The Watering Hole; Friday November 20 2015; American Darkness

Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me . . .

The Paris terrorist attacks of a week ago — Friday, November 13, 2015 — have served to again expose one of this country’s most deep-seated and extremely dark undercurrents: her penchant to accept hate and fear rather than intelligent analysis and action. As Obama has just recently pointed out, “We are not well served when, in response to a terrorist attack, we descend into fear and panic. We don’t make good decisions if its based on hysteria or an exaggeration of risks.” 

Here are just a small handful of current examples of that ‘descent into fear and panic‘ which has suddenly (?) come to drive the opinions of so many:

A Complete Guide To How The GOP Candidates Reacted To Syrian Refugees After The Paris Attacks

Tony Perkins: Refugee Resettlement Shows Obama & Liberals ‘Hate America’

Congress takes up Syrian refugee fight, starts slide toward shutdown

“There is not one voice of sanity among Republicans as they try to one-up each other in the xenophobia game.”

Paris Terror: Why ISIS Needs The ‘Useful Idiots’ Who Demonize Muslims

“Sadly the Republican candidates for president, and too many in their party, will seek to use this crisis as a partisan weapon against President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, the leading Democratic presidential contender. They will charge the Obama administration with “weakness” even as American warplanes fly thousands of sorties against ISIS positions in Iraq and Syria. Such political attacks sound ridiculous to anyone familiar with the recent history of the Mideast. As a product of Al Qaeda in Iraq, ISIS rose directly from the ill-conceived invasion and occupation of that unfortunate country – and the fact that Clinton mistakenly voted to give George W. Bush the conditional authority to wage that war in no way makes her (or Obama) responsible for its botched execution.

“The social chaos, religious strife, and massive bloodshed resulting from the US invasion created fertile ground for a new terrorist movement. And as Washington Post reporter Joby Warrick explains in Black Flags, his authoritative new history of the rise of ISIS, the Bush administration elevated its founder, a minor Jordanian gangster named Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, into an international terrorist celebrity with its bogus claim that he represented a link between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden.”

And last but by no means least — and speaking of “Useful Idiots”

Trump crosses the Nazi line: Maybe Muslims should wear special ID badges

Gee, Herr Donald. What could possibly go wrong?

Star of David

It obviously doesn’t take a lot to bring America’s Dark Side to the forefront. I wonder why that is? Are we as a nation so uniformly burdened that irrational fear and hate are the only available option? Or maybe the burden is limited to just one segment of vociferous folks? A relatively low percentage? I recently saw somewhere — can’t name the source, unfortunately — the results of a current poll which asked, concerning the fate of Syrian refugees, whether the idea of allowing them entrance to the United States as refugees is supportable or not. I don’t remember the  precise result, but somewhere in the neighborhood of 55% said NO, no Syrian refugees, period. The percentage that said YES, do it, was somewhere above thirty but less than forty percent. The poll also noted that those who identified themselves as ‘Republican’ were far more likely to say NO! than were all others.

And with that view in mind, here are the results from another similar poll on a similar issue, a poll that was taken almost 76 years ago, in January of 1939:

Note that only slightly more said NO back then than now. I’m guessing those two surveys may well support what seems to be the obvious conclusion that in America, the percentage of people who are driven/defined by fear, hate, and greed doesn’t change much from century to century. Makes me think that perhaps the concept of “darkness” more clearly defines we the people than does the oft-quoted “gleaming city on the hill” meme (or however it goes).

So. With apologies to Emma Lazarus, I’m forced by the circumstances detailed above to slightly modify the last line in her famous and epic poem, ‘The New Colossus,’ to make it a bit more accurate:

 I lift douse my lamp beside the golden door

American Darkness thus defined.



50 thoughts on “The Watering Hole; Friday November 20 2015; American Darkness

  1. We are at war with Al Qaeda;
    We have always been at war with Al Qaeda.

    We are at war with ISIS;
    We have always been at war with ISIS.

