7/09/2020

Hey, Where the Fuck Are You?

I'm taking the full week off because I'm in Louisiana visiting family. Gotta tell you: It's weird to go into a restaurant and eat a meal like a real person. Hell, they've even spaced the tables a responsible distance apart. 

Of course, mask-wearing isn't mandatory here in Cajun Country.  Lafayette Mayor Josh Guillory refuses to require masks in public places indoors, and when he was asked if he consulted his task force of health experts to come to that decision, he dickishly responded, "I didn’t ask them their favorite color, either." Because that's how Republicans roll down here. Well, everywhere, I suppose.

So I'll be back next week with more juicy rudeness. For now, enjoy this painting at the delicious Cafe Sydney Mae's in Breaux Bridge.


7/02/2020

Biden and Trump: Who's the Demented One? A Comparison

Yeah, I haven't exactly been shy about my opinion of Joe Biden. I have a track record of shitting on him that goes back to the Clarence Thomas hearings. I have not been kind to him recently. And I sincerely believe that it's a toxic combination of sexism, racism, and Trump hatred that has made Biden not just the Democratic nominee, but leading Trump overall by big numbers, and, by varying margins, in every battleground state. He's the good, "here's five bucks" Grandpa to Trump's evil, shits and doesn't flush Grandpa. 

And since I goddamn well come as close as a stone-cold atheist can to praying Biden will be president come January, I better figure out times to say something more than, "Well, hell, I'd rather have the nice dementia patient instead of the cruel one."

So lemme say a nice thing here: Biden did pretty damn well at his press conference Tuesday after a speech where he ripped Trump another new one over Trump's brain-damaged response to the coronavirus. Trump had been repeating endlessly, and it was echoed across the conservative media circle jerk, that Biden was out of it, incapable of answering questions, lost in his thought, weak, confused, and every other synonym for that kind of thing. 

Except when it came time for Biden to leave the prepared remarks behind and take questions, he was more cogent than Trump has been in years, and smarter than Trump has ever been in his entire worthless life. For instance, here he is on whether or not Trump has fucked over the United States by refusing to do anything after learning that Russia is paying bounties for American heads in Afghanistan: "One of two things, this president talks about cognitive capability. He doesn’t seem to be cognitively aware of what’s going on. He either reads and/or gets briefed on important issues and he forgets it, or he doesn’t think it’s necessary that he need to know it." In other words, "You think I've lost a step or two? Have you seen fucko in the White House?"

Other than rage tweeting about it being another "hoax," Trump hasn't taken any questions about the Russian bounty story. But in a town hall with Fox "news" toilet Sean Hannity, he offered this not quite as nimble take on Russia: "Look at the Pulitzer Prize. The Pulitzer Prize is very embarrassed. It’s lost a lot of its credibility, because all these writers got Pulitzer Prizes on the Russia, Russia, Russia, and they were all wrong. But John Solomon and all of the people that you deal with. And you, by the way. Laura, Lou Dobbs, Fox and Friends, people that are great. Great group in the morning, including the weekends, to be honest, with Pete. You have some great people. But they got Pulitzer Prizes on Russia, Russia, Russia, and they were wrong." Honestly, that's more understandable, like on a basic language level, than when he tries to talk actual policy about Russia. It's like he's reading Page Six in the New York Post and wondering why the blind item he fed them isn't there. 

Asked about Black Lives Matter protesters taking down statues, Biden was again clear and empathetic, saying, "I think the idea of bringing down, I think all those Confederate monuments to Confederate soldiers and generals, et cetera, who strongly supported secession and the maintenance of slavery and going to war to do it, I think those statues belong in museums. They don’t belong in public places."

And here's Trump on the same subject: "Like the character on the horse the other day, he’s up there putting on the ropes. He’s in trouble, on the Andrew Jackson … beautiful, it’s beautiful, right opposite the White House. And you got to remember Andrew Jackson, the Battle of New Orleans and so much. He was a very good president. He was a great general and you can’t let that happen."  (To be a little fair here, Biden did say that he was against tearing down statues of Jefferson and Washington. But he didn't mention Jackson, who was a bloodthirsty motherfucker who we should be embarrassed to call one of our presidents.)

