Foresight? Maybe – Relevant? Yes

I’m back in the saddle again. I haven’t posted in a long time and realized that it was due to my Twitter habit.  Sorry.  Time to get back to the written word without the 140 character limitation.

Awhile ago I came across a now defunct video series on YouTube called “American Heathen REDUX”.  It was a video commentary series, hosted by RJ Evans.  The host is a devout atheist and outspoken humanist who combined gross humor, foul language, and a surprising wit, to skewer the political and social issues of the day.  At first I was taken aback by how brutal the series was in its presentation.  However, after watching some of the videos in the series, I realized that this show was onto something quite extraordinary.  Unlike other mainstream political comedy/satire/commentary shows on television, or for that matter even online, American Heathen REDUX seemed more real, raw, and laser focused on the realities of politics in America.

The other day I was rooting around my hard drive doing a bit of cleaning when I came across some American Heathen REDUX videos I’d downloaded a year or so ago.  As I skimmed through them, I came across a couple that I thought were remarkably accurate in their foresight and relevancy to what has happened since the 2016 election.  I thought they should be shared.  I had to dig deep to find RJ Evans, the producer of these videos, to ask for permission to post here.  Fortunately, Mr. Evans was kind enough to give me permission to post them.  I started a Vimeo page so I could share them with you.

Both videos originally posted before the 2016 election.  The first video was originally posted to YouTube 03/07/16.  I have edited it down to the commentary portion of the episode.  The second video was originally posted to YouTube 08/01/16.  It is unedited.

Liberal Genocide & Hypocrites

Watch the video below… Then read on.

Liberal Genocide

Facts, evidence, truth.  They are the result of objective reasoning, investigation, and rigorous testing.  They are not manifestations of wild, ignorant imaginations.  And yet, in the video you just watched, the number of lies being preached to the minions of madness in attendance, speaks volumes to the great hypocrisy of GOP politicians and their mindless, ignorant, xenophobic, racist, white male dominated, female subjugated, despicable waste of humanity followers.  Three months into the new administration – and quite possibly the most corrupt administration to have ever led the country – the same lies used to subvert reality and put the GOP into the driver’s seat of the United States, are still being used to push an agenda that is far darker than simply trying to win an election.  The very core of all these lies is a festering pustule of hate that welcomingly embraces and celebrates genocidal tribalism.  It’s a grotesque side of humanity that some countries around the world have been unfortunate enough to experience first-hand.  Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, Rwanda, Bosnia-Herzegovina, ISIL’s genocide of Yazidis… These are just some of the genocides in the 20th and 21st centuries driven by intense hatred of others for whatever insidious excuse.  But now…

Watch the video again.  Listen to the intense vitriol, barbaric hatred, and the insidious dehumanization of Liberals, Muslims, Jews, and others, by the speakers and interviewees. Pay close attention to the manner with which they deliver their messages.  It wreaks of a thirst for blood.  It smacks of racial, religious, and political purity, of tribalism, of authoritarianism, of fascism.  And all of it spewing from the minds and out of the mouths of people who, FOR YEARS AND YEARS, claimed to be “Patriots”!  This is a political party that SWORE that the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence were sacred, and that freedom and liberty for all was irreproachable!

Hypocrites

“Lock her up!”  “If she really is that Jewish, she should go back to her country, that girl right there.” Obama’s birth certificate is fake.  “The Democratic party is anti-American… they’re liars and cheaters… and they want to wipe us out.   We need to wipe them out!”   “I just want to let them know that I can’t wait for the Liberal genocide to begin.  That’s the way to make America great again because Liberals are destroying the country.”  These are just a few of the statements from the video you just watched.  How reprehensible and frightening do you find these statements?  Personally, I’m not surprised.  The GOP propaganda juggernaut has been in full swing for nearly 30 years.  It has been tremendously potent, fact free, and completely dedicated to seizing power at all costs.  Party before country.  At the same time, the GOP has repeatedly laid sole claim to a moral high ground that is best described as “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas” or simply “I don’t recall”.  Add to this disgusting display of hypocrisy the fellatio-fest they have with the Religious Right every election cycle, portraying themselves as the keepers of liberty… Well, you get the vomitus picture.  Anyway…

