Sunday, August 29, 2021

It's not a "hoax."


I'm thinking about the folks in Louisiana this morning. Today is exactly 16 years since Katrina devastated the state's largest city, and now, here we are again. Ida is on her way to leave her mark on that storm ravaged region.   

It's amazing to me that folks on the right still believe that climate change is all a hoax. (I guess I shouldn't be surprised. These same people believe that you can cure COVID by shooting yourself up with a worm drug used for horses.)  I'm here to tell you folks, it's not. I am no scientist. There are folks who read this blog on a regular basis who can play inside baseball with the best of them when it comes to the complexities and complications of the actual science behind this phenomenon.( I see you Pilot X) I'm not one of them. But I have eyes, and I have common sense, and I can tell you that it doesn't take a rocket scientist or an aircraft pilot to be able to tell you that the earth is changing in some scary ways. 

The West Coast of America is almost out of water. There are devastating fires in California and other states out West every year. Tornadoes and floods are getting more intense. And in certain parts of Europe they experienced the hottest months they have recorded in decades. There is more. The polar ice caps are melting, global sea levels are rising, humidity is increasing, the ocean is getting hotter, snow covers are melting earlier.... and on and on it goes. You get the picture. 

If you still don't believe that climate change is real, read what the Prime Minister of Greece had to say after devastating wildfires ripped through his country earlier this month.

 "Everything needed to change in order to minimise the effects of the climate crisis, he told parliament on Wednesday during a debate on the wildfires and criticism of the government's response to them.

Dealing with the crisis "is forcing us to change everything; the way we produce agricultural products, how we move around, how we generate energy and the way we build our homes," he said.

Part of a succession of blazes that struck southern Europe during a summer heatwave, the Greek fires scorched more than a quarter million acres of pine forest, with the island of Evia and areas of the Peloponnese, including near the archaeological site of the ancient Olympics, also hit.

Mitsotakis told lawmakers an earlier public apology for the disaster was also a call for action to become better at tackling such phenomena." 

It's going to take more  than the words of a European Leader to make us start taking this as serious as we should. You would think that one disaster after another would spur us into action. Clearly we are too selfish for that. The behavior of some when it comes to this COVID-19 pandemic is proof of that.

Let's keep the folks of Louisiana and the Gulf Coast regions in our thoughts. And let's start seriously thinking about where we go from here when it comes to climate change. We will be doing this all against the backdrop of Ida proving to us, once again, that climate change is real. 

*Pic from

Sunday, August 22, 2021

Caption Sunday.


 I need a caption for this picture.

Pic from

Tuesday, August 17, 2021

? of the day.

The question of the day is this:

Who do you blame most for the s**tshow in Afghanistan right now?

Here are your choices.

A. George W. Bush. (Sent troops there in the first place.) 

B. Barack Obama. (Didn't get them out)

C. Donald Trump. (Legitimized the Taliban and freed thousands of their soldiers.) 

D. Joe Biden. (Bungled the withdrawal of American allies and Afghan interpreters.)

E. The Afghan people themselves. (They didn't even put up a fight. And maybe they were never going to.)

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

The replacement theorists.

I stumbled on the following article written for Yahoo News by Wajahat Ali  the other day, and I think it's important that I share it.

If you have already read it, please indulge me while a share a little knowledge with your fellow field hands. 

"The hoods are off, and Republicans are embracing the white supremacist “replacement theory.”

If you’re dismissing this as fear-mongering or click-bait, you probably missed Newt Gingrich, the former Speaker of the House and renowned adulterer, espousing replacement theory rhetoric on Fox News earlier this week while talking to host Maria Baritromo, who always has time to offer a platform to dangerous conspiracy peddling. Speaking about Mexican immigrants coming to America during the pandemic, Gingrich said the “radical left” wants to “get rid of the rest of us” and would “love to drown traditional, classic Americans with as many people as they can who know nothing of American history, nothing of American tradition, nothing of the rule of law.”

He wasn’t talking about Donald Trump, notorious for being historically ignorant and profoundly incurious, but about those of us with darker skin, who are never seen as “traditional” or “classic” or “real Americans.” Gingrich, a craven political opportunist, parroted the talking points associated with “the great replacement” theory, also known as “white genocide,” which stipulates the white race and “Western civilization” are in dire threat of being weakened and ultimately usurped by immigrants of color, Muslims, feminists, and gays.