When he was questioned about everything becoming political, including wearing masks so you lower your risk of fucking killing someone, Biden dismissed Trump's bullshit and talked about how we've gotta do this for each other, you know, like a nation, not a mass of individual islands screeching about freedom: "We’re also talking about it in terms of the president talks about manhood and being strong and you don’t need the mask. I think we have to start appealing to the better side of human nature by pointing out that that mask is not so much to protect me. It’s if I have it, it’s to protect you against me. It’s to protect other people. And it’s called patriotism. It’s called responsibility. It’s called making sure you look out for the other person." 

In an interview with Eric Bolling for Sinclair Media Group (motto: "Trump's balls aren't gonna polish themselves"), the president offered grudging support for mask-wearing at last, but he put it this way: "Well, I've already had masks and I want a mask. And if I'm near people, you know, you were tested, right? Just now. And everybody that's around me as president gets tested, that's like standard. Uh, and I'm also -- I keep distances. I'm, you know, supposed to keep a distance and I keep distances. But if I needed a mask, if I was in a crowd of, you know, crowd, a lot of people and everything else, I'd wear -- I have no problem with a mask at all...I have no objection to masks whatsoever. Do what you're supposed to do and also do what makes you feel good." Not a single goddamn word about being kind to each other. It was purely about how he feels, purely selfish, with not even a nod to the larger good because he doesn't fucking see how that matters. 

Joe Biden is 77 years old. Donald Trump is 74 years old. It's not ageism to say that they have slowed down a bit, that they have moments when they're not as quick on their feet. It's not ableism. It's medical science. But Trump has made it a centerpiece of his reelection campaign that Biden is somehow suffering such grave cognitive decline that he can't function. It's absurd for Donald "Can't Complete a Sentence" Trump to make that allegation. That's projection to such an extreme extent that he may as well be accusing Biden of combing his hair like it's old cotton candy, fucking a porn star, and putting on orange makeup. Motherfucker, that's you.

Honestly, occasional lapses aside, the biggest difference is that Biden sounds like a regular old politician, and that just sounds fuckin' weird now, man. It's like we've dated someone who kept shoveling cocaine into our noises and screaming at us to tell him we love him for four godforsaken years and all of a sudden we meet a guy who says, "Just have some tea and lemme tell you how it can all be better." Jesus, you think, I wanna get off this fuckin' bender and here's my chance.

(Note: Full disclosure- I have praised Biden in the past, too, like when he debated Paul Ryan and Sarah Palin. Context is everything.)

6/25/2020

Democrats Decide to Wait Until After the Election to Fully Attack, Just Like They Did in 2016. How'd That Work Out?

There's a reason why the campaign of Donald Trump and Trump himself can't lay a glove on Joe Biden: we want Trump fucking gone. It's pretty goddamn hilarious to see Trump throw everything he can at Biden, including the shit he got impeached for, and nothing sticks. Trump's out there talking about Biden as a puppet of the "radical left," that Biden doesn't even know where he is, that "Sleepy Joe" can't handle the job, that Biden is owned by China. Trump's flailing and desperate because the motherfucker has seen his shit go south before. He sees the writing on the wall and it says, "Fuck you, Donald."

And unless you prove to us that Biden will somehow fuck up the response to a pandemic as badly as Trump did or that he'll let the economy crash and prance around like the thirstiest cheerleader at the prep school instead of fucking helping people or that he'll shit all over every alliance that the United States has ever had around the world while buffing the balls of dictators, it would take some kind of cataclysm of Epsteinian proportions to turn even an electoral college-clinching number of voters in Trump's favor. Or massive cheating and voter suppression, which is frighteningly possible and means we shouldn't take anything for granted.

Back in 2016, an anxious American left wondered how Democrats would respond to Mitch McConnell's refusal to consider President Obama's choice to replace the gratifyingly dead Antonin Scalia, Merrick Garland. It was perhaps the most brazen assertion of power in eight years of abject obstructionism to no purpose other than to obstruct, animated by the racist hatred of Obama that defined the GOP during his term. 

