Sunday, April 09, 2017

Trump's "Anti-Fascist" Critics Praise Trump for Waging War

Ever since he became a serious candidate for president, Trump's foes have attacked him for being a "fascist" (among other things). Their insults intensified after Trump was elected president. And intensified still further after he assumed office and began issuing orders.

Ironically, after Trump's most fascist action yet -- his military strike on Syria -- those same critics are now praising Trump.

According to Glenn Greenwald [April 7, 2017]: 

In every type of government, nothing unites people behind the leader more quickly, reflexively or reliably than war. Donald Trump now sees how true that is, as the same establishment leaders in U.S. politics and media who have spent months denouncing him as a mentally unstable and inept authoritarian and unprecedented threat to democracy are standing and applauding him as he launches bombs at Syrian government targets.

We are truly living in an Orwellian Bizarro World. While some of Trump's previous actions were not particularly libertarian, neither were they strictly fascist. Barring people from a country (e.g., Trump's Muslim travel ban and his attempts to deport criminal aliens) is not fascist. I'm sure many of Hitler's and Stalin's victims would have loved it had these dictators deported them rather than murdered them.

Barring people from entering a country is unfriendly. Waging wars of aggression on them -- killing them -- is far worse. Far more fascistic. Indeed, wars of aggression are one of the key traits of fascism.

So it is ironic -- supremely ironic -- that Trump's critics, neoliberal and neocon, in media and in government, who for so long have excoriated Trump for being fascist, are now praising him for his most purely fascist act yet.

Sorry about our past insults, Mr. President. We were worried you weren't a real fascist. Now that we see you are, we'll stop calling you a fascist.

Strange times indeed.


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Trump Turns Neocon -- Fires Steve Bannon and Attacks Syria

President Donald J. Trump has turned into a full-blown Neocon with his missile attack on Syria.

Reporting for the Wall Street Journal [April 6, 2017], Gordon Lubold and Dion Nissenbaum write:

The U.S. military launched nearly 60 Tomahawk cruise missiles against a Syrian air base Friday, responding to mounting calls for a display of force in the wake of this week’s suspected chemical-weapons attack in Syria. The strikes represented the first time a U.S. military operation deliberately targeted the regime of President Bashar al-Assad...

"The first time." This means that Trump has escalated the war from whatever Obama had been doing. The WSJ quotes Trump as saying:

"It is in the vital national security interest of the United States to prevent and deter the spread and use of deadly chemical weapons," Mr. Trump said. "There can be no dispute that Syria used banned chemical weapons." 

I guess the part about this attack being in the "vital national security interest" of the United States is meant to signal that Trump is still following an "America First" foreign policy. Sort of like his continuing generous foreign aid to Israel.

This attack on Syria comes shortly after Trump removed "alt right" figure Steve Bannon from the National Security Council, replacing him with the usual Neocon hawks.

Reporting for the Wall Street Journal [April 5, 2017], Carol E. Lee and Eli Stokols write:

President Donald Trump's chief strategist, Steve Bannon, has been removed from the National Security Council's principals committee, and top U.S. intelligence officials have been restored as permanent members, according to a new presidential memorandum.

It's beginning to look as if Trump has surrendered to the Deep State. After suffering political paralysis during his first two months in office, Trump is determined to become a historically "successful" president, even that means rubber-stamping the identical globalist, war-mongering policies of the Clinton, Bush, and Obama years.

Trump is becoming Obama in whiteface. Who, in turn, was Bush in blackface.

Adding to the irony, the Left, until now, has attacked Trump for being too pro-Russia and too isolationist (i.e., for not saber rattling). But now that Trump has attacked Russia's ally, Syria, the Left will attack Trump for being pro-war (i.e., for the opposite).

Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Trump's "America First" Means Israel First

Despite all the defamatory accusations of President Donald Trump being "anti-Semitic," his "America First" foreign policy is as fervently Israel First! as that of any other U.S. president.

Reporting for the Los Angeles Times [March 16, 2017], Tracy Wilkinson writes:
Israel would be the only country to escape the Trump administration's proposed deep cuts in foreign aid, the State Department said Thursday.

