Pox Americana

"Politics is a disease for dirty little animals." – HST

Archive for the category “Current Events”

My Hate Muse

trumpy

It’s happening. It’s actually happening. Barring intervention by the Hand of God, Donald Trump is going to be the Republican nominee. When he announced his candidacy last June to a room full of paid actors, I happily joined the sneering choir of elites, scoffing and haw-hawing The Donald off as a schmucky bag of gas; but here we are, less than a week away from Super Tuesday, and Trump is slaying it. He’s won his last three straight. His bitch slapping of Cruz and Rubio in Nevada today  just cements his position as the GOP’s Anointed One, to the horror of the party’s kingmakers. His trajectory must be a slow-motion nightmare in their eyes, like looped footage of the space shuttle Challenger disaster. He’s hijacked their plane and is dead set on rocketing it straight into the Twin Towers of the Republican establishment.

BOOM.

Anyone who has talked to me or reads my screeds knows that I despise Donald Trump. He’s a vile entity, perhaps the worst person in America. He was born loaded and has shat upon and fingerfucked  everyone in the room in his frenzied quest for billions. He looks like a bloated orangutan’s tumor-filled scrotum. His hair is radioactive cotton candy spun out of cat piss. His mouth is a spasmodic sphincter that threatens to birth glistening turds at any moment. I never get tired of inventing new ways to express my disgust for the man. I’ve repeatedly hissed and spat on Facebook about him and his supporters. Once, in the throes of a 4am Stella-induced delirium, I even penned a venemous poem.  He is my Hate Muse.

As detestable as he is, I have to give The Donald some credit for making this year’s primary season one for the annuls. He is, of course, the consummate showman, and like so many others, I have cooked up and mainlined every Trump-related story dealt my way. Sometimes I’ve fumed and sometimes I’ve guffawed, but like Depeche Mode’s big 80’s hit, I just can’t get enough. The fact that he’s actually a viable candidate fascinates me: I am forced to pinch myself every time I  take in his sneering, megalomaniac mug. Moreover, the fact that some of the dumbest people in America not only cheerlead his demagogic hokum, but trample over each other just to get a chance to  grovel and fawn in glow of his egonova, has been nothing but fishhooks to my eyeballs. Who are these people? Can’t they see through the obvious peddling of hate-pablum, snake oil, and naked self-promotion? His insincerity is elementally obvious to me and anyone else with a brain thicker than their tongue, yet he now has a fevered army of supporters. Surely they can’t all be weapons-grade morons. I am told that otherwise reasonable people are putting their (most likely considerable) weight behind him. Belief is very much begged. Is there hypnotism afoot? Black magic?

Okay. Let’s give His Orangeness some credit where credit is due: he has played both the media and the Drooler Brigade with the deftness of a master. Every move he makes is a headline. Every  utterance out of his epileptic side mouth is shot around the net and amplified ad infinitum and guess what? Sane people scratch their heads in wonderment, dread, and despair, while  Goobernation gobbles it up like a load of bulimic crocodiles. And lest you think think that such a simile is a rhetorical stretch, consider the fact that Trump really is appealing to the reptilian brain.

As legions of others have pointed out, Trump is of course playing straight to the dark emotions and insecurities of a white America that sees the tide of its supremacy ebbing. They’re scared, because now they actually have to compete with whole segments of the population that were previously shut out of the gig, not just nationally, but on a global scale. Trump fingers that sweet spot in the amygdala that gets the adrenaline coursing, and the more he presses, the harder they foam. How many times has Trump puked forth some outrageous bile, only to see his poll numbers soar? Pundits across the spectrum (including me) have repeatedly declared him toast, while the hoopleheads clapped and clamored and extolled him for his lack of “political correctness.” The more rancid meat he chucks forth, the more roaches crawl to the feed.

Most anyone watching the show has long since ceased to predict Trump’s implosion. What was thought was his self-destructive destiny has proven to be quite evitable. He has outlived the prognostications of any political soothsayers, and there are reasons for it.