I can’t tell you how many times a day for the past 30 years I’ve heard the GOP called hypocrites. Politicians, pundits, radio show hosts, TV hosts, voters… If they are GOP, they seem to be immune to the conventional meaning of the word and the implications of it.   But I have a theory as to why the word doesn’t appear to have any impact on them.  First, the GOP engages in, what psychologist’s call, “projection”. This is a bad thing.


From Wikipedia:

Psychological projection is a theory in psychology in which humans defend themselves against their own unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves while attributing them to others”


The word “hypocrisy”, as most sensible and sane folks understand it, is not complimentary.


From Wikipedia:

“Hypocrisy is the contrivance of a false appearance of virtue or goodness, while concealing real character or inclinations, especially with respect to religious and moral beliefs; hence in general sense, dissimulation, pretense, sham. It is the practice of engaging in the same behavior or activity for which one criticizes another.”


I propose that the GOP doesn’t consider projection as something bad, therefore, to be called a hypocrite is simply a compliment?

The Republic is Burning… to the Ground

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Can you smell the acrid smoke of fascism?  Can you see the flames rising from the once great institutions of the Republic?  Can you hear the screams of the defiant masses as they slowly burn to death in the inferno of authoritarianism as the Constitution chars to ash?  The Republic is burning to the ground.

I’m a cynic.  I can’t help it.  The facts are crystal clear to me.  Der Pumpkin Führer, henchman Steve Bannon, the faithful GOP minions, and the Religious Reich, are gleefully torching the country with blitzkrieg like precision.  Meanwhile, most of the opposing population tries desperately to fight the onslaught using traditional democratically legal and civil means… Protests, calling members of congress, petitions… All of it to no avail.  This shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone.  This coup was meticulously fantasized about in the wet-dreams of the GOP and the Reich for the past 30 years.  And although it’s far from being well planned and organized, the deceptions that have led to this moment were planned. Instill fear, dehumanize opponents, full tilt legislative obstructions, manufacture “alternative facts”, lie, cheat, steal… The perfect recipe for George Orwell’s “1984” in 2017.

The Russians are Coming

Yes.  Yes, they are.  And Vladimir Putin wants you to know that you have nothing to worry about.  Western democracies have run their course and it’s time to change the guard.  Think I’m kidding?  What happened to the investigation/s into Russian hacking?  What happened to investigations into Der Pumpkin Fuhrer’s dealings with Russia?  What happened to investigations into Steve Bannon and other Reichstag devotees and appointees as to their involvement with Russia?  Nothing.  And there WON’T be.  Why?  Because the GOP controls both houses, and most of the institutions that are meant to be the checks and balances within our democratic republic.  No checks and balances… No democratic republic.  It’s not rocket science.  Speaking of science… With Betsy Devos now confirmed as the new Education Secretary, the teaching of Evolution will soon be supplanted by the teaching of Creationism.  How?  The GOP has plans to terminate the Department of Education.  Not a big deal.  Turn education over to the States and let them decide what to teach.  And you know who wants that really, really, bad?  The Religious Reich.  No national standards.  No interference with the Jesus juice that will be pumped into the veins of children in an effort to rebuild the “Christian Nation” and the future Christian warriors needed to combat the evil brown people, atheists, secular institutions…

Fight?  Resist?