Democrats needed to burn down DC, they needed to go on the air with massive ad buys, they needed to organize mass protests, they needed to refuse to pass any legislation, and more. Control the message and spread it wide and make people invested in it. That's the tactic. Create the narrative and don't just react. Obama had a chance to give the court a more liberal majority for the first time in a generation, a transformative appointment that would have solidified his legacy and created a bulwark against right-wing fuckery for at least a decent period of time. It was damn well worth fighting for.

And Democrats more or less shrugged. Oh, sure, there was a little bit of posturing and harumphing, but, likely with guidance from the White House, they pretty much decided, "Nah. Hillary Clinton's gonna win. And then even if Mitch McConnell is still Senate Majority Leader, we're sure he'll be a good guy and let Scalia be replaced by a Democrat." It was laughing-until-you-sob naive. They legit thought Clinton was gonna be president, but McConnell wouldn't have fuckin' budged. That seat would still be open because they would have declared Clinton illegitimate or under investigation or some such shit. And it would have still been because Democrats didn't mobilize in rage in the first fuckin' place.

This is not just the realm of hindsight. Right now, in 2020, Donald Trump's absolute refusal to have a unified, national policy on a fucking virus that is fucking killing tens of thousands of people every month should be the organizing principle for Democrats, prompting them to propose radical action like health care for everyone or at least that the government pay for coronavirus shit (since, you know, people are ending up with massive bills for catching COVID-19). Yes, House Democrats are having hearings. Why not have some social-distanced town halls with people who suffered because of Republican incompetence and cruelty? Why not take out ads of their own and not rely on the scum-fucking Never Trump Republicans (who will savagely turn against Democrats as soon as Trump is gone, and they'll pretend like Trump didn't happen, just as they pretend like they aren't the reason that Trump is there in the first place)?  On the pandemic, you can make the case that we can't wait until January to have a coherent strategy because, really, we fucking well can't. 

Or maybe, on another shitpile in the cow pasture of Trump's scandals, they could impeach Attorney General and man who looks as if he masturbates to animal-stabbing porn William Barr. Yet today Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi said, "One hundred and thirty-one days from now, we will have the solution to many problems, one of them being Barr," adding that Barr "is contemptible. There’s no question about that. But at this point, let’s solve our problems by going to the polls and voting on Election Day."

And all I could think was "How'd that work out in 2016?"

I know, I know, I fucking know that Trump isn't gonna be removed from office. But Democrats could unify around a message that Trump has extravagantly failed at the pandemic and should resign. Why not? Why not make that the rallying cry? Why not say that the nation needs to put saving American lives in places like, oh, shit, maybe Florida or Arizona or Texas, hey, not just traditionally blue states anymore, above politics?  

It won't happen. (Or it might, in which case, whoa.) But the message comes in clear that this is a failed presidency and that those who still follow Trump are supporting a failure. It's not that he's vulgar or racist or insulting. The narrative is that he's killing us. He's hurting our bodies, and he's hurting our businesses, and he's hurting our future. 

Stop being afraid to name the enemy as the enemy. And, more importantly, stop being afraid to treat the enemy as the enemy now, not as a battle in some hoped-for future. 

6/23/2020

Deep Cuts from Trump's Racist, Rambling, Ridiculous Speech in Tulsa

Imagine Donald Trump looking out at the 2/3 empty arena in Tulsa, Oklahoma, on Saturday. Imagine him finally seeing what his team had been prepping him for: the whole event was a bust. An expensive, overblown, time-wasting bust, reminiscent of so many things in Trump's pathetic life. Imagine him trying to figure out the greater insult: that he would have to go out and do his dog-and-pony hate show for the stinking rubes who had been standing in the Oklahoma heat, some for 2 days, or that the seats of the arena are blue, a wave of blue, if you will, that looked as if it would crash over him. Imagine him wondering if he could concoct some fake emergency that would whisk him away from the whole shitpile he had walked into and he could let his terrible children or Pence take the hit. 