He’s not scripted. He’s often funny–a master troll–as proven in the last GOP debate where he reduced Jeb Bush to a seething, laughable nub. I never thought I’d see the day where I’d feel SORRY for a member of the Bush clan, but hey, it happened. And like Bernie, he’s not beholden any big moneyed interests (other than his own). People recognize just how corrupt our system is, though I doubt a President Trump would do a thing to change that, since corruption has undoubtedly enabled him to ascend the ladder of wealth and power.

Let us also not forget that Trump has taken some positions that have previously been anathema to the GOP, such as raising the tax on the uber-rich, and publicly repudiating George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq. The latter nearly made me LIKE him, if only for the fact that it took serious balls, especially on the debate dais just days before the primary in South Carolina, arguably the most hawkish state in the Union.

That said, Donald Trump would be a catastrophe for America and the world. He is an obvious narcissist who could start lobbing missiles on the grounds of a perceived personal slight. He has nearly zero grasp of the issues and only seems to be running to make his pencil eraser of a dick semi-hard.

Despite the howling fervor of his supporters, more Republican primary voters are punching the ballot against him than for him. Whether it’s Hillary or Bernie come the fall (and it looks like Hillary), Trump will get buried Goldwater style. You can’t win an American election by writing off 90 percent of the nonwhite vote, and as awful and dumbed-downed as our country may be, I still believe there are more sane people than not. They just need to vote.

In the meantime, I’ll continue to watch with glee as he crashes the GOP presidential plane into the side of their building. For the past several decades the power brokers of the party have won elections by stoking the coals of bigotry. They have continually poured poison into the septic tank of their base and percolated it accordingly. This fetid brew has finally boiled over. The mob is  armed with pitchforks and has a leader who relishes in lathering them up for his own self-congratulatory stroke sessions. Good luck with that, ye mountain of fucks.

The rest of us will just enjoy the movie while inhaling  pure hits of Shadenfreude. You got the fire? We got the marshmallows.

 

She Ain’t No Friend of Yours

Hillary-Clinton_0

Oh, all the dears. The backlash is upon us. Bernie Sanders ties Hillary Clinton in Iowa and the narrative has changed. She’s no longer the above-it-all anointed front runner. The nomination isn’t hers for the languid waltz and plucking. Now, suddenly, she’s assumed the role of the victim. And Bernie’s supernova can only be described through the lens of patriarchy. After all, he IS an old white guy. His supporters are “bros.” He is allowed to get away with every idiosyncrasy under sun, while poor, fettered Hillary is glued to a crushing double standard. She can do no right. She’s constantly judged and re-judged–boiled down and coal-raked for every action and every word–while Bernie gets a free pass. Too cool and she’s an ice queen; too passionate and she’s a shrill bitch. How can she ever win with the MAN constantly on her back?

What a fetid load of horseshit. And convenient. Does Hillary face a daily wall of sexism? Of course. Every woman on earth does, but I sincerely doubt that this is the dominant force holding her back at this point in her career. Sure there are some online skidmarks throwing misogynist meat to the wolves (welcome to the internet), but don’t blast a single synapse by thinking that most us on the American left (penis people and others) wouldn’t throw every pound of our bro bods behind the vagina-possessing Elizabeth Warren if she was in this race. We adore her. We would chorus her name on high. We BEGGED her to run going into this, and, wanting no part of this inevitable knife fight, she demurred. Just because Hillary Clinton remains standing with female tackle isn’t reason enough for us to support her.

Sure she’s paid her dues. And yes, she’s brilliant and beyond competent. That’s not why our skin rebels at that very thought of backing her.

As others have pointed out with great detail and aplomb, Hillary Clinton has taken odious positions on occasions too often to count. I’m not going to list them all here as others have made an art form of it, but it’s safe to say that she’s been on the wrong side of history more than not. She’s soaked to the marrow with Wall Street cash. When it came to voting time, she’s always chosen the billionaires over the rest of us. She backed and cheerled the biggest mass incarceration in U.S. history. She only supported gay rights when the polls were safe. And she’s never met a war she didn’t like. Let me articulate this (like a currently viral pro-Hillary post) in SCREAMING ALL CAPS.