How?  Really.  How?? The onslaught is only two weeks old and the masses are giving it their all.  Even the mainstream media is starting to fight back.  But, I’m afraid that simply pissing on an inferno will not be enough.  Without a congress willing to put the brakes on the abuse of power – a pipe dream for the naïve – and with more deplorable cabinet appointments about to be confirmed… Checks and balances?  Checks and balances?  There are none!  There are no facts.  There are no truths.  Everything has become subjective.  Unless, of course, you’re on the winning team in the war against democracy.  Fight?  Resist?  Yeah.  I’ll keep fighting.  If for only the fact that it’s the human thing to do.  It’s the right thing to do.  More importantly, given the choice between fight or flight, I’ll take fight for survivals sake.  But, I cannot… I truly cannot see through the flames, and smoke, and utter destruction being brought upon this nation.  It’s not just a travesty of injustice.  The Republic is burning to the ground.

The New America – Authoritarians, Fascists, Doomed

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“They attacked liberalism because it seemed to them the principle premise of modern society; everything they dreaded seemed to spring from it: the bourgeois life, Manchesterism, materialism, parliament, and the parties, the lack of potential leadership.  Even more, they sensed in liberalism the source of all their inner sufferings.  Theirs was a resentment of loneliness; their one desire was for a new faith, a new community of believers, a world with fixed standards and no doubts, a new national religion that would bind all Germans together. All this, liberalism denied.  Hence, they hated liberalism, blamed it for making outcasts of them, for uprooting them from their imaginary past, and from their faith.”

Fritz Stern, The Politics of Cultural Despair: A Study in the Rise of the Germanic Ideology (1961)


If you replace the word “Germans” with “Americans” in the above quote, the paragraph is terrifying.  And it should be.  Because the Republican party, Donald Trump and his cabinet, and Trump voters, have embraced this ideology to the letter.  Anyone or anything that the Right disagrees with is automatically considered, labeled, condemned to be “liberal” and must be expunged from the American landscape. It’s time for a New America!

 Authoritarians Anyone?

Donald Trump and the Republican party are authoritarian by nature.  To them, everything in their fantasy world is black and white.  Evil or good.  Their world is one of absolutes. They’re terrified of the shades of gray (and brown) in the uncertain world of reality.  They have rooted themselves in an imaginary past, where the history of the United States is perfect, sanctified, and sacred.  The only thing that stands between them and living in this imaginary past under a vengeful, righteous god, is anyone who disagrees with them.  And it is here where they have nested their authority to subjugate, rule, and conquer.

 Fascists Please

In the book “American Fascists – The Christian Right and the War on America”, author Chris Hedges lays out 14 ways of identifying what he calls “Ur-Fascism”.  Below are some of the 14 ways which are applicable to the Republican mindset today.

Hedge’s writes:

3. Irrationalism also depends on the cult of action for actions sake. Action being beautiful in itself, it must be taken before, or without, reflection.  Thinking is a form of emasculation.  Therefore, culture is suspect insofar as it is identified with critical attitudes.  Distrust of the intellectual world has always been a symptom of Ur-Fascism, from Herman Goeriing’s fondness for a phrase from a Hanns Johst play (“When I hear the word ‘culture’ I reach for my gun”) to the frequent use of such expressions as “degenerate intellectuals”, “eggheads”, “effete snobs”, and “universities are nests for reds.” The official Fascist intellectuals were mainly engaged in attacking modern culture and the liberal intelligentsia for having betrayed traditional values.”

This should sound familiar… Climate deniers, creationists, anti-vaccination zealots, home schoolers… These are just some of the folks who take irrationalism to new heights of absurd.  It is here that we find the most robust rejection of facts and evidence, and the afterbirth of the slimy scourge of fake news.  Here, I’m reminded of a quote from “Idiot America – How Stupidity Became a Virtue in the Land of the Free” by Charles P. Pierce:

“But Idiot America is a collaborative effort, the results of millions of decisions made and not made, to reduce everything to salesmanship. Debate becomes corrupted argument, in which every point of view is just another product, no better or worse than all the others, and informed citizenship is abandoned to the marketplace.”

Fox News? Breitbart? Name your poison!  Moving on… Back to “American Fascists – The Christian Right and the War on America”

 Hedges continues:

“4. The critical spirit makes distinctions, and to distinguish is a sign of modernism. In modern culture the scientific community praises disagreement as a way to improve knowledge.  For Ur-Fascism, disagreement is treason.”