The budget plan from the White House calls for slashing the State Department's $50 billion budget by about 28%, cuts that would mostly target climate change, democracy promotion and health programs, and numerous foreign aid projects....

Mark Toner, a State Department spokesman, said U.S. aid to Israel, which totaled about $3.1 billion this year, would not be touched under the Trump plan. Israel gets more U.S. aid than any other nation.

Aid to every other country will come under review, he said.

As per usual, Israel is "singled out" for favorable treatment. (This is why opponents of foreign aid "single out" Israel -- in response to its special status.)

And it's not because Israel is an "ally," or because it's a "democracy," or because it's a poor nation, or because it's security situation is especially precarious. On the contrary....

* Israel is a false friend. It has spied on us, endangered our security, and murdered our sailors.

* An apartheid state for non-Jews -- for Muslims and Christians alike.

* An extremely wealthy nation.

* And has one of the top five most powerful militaries in the world.

Israel neither needs nor deserves American foreign aid. It takes it, because it has a powerful lobby that knows how to shake down our politicians.

Read Wilkinson's full report.


Monday, March 06, 2017

Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County Is Too Anti-Gun

The Libertarian Party of Los Angeles County website is too anti-gun, according to LP member Robert H. Biggadike, who sent the following email to LP members:

On the LPLAC website, it says, "Libertarians are anti-war, we believe that neither peace nor freedom nor democracy can be truly promoted with a gun."
What a line of left wing clap trap. I have been a Libertarian for about 35 years and I do believe (contrary to the LPLAC statement) that peace, freedom, and democracy can be truly promoted with a gun. Homeowners who in accordance with the Second Amendment exercise their right to own a gun can deter robbery and violence against their property and person. Policemen with guns do truly promote peace, freedom, and democracy.
I think the clown who put the above statement on THE LPLAC website doesn't know what he is talking about.

Robert H. Biggadike


Wednesday, March 01, 2017

Publishers Hire "Sensitivity Readers" to Enforce Political Correctness

In Fahrenheit 451, author Ray Bradbury foresaw that "progressives" (rather than conservatives) would enforce censorship in the United States, beginning with books deemed "insensitive" to minorities. Well, today's publishing culture has caught up to Bradbury's dystopian vision.

Everdeen M

These days, though, a book may get an additional check from an unusual source: a sensitivity reader, a person who, for a nominal fee, will scan the book for racist, sexist or otherwise offensive content. These readers give feedback based on self-ascribed areas of expertise such as "dealing with terminal illness," "racial dynamics in Muslim communities within families' or "transgender issues."

"The industry recognizes this is a real concern," said Cheryl Klein, a children's and young adult book editor and author of The Magic Words: Writing Great Books for Children and Young Adults. Klein, who works at the publisher Lee & Low, said that she has seen the casual use of specialized readers for many years but that the process has become more standardized and more of a priority, especially in books for young readers.

Sensitivity readers have emerged in a climate -- fueled in part by social media -- in which writers are under increased scrutiny for their portrayals of people from marginalized groups, especially when the author is not a part of that group.

Last year, for instance, J.K. Rowling was strongly criticized by Native American readers and scholars for her portrayal of Navajo traditions in the 2016 story "History of Magic in North America." Young-adult author Keira Drake was forced to revise [my italics] her fantasy novel The Continent after an online uproar over its portrayal of people of color and Native backgrounds. More recently, author Veronica Roth -- of Divergent fame -- came under fire for her new novel, Carve the Mark. In addition to being called racist, the book was criticized for its portrayal of chronic pain in its main character.
Some might argue that "sensitivity readers" are no big deal, because their use is not government imposed (yet), and so it's not really censorship. It's an editorial decision. Some authors quoted in the article even claim to be grateful for the "help" they receive from "sensitivity readers" -- helping these authors to portray their characters "correctly."

"Thank you Comrade Sensitivity Reader, for correcting my errors!"

But how voluntary is that consent? "Progressive" activists are never satisfied. They will increasingly pressure hold-out publishers to hire "sensitivity readers." Publishers, in turn, will increasingly pressure authors to make the corrections "requested" by "sensitivity readers."