But, no, fuck it, he decided to go out there and vent it all, let it all hang the fuck out, talking for over an hour and forty minutes, all repetition and grievance-airing and shit-stirring. It's like something has finally clicked for Trump: he no longer even makes the slightest attempt to pretend that any of this is about anything other than himself. He doesn't give a goddamn if thousands more people die, if he rips the nation asunder, as long as he gets what the fuck he believes he's owed: the devotion of those he deems as lessers and a "Get Out of Jail Free" card, along with whatever coin he pocket in the meantime.

So, yeah, you've heard about the lowly highlights of the future Tulsa vector of death, about the "kung flu" and the slowing down of testing and the endless, just plain fuckin' deranged explanation of his halting walk down a ramp at West Point, along with his inability to lift a glass of water like a healthy human. You've seen that shit. But, like I said, it was 100 minutes long, and there was no way to demonstrate how completely bugfuck the whole thing was. So lemme hit you with some of the deep cuts from the speech.

You want more racism and advocacy for police violence? Here he is on how ICE should arrest gang members: "ICE, they’re rough guys. they’re great Americans, but they’ll walk into, they caught them in a pack. They’ll walk into a pack of tough MS-13 gang members. And we shouldn’t say this, it’s not nice. They want us to negotiate. They start swinging. And the other such way, everybody’s swinging, at the end, they carry them back and they throw them into the paddy wagon. They’re great." Yes, Grandpa Donny said, "Paddy wagon," and he once again praised law enforcement officials for beating up non-white people while mass protests are going on about law enforcement killing non-white people.

Trump talked about a Democratic presidency and Democratic Congress in apocalyptic terms. "If Biden is elected, he will surrender your country to these mobsters 100%... If the Democrats gain power, then the rioters will be in charge and no one will be safe...Joe Biden and the Democrats want to prosecute Americans for going to church, but not for burning a church. They believe you can riot, vandalize and destroy, but you cannot attend a peaceful pro-America rally. They want to punish your thought, but not their violent crimes." Damn, I must have missed a meeting or two of the liberal cabal because I thought we wanted Medicare for All and a fair tax system that allows us to provide better opportunities for all Americans. How wrong I've been.

And then, in a shit tossing moment that would do a cage full of monkeys proud, Trump threw it all together and topped it with a special sauce of baby murder: "If Joe Biden were to become president, an emboldened left will launch a full scale assault on American life. You know that. They’ll expel anyone who disagrees with them. Look what happens when you disagree. You use a term that’s perfect and they’re not happy with it. They call you a racist. They call you a horrible person. They want to crush religious liberty. They don’t want religion. Silence religious believers, indoctrinate your children with hateful and vicious lies about our country, subsidize late term abortion and after birth execution." By the way, that's verbatim. He leaped from subject to subject like a jackrabbit that get into the meth stash. And, by the way again, what would that "perfect term" that happens to be racist be? 'Cause "kung flu" isn't perfect by any stretch of the bigoted imagination.

Oh, and you know how Biden is the center point of all the evil shit that liberals want to do?  Well, not really, because he's actually completely incapacitated and unable to function. In the middle of talking about energy and regulations, Trump said, "And with the help of our great energy workers, many of them come from the great state of Oklahoma. Do you ever notice that Biden, no, do you ever notice that Biden oftentimes gets the state wrong? He’s in Iowa and he says it’s good to be in Idaho. No, no, you’re in Iowa. He’s in New Hampshire and he says it’s great to be in Ohio. No, no, no, you’re in New Hampshire. That happens to him all the time, hasn’t happened to me yet." That's right. In the middle of a completely distracted tangent, Trump talked about how he thinks Biden gets confused. The man has all the self-awareness of a rat eating its own babies.

Trump is deeply, deeply invested in trying to make Biden look old and in mental decline because, well, by the Trumpian law of projection, Trump is old and in mental decline. "Joe Biden is a helpless puppet of the radical left, and he’s not radical left. I don’t think he knows what he is anymore," Trump said. "Biden is fully controlled by the fringe of his party. He is their pawn. He doesn’t even know where the hell he is. Let’s face it. He installed socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to be in charge of his environmental policy and his energy." 

You get the idea.