Disagree with the fascist Right? You’re a liberal, communist, atheist, pig! You’re not a “patriot”!

“5. Besides, disagreement is a sign of diversity. Ur-Fascism grows up and seeks consensus by exploiting and exacerbating the natural fear of difference.  The first appeal of a fascist or prematurely fascist movement is an appeal against the intruders. Thus, Ur-Fascism is racist by definition.”

This should sound VERY familiar.  The war against civil rights is well documented.  More so, the current legislative assaults on immigrants, people of color, and others who hold different religious viewpoints, underscores this one well.

 Doomed

 “Before they seize power and establish a world according to their doctrines, totalitarian movements conjure up a lying world of consistency which is more adequate to the needs of the human mind than reality itself; in which, through sheer imagination, uprooted masses can feel at home and are spared never-ending shocks which real life and real experiences deal to human beings and their expectations. The force possessed by totalitarian propaganda – before the movements have the power to drop iron curtains to prevent anyone’s disturbing, by the slightest reality, the gruesome quiet of an entirely imaginary world – lies in its ability to shut the masses off from the real world.”

Hannah Arendt “The Origins of Totalitarianism” (1951)


Yes.  That about sums up where we are right now.  And it is where we are right now that leads me to believe, based on the facts and evidence at hand, that we are truly doomed.  The United States of America, the people, and the country’s institutions, will be tested as never before.  Unfortunately, I cannot foresee any of us surviving this onslaught.  The coffin has been built, the lid is wide open.  All that’s left for us to do is to lay down and close our eyes one last time.  That shouldn’t be a problem.  We’ve closed our eyes to the possibility of this for a long time.

Trust No One

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In my very early years I was taught, much like every other child at the time, to trust authority.  Parents, teachers, coaches, police officers, firemen, immediate neighbors, all had the right to tell me what I could and couldn’t do.  I was taught to listen and obey. I was taught to trust them all.  When I entered my teen years, I quickly discovered that trusting authority came at a price. Of course, the common price was the freedom to be an idiot, stupid, and ignorant. A typical teenaged angst and rebellion. But, for me there was a much more serious and detrimental price.  My need for the necessary guidance to become a productive and confident adult was summarily ignored.  Parents, teachers, coaches, police officers, firemen, and immediate neighbors never once took the time to guide me toward self-reliance, a higher education, or took the time to teach me how to dream and reach for that dream.  Instead, I was maligned, told I would never amount to anything, and that I would always fail. At 13 I was left to my own devices. After my parent’s divorced I ran away multiple times, covering thousands and thousands of miles hitchhiking across the country, bouncing from the road to juvenile detention centers to foster homes, from one school to another.  It was the streets of America where I learned, very quickly, that trusting anyone could cost you your life. It was the streets of America where I learned to trust no one.

 

America the Beautiful

On the open road throughout my teen years, the one thing that stood out to me the most about my travels was how beautiful America was.  The vastness and diversity of the ecology, geography, the places, the people… As dangerous as it was for me to be wandering the country, I always felt that America was still home.  Even though I’d had many different “homes”, America was my real home. I was free.  And no matter how bad things were, or how bad they would get, I knew the open road and the beauty of America was always there for me. For some reason, I still bought into the idyllic, Norman Rockwell, version of America that I’d been taught in grade school.  For some reason, I trusted that one thing, that one single ideal burned deeply into my brain.  America was my home.  America was MY home.  America the beautiful.

 

The Bald-Faced Lie

Some 20 years later, I came to know that the idyllic Norman Rockwell version of America is a bald-faced lie.  It is a carefully crafted illusion designed to manipulate, subjugate, and control the ignorant and the gullible.  Essentially, everyone with a pulse and a penchant for fairy tales.  The great faux nostalgia of U.S. history is nothing more than an attempt to cover up the unseemly, violent, and often despicable birth and creation of a nation that lays supreme claim to the idea of freedom for all.  The “great experiment” has been glossed over with impenetrable acrylic, wrapped in the prettiest of wrapping paper, and then tied tightly with an inviting Bald Eagle shaped bow.  It’s been scented with grandma’s apple pie laced with the aphrodisiac of patriotism.  It’s been masterfully marketed and is jealously protected by a fierce nationalism and exceptionalism of dangerous proportions.

