that a GOP congressman from Michigan has grown very concerned that he's hearing people in his district talking about directing violence toward their neighbors who voted for Biden.  Yes, it's insane, but that is what is reaching his ears and it seems almost...ALMOST....surreal.  These Trumpers and Qs, and Proud Boys, etc. are actually contemplating SHOOTING THEIR NEIGHBORS...because they see them as the 'enemy'.  

  Holy Cow, Batman!!!  How have we gotten to this place of trying to accept that this is even 'thinkable', much less 'doable'?

  Just knowing that there are Americans out there who would even imagine for a brief instant that shooting their neighbors is a political well beyond unsettling, and well into, "Okay, I'm really worried."  The fact that this is happening across the land...mostly in deep-red states, of a sign that our society is on the verge of collapse. 

  Yes, I know that is a strong statement, but, it is also not really an exaggeration.  If we devolve to the point where such attacks are happening on a regular basis...we are one tiny step away from the second civil war that Tucker Carlson is calling for.  He's not just one more far-right hate monger, with severe mental issues.  He's got a very large following on Fox and they're not going to silence their cash cow, are they?

  I occasionally re-visit Ernest Callanbach's essay: 'Epistle to the Ecotopians'.   Here is a link, in case you would like to read, or re-read, it.

And, another essay worth reading, that could offer some solace in at least deepening our understanding of what we face and what is happening to us now:  Chris Hedges, "Welcome to the Asylum".

This helps me to realize that I am not alone in looking at society and feeling that we are headed down the rabbit hole.

  "At times when the page is turning," Louis-Ferdinand Celine wrote in "Castle to Castle", "...when history brings all the nuts together, opens its Epic Dance Halls! hats and heads in the whirlwind! Panties overboard!"

  Referring back to the title of this piece, Good and Evil are the anchor points of any civilization.  Either people are devoted to the idea that Good is preferable to Evil, or they are not. But, perhaps the greatest danger comes when people think they're doing 'good', when, in actuality, it is the opposite.  So many on the far right have seemingly convinced themselves that up is down and down is up, that we are now on the cusp of having a society that, collectively, doesn't know right from wrong....or good from evil.

 I fervently wish that I had hope that we are going to come to a mass realization that the only way a society can become 'whole', or beneficial to the greatest majority of its constituents, is for us to accept that we are all in this together. Nothing good is possible as long as there is this significant segment of us who believe that they are 'right' and that they're the only ones who deserve to be full-fledged citizens in good standing.,...and that the rest of us are so unworthy that we deserve to be executed. Amazingly, there are people on the right who have actually said this.....that anyone who has supported Biden is a traitor and all traitors should be executed.

  I suspect they have managed to overlook January 6th as a somewhat  bottomless supply of traitors who tried to overthrow the government of the United States by force. If they want to start putting such people up against the wall and perforating them, that is where they should begin.   Of course, in our topsy-turvy world, the idiots who stormed the capital are painted as patriots and 'heroes', despite the actual truth that they are domestic terrorists.  If you want a second opinion on this, I suggest consulting any of the capitol police who were on the receiving end of these 'patriots' rage.


A peaceful gathering of tourists who came to celebrate democracy.......oh, yeah.

 It beggars belief that some in congress have had the balls to claim that the capitol attackers were, "....just tourists", and that they were there on a peaceful mission to make their grievances heard.

  OH....BULLSHIT!!!!  Just stop it!

   This is about as perfect an example of turning reality upside down and inside out as you are likely to find...anywhere in human history.

  Once a society has lost it's moral grounding, and the very concepts of 'right and wrong', 'good and evil' have been decimated to the point where most people can no longer recognize them...that society is veering perilously toward total disaster....becoming a failed society where violence and depravity are the most common coin of the realm.

  Those of us who never drank the cyanide laced KoolAid, can see clearly what is happening.  It is scary and, at some point, will require us to make an effort to stay safe, even in our own homes and communities.  In the meantime, all we can do is voice our opinions, our anger and our disrespect for those who are promulgating this ever accelerating descent into some kind of self-made hell-realm.

  Can we hold onto hope that large numbers of Americans will stand firm and resist this onslaught?  The answer to this question is not clear at present.