    The ruling class foments revolutions amongst the people of the Middle East, thus stirring fear amongst the lower classes at home. The lower classes react by making war against the revolutionaries in the Middle East, creating more revolutionaries. Endless war amongst the lower classes while the ruling classes profit and live in a world apart from fear.

    And the people who are most easily stirred to fear live by a book that proclaims, “Fear not.”

    • Spot on. I’ve only been here for a few weeks more than 73 years, and I can’t remember the moment in that entire span when the war drums were silent. Once, in the early 80s things had quieted down a wee bit, but then Reagan had us invade Grenada, that tiny island in the Caribbean — because there were some Cubans there helping build an airport, iirc. Anyway, that got the war ball rolling again and it hasn’t stopped since.

      I’ve always wondered why the hell we the people who are called on to die in some stupid war somewhere ‘over there’ don’t just tell the buttcakes who keep on beating the drums to fuck off, and add that if they want a war they’re gonna have to be the ones to fight the damn thing — and hopefully die in the process.

      Funny how the older I get, the more disappointed I become in my country. And remember, my disappointment got off to a roaring start in 1965 when I got my draft notice — their demand that I suit up and go fight a mythical enemy in Vietnam (I didn’t tell ’em to fuck off, just figured out how to say it nicely and get away with it) — and it’s been downhill ever since. And now, frankly, I don’t think America has got the soul to avoid urging forth wars. And looking back, I don’t think she ever did have that soul. Lots of “great nation” bluster, but if there ever was a country that proves ‘talk is cheap’ it’s this one.

      Rant over. That felt good.

  2. One of those Jewish children was Anne Frank …… just so’s you know – if you want to put a name and a face on the children above. Anne Frank’s father applied for a visa to USA in 1941 and was turned down….

    • Irrational fear and hatred have no boundaries, make no demand on empathy or even common sense. One might think ‘we’ could learn how to change that, but nope, not going to happen. We’ll simply continue to force doom and death upon whomever our fears and hatreds choose to condemn. Remember the second of Fascism’s Fourteen Points:

      Disdain for the Recognition of Human Rights

      Because of fear of enemies and the need for security, the people in fascist regimes are persuaded that human rights can be ignored in certain cases because of “need.” The people tend to look the other way or even approve of torture, summary executions, assassinations, long incarcerations of prisoners, etc.

      • And the enforcement procedures in international law are so weak that the United States can get away with extraordinary renditions, holding people indefinitely without trial, torture, and invading a sovereign country to get rid of its leader. And, sadly, offering safe harbor the war criminals of the previous administration.

  3. Counterpoint to The Donald and the bedwetting right-wing of this country who are proving, once again, that conservatism means learning sweet fook-all from history – whether it be the Jewish refugees in 1939, the Irish, German and Italian Catholics or anyone with a non-white skin who came here other than on a slave ship ……

    From the reactionary rag the Mail. The article is not up to much other than a mini-bio of Mr Neil, ut the post contains two epic rants, one by Neil at the top and at the end, the one by John Oliver on HBO, which is of course a blow out of English profanity and has gone viral, especially in France.

    • From the North American First People’s perspective, all the whiteys should get the hell out of this continent and back to Europe. They were never invited, no quota of immigrants was ever approved by any tribe.

      • I remember a bumper sticker I saw once on the Navajo Res. in AZ. It read something like, “OK White man, you’ve seen our land, now go home.”

        All us white folks are the products of Anchor Babies.

    • Praise the Lawd and pass the ammunition, gaud needs some killin’ done.
      Sounds kinda like ISIS, don’t it.

      But Seriously, Sarah, the book of Skywalker was written a long time after the crucifiction. It’s verbatim veracity is doubtful.

    • I don’t know why it is, but I’m almost always amused by people who quote the bible as though it’s something worth quoting today, a few thousand years down the road from its inception. And as they quote it, they invariably add their own interpretation(s), which in their mini-minds means they’re god-like and therefore can never be wrong. Overall, it’s a fascinating psycho-malady and would be far more laughable were it not for the fact that there are SO MANY out there who are ignorant enough to become followers, and worse, practitioners of said nonsense.