This nefarious international scheme is allegedly masterminded by a cabal of secretive and powerful Jews, who are perpetual supervillains in conspiratorial narratives. One of the main leaders of this alleged “deep state” is George Soros, the Hungarian-born, Jewish American billionaire and Holocaust survivor, whom Fox host Tucker Carlson accused of trying to hijack and remake American democracy and the Washington Times alleged was on a “quest to destroy America.” Before the 2018 midterm elections, President Trump said “a lot of people say” that Soros was funding the “caravan” of undocumented immigrants and Middle Easterners that he warned was about to invade America.

Terrorist Robert Bowers shared Trump’s fear. He proceeded to kill 11 Jewish people in a synagogue, whom he believed were helping the “invaders.” The replacement theory inspired terrorist Brenton Tarrant, who killed more than 50 Muslim “invaders” in New Zealand. Tarrant’s violent act in turn inspired terrorist Patrick Crusius, who killed 21 people in El Paso, Texas, seeking vengeance against “Hispanic” invaders.

Despite or because of the international bloodshed caused by this hateful conspiracy, conservatives including Paul Gosar and Marjorie Taylor Greene have embraced it as a political opportunity.

Gingrich was something of a pioneer here, jumping on the anti-sharia bandwagon in the summer of 2010, right before the midterm elections, as he geared up for his failed 2012 presidential bid. That manufactured threat, which became the template for the right’s anti-critical race theory crusade today, imported conspiracy theories and talking points created by white nationalists in Europe who warned about a Muslim “demographic explosion” that threatened to transform white, Christian Europe into “Eurabia.”

Hate has now become intersectional and global, with the Europeans’ American counterparts raving about how CRT or Sharia Law or Marxism will replace the Constitution, destroy American values and teach children to hate white people.

Although the phrase “the great replacement” was coined in 2010 by French author Renaud Camus, who refers to immigrants of color as “colonizers” and “Occupiers,” it’s not an original concept. In 1995, US neo-nazi David Lane warned about governments making white people into an “extinct species” in his subtly titled three-page White Genocide Manifesto. He also created the “14 word” white supremacist slogan: "We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”

Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller’s white nationalist ideas were in part inspired by Jean Raspail’s 1973 French novel The Camp of the Saints, beloved by white nationalists around the world, that depicts how savage Indian refugees ultimately swarm and overwhelm France. Bannon has recommended the book as a dystopian warning, and Miller promoted the book and other white nationalist talking points to a Breitbart reporter when he was a Senior Advisor in the White House.

Bannon has also recommended conservatives learn from another fan of the replacement theory: Hungary’s authoritarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, who praised Trump in 2017 for “thinking precisely as we do when he says ‘America First,’” and who Bannon has praised for being “Trump before Trump.”

What did Orban do that makes him a model worth emulating for conservatives in the United States? He transformed Hungary’s once promising democracy into a one-party state where he filled the government and judiciary with political apparathicks, attacked the press and political opponents, abused his power to enrich himself and his cronies, promoted anti-semitic conspiracy theories against George Soros, and constructed a 109-mile high-tech, razor-wire border fence with Serbia.

Orban mobilized his base into giving up their freedoms by promising he will protect them and their Hungarian heritage from Muslims, refugees, and immigrants of color, and protect them from what he says are “political forces in Europe who want a replacement of population for ideological or other reasons.” Instead, he says, “We Hungarians have a different way of thinking. Instead of just numbers, we want Hungarian children. Migration for us is surrender.

No wonder Tucker Carlson, who has openly promoted the replacement theory on his show and is beloved by white nationalists for mainstreaming their talking points, applauded Orban’s policies. It shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s been paying attention that Carlson, an American journalist, decided to host his top-rated cable news show from Hungary’s capital, Budapest, where he spent a week acting like a paid lobbyist, propagandist, and hype man for Orban and his Fidesz party.

Carlson told his viewers, “if you care about Western civilization and democracy and families and the ferocious assault on all three of those things by the leaders of our global institutions, you should know what is happening here right now.”

Carlson aired a fawning interview with Orban, giving him a platform to promote his ