Daily Gnuz

Well, such as it is and were, here’s the Gnuz o’ the day…

Trump ramps up war in Afghanistan, rejects timetables
H/T The Hill
Looks like the Generals are now pretty much in charge. Afquagistan will continue to furnish the body bags and no timetable means until we have regime change…Sheeesh.

And

Trump’s Arizona Trip Kicks Off Ugly GOP Senate Primary Season
H/T TPM
Ugly is the keyword in this phrase and story

Finally,

10 American sailors missing after USS John S. McCain collides with tanker
H/T Vox
What the hell is wrong with our Navy? This is the second major collision with a civilian vessel in the last two months. Got navigation competency?

Open Thread, enjoy one curse at a time
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Welcome to Eclipsed day, stay safe and preserve your sight!!

Trump To Outline Strategy For Victory In Afghanistan In National TV Address
H/T TPM
Looks like the fuhrer is going to drink the General’s koolaid. Gotta wonder if Not-So-Bright-Bart is going to roast his orange butt?

And

White House officials are terrified of what Trump would do on his own
H/T Vox
Key excerpt: Why they’re not quitting: “You have no idea how much crazy stuff we kill.”
Now THAT’s patriotism!

Finally,

Trump poised for a September fight over border wall
H/T The Hill
Bring it on! Cage match to the death! Turtle vs ShitGibbon!

Open Thread, enjoy one sad story after another!
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Daily Gnuz

Evangelical Christians’ reactions/non-reactions to Charlottesville, via The Christian Post:

First, there are actually a couple of articles where pastors, etal, are finally allowing their collective conscience to break through. Here’s one, and here’s another

Of course, those voices are few, and they’ve got competition, i.e.:

Here’s an opinion piece from “guest contributor” Brad Huddleston, the title of which I thought promising, until I actually read it: “Charlottesville: Jesus Commands Us to ‘Tell The Truth’, So Why Aren’t We?” A few excerpts:

“I was in Charlottesville, Virginia, during the riots and what I observed and what I saw in the media’s coverage are, for the most part, two very different narratives.

Although the atmosphere was volatile everywhere I walked, I have to believe that it was Sovereignty that kept me away from the physical confrontations. I did, however, observe verbal ones. I saw various white supremacist groups filled with hate and evil intentions. They were armed with weapons and ready for a fight. I also watched members of Black Lives Matter as well as Communists/Marxists, carrying their hammer and sickle flags. They were also filled with hate and evil intentions.”

Sounds to me as though it wasn’t “Sovereignty” that kept him away from the physical confrontations, it was his own cowardice. So all he did was “observe” certain things, verbal interactions, certain flags, and interpret them in the light of his own prejudices [“during the RIOTS”.]  How dare he automatically credit BLM with “evil intentions”, when they were protesting against NAZIS and WHITE SUPREMACISTS! And if BLM were involved in extremely heated arguments defending their right to exist as equals in the face of horrifying insults, threats, violence, etc., who would blame them for hating everything that these armed, sometimes uniformed, Confederate-and-Nazi-flag-waving un-American RACISTS do, say, and stand for. The hammer-and-sickle flag-waving “Communists/Marxists”? The author ‘identifies’ them in a later section as the Antifa. I call bullshit. Apparently the author was so terrified he couldn’t even verify what these people were marching for/against.

“The media was slamming the various white supremacist groups (and they should). But I immediately noticed something very perplexing. Very little if any coverage was being given to the various Communist and Marxist groups and violent Black Lives Matter and Antifa activists. It was as if the white supremacists were the only ones who were filled with hate. I kept waiting and waiting for someone to show images of the reality that we, who were actually there, observed.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“Let’s never forget that the Communists and Marxists have killed far more people than Hitler. Nevertheless, they are all equal in their evil, and all should be equally condemned. If they are participating in the same riot, they should share the same headline. Because white supremacists’ numbers are small, we should be far more concerned about their Marxist and their Socialist cousins. Our American universities have been cranking them out for years, and we’re now seeing the results.

Both extremes were represented in Charlottesville on that scary day. To give the extreme left a pass, and even affirm them, would make Hitler proud.”

I can’t even comment, I’m so gobsmacked by this. But I would like to ask Mr. Huddleston if any of the BLM or Antifa drove a car at speed into a crowd of human beings, killing one and injuring more than a dozen others; and how many BLM or Antifa were “ARMED WITH WEAPONS and ready to fight” as the Nazi/KKK and white supremacist pseudomilitary actually were?

And then we have conservative black pastors and others defending trump’s abhorrent remarks in “Black Christian Leaders Detest Claim That Trump Is the ‘Driver’ of Racial Division in America.” Here’s just one little slice of this twisted, surreal pie:

“Corrogan Vaughn, a political activist who ran against Democrat Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland in the 2016 election, argued that those in the media who blame Trump for the racial tension in the United States are trying to turn Trump into a “villain.”