 

Divided We are Falling

American citizens have proven, generation after generation, election cycle after election cycle, that they are deaf, dumb, blind, scared and stupid.  Self-governance can only be achieved if the PEOPLE are attentive, informed, involved participants. Self-governance can only succeed when the PEOPLE listen, open their eyes, have courage of conviction to the principle of freedom for ALL, and are willing to compromise for the benefit of ALL.  Unfortunately, no one appears to really care.  Compromise has become anathema. Anyone or anything that benefits ALL is unpatriotic.   Facts, evidence, knowledge, truth… Totally acceptable collateral damage in a self-inflicted war.  Authoritarians, thugs, deplorables, xenophobes, homophobes, racists, fascists against social justice, fairness, equality… reality.  Divided we are falling.  Democracy.  The “great experiment” is over.  Fear, jealousy, ignorance, anger, violence, tribalism, zealotry… These will now rule the future.

Trust No One

I trust no one.  Survive.  That is all I will do. Trust no one.  Hope?  No.  I have none.  I’ve learned that without trust, there’s no hope. When we can no longer reach out to one another, no matter our differences, there can be no trust.  Trust is for fools.

This Will Not End Well

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“Everybody’s got a bomb,
We could all die any day
But before I’ll let that happen,
I’ll dance my life away…” 
– Prince, 1999

The new millennium was saddled with many theories as to how it would begin.  Most of those theories claimed that the year 2000 would be the beginning of the end, if not the end.  The end of life.  The end of civilization.  The end of the world.  Fortunately, and unfortunately, none of those theories would materialize.  The Y2K bug bugged out, and 2000 began as 1999 had ended. Uneventful. Uninteresting. Just another year gone by. Seventeen years later, the year 2017 has arrived to the very real and thundering sound of blazing guns on the deck of a nationalist, fascistic, imperialistic dreadnought.  The smell of war hangs thick in the air on the fresh gunpowder smoke of Trumpism.  It’s Trumpism now that threatens the world stage with imminent destruction at the hands of its narcissistic, lying, cheating despot, and his merry band of tyrannical robber baron’s.  This will not end well.  Y2K would have been so much easier.

Buyer’s Remorse

Social Security.  Medicare.  Obamacare.  Planned Parenthood.  These are just a few of the issues that are now being threatened by Trump and his GOP brown-shirts.  The “Swamp” that Trump promised to drain has been stocked with corporate SS (super sharks) ready to devour these programs that many people, who voted for Trump, use and badly need. Meanwhile, the brown-shirts of the GOP majority Congress, are still trying to decide if they’re more afraid of the electorate, or Der Pumpkin Füh·rer.  Some Trumpettes (Der Pumpkin Füh·rer voters) are slowly coming back to reality over these programs and are having a hard time holding their right arms high enough to appease the Reich.  Buyer’s remorse?

This will not end well.

Check it at The Door

A recent poll by Center for American Progress Action Fund found that 56-61% of Trump voters want the Democrats to be a “check and balance” on Der Pumpkin Füh·rer.  After all the demonizing of liberals, independents, LGBT’s, and anyone else who disagrees with them?  They want the Democrats to keep Der Pumpkin Füh·rer and the SS in check?  After threats of violence and civil unrest the Trumpettes want the rest of us to contain any of the Füh·rer’s indiscretions?  Nope.  They need to own it, reap what they’ve sown:

“First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out—Because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me—and there was no one left to speak for me.” –  Pastor Martin Niemöller (1892–1984)

This will not end well.