As Mason notes:

Lee & Low Books has a companywide policy to use sensitivity readers. Stacy Whitman, publisher and editorial director of Lee & Low's middle-grade imprint Tu Books, said she will even request a sensitivity reader before she chooses to acquire a book to publish [my italics].

"It's important for authors to consider expert reader feedback and figure out how to solve the problems they point out," Whitman said.

In other words, whether an author consents to "solve the problems" complained about by some sensitivity commissar will determine its chances for publication. This will mean ever less diversity in literature, because weak, cowardly, incompetent, stupid, and evil personality traits will become (even more so than already) reserved for straight, white, Christian, male characters.

Returning to Bradbury's Fahrenheit 451, here's an excerpt from the Fire Chief's speech, explaining how society eventually got around to book-burning:

Now let's take up the minorities in our civilization, shall we? Bigger the population, the more minorities. Don't step on the toes of the dog-lovers, the cat-lovers, doctors, lawyers, merchants, chiefs, Mormons, Baptists, Unitarians, second-generation Chinese, Swedes, Italians, Germans, Texans, Brooklynites, Irishmen, people from Oregon or Mexico. The people in this book, this play, this TV serial are not meant to represent any actual painters, cartographers, mechanics anywhere.
The bigger your market, Montag, the less you handle controversy [my italics], remember that! All the minor minor minorities with their navels to be kept clean. Authors, full of evil thoughts, lock up your typewriters. They did. Magazines became a nice blend of vanilla tapioca. Books, so the damned snobbish critics said, were dishwater. No wonder books stopped selling, the critics said. But the public, knowing what it wanted, spinning happily, let the comic-books survive. And the three-dimensional sex magazines, of course.
There you have it, Montag. It didn't come from the Government down. There was no dictum, no declaration, no censorship, to start with, no! [my italics] Technology, mass exploitation, and minority pressure carried the trick, thank God.

Bradbury didn't get everything right. Publishers don't care about the sensitivities of Mormons or Baptists or Swedes or Germans. Such is our "progressive" culture. Poking fun at non-Christian religions is hate, but bashing Christianity is healthy satire. Nazis are unqualified villains, but Communists are at worst misguided idealists. At best they are the noble victims of McCarthyism. (The sensitivities of the victims of Communism be damned.)

But Bradbury had a great insight. Censorship doesn't start with government dictates. It begins with popular pressure. It begins in the private sector. And the signs are ominous.


Monday, February 13, 2017

Neocon Bil Kristol's Hatred for White Working Class

Neocon Bill Kristol is a walking example of why white working class voters favored Donald Trump over his Republican opponents and Hillary Clinton in the 2016 election.

Kristol has been a tireless promoter of American wars in the Middle East. But in his recent remarks (below), the smirking, smarmy Kirstol expresses his cold-blooded contempt for the well-being of the working class that provides the cannon fodder for Kristol's Mideast wars.

American working class kids die in Kirstol's Mideast wars, while Kirstol and his Neocon colleagues send their kids to the pampered safety of Ivy League colleges, followed by lucrative jobs in media, law, finance, and politics.

And this is the "gratitude" that returning working class war veterans get for their blood, sweat, toil, and tears. A working class kid loses an arm or an eye in Iraq, returns to joblessness, and is essentially told, "Fuck off, loser!" by the Neocons.

It's not just a white thing. Black workers too are offended by these fat, selfish, cold-blooded, pampered Neocon warmongers.

If libertarians want the support of American working class voters, they must demonstrate more compassion for the plight of a working class devastated by globalization, offshoring, wage compression, and other economic woes. Taking a page from lunatic pseudo-philosopher Ayn Rand is not the answer.

Kristol not only spits in the faces of America workers -- he then expects them to pay the taxes for, and even to die, in his Mideast wars. Would that his children were placed on the front lines!


Saturday, February 11, 2017

Barak Obama Calls for Tough Enforement of Immigration Laws

Or as Obama phrased it: "We simply cannot allow for people to pour in, undocumented and unchecked." Of course, that was while he was still a Senator.

So it's hypocritical of Obama-worshiping "progressives" to attack Trump for his immigration stance, when it was also Obama's immigration stance. Much like "progressives" ignored Obama's wars, while protesting Republican wars.