What gets me is that in a presumptive campaign speech for a second term, Trump gave not a single plan or idea for what he'd do. And that's because, in essence, all he'd do is continue what he's doing: making appearances where he can bray like a donkey with a giant butt plug shoved in his asshole and fucking over anyone who doesn't worship him. He's pretending he got shit done, but I don't get why no one is asking him, "Hey, motherfucker, you said Mexico would pay for the wall. In fact, you made all of us say it with you. What the fuck's up with that?"

But the people in that crowd, the geeks and lepers and goons and whores and crazies, don't fuckin' care. They just want him to be their surrogate, their subreddit made flesh, pledging to hurt anyone they've been told has hurt them, never realizing that the enemy is the one making them cheer for him sipping water when he really wants to spit it at them. 

6/18/2020

Trump Doesn't Know Shit or Give a Shit About African Americans or History or Anything, Really

It's hard to pinpoint the most blitheringly fucked tangent that Donald Trump, our cracked vinyl beanbag chair of a president, went off on during his speech to announce a few bullshit, milquetoast little suggestions to the brutal, militarized police forces of America (seriously, if you think "reform the police" is weak, try the title of this pussy-ass executive order: "Safe Policing for Safe Communities"). 

But I'm gonna go with when he brought up school choice. "We’re fighting for school choice," he insisted, and added, "which really is the civil rights of all time in this country.  Frankly, school choice is the civil rights statement of the year, of the decade, and probably beyond — because all children have to have access to quality education." Yeah, fuck you, Brown vs. Board of Education. School choice pisses on you.

Just a recap: "School choice" is about giving parents vouchers that they can use to help pay for private schools, taking money away from public education (or "failing government schools," as President Dickhead called them) and giving it to churches and private organizations and, yes, Secretary of Education and hideous greed beast Betsy DeVos. Oh, and Trump's proposal on this also includes a tax credit that would benefit the wealthy because of course it would. Calling this a civil rights "statement" (whatever the fuck that is) or anything related to civil rights just because it would end up benefiting some non-white people is so laughable that you can't tell if those are tears of joy, rage, or sadness.

But what this points to with Trump is that he doesn't know jack shit about African Americans. He doesn't understand issues surrounding their community, he doesn't give a fuck about their lives, he can't be bothered to learn their history, and, if you ask, he'll tell you that no one knows more about black people than he does. 

As racist as Trump has been his whole worthless life, the last few weeks have given him ample opportunity to relish his role as bigoted ignoramus-in-chief. Oh, he'll tell you how amazing he is for African Americans. He'll tell you, as he did on Tuesday and every other time he opens his gaping burger maw, "We created Opportunity Zones with Senator Tim Scott...I think it’s probably one of the great things that we’ve done in this administration.  Tens of thousands of jobs, billions and billions of dollars being brought into areas and neighborhoods that would never, ever, ever be taken care of, monetarily." (Again, a reminder, this was during a speech about alleged reforms to stop police officers from murdering black people.)

The problem is that Trump's full of shit. "Opportunity Zones" are another motherfucking tax cut to get wealthy people to, yes, invest in communities that need the investment. But guess what? They're fucking using it to gentrify areas and very little is going to black entrepreneurs. No, it hasn't created "tens of thousands of jobs" any more than Ivanka Trump has created 80 gajillion jobs or whatever the fuck number we're up to. But he's not letting go of that lie. "The Opportunity Zones have been incredible," Trump told Sean Hannity last night. "It's been one of the great -- really one of the great things, in terms of investment in areas and in terms of unemployment." 

Trump'll shuck and jive about low unemployment pre-COVID or criminal justice reform, which he thinks makes him the Greatest President for the Blacks Since Lincoln (although, you know, even Lincoln's "questionable"). But the low unemployment is just a continuation of the progress made under Obama. It went down 9 percentage points during Obama's administration. It's gone down an additional 2 at its lowest last year under Trump. So that makes Obama worth over 4 times as many Trumps. And it's back to where it was in 2010 now in the fucked economy after Trump dickered around and didn't do a goddamn thing to mitigate the job losses during the shutdown. 