HILLARY CLINTON VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE IRAQ WAR, WHICH WAS THE BIGGEST, BED-SHITTING, BLOOD-SOAKED CLUSTERFUCK IN THE HISTORY OF AMERICAN FOREIGN POLICY. EVERYONE CLOSE TO ME AT THE TIME WAS HORRIFIED. I DIDN’T HAVE ONE FRIEND (EVEN CONSERVATIVES) IN SUPPORT. WE RAGED AND MARCHED AGAINST IT. BUT HILLARY TOOK HER TIME AND SAID, “HEY, I CAN GET BEHIND THIS.”

AND WHAT HAPPENED? THOUSANDS OF AMERICANS DIED. A MILLION IRAQIS WERE KILLED BY OUR TAX DOLLARS. A MILLION: MEN, WOMEN. KIDS. BABIES. COUNT THAT SHIT MOTHERFUCKERS. THEN BUSH AND CHENEY PRINTED CASH. ISIS TOOK OVER AND HEADS ROLL TO THIS DAY.

ANYONE WHO VOTED FOR THIS GANGBANG SHOULD BE BARRED FROM OFFICE FOR LIFE.

Hillary Clinton supported this obscenity and everything else since then. Libya? ATTACK! Syria? ATTACK! Israel? FUND WITHOUT QUESTION. ATTACK!

She’s a warmonger. Is her blood lust fueled by sexism? Does she have something to prove? Perhaps. Or does she just get a massive rush every time an American bomb drops on foreign soil?

Bernie Sanders wants none of this. His record proves it. The difference between the two is stark. Just look at the votes.

Hillary Clinton is not on your side. She is bought and paid for by the mega-rich and nothing will change that. A vote for her is a vote for them. Hillary supporters are either getting played like a load of chumps or are so comfortable with their current position that change frightens them. She’s awful and would sell any of you out for personal gain. And you know it.

That said, she’s going to win the nomination. And I’ll vote for her over any of those Republican fucks. And then drink myself into black.

Band of Blubbers

Anti-Government Protestors Occupy National Wildlife Refuge In Oregon

When Ammon Bundy and his “citizens’ militia” recently took over a couple of buildings at Oregon’s Malheur National Refuge, the revolution they had hoped for failed to catch fire. The masses of armed sympathizers they expected to come trundling down the dirt road to swell their ranks never materialized. Instead, they were roundly savaged. The mockery got so bad that at one point I almost felt sorry for them. Almost. And then, just when the derision was reaching fever pitch, the red hot story faded and spun in circles over the ice of the winter doldrums. With the exception of a few entertaining episodes–a member legging it to the nearest town to booze away donation proceeds, two yahoos arrested for hijacking federal vehicles for a Safeway run, and boxes of dildos threatening to overwhelm their high desert Alamo–not a lot was happening. The whole affair was settling into the inevitable reality of bird sanctuaries the world over: utter boredom.

It appears, however, that the proverbial pooch has now been screwed. Ammon, along with a handful of other supporters, was arrested by the FBI after being pulled over en route to a community meeting in the nearby(ish) town of John Day. What exactly went down is still hazy, but according to reports, “shots were fired.” When the smoke cleared, Ammon’s brother Ryan was wounded in the arm, while another–Robert “LaVoy” Finicum–lay dead.

Finicum’s death is awful, of course, but hardly surprising, given his statements leading up his final blaze of glory, where he basically said that he’d rather be killed than arrested. He was one of the chief spokesmen for the group, first coming to prominence during his now-legendary night interview under a blue tarp. He went on to further notoriety when he complained that the feds had taken away his foster sons at this Arizona ranch, who he nauseatingly described as his “main source of income (so much for rugged western independence).” Soon after he starred in what can only be described as an exploitation porn video where he rifles through stores of Native American artifacts, while paying lip service to the “concerns of the Paiute people,” the dispossessed tribe who have repeatedly condemned the occupation and called for this shower of bozos to leave. You can almost see his turgid member pulsating under his Wranglers as he fondles the sacred items.

