"Joy and pleasure are as real as pain and sorrow and one must learn what they have to teach. . . ." -- Sean Russell, from Gatherer of Clouds

"If you're not having fun, you're not doing it right." -- Helyn D. Goldenberg

"I love you and I'm not afraid." -- Evanescence, "My Last Breath"

“If I hear ‘not allowed’ much oftener,” said Sam, “I’m going to get angry.” -- J.R.R. Tolkien, from Lord of the Rings

Friday, August 18, 2017

Today in Disgusting People

I'm surprised he hasn't shown up in this category before -- well, at least not featured:

Tweeting the morning after 13 people were killed in Barcelona after a van plowed through crowds in a busy pedestrian area, President Donald Trump called on American courts to "give us our protective rights back" to stop "Radical Islamic Terrorism."

While it's unclear what "protective rights" the president was referring to, he has previously advocated for an expansion of the US' mass surveillance capabilities, and Trump's top intelligence officials, including CIA director Mike Pompeo, have fought even narrow restrictions on the surveillance state.

Yeah, I think the subtext is pretty obvious. Can you say "Sieg Heil!"?

And do note the fallback: "radical Islamic terrorism", less than a week after a good example of radical Nazi terrorism right here at home.

Earlier this week, the president refused to label an attack on a group of protesters by a white supremacist in Charlottesville terrorism, even though the Justice Department is investigating the crime as an act of terror.

But there were "good people" involved in that march. You could tell by their guns.

Still wondering if New Zealand is far enough away.


Coming Attractions: Thor: Ragnarok

Opening November 3.


Thursday, August 17, 2017

Yes, It's the Republicans

To amplify my response to Nikolaos here, I ran across this:

Nearly two-thirds of Americans consider the attack that led to loss of life in Charlottesville an act of "domestic terrorism," a view that spans partisan lines. But President Trump's response to Charlottesville finds more division.

He gets majority disapproval overall for his response to the events, while most Republicans approve. Republicans interviewed following Tuesday's press conference also feel Mr. Trump is assigning blame accurately in the matter, while Democrats and Independents, and the country overall, disagree.


Read the whole article -- they surveyed several questions around the events in Charlottesville, and the responses from Republicans are -- well, not reassuring.

Via Joe.My.God.


Image du Jour

In light of Trump's "both sides" rhetoric and the continuing efforts of the Charlottesville Nazis to proclaim themselves the victims of hostile leftists, I present this, courtesy of commenter Gigi at Joe.My.God.

Thumbnail

And another from The Guardian, via Bark Bark Woof Woof:

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Because He's One Of Them

If you're still wondering why Trump was so reluctant to condemn the Nazi marchers in Charlottesville:


Via Digby.

Coming Attractions: God's Own Country

A new trailer:



It looks like the release date is back to September 1. although IMDb is listing it as in theaters October 27.

Duh -- I just read the footer on the clip and noted it's in UK theaters on September 1. More coffee. Or maybe less coffee.

(And I just realized that September is next month! WTF?)

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Today's Must-Read: In My Country, We Call Them "Republicans"

From Charles P. Pierce, who is not mincing words:

So when anybody, especially the president*, talks about what happened in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend, from the Citronella Putsch on Friday night, to the violence on Saturday morning, to the graphic fulfillment of the philosophy behind these lunatic laws on Saturday afternoon, tells you that what happened in Virginia has anything to do with "polarization," or that it is a problem equally shared by Both Sides, that person is trying preemptively to pick history's pockets.

Every Republican who ever played footsie with the militias out west owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican who ever spoke to, or was honored by, the Council of Conservative Citizens and/or the League of the South owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican administration that ever went out of its way to hire Pat Buchanan, and every TV executive who ever cut him a check, and every Republican who voted for him in 1992, and everyone who ever has pretended his views differed substantially from the ones in the streets this weekend, owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican president—actually, there's only one—who began a campaign in Philadelphia, Mississippi, to talk about states rights, and who sent his attorney general into court to fight for tax exemptions for segregated academies, owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican who ever played footsie with the militias out west owns this bloodshed.

Every Republican politician who followed the late Lee Atwater into the woods in search of poisoned treasure owns this bloodshed.

Every conservative journalist who saw this happening and who encouraged it, or ignored it, or pretended that it wasn't happening, owns this bloodshed.

Read it. It's pretty strong stuff.

And One More Step

Getting closer to the authoritarian state:


The U.S. Justice Department, currently headed by Attorney General Sessions, has demanded DreamHost—the company currently hosting disruptj20.org—to provide all information available about the website, it’s owner and its visitors.

On July 12, a search warrant was issued by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia that required DreamHost disclose a significant amount of information that would be stored on the company’s servers. The warrant included a request for all files associated with the site, email accounts the contents of those accounts associated with the site and contact and billing information of the person who registered the site.