And it's not just his fake accomplishments that he keeps tooting his fleshy orange horn about. Trump's grasp of how Americans understand black history is goddamned embarrassing. This motherfucker is taking credit for Juneteenth. No, really. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, he said about scheduling his hate rally in Tulsa on June 19, "I did something good: I made Juneteenth very famous. It’s actually an important event, an important time. But nobody had ever heard of it." 

Think of the framing of that. "Nobody" means him and white people. It excludes, for instance, African Americans, most of whom have fucking heard of Juneteenth because it's so goddamn important. Trump said, "I had political people who had no idea." And then he asked an assistant, "Did you ever hear of Juneteenth before?" who, in a hilarious moment, responded that she learned about it when the White House put out a statement last year for the date, as it had every year. Even then, Trump couldn't help but be a fucking dickzit. "I don’t think it was put up by others. But we made people aware of it," he said, implying that no previous president had recognized it, despite the fact that both Barack Obama and George W. Bush issued multiple statements for Juneteenth. Trump did admit, "Actually, a young African-American Secret Service agent knew what it was." No shit.

Even on the most pressing racial issue, the one that caused him to have his fucking weirdo police event, the protests over the deaths of black people at the hands of police and people who took the law into their hands, Trump's proud ignorance just highlights his unabashed racism. He's pissed that people are still even talking about how he's failed to lead (as if he ever led a goddamn thing in his life other than the line to the omelet bar at Mar-a-Lago). The New York Times reported, "The remarks he made about [George] Floyd when he attended the launch of the SpaceX spacecraft should have been enough, the president told aides."

He couldn't be bothered to learn the names of the people who were killed. Asked by the WSJ about meeting with the families of murdered black Americans, as he did on Tuesday before speaking, if any stories stood out, Trump said, acting like he was asked about favorite passages of the Bible, "All of them." Pressed on it, he offered, "Ahmed. Ahmad. He is the young man who was running. It was just sad to see. Mother was a fantastic woman. Made a great impression. They all made a great impression on me." And then, forgetting Ahmaud Arbery's name, he moved on to how important his law enforcement speech was. 

By the way, the families declined to appear at the ceremony where Trump gave that speech and signed his bullshit executive order. A lawyer described the meeting with Trump as "very contentious." Did they think this void of a human-shaped rage vessel would want anything more than to hear their praise? Did they expect empathy when, really, Trump probably thought they should comfort him for all that their loved ones' deaths had put him through politically? What a fucking tragic farce.

And, when it comes to Rayshard Brooks, the black man who was sleeping in his car at Wendy's drive-thru in Atlanta and got shot in the back running from police, well, Trump isn't gonna try to pretend to give a jolly donkey shit. On Crazy Sean Hannity's Circus of Self-Fellatio, Trump said, "I heard today and just got a report that the police officer's lawyer said that he heard a sound like a gun, like a gunshot. And he saw a flash in front of him. So, that's an interesting -- you know, I don't know that I would have necessarily believed that. But I will tell you, that's -- that's a very interesting thing." That's the kind of punk-ass shit he does all the time. He's not saying something's true. He's just asking questions about things he "heard," whether it's about the supposed "miracle" of hydroxychloroquine or the possible sinister motives of the elderly man pushed over by police in Buffalo. We call that the "little bitch" approach to arguments.

Trump's actually going along with much of conservative media on Brooks. As far as Tucker Carlson's bitch face and the rest of the right-wing machine are concerned, they're done pretending that cops do anything bad. Brooks pointed a taser at a cop and didn't listen to every word the cop said, so he deserved to die. Trump is always an echo chamber for whatever he saw on the TV just before speaking. 

Back at the police "reform" event, Trump concluded his speech, in part, with this odd statement: "To go forward, we must seek cooperation, not confrontation; we must build upon our heritage, not tear it down." Yeah, that cruel orange bastard wrapped up an event that happened because white people murdered black people by saying we shouldn't tear down symbols of the Confederacy. Motherfucker, if we really were tearing down our heritage of American racism, almost nothing would remain standing.