As lamentable as Finicum’s mortal perforation is, we must see the silver lining in his ultimate sacrifice. After all, he walked away from a loving wife, along with a huge Arizona ranch filled with fat cows and a steady supply of state sponsored, indentured teenage servants. He looked deeply into his soul and saw that he no choice but to give his life fighting for the miners, loggers, and ranchers of the world. No longer could he stomach to see those poor white corporate interests crushed under the patchouli-scented boot of tree-hugging state oppression. He joined a band of Mormon warriors carrying forth the vision of Joseph Smith, along with the rifles and muscle of Brigham Young. And unlike most, he had the privilege to die doing something he loved: playing at soldier. This, my friends, is something to be celebrated.

The Bundys got what they’ve wanted all along: a martyr. Finicum will be beautified among the tinfoil fringe, but will he become the next Randy Weaver? I doubt it. Weaver may have hated the government (along with Jews and anyone on the brown side of, say, Romanians), but at least he kept to himself. The only thing he was ever guilty of occupying was his own private Ruby Ridge, Idaho: twenty acres and a cabin in the thick of the sticks. Bundy and company crawled out of their dusty sewers and tried to fuck it all up for the rest of us with swagger, half-cooked “sovereign citizen” horseshit, and guns. Lots of guns.

These guys were on their way to John Day to supposedly form a “shadow government.” Their overall objective was to replace all of the elected officials in the area with their own, unelected people, since they reject any authority except their own. That’s right. Somehow, what they say goes, because they’re “from the land.” The rest of us–city slickers and libtards galore– not so much.

The fact that they were so easily caught beggars belief. Sure, there were “shots fired” and a guy did die. But the rest of them gave up. Even hardliner Jon Ritzheimer, who, on his way to Oregon filmed this teary goodbye to his wife and kid, surrendered to authorities in Phoenix. But the question remains: Why did they even leave the area? Did it not occur to them that, once along on a rural highway, the feds just may pounce? Were they lured out? Even so, isn’t the whole point of an armed occupation to fucking occupy? They sure acted dumb all along, but could they really be such colossal mouthbreathers?

There are still plenty of armed men hunkering down in the Malheur Refuge, but the main heads of the hydra have now been severed. These bitter enders may try to ride out the winter, but if I were a betting man, I’d wager my life supply of beef jerky that they’re gonna skedaddle, and that it’s going to happen STAT.

Who Will Think of the Poor, Oppressed Ranchers?

crying cowboy

We’re nearly a week into the comedy of errors over at Oregon’s Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and it seems that the self-styled militia’s little revolution has failed to pick up steam. Instead, Ammon Bundy’s rabble of potbellied mongos has been plastered with scorn and derision, mostly from that marvel of inventions known as the internet, which at times can assemble itself into a veritable Leviathan of snark.

Twitter, as awful as it can be, proved best at generating insults. It gurgled forth the first bits in a cascade of open mockery: Y’all Qaeda. VanillaISIS. Yee-hawdists. The Cowliphate. Yokel Haram.  The Bundy Bunch was then roundly laughed at for sounding a clarion call for ‘snacks.’ The skewering continued all week, culminating in yesterday’s pièce de résistance in which proto-hipster Colin Meloy (vocalist for Portland’s insufferable Decembrists) penned a series of Oregon militia erotic fan fiction tweets:

The tsunami of lampoons almost proved too good to be true, for what better way to gut the legitimacy of an odious man or movement than through vicious satire? There were those who took exception to this approach, however, including Conor Friedersdorf over at The Atlantic, who chastised liberals for not taking this opportunity to make common ground with the right over the issue of mandatory minimum sentencing. After all, isn’t that what this is about? Dwight and Steven Hammond were sent back to the clink to serve out five years for a couple of burns that got out of hand. The punishment doesn’t fit the crime. The judge initially tried to sidestep the federal sentencing guidelines (which seem to be some kind of anti-terrorism measures), only to be later overruled by an over-zealous D.A. with a hard-on for these guys. Shouldn’t we all be standing up to such inflexible, Orwellian government policy?