The warrant also demanded DreamHost disclose any information it had about people who simply visited the website. The Justice Department asked for the IP addresses of visitors, which would generally provides information about a visitor’s location and other potentially identifiable information, as well as contact information of people who used the site.

Sounds like -- what? The USSR under Stalin? Italy when the trains were running on schedule? Given the events of this past weekend, and Trump's obvious sympathy with the Nazis and white supremacists who precipitated the mess, I'll go with Germany in the '30s.

And he couldn't have found a more willing enforcer than Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Antidote

Truer words. . . .



Today's Must-Read: The Next Step

From Trump's re-election campaign (because that's all he can do -- campaign):

Donald Trump’s campaign for his 2020 re-election has released a new ad attacking Democrats, the media and “career politicians” just one day after the president refused to denounce white supremacism.

“Democrats, obstructing – the media, attacking our president,” the ad begins, displaying imagery featuring Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Maxine Waters, various hosts and commentators at MSNBC, CNN and others. “Career politicians, standing in the way of success. But President Trump’s plan is working.”

The propaganda-fueled video then proceeds to tout job creation, the stock market and a strong military as Donald Trump’s successes, noting that “the president’s enemies don’t want him to succeed.”

"The president's enemies" -- think about how that resonates for a second. And how long before that gets morphed into "enemies of the people"?

There's much commentary on the fact that Trump did not denounce the Nazis demonstrating in Charlottesville. I can't figure out why everyone is so surprised: he agrees with them. He believes the same things they do. I suppose it's to his credit that he retains at least that little shred of honesty, but there's an element of self-preservation involved: they are his base.


And do note that he has had nothing to do with anything he's taking credit for. Again, typical.

The must-read is here. It's not that long, but it pulls a lot of things together:

In late August, in a speech delineating white nationalist support for Donald Trump, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton unveiled a new title for Russian President Vladimir Putin: “The Grand Godfather of Extreme Nationalism.” With the sinecure, Clinton sought to directly link the odious policies of her Republican counterpart — namely, mainstreaming a racialized, white supremacist discourse the United States had not seen at such levels in a generation — to those brought to bear under Putin’s third term.

The epithet built upon one of the pillars of Clinton’s campaign which, in turn, built upon the primary campaign of former GOP contender, and current Ohio governor, John Kasich. That is, in addition to Trump’s outright praise for Putin’s leadership, as well as his murky, secretive financial ties to those close to the Kremlin, Clinton tied Trump to the Kremlin’s campaign of stoking hyper-nationalistic movements throughout the West

As a rhetorical device, the title remains a flurry of brilliance. Not only does the terminology help highlight the Kremlin’s kleptocratic coterie — with Putin as don, as mafioso — but it also further emphasized Clinton’s grasp of Moscow’s policies, and the motivations therein. As seen with Hungary’s Jobbik, with France’s National Front, with Greece’s Golden Dawn, those far-right movements sprouting throughout Europe have found a counterpart in Trump’s hostile takeover of the Republican Party. And much as Trump has aped the rotted, regressive policies of Putin-friendly leaders throughout Europe — see: Hungary’s Viktor Orban — so, too, has he helped give a national platform to the groups and movements that have not only fueled a resurgence of white nationalism in the United States, but who have gone out of their way to praise, of all international leaders, Putin. These groups, as noted in Clinton’s speech, include the “alt-right,” a gathering of fascists and white nationalists who would Balkanize the United States or who would return the country to a bygone era of white supremacy, but also extend to the secessionists and Christian fundamentalists further propping Trump’s campaign.

The article was published in the fall of last year, before the election, but it's scarily prescient.

Via Digby.

Footnote: They just don't get it:

Peter Cvjetanovic
“I came to this march for the message that white European culture has a right to be here just like every other culture,” Cvjetanovic opined. “It is not perfect; there are flaws to it, of course. However I do believe that the replacement of the statue will be the slow replacement of white heritage within the United States and the people who fought and defended and built their homeland. Robert E Lee is a great example of that. He wasn’t a perfect man, but I want to honor and respect what he stood for during his time.”

He sounds like a thoughtful young man, but he's missing a big part of the message that he's pushing by attending that march: do you suppose he understand the "supremacy" part of "white supremacy"?

Apparently not.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Oh, Well. . . .

I watched the Star Wars movie, Rogue One, on Netflix last night.

I should have settled for another couple episodes of Monster Fish.

Sunday! Here at Green Man Review!

And of course, none of you are old enough to remember the days before FM radio became a thing, when we used to listen to Art Roberts on WLS-AM ("This has been a work of Art -- Excelsior!"), music interspersed with ads for drag racing at US 30 drag strip in Indiana. ("Sunday! Here at US 30 Drag Strip!")

At any rate, it's that time of week again, there's interesting stuff to be had, so click through and enjoy.

Playlist

For some reason, it's been a Brahms morning -- a decision I made before I started reading the news.