6/11/2020

Donald Trump Wants More Violence at the BLM Protests So He Can Pretend He's Tough

Look, I'm just gonna spitball here on what I really think happened on Monday, June 1, when protesters at Lafayette Square, right near the White House, were pushed out by a bullshit combination of Park Police, National Guard, and Secret Service, along with various other law enforcement officers. Sure, sure, the story we've heard, that the peaceful crowd was violently ejected to make room for President Donald Trump to undulate a few hundred feet to St. John's Church for a bizarre and worthless photo op, is fuckery of the highest order.

And it's probably just idiotic enough to be the truth. But if you've watched these motherfuckers as long as I have, and if you've seen them devolve into the kind of motherfuckers who will fuck any mother who crosses their path - human mother, dog mother, goat mother, it doesn't matter as long as they're a mother with a place to fuck - then you know that they will not lose a chance to fuck that mother because that's what motherfuckers do. It's right there in the word.

See, Trump was supposed to do his fake tough guy act by giving his pissy little "law and order president" speech earlier than it was delivered at around 6:45. Trump's notorious for never starting anything on time because he's one of those pricks who gets off on making people wait for him. The final time he was scheduled to start was 6:30, but, instead, that was when the big push against the protesters started.

Now, here's where I'm gonna go off into "Huh, maybe" territory: Trump's speech was all about violence in the streets of the United States. "Our nation has been gripped by professional anarchists, violent mobs, arsonists, looters, criminals, rioters, Antifa, and others," he slithered, adding, "We are ending the riots and lawlessness that has spread throughout our country.  We will end it now."

I think, sincerely, that Trump and his people wanted to provoke the protesters near the White House to violence. They wanted a riot that could be put down by overwhelming force. They knew that the news networks would play the speech in split screen and what could be better than Trump declaring that "I am your President of law and order" as order was being beaten and tear-gassed into the savages who would dare attack our brave cops and soldiers. Trump wanted to justify his call for violence by showing the world that he could control the burgeoning uprising.

Except that's not what happened. No, instead, the protesters were outraged but they moved. They resisted with voices and with bodies somewhat, but that was it. And the images that were pouring out were not those of brick-throwing "Antifa rioters" being stopped by Trump-ordered force. Instead, they were of peaceful protesters being beaten and tear-gassed. The cops and the troops looked like the savages, the animals, not the protesters.

I think that after ten minutes or so of this, when Jared or Hope or whichever completely amoral puke stain who thought this up realized that they weren't getting their riot, they had to come up with some fuckin' reason for clearing the park (originally, it was supposedly to move barriers), and then Jared or Hope or whichever useless shit smear in the Oval Office quickly said they could walk to that church and take some fuckin' photo and, oh, shit, Ivanka, put this Bible we found on a shelf in your purse to bring because we're takin' a stroll together, all of us, like a group of sheep to the slaughter and hope no one notices how fuckin' dumb this all is.

That's what I believe happened last Monday. And ever since then, Trump has kept making statements and doing things that are calculated to try to push the social, cultural, and historical buttons of the Black Lives Matter marchers. Change the names of forts from Civil War generals to maybe the names of people who weren't traitors? No, fuck that, Trump said, even though the military wants it to happen. First rally since the pandemic shut shit down? Fuck it, let's hold that shit right in the city where white people devastated a successful black community, Tulsa, Oklahoma, and let's do that shit on June 19, Juneteenth, celebrating the emancipation of slaves. And the National Guard's actions at Lafayette Square last Monday? Fuck you, Trump says in a sub-schoolyard taunt, it was awesome because the protesters were pussies.

Right now, the nation - hell, the world - is convulsing in revulsion at what the United States is and has been. We've finally reached a moment when real, actual structural change may happen. At the very least, we're purging our public displays of blatant racism by knocking down statues and banning the flag of traitors. Performative empathy on the mistreatment of African Americans by white people isn't enough anymore, and it's about fucking time. Shit has needed to be burned down for a long time, and it's finally seeming like it won't be the fire next time that does it.