Yes, of course we should, but like I mention in my first piece , Bundy, et al, are just using this issue as an excuse to press forth a very different list of grievances. Much to the chagrin of both the Hammonds and others in the local community, they hijacked this situation in a pathetic attempt at a land grab. That’s all it is. Look no further than their chief demand, that the federal government relinquish all control of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge so “the people can control their resources.” This refuge was established in 1908 by Teddy Roosevelt and is enjoyed by birders and hikers from around the world. Who these resource-controlling “people” are, and what Bundy wants to do with the land is anyone’s guess, though based his previous rhetoric, we can only assume that he intends to open the refuge up to private development (read: ranching) and shut the rest of us out.

And herein lies the problem with these guys: They’re not patriots. They’re not fighting for the “common man.” They’re thieves. They’re greedy assholes. They represent big, vested commercial interests that want to chew up the land for their own personal profit. That’s it. They cast the BLM and other federal agencies in the role of some nefarious alien, when in fact all of those great federal holdings belong to us rather than some remote collection of federal offices. It’s OUR land. It’s mine. It’s yours. It’s held in public trust for all of us to use and enjoy, as long as we follow the rules. I camp and fish on BLM land every time I am home and treasure it massively. These guys, out of an overblown, obscene sense of entitlement, want to take that away from all of us. They want to steal from the commons, fence it off, put up NO TRESPASSING signs, rape it at will, and shut the rest of us out.

Since when did ranchers become such a marginalized, oppressed group? How good do they have to have it before they stop crying, moaning, and threatening the rest of us with their guns? As written about extensively, American ranchers enjoy nearly-unfettered grazing access to BLM lands at well-below market rates. Taxpayers subsidize their businesses, and a lot of them profit handsomely from it. The Hammonds own over 12,000 acres. Cliven Bundy–Ammon’s father who started this whole brouhaha–is a millionaire. Many ranching families are. Wrap your head around that. The man has millions in the bank from profiting hand over fist from the federally-subsidized cattle business, yet not only does he refuse to pay grazing fees, he doesn’t even recognize the authority of the feds to hold ANY land. In fact, old man Bundy went so far as to claim the BLM land he grazes on is HIS. Why? Because he says so, that’s why.

Ranchers and the federal government have long been at odds, but things heated up in the 80’s and 90’s during the so-called Sagebrush Rebellion. What we have now is a continuation of that, an upping of the stakes. The fact that these privileged families whine and complain as if they’re somehow scraping by under the boot of the big bad government just rattles my brain. They mistake regulations and bureaucracy for “tyranny,” when most of them have never even remotely tasted the meaning of the word. They live in a world of unlimited entitlement, and all of this talk about “returning the land to the people” ignores the savage fact that they live on land stolen from indigenous people through relocation, warfare, and outright genocide. It’s funny how not one of them ever suggests giving back any acreage to anyone brown. Just ask the Paiute–who were occupying the land when whites began “settling” the area–what they think about this sad insurrection. Oh wait. Someone already did.

Some have described the Bundys and their ilk as “government welfare queens,” which really isn’t off the mark. Even Ammon Bundy is not immune to the allure of easy federal money, having procured a $530,000 government load to fund his truck maintenance company (Take that, goverment!). I however, prefer to refer to them as drama queens. Any sort check on their assumptive freedom to profit from the land as they see fit is met with cries of “Tyranny!” and “Revolution!” These are the shrill screams of exaggerators, the essence of hyperbole. They wouldn’t know real oppression if it tied them down and peed in their faces. They wail about a falling sky when they’ve never had it so good.

This is white privilege in a nutshell, and they deserve every ounce of ridicule hurled their way.

Here We Go Again

do not tread

We’re only three days into the new year and I already got a serious case of déjà vu. That’s right ye patriots, it’s time for another uprising against that big bad federal government courtesy of everyone’s favorite racist Mormon dingleberries, the Bundy clan. Remember them? Just two years back doddering patriarch Cliven Bundy ignited a brouhaha with the Bureau of Land Management when he continually refused to pay the use fees on the public land where he grazed his cattle. The wheezy old cowboy became a cause celebre. Wingnuts and wannabe soldiers flocked to his ranch to lay down their lives in the Great Second American Civil War. Bundy was lionized by the conservative media as a “true American” and a “patriot,” with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity tossing the geezer’s proverbial salad on air each day.

