It was a day. I won’t go into details, mainly because I know no one cares, but suffice to say I did not have time to do the work today. Anyhow, it’s 8:20 p.m. so we’ll just wrap up today’s interesting tidbits.
Before I get too deep, let me link up the Gibberish from the Blogger site. Tuesday we looked a bit into the whole business with the Harper’s Magazine letter, why it’s a bunch of nonsense, and why most “opinion” writers are worth listening to. Yes, me as well, don’t get cute. Thursday was a look at why it doesn’t matter why Washington is changing the name of its football team to something a little less racist, just that it is. We are not a mature culture so we’re not always going to do the right thing. That’s just a sad and sorry fact of life. Plus, happy birthday Woody Guthrie.
Saturday I’m sort of proud of. It’s a morose little gonzo trip into why I don’t drink anymore, as well as why I tend to shun face-to-face human interaction. It’s also a look into my head as to why I don’t worry too much about what happened and only put as much work into what might happen down the line as I have to. I just try to have fun right now. This all got pushed aside because I wrote something about the passing of Rep. John Lewis and Bro. C.T. Vivian, and I’m right proud of that, too. I really don’t know what you’d call that, but it’s the sort of writing I like.
Before I crawl too far up my own rear end, though, let’s look at the News. There’s actually a good bit to dig through, but we’re going to concentrate on the whole militarized retribution the federal government is throwing at protesters around the country to shore up Republican votes to try to save the sinking ship that is Trump’s re-election efforts. Because that’s what this is, and like the “caravans of brown people are coming” before the 2018 election, they’re little more than a cynical attempt to frighten Joe & Jane Suburbs into thinking the commienazis are inches away of destroying Mom, America, Apple Pie, and Two-Dollar Draft Night down at the Cadillac Lounge.
For most of the previous month, the Department of Homeland Security has been using camouflaged thugs without identification to hassle protesters in Portland, one of the country’s self-declared conscience cities. This is beyond all doubt and argument, and in most cases, the stormtroopers through the victim in an unmarked rental van, took them to a nearby federal building for questioning, only to turn them loose when they asked for a lawyer.
Acting Director of the HHS Chad Wolfe stated this was to protect federal buildings from rioters and vandals, but that’s bullshit on its face. A lot of these instances aren’t happening anywhere near the federal property and they’re most definitely harassing peaceful protestors, refusing to make a distinction. This all came to light as 53-year-old disabled Navy vet Christopher David was beaten and pepper-sprayed by HHS thugs just for talking to them. He’s standing perfectly still when some jabroni whacks him three times with a nightstick and another sprays him in the face. David took all three shots and, despite the whacks breaking one of his hands, gave the HHS goons the old double bird for their efforts.
This happened. This is where we stand. Now, Trump and his Attorney General, William “The Pope” Barr, are planning on spreading this sort of “justice” to more “troubled,” i.e. Democratically run, cities to stir up the rubes. First on that list is that favorite City of the Damned for conservatives whenever someone brings up the harsh realities of racial inequalities in policing and the application of the law, Chicago. Before the week’s out, the Windy City could see about 150 agents from the Homeland Security Investigations – now there’s a name that doesn’t make one nervous about jackbooted thugs at all, no sir – to “aid” Chi-town police and other federal agents in “fighting violent crime”.
Mayor Lori Lightfoot has said she’ll use every tool in her box to keep federal troopers from extra-judicially snatching citizens off the streets and the brave men and women of the Chicago PD sent a statement just wanting to be asked first. Doubling down on the authoritarianism, Trump and his boys plan to lean on other cities that don’t vote for him, such as Oakland, Detroit, and that old favorite Baltimore, to beat the plebes into submission and proper respect. Considering how he’s being abandoned by everyone but the Base, who get off on this sort of thing, it’s no wonder Trump’s decided to throw his hood in that particular ring.
It’s going to be an interesting summer. Authoritarianism isn’t an unknown thing in the United States, nor is the heavy hand of the federal government. From the Whiskey Rebellion to the Palmer Raids, when the federal government gets its fill, it will come down on you like a ton of bricks. We came within a hair’s breadth of full-on, undeniable fascism just before World War II and the tactics of Joe McCarthy were way more popular than anyone would like to admit. Like with Rep. Lewis, Martin Luther King was considered a troublemaker back when was stomping the terra and, just like with Black Lives Matter, far too many “reasonable white Americans” thought the Civil Rights movement hurt Black people far more than it helped.
And very little has changed, I’m sad to say. I’m not one to wax rhapsodic about Democracy and insist the rights enshrined in the U.S. Constitution are anything but circumstantial rather than absolute. That’s just how life is and how the government is, and if you truly believe anyone will make them otherwise, well, neighbor, I have a pick-up truck to sell you. According to recent work by the Democracy Fund Voter Study Group, nearly a quarter of the respondents say a “strong leader who doesn’t have to bother with Congress and elections” would be a killer bee way to run the country. A further 18 percent would be cool with “army rule,” whatever the hell that means.
This won’t happen because Trump and his bully boys force it on us, though. This will happen because enough people actively want it and not enough of us want to fight back, either because it “doesn’t concern us” or we’re of the idea that some Americans don’t count and need that “firm hand”. Congress doesn’t have the spine to buck this trend and the press, especially the big corporate joints, have shown they’re more concerned with the plebes being allowed to tell them they’re jackasses.
So. Are we going to let it happen? They’re primed for it, saying many times they consider us the enemy and are prepared to act accordingly. Is this where we want to go? And where will we be once we get through to the other side?