Friday, June 23, 2017

Dems Need New Blood

I think the Democratic Party needs new leadership. I'm not saying this b/c their candidates have lost recently. All four of these off-cycle elections took place in staunchly GOP districts and the Dems outperformed on a statistical level that bodes well for them retaking the House next year. The reason I think the Dems need new leadership is b/c of what happened during Occupy Wall Street. And Black Lives Matter. And several other waves of grassroots, youth-inspired activism that was met with the blowtorch of so-called centrism, which is really just Dems pivoting to the right while ignoring their most passionate base. We are facing a chaos candidate and party. Their main tactic involves sucking up all the media oxygen by finding enemies, riling up their base, and keeping them in a constant state of delirious rage that shuts down all coherent and constructive debate. I think you beat rage-a-holic snowflakes in 3 parts: 1) vivid bold messaging 2) grassroots fundraising and activism, 3) and political moralizing. Chuck Schumer and Nancy Pelosi are very smart but they do not have the skill for any of these things: they are keen legislators who speak like wise lawyers. They fundraise through major corporations, display a skittish reluctance on working with young activists, and staunchly refuse to moralize. I don't blame their line of thinking. It makes sense b/c the older generation of Dems grew up in a time when hippies where condemned as immoral, the white backlash agains the civil rights movement was well-funded and in full effect. But these are new times and the panic party of delirious rage can't be contained by sensible language from DC old-timers. Furthermore not only did Bernie Sanders campaign prove that small donations, moralizing msg, and socialism can get out young voters, but Obama employed the same tactic. In 2008, Hillary Clinton was the clear favorite and hired the most experienced Dem advisors. Obama's team out-hustled, out-muscled, out-msg'ed the Clinton campaign. Obama stole the momentum through caucuses, kept the spotlight, framed the news cycles around their issues, and won by having a smaller more passionate group of believers whose tenacity wore down the larger but softer group of Clinton supporters. Passion wins over numbers in a long-term battle. And youth is the way for bolder messaging, connecting to activist, grassroots fundraising, and keeping the fire burning during these dark and cold times.  

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Philando Castille Verdict

# ppl shot and killed by cops in 2015: 991
# cops convicted = 0
# reasons cops will shoot a blk person: infinite

Philando Castile's death sentence was not an accident. The system did not make a mistake in freeing another cop who murdered an unarmed and innocent Black man. Our system was designed to work this way. It was designed to create a cognitive dissonance between what is written on paper and what is done in court. When faced with irrefutable and uncomfortable evidence it is easier for a jury of your peers to feign blindness than to demand change. The system encourages this inertia, helplessness, rationalization, blindness, silence, surrender, and death. Orwell called it Doublethink, Greek logicians named it paraconsistent logic, and Americans made it into the 13th amendment in the Constitution. Where some see the sword and scales of justice, others see barbed wire and caskets.
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Friday, June 16, 2017

The Art of Hate

I was having a philosophical discussion with a friend about the instinctive goodness of human beings that lurched toward the example of lynching. He thought it was just virulent racism and if you removed the racists things like that wouldn't happen. I said that while, yes, lynching in America was often about black people getting killed by a large group of white people, the idea of mob murder didn't start in America. The idea behind lynching is simple:it starts with a group of people who are 1) bored 2) angry but feel helpless and 3) want to focus their rage on something that is different from them (which often means race, religion, nationality, or ethnicity) 4) want something to rally behind. In Medieval Europe a group of people might be getting drunk and looking for something to do and they start doing what people do when they gather: gossip. And the most more outrageous, salacious, horrific gossip floats to the top of the cesspool, especially when it's about others in the community who are different. So a drunk might accuse a Jewish merchant of being behind the disappearance of kids. And then someone else might chime in that, speculate, elaborate into a horror scenario. The crowd gets lathered up and excited. They have someone to hate and possibly something to do. Over a series of nights the conversation may circle back to this one merchant as people get angrier and angrier. Finally someone makes the move: let's go throw stuff at this guy's house, break down his door, maybe drag him away. It becomes an event. Pitch forks, torches, a march from the pub to this poor guy's house picks up steam and followers along the route. People are swearing they saw this guy kill kids, drink their blood, do unspeakable horrors. Everyone is looking for an excuse to vent, rage, and be apart of something... even if they suspect the accusations aren't true. In America we just turned this kind of violence into an art form: picnic, carnival games, people traveling from miles around to enjoy a pleasant afternoon that will culminate in a black person being tortured and cut into pieces. People would take home souvenirs from that day: pictures in front of the desecrated body, a finger in a jar, or an ear. An event happened. That is what human beings are capable of, and we're not even talking villains or Hitler. Just 90% of humanity of a hot day or after too many drinks or just when they're desperate to be a part of something. 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The Holden Caulfield Syndrome