“Don’t make our commander in chief a villain when in actuality it is more the villainess of the media in terms of making something where nothing is,” Vaughn stated.

Oh, joy, keep screaming that the “media” is to blame, and this imaginary ‘alt-left’, ffs – like who’re you gonna believe, trump and the evangelicals, or your lying eyes?

For more, here’s the Christian Post’s Political page. Have fun.

This is our Open Thread – enjoy!

Daily Gnuz

Today’s Gnuz – Sad but true(ish)

Brokaw: I don’t know if Trump can ‘stitch the country back together again’
h/t The Hill
No sheiss Tom, my bestest guess would be a resounding ‘are you sheissing me?’

And

David Duke Knows Trump’s On His Side, And So Do We
h/t C&L
Yup.

Finally,

Lincoln Memorial in Washington defaced with expletives
h/t Raw Story
Shameful.

Open Thread, enjoy one tear at a time
RUCerious @ TPZoo

Weep For America

OMFG! This man is insane! Donald J. Trump has no perceivable grounding in Reality. He starts off with a lie about the Empire State Building. Now, you might say I’m quibbling (and I would congratulate you on your extensive, if slightly misused, vocabulary) but there’s a reason Donald did it. He’s setting up a contrast between how long it took to build the Empire State Building (*) and how long it takes to build new “highways” (I wasn’t aware the Interstate Highway System was expanding so much), a difference he blames entirely on regulations. No other reasons, just regulations. Never mind, Donald, that the REASON for all those regulations was one word – experience. We learned what could go wrong if you didn’t make people follow certain codes. (Good example by an American company overseas: KBR and the electrocuting showers. That’s what no regulations gets you. Also see: Somalia.) He claims he could have built the latest new highway he saw in a state he wouldn’t name for less money and faster. Those of us who know of him and his history know it’s because he doesn’t follow regulations. BTW, if you haven’t already checked, Donald claimed the Empire State Building was built in eleven months. If you do the Google search suggested below, you’ll see it clearly says it took one year and forty-five days to complete. Donald wanted to minimize how long it took (without any mention of the lives lost) to build it. Just because he likes to exaggerate and make himself seem more important, knowledgeable, and useful than he really is.

Near the end, when asked how race relations can be improved, he answers that things will get better once jobs come back, good-paying jobs, and everyone is making more money, then we’ll see race relations improve. Yes. Seriously. He said that. He thinks money solves all problems, even centuries of institutional racism in America. It’s as if suddenly all the managers are going to be black and making more money, and then they’ll be happier and they won’t complain about the fact their local bank still won’t give them a fucking mortgage.

Then he brags about his winery in Charlottesville.

There are several times during the presser when he says “Excuse me. Excuse me.”, usually following some “chatter”. If you’ve ever seen The President Show with Anthony Atamuniak (that’s close to his name) as Donald Trump, you will hear his impersonation. And you’ll laugh to yourself. And if you’re in public at the time, it could get you some strange looks. I’m just sayin’.
So enjoy the interview. Then curl up with a nice bottle somewhere and weep gently for this country.
Then go out and fucking VOTE!

(*) If you start to type “How long did it take” into Google, the first option on the list is “…to build the Empire State Building”. I’m guessing a lot of people did what I did and fact-checked Donald and instantly found him wrong. Again.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/08/15/trumps-off-the-rails-news-conference-on-charlottesville-the-alt-left-and-infrastructure-annotated/?utm_term=.335966271167

August 2017: Charlottesville

In view of the recent Charlottesville VA White “Supremacist” get together and its predictable consequences — including Donald Trump’s (predictable) non-response to the disgusting tactics of a major segment of his “base” — I thought it might be appropriate to post again the substance of a New York Times editorial I first ran across (and posted here) in early March, 2015. It speaks eloquently of the undercurrents which drive events such as those last weekend in Charlottesville, undercurrents made clear in the editorial’s title, “The Danger of American Fascism.” The bottom line is a simple one; it says that when we speak of ‘movements’ including White Nationalists, White Supremacists, Neo-Nazis, the Ku Klux Klan, and what’s come to be known recently as Alt-Right, we are speaking of various aspects — definitions, in fact — of Fascism.

Following are excerpts from said lengthy editorial, but which collectively summarize the essence of its thesis.

The Danger of American Fascism

“On returning from my trip to the West in February, I received a request from The New York Times to write a piece answering the following questions:

1. What is a fascist?
2. How many fascists have we?
3. How dangerous are they?

“A fascist is one whose lust for money or power is combined with such an intensity of intolerance toward those of other races, parties, classes, religions, cultures, regions or nations as to make him ruthless in his use of deceit or violence to attain his ends. The supreme god of a fascist, to which his ends are directed, may be money or power; may be a race or a class; may be a military clique or an economic group; or may be a culture, religion, or a political party.

[. . .]

“The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others.. . . The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

[. . .]

“If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. . . . They are patriotic in time of war because it is to their interest to be so, but in time of peace they follow power and the dollar wherever they may lead.

“American fascism will not be really dangerous until there is a purposeful coalition among the cartelists, the deliberate poisoners of public information, and those who stand for the K.K.K. type of demagoguery.

“Still another danger is represented by those who, paying lip service to democracy and the common welfare, in their insatiable greed for money and the power which money gives, do not hesitate surreptitiously to evade the laws designed to safeguard the public from monopolistic extortion. . . .

“The symptoms of fascist thinking are colored by environment and adapted to immediate circumstances. But always and everywhere they can be identified by their appeal to prejudice and by the desire to play upon the fears and vanities of different groups in order to gain power. It is no coincidence that the growth of modern tyrants has in every case been heralded by the growth of prejudice. . . .

“The American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact. Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism. They use every opportunity to impugn democracy . . . to conceal their own selfish imperialism. . . .

” . . . Monopolists who fear competition and who distrust democracy because it stands for equal opportunity would like to secure their position against small and energetic enterprise. In an effort to eliminate the possibility of any rival growing up, some monopolists would sacrifice democracy itself.

[. . .]

“Democracy to crush fascism internally must . . . develop the ability to keep people fully employed and at the same time balance the budget. It must put human beings first and dollars second. It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy in the form of monopolies and cartels. As long as . . . this liberal potential is properly channeled, we may expect the area of freedom of the United States to increase. The problem is to spend up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.

[ . . .]

“It should also be evident that exhibitions of the native brand of fascism are not confined to any single section, class or religion. Happily, it can be said that as yet fascism has not captured a predominant place in the outlook of any American section, class or religion. It may be encountered in Wall Street, Main Street or Tobacco Road. Some even suspect that they can detect incipient traces of it along the Potomac. It is an infectious disease, and we must all be on our guard against intolerance, bigotry and the pretension of invidious distinction.”

It’s interesting to note that when the author points out that “American fascists are most easily recognized by their deliberate perversion of truth and fact; Their newspapers and propaganda carefully cultivate every fissure of disunity, every crack in the common front against fascism; They use every opportunity to impugn democracy . . . to conceal their own selfish imperialism,” he could clearly be referring to situations that haunt the country this very day. But since the essay was originally published by the New York Times on April 9, 1944, that’s clearly not the case. It was written by then Vice President Henry A. Wallace at the request of the Times who asked him to, as Wallace noted, write a piece that answered the questions “What is a fascist? How many fascists have we? How dangerous are they?” I first ran across word of the Wallace essay in a 2004 Common Dreams article by Thom Hartmann. A google or two later, I located the complete essay entitled The Danger of American Fascism from which the excerpts above were chosen.

April 9, 1944 to August 12, 2017: Seventy-three years plus 125 days later, and the only thing that’s changed is that the situation has worsened by orders of magnitude. Back then, Franklin Roosevelt was President and Henry Wallace was Vice President. We all know where they stood. Today, Donald Trump is President and Mike Pence is V.P., and we all know where THEY stand. Today, this day, for the very first time the Fascist movement defines the electoral base of the President and his V.P. Donald Trump is and long has been, clearly, one of them, and Mike Pence forever remains too much of a wimp to admit it or point it out.

But still, the fact remains: IF America is to survive, if her goal is for “Democracy to crush fascism internally . . .” then  “It must appeal to reason and decency and not to violence and deceit. We must not tolerate oppressive government or industrial oligarchy,” but rather we must work “to spend [sic] up our rate of social invention in the service of the welfare of all the people.”

Will we as a people ever learn? Wallace was spot-on correct way back then, and his words ring even more true today than perhaps they ever have. The time has come, in other words, and that time is NOW. Donald Trump must be removed from the office of the Presidency whether by impeachment or via the 25th amendment, and the Republican Party must either recreate itself by disavowing any, each, and all of its current fascistic premises, or be disbanded entirely.

Or we could, of course, accept the Fascist alternative. Irrational hatred and fear coupled with greed and the quest for power have, after all, always worked so well as motivational memes . . . at least for those who find comfort in such nonsense.

Charlottesville residents excepted, thankfully.

Personally, I prefer that other approach, the one easily summarized in a simple slogan:

“Make America Great, For Once. DUMP TRUMP!”

Daily Gnuz

Back in the saddle, again!

And, here’s the Gnuz of the Day!

“If you’re not resisting, you’re partaking”: a historian on Trump’s failure to call evil by its name
H/T Vox
Historian Timothy Snyder nails it.

And

A new report reveals White House officials treat the president like a spoiled toddler
H/T AlterNet
Appropriately so, for the son of Fred.

Finally,

Trump aides predicting ‘brutal’ September
H/T Politico
Let’s just hope it doesn’t include a nuclear war on the Korean Peninsula.

Open Thread, read ’em and try not to weep too much
RUCerious @ TPZoo