And the presidency of Donald Trump is going up in those flames. So he's going to push harder and harder to cause explosions, real ones instead of emotional ones, in the protest movement. I wouldn't be surprised to see Proud Boys and other racist fucknuts show up to try to provoke it, too, in even greater numbers than they have been. He knows his reelection chancer are plummeting, and he's gotta discredit this movement that is walking all over his stupid face. He's gonna get more and more desperate, like a snarling, cornered rat who thinks it can snap and scamper to its freedom.

Trump's like all those fuckin' yahoos who stand around and watch the marches with their hands on their pathetic AR-15s, itching for the opportunity to use it. Except he's the yahoo with an entire military at his disposal. The greatest hope right now, sadly, is that the military leaders seem like they're just embarrassed by all of this. Let's hope that is enough for them to reject the order that Trump so badly wants to give.

6/08/2020

One White Guy's Understanding of George Floyd's Murder

My great pal Andrew Overton lives in the western area of Virginia, close to the Tennessee border. It's beautiful country and racist as hell. Drew is from the South, but he's lived in the big city and definitely doesn't share the racial opinions of his neighbors. Lately, he's been posting more and more of his open opinions on Facebook, and when he put this one up, I asked if he minded if I shared. I remember talking to him after each of these incidents. The farcical one that took place in NYC was shortly after we had hung out.

Read to the end to understand why he's telling these emotional stories. White people can never really understand the reality that black Americans have experienced for the entire history of this fucked-up country. But there are emotions we can grasp.

Take it away, Drew:

I have three more stories to tell regarding the current state of our country and all that's happening. These are all true stories. The first addresses violence. The second addresses race, and the last addresses politics. After these posts, I'm taking a break.

I've been mugged 4 times. I thought it was 5, but my friend explained to me that I won 400.00 playing Ms. Pacman and tripled that on the pool table. Then, apparently, we decided it was a good idea to take a cab from downtown Chicago (we lived in the South Loop) to one of the casinos in Indiana. None of this was particularly unusual except we woke up at a train station in Indiana with no money and no wallets. I never went to the casino with my wallet, only cash. According to him, we ate a lot of drugs. So, don't eat a lot of drugs and go to a casino. You weren't mugged. You just made bad decisions

Back to the muggings! Working backwards, I was mugged twice in 10 minutes last year in Long Island City, NY. I won't bore you with the details, but neither one of them got anything from me. Amateurs. Did we tussle? Yes. A lot. In the street. A driver took the time to point out we could do this on the sidewalk. Fair point. Welcome to NYC! Mugger 1 bails and I continue walking to my hotel. The second mugger appears. Demands my money! "Are you fucking kidding me?" is my response. He picks up a police barricade (Plastic. For parades or traffic) and threatens me with it. Now, I think I'm being punked. Worst Mugger Ever! We tussled. I keep thinking "I'm 50 years old. How does this end well for me?" Then, I remembered that I am mean as fuck. Sometimes. There's a phone on the ground. He thinks it's his. I think it's his. I have the phone. I tell him to walk away and I'll leave the phone at the front desk of my hotel; otherwise, this phone is hitting the train tracks. Blue lights are in the distance. Mugger 2 disappears. Cops arrive. They offer me a ride to my hotel. Cool. We took that 20 foot ride and laughed the whole way. Also, the phone was mine. So fucking glad I didn't destroy it!

My first mugging? Lincoln Park, Chicago. Armitage and Sheffield. I walked past two guys with hoodies on. Alarm bells went off. Liberal pride said, "Chill." Listen to your alarm bells. There is a gun to my head. There is a man telling me he's going to kill me. Repeatedly. I'd never really known fear before that moment. "I'm going to kill you." Repeatedly. My wife was one block away. Terror. Fear. Tears. I closed my eyes and told him I could not identify him. I didn't want to see it coming. I believed he was going to kill me. He let me live.

Derek Chauvin did not let George Floyd live. An officer sworn to serve and protect killed George Floyd.

A ruthless criminal put a gun to my head and let me live.

Note: Drew added in a comment, "I cried typing it, and it's been 25 years. The fear that George Floyd felt is unimaginable to anyone who has not faced death. He faced it for 9 minutes. I cry now."