I've always loved Brahms. My first exposure to "classical" music happened when I was about eight or nine; we always had music -- my mother came from a very musical family -- but it was all kids' records ("Brave Cowboy Bill"), country, and Elvis. At any rate, my dad brought home a surplus 78 rpm recording of the Brahms D Minor piano concerto -- the music teacher at his school was upgrading to 33s -- and I went nuts. If you follow this blog, or my reviews, you can see where that led.

At any rate, it's been, so far, the D Minor, the complete symphonies (the von Karajan recordings), and maybe next the piano quintet -- or the second piano concerto.

No Surprises

And of course, the Nazi demonstration in Charlottesville, VA, turned violent. Joe.My.God. has a series of posts on it this morning, including the terrorist attack on the counterprotesters, the pathetic response by The Hairpiece, and Alex Jones' conspiracy theory.

Image via Digby

A more detailed account, from Josh Eaton at Think Progress.

And more on Trump's response:

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides," he said, repeating the final phrase for emphasis.

"It's been going on for a long time in our country; it's not Donald Trump, it's not Barack Obama," he added, without specifying what "it" referred to.

Actually, I'm amazed that he didn't lay it at Obama's feet. \

There's a lot of commentary about the "all sides do it" cast to his response, and the fact that he didn't condemn the Nazi marchers or the terrorist attack: as one of the commenters at one of the JMG posts noted, he's not going to condemn the Nazi protesters -- they're his strongest supporters. And a commenter at another post (which I can't locate right now) pointed out that he shares their beliefs -- remember how at one point he was waxing eloquent about his good genes?

Just another day in Trump's America.



Saturday, August 12, 2017

Turning Over Rocks

It's gotten a little beyond "disgusting people": here's how badly the discourse has degenerated.

First, via Joe.My.God., a perennial nutjob, "Pastor" Kevin Swanson, of some megachurch in the Southwest someplace:

Image: Right Wing Watch
On his radio program today, extremist anti-LGBTQ pastor Kevin Swanson and his co-host Bill Jack declared that “sexualized public schools that violate God’s law with high levels of flagrancy” should be burned to the ground.

Swanson and Jack were outraged by the fact that Washington state public schools teach students about gender identity issues, with Swanson at one point connecting this issue to a rape allegation against an employee at the state’s Department of Fish and Wildlife.

“Rape is also against God’s law and I guess it must be against state law; I’m not getting why, though,” Swanson said. “Why in the world is a sexual crime against the law in the state of Washington if the other forms of crimes are not against the law in the state of Washington? See, this is confusing to me.”

I suspect most things having to do with objective reality are confusing to Swanson.

And here's the key:

Swanson and Jack agreed that if parents from the 1950s saw what was happening in the schools today, “they would want to burn them down.”

Excuse me, "Pastor" Swanson? You do realize it's not the 1950s any more?

Next, again via Joe, someone who's not nearly as important as he thinks he is:

Image vie Joe.My.God.
CNN fired conservative commentator Jeffrey Lord on Thursday after he tweeted a Nazi salute at a critic.

A network spokesperson confirmed that Lord was no longer with the network and said “Nazi salutes are indefensible.” The statement came hours after Lord tweeted the Nazi slogan “Sieg Heil!” at the head of a liberal advocacy group, Media Matters for America.

Lord said in a telephone interview Thursday night that he respected CNN and its journalists, but fundamentally disagreed with the network’s decision to fire him. He said his “Sieg Heil!” tweet was not an endorsement of Nazism or fascist tactics, but was meant to mock Media Matters and its use of boycotts of advertisers of conservative voices such as Sean Hannity, which Lord equated with fascism.

But, of course, outfits like One Million Moms and the American Family Association calling for boycotts is an entirely different thing.

And of course, his rights are being violated:

He called himself a “First Amendment fundamentalist” and called CNN’s decision disappointing. “From my perspective CNN caved on the First Amendment of all things. I disagree. I respectfully disagree.”

I really hate being the one to break the news, Mr. Lord, but the First Amendment does not guarantee your right to be a fascist asshole in a non-government setting.

And Joe comes through again: The NRA can always be counted on for something near-treasonous:

NRA TV, via Joe.My.God.
An NRA television host has apologized for suggesting that one of America’s enemies abroad could switch their sights from the Western Pacific to liberals in the U.S.

“Let's send a note to North Korea that Sacramento changed its name to Guam!” NRA TV personality Grant Stinchfield posted on Twitter Friday morning.

It was not immediately clear why Stinchfield suggested Northern California as a possible substitute for the destruction that Pyongyang has threatened against America’s territory east of the Philippines.

Not clear why he suggested (and I love that -- he didn't "suggest" anything) northern California? It's those San Francisco values, of course.

An these jokers have no self-awareness at all:

“It was meant as a joke and I regret it,” he said by phone.

. . .

Stinchfield previously used his show to blast liberal opponents’ focusing on President Trump in the North Korea situation, saying that “there is nothing funny about an attack on America.”

WTF?

I may come back to this -- I mean, that's how bad it's gotten: this is just the highlights (lowlights?) of reports from one site.