On a day when there were 3 mass shootings in America I sat in a theatre and watched "Six Degrees of Separation." One of the more remarkable parts of the play was Peter's thesis on why such a mild book as "Catcher in the Rye" became a manifesto for so many violent white men in the 20th century. Holden Caulfield's repeated mantra of labeling successful or ambitious people as 'phonies,' his sexual impotence as well as paralyzing fear around women, and his homicidal fantasies against anyone who threatened his masculinity reflects a boy's emotional understanding of the world. And yet this is NOT a manifesto used by men of color. It is a text linked specifically to white male killers who -regardless of political affiliation- represent the overwhelming majority of lone wolf terrorist attacks in this country. Today and many other tragic days feel like they are inexorably linked to all the Caulfield's of the world who bruise too easily, lash out too quickly, and seek to terrorize the world to compensate for their inadequacies. And yet they are still the most privileged demo in America who play the schizophrenic game of demanding the power of a master and the pity of a victim. To maintain such a fragile delusion requires a sociopathic level of narcissism. Those who win short-term gains through inequality end up rotting internally and raging externally. It is a unique disease: Affluenza. It has killed more people than cancer. No one is looking for a cure.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Trump: a Self-Incriminating, Self Immolating, Tornado of Subpoenas

Trump threatened an FBI Director with secret tapes of their conversation. The Secret Service is now saying that no such evidence exists and they're in charge of all White House recording (they were the ones who kept Nixon's tapes). Special Counselor Robert Mueller can subpoena Trump to turn over his imaginary tapes b/c they now count as evidence. If the evidence doesn't exist, Mueller or any Attorney General with a related case  can now go about serving subpoenas to every single person in the White House in regard to evidence, thus making their lives living hell by forcing people to hire lawyers, who will then advise their clients to protect their own interests and rat out any relevant info to save themselves. And then -after all that- if there are still no tapes, Trump is on line for witness intimidation by lying about tapes to bully a witness before their testimony. He has done this before so he has a legal track record of lying about tapes. That is how Trump's tweets are self-incriminating e-immolation. The lies since his inauguration have gotten worse and more egregious. He went from lying about crowd size (small stupid lie), to lying about Obama wiretapping Trump Tower (really stupid lie that burned all good will between him and the intelligence community), to now repeatedly lying about significant issues in the middle of an investigation that now is in the zone of perjury, obstruction of justice, collusion, and treason. If the GOP can not see the ever expanding legal tsunami he is creating then they deserve to go down with him. Oh and the ADs in Maryland and DC are now suing Trump for violating the Constitution and taking money from foreign investors so I suspect they will be looking around for evidence and handing out their own subpoenas. And this isn't even including NY AG Eric Schneiderman and what's going to happen once he starts handing out stacks of subpoenas for his RICO case.

#MAGA

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Comey Day Highlights (from Senate Testimony)

1. Attorney General Jeff Session is under criminal investigation on multiple fronts. He perjured himself and colluded with foreign agents.