The Palace Guard

What do Trump’s private security and the Secret Service have in common with each other besides being associated with Der Pumpkin Füh·rer?  Nothing really.  Der Füh·rer’s private security reflects his distrust of government… The very government he plans on conquering and commanding.  The Secret Service is charged with protecting the President of the United States, risking their lives to ensure that POTUS is kept safe at all times, no matter what party the President belongs to, or the ideological bent of his or her political philosophy.

Der Pumpkin Füh·rer has no rational reason to fear the personal protection of the Secret Service.  Perhaps the word “rational” isn’t appropriate in this context?  Could it be that Der Pumpkin Füh·rer knows just how badly he’s despised by the POPULAR MAJORITY of the electorate?  “I’ll be GREAT for America! So, just sit down, shut up…  Guards!  Guards!”

This will not end well.

Bad Influences

Der Pumpkin Füh·rer is going to be da boss.  Mafia reference aside, there are bad bosses.  And according to a new study from a research team at the University of Manchester’s Business School, bad bosses are bad for your health and reputation.

Lead researcher Abigail Phillips said

“Overall the picture is clear leaders high in dark traits can be bad news for organisations (sic). Those high in psychopathy and narcissism have a strong desire for power and often lack empathy. This toxic combination can result in these individuals taking advantage of others, taking credit for their work, being overly critical, and generally behaving aggressively. In other words, leaders high in psychopathy and narcissism are more likely to be bullies.

Workplace bullying is obviously unpleasant for the target but also creates a toxic working environment for all involved. In short, bad bosses, those high in psychopathy and narcissism, have unhappy and dissatisfied employees who seek to ‘get their own back’ on the company.”

Hmmmm… “…’get their own back’ on the company”? Sounds so much like the makings of a Greek tragedy.

This will not end well.

This Will Not End Well

I’m reminded of a story I heard quite a few years ago… After a rash of deadly car accidents, the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety asked volunteer Oklahoma drivers for permission to install audio recording devices in their cars.  Officials wanted to know what was being said in the brief moments before each accident.  They were hoping the recordings could shed some light on the causes.  After several months, more accidents, and finally some analysis of the recordings, officials announced their findings by playing back the recordings for the public.  What was heard was nothing short of astounding.  In every single instance, some variation of the following was said…

“Hey (insert name)! Hold my (insert beer, whiskey, or some other alcoholic beverage) and watch this!”

America has the recording of the moments before this pending crash.  Yep.  And this will not end well.

It’s time to party like it’s 1999… and long for Y2K.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc

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“What can be done when an important fact is lost in a flood of impostors, and the voice of truth becomes drowned out in an ungodly din? When that voice, though freely resounding, cannot be heard, because the technologies of information have led to a situation in which one can receive best the message of him who shouts the loudest, even when the most falsely?    – Stanislaw Lem-

 

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc… Tomorrow, December 19, 2016, the Electoral College will convene to allow the nation’s electors to cast their votes for President of the United States.  In all likelihood, Donald Trump will become the nation’s 45th president.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc… On January 20, 2017, Donald Trump will take the Oath of Office during the inauguration ceremony in Washington, DC.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc… No matter who you are. No matter your party affiliation. No matter your race, your religion, your lack of religion… No matter who you are… If you are a citizen living in the United States of America, the second-hand on your clocks, watches, smart phones, tablets, will begin a countdown to the end of the country and quite possibly your lives.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc… If you voted for Donald Trump and are convinced that he’s going to “make America great again”, I forgive you.  If you didn’t vote for anyone, I forgive you.  Both of you are going to face the same demise as those of us who voted, but did not vote for him.  However, when the time comes, when the second-hand stops,  I will be the first to stand, say to you and demand, “Own this moment!  Own this horror!  Own this end!  And as you face this end with all the rest of us, may your last moments be marked by the unbearable guilt of your conscience!”

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic Toc… No.  I’m not joking.  I’m not sounding the alarm.  There’s no need for an alarm.  You’re already awake.

Tic Toc, Tic Toc, Tic…