A Mexican standoff with federal agents ensued, with the camo-clad militia mongos pointing their stand-in dicks at the said feds, who, in the interest of avoiding a bloodbath over cattle fees, wisely stood down. On the right Bundy was hailed as a hero, then quietly abandoned by all but a few when he launched into a series of eyebrow-raising monologues that could have doubled for the jello-spattered mumblings of your racist Alzheimer’s grandpa. Even President Obama chimed in, noting that, “As a general rule, things don’t end well if the sentence starts with, ‘Let me tell you something about the Negro.'”

Well, if the lack of a body count last time left you wanting, don’t despair, because they’re back, only now Cliven’s son Ammon Bundy has taken the reins; currently he heads up a group of militia-types who have taken over a small government building at the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in eastern Oregon. They’re armed to the teeth, and though they claim to be peaceful, they seem to be itching for for a fight, claiming that they “won’t rule out” violence if it comes to that.

What is their beef this time, other than general and open hostility to the existence of the federal government?

Dwight and Steve Hammond are father/son ranchers in the area, and are responsible for at least three uncontrolled burns that spilled over into the neighboring wildlife refuge and scorched well over 100 acres of public land. Both were eventually convicted of arson and spent three months and a year in jail, respectively, only now they’ve been re-sentenced to five more years, since the original sentence didn’t meet the federal minimum for the crime. That’s right, the original prosecutor and judge “goofed” and now the old man (73) and his son (46) have to go back to the hoosegow. This family owns 12,000 acres of land in the area and is a kind of pillar of the community. The locals are outraged at this “re-sentencing,” which, while technically legal, reeks of double jeopardy. It seems to me that these guys are getting railroaded and I don’t blame people for being pissed off.

My sympathy, however, does not extend to Bundy and his cadre of weapon fetishists. These guys have descended into this community uninvited in an attempt to hijack this situation in order to serve their own extreme right-wing agenda. Many local residents resent their intrusion. They remind me of the hardcore Marxists or anarchists that often try to wrest the helm at various protests on the left. I believe that many of these guys want the government to come in guns blazing, because in their deluded minds, they’re on the vanguard of a second revolution. They think that they’re going to be the spark that ignites the great revolt against government “tyranny,” which will bring about some sort of great libertarian utopia. In this fantasy world the white man will be able to exploit the land as he sees fit, with no federal fetters to hinder him in his quest for personal profit.  In a video posted to Facebook, one of the militia members states:

“We’re planning on staying here for several years. And while we’re here, what we’re going to be doing is we’re going to be freeing these lands up, getting the ranchers back to ranching, getting the miners back to mining, getting the loggers back to logging, where they can do it all under the protection of the people.”

What is clear here is their objectives are more in line with the interests of capital than those of the people. Surprise surprise. No wonder the Republican party and the American mainstream right-wing establishment either openly encourage these nutbars or just quietly approve. They’ve been cultivating this cesspool of crazy for sometime now. Stoking fear and paranoia keeps getting their guys elected; in turn, corporate interests are served.

It’s interesting how the media has chosen to portray these folks. “Armed protesters,” is the term I saw floated around on more than one site. The semantic choices of the headline writers never fail to betray their racial bias. We whites are always tagged with the least-threatening labels, even when we’re walking arsenals of bullets, bigotry, and delusion.

So how will this go down? Last time federal agents retreated in the face of so many white men with guns. Will they do the same again? One can only imagine the immediate wrath and hell fire that would reign down if this were a group of armed blacks, American Indians, or Muslims. I wouldn’t be writing about a standoff: I’d be reflecting upon a body count. If you want to see how the U.S. government deals with unruly blacks with guns, look no further than the bombing of the black liberation group M.O.V.E. in Philly some 30 years ago, which killed 11 people, left 250 kids homeless, and burned down 61 houses.

I suspect Obama will play a cool hand with this one. He doesn’t want his presidency stained with something like a Waco. He knows better than to make martyrs of these loons. The best move is to let them shiver away the winter in that glorified shack in the high desert of eastern Oregon. Perhaps he–and the rest of us–should just ignore them, since that is exactly what I’m sure they fear the most.

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