2. every single thing Trump has done since the start of the Russian probe has exacerbated and hastened the investigation. If he did absolutely nothing he would be in a much better position; that means if he left Comey alone, didn't play 'Godfather' in the White House by arm twisting intelligence officials, and if he stayed off Twitter, he might have gotten away with colluding with Russians and being apart of an int'l money laundering network. The single biggest factor of chaos, corruption and disgrace in the Trump administration is the man at the top.

3. In some ways Trump's behavior seems like that of a guilty killer who keeps leaving clues for the detective. It almost seems like he wants to get caught and we're engaging in some judicial S&M role playing game with naughty president who sends out a tweet and then looks at his mistress and says 'oops, did I do a bad thing? Will I be punished?' Don't worry Trump: Mistress Justice has got the paddle in the form of sealed indictments.

4. Comey and the entire intelligence community have a deep, seething mistrust of the commander in chief. And given the demo of the dept heads (older white men), most of the IC probably voted for Trump and is now regretting it.

5. we have 3 equal branches of government. Even though the executive branch is underwater and Congress is compromised, the judicial wing seems to be plugging away at its job in tandem with the intelligence community.

6. but until the indictments get unsealed and the handcuffs come out, the GOP will continue their game of 'whataboutism' in asking about Obama and Clinton's email in order to stall things long enough to pass Trumpcare, tax reform, and loot the public coffers. Trump is a suicide vest strapped to the party, but they're still trying to grab all the cash before he detonates.   

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Cucks?

Hillary Clinton PAC, Rahm Emmanuel organizing congressional strategy, DNC quietly surrendering entire regions of the country uncontested to the GOP, no media strategy, no attempt to address income inequality or corporate greed, no Howard Dean or Bernie Sanders progressivism infrastructural support, zero attempt to galvanize young and angry Dems, Corey Booker is the black version of John Edwards: it's like a 1990s political horror movie for the Democratic Party. The only thing that can save Dems from their gross political incompetence is....Trump. He is the only thing that might allow them to pull out a victory. And I fear that even a modest victory will result in the Dem leadership learning nothing and continuing to bask in their smug, feckless political impotence. The DNC's inability to address the problems of young voters and people of color continues as they hopelessly (and poorly) pander to so-called white 'working class' voters who are metaphorically and quite literally dying from the racial-rot of their own privileged fragility. America's body politics needs emergency surgery and the Republicans are offering assisted suicide while Dems are pilfering Flintstone band-aids and Hallmark cards.

I was talking with a frustrated progressive friend last night. At the height of his fury against mainstream Dems he started using an alt-right word to reference the weakness of leadership: cucks. I squirmed. He said he meant 'cuck' in the classical sense of a short-hand for cuckold which is also a synonym for a weak and foolish man. But I objected because cuckold in American culture is irrevocably tied up with one thing: white male ego. And when cuckold is used it's also meant to signify not just weakness and not just male weakness, but white male weakness toward 'all else.' This 'all else' category includes women, radicals, but it's deeply rooted in juxtapositioning white male weakness next to black male dominance. He agreed with me and told me there is a whole porn genre that is labeled 'cucks.' And it's mostly white men being humiliated and demeaned as their white wives have sex with a black dick. The fetish thrill (or sickness) of cuck porn is that the husband is forced to watch his wife get dominated by a BBC (big black cock). And this enrages the husband and castrates him. A quick search on my phone showed me that there was this whole sexual underbelly to the alt-right appropriation of 'cuck' because it plays into their socio-economic as well as sexual fears. It is impossible to address that bundle of horrors with facts and logic. When an issue penetrates the social as well as the sexual it becomes something that most American men can not even deal with in a direct manner, so people talk around it.

And at the same time the word does embody the awful and ridiculous fetish driving the alt-right's paranoia.  It also underlies the feeling that many people on the right and left are having: that the system is betraying them and their politicians are just pushovers for much more brutal violent forces.