  4. Erick Erickson says:

    The American Left Hates Americans More Than They Hate ISIS

    The American public is fairly well united at this time. They do not want Syrian refugees and they want to unleash hell on ISIS. It is the American left, led by President Obama, opposing any action demanded by the public. They treat their fellow Americans with contempt in ways they do not treat ISIS. They say we should be more worried about Americans with guns than ISIS. They say any American who objects to bringing in Syrian refugees must be a bigot.

    I’m a Leftist. I confess. Guilty as charged.

    • FTGS – Erickson looks like child molester with his piggy eyes too close together…. he is definitely a bed-wetter – he just proved it. I am far more likely to be shot by a white supremacist Christo-fascist nut job sitting here in a coffee shop right now than an ISIS terrorist – and in 5 years time – the same answer – you fookin’ fascist cockwomble.

      Guess what you idiot, being a leader means being able to go past the wholly emotional reaction to Paris, to separate the ignorance and bigotry from the legitimate feelings of rage and urge to react with violence and to do something smart, compassionate, effective and yes firm against those who would destroy our way of life – and yes I include Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Piece-of-shit Dale and you Erick fook-you Erickson, in the list of the ‘those’ above.

    • Let’s give all of Erik’s ‘Americans’ guns and send them to Syria to kill Assad, ISIS and the Pope. Oh, right, the Pope is several thousand miles west…Well, ISIS and Asshatad then.

  5. Why I’m lucky (and glad) I don’t “work” for CNN:

    CNN Suspends Correspondent For Believing What Emma Lazarus Wrote

    CNN has suspended Elise Labott, a global affairs correspondent at the network, for two weeks following a passionate pro-refugee tweet, a CNN source confirmed to Business Insider.

    After the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed legislation on Thursday to stifle the flow of US refugees from Syria and Iraq, Labott slammed the bill.

    “House passes bill that could limit Syrian refugees. Statue of Liberty bows head in anguish,” she wrote on Twitter.

    She was probably referring to the Emma Lazarus poem on the base of the statue

    How dare WE quote Emma Lazarus when we’re facing Sharia Law invaders and when Republicans don’t want us to!!!!

    My bad, I guess.

  6. Has anyone started posting perceived threat levels yet? In this age of Trump may I suggest:
    1. Terrible
    2. Awful
    3. Pretty Bad
    4. Huuuugh
    5. Tremendous
    6. Unbelievable
    7. So bad I can’t tell you
    8. Pretty fucking bad
    9. Its never been like this before
    10. They’re here now

  7. Rubio Trumps Trump: Shut Down Any Place Muslims Gather To Be ‘Inspired’ — Not Just Mosques

    “It’s not about closing down mosques. It’s about closing down any place — whether it’s a cafe, a diner, an internet site — any place where radicals are being inspired,” Rubio said on Fox News’ The Kelly File on Thursday night when asked if he agreed with Trump. “The bigger problem we have is our inability to find out where these places are, because we’ve crippled our intelligence programs, both through unauthorized disclosures by a traitor, in Edward Snowden, or by some of the things this president has put in place with the support even of some from my own party to diminish our intelligence capabilities.”

    “So whatever facility is being used — it’s not just a mosque — any facility that’s being used to radicalize and inspire attacks against the United States, should be a place that we look at,” he continued.

    I’m only aware of two Cuban refugee Anchor Babies, namely Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz. Are they ALL so stupid, or are these two special cases??

    • And Raffy Cruz fought for Castro and threw a bunch of molotovs – round up the whole fucking lot of them and intern them all ….. once a commie…

  8. ‘Beyond terrifying’: Muslim Americans shocked by Donald Trump and Ben Carson quotes

    “This is beyond terrifying, any student of history knows what special IDs did in Europe,” said Nihad Awad, executive director of the largest Muslim advocacy group in the US, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (Cair). “In 20 years I have not heard such intolerance and hatred from political leaders in this society.”

    Welcome to Amurkkka, the fascist (read: Republican) version thereof, proof that with Fascism the rule is simple: no matter how much things change, they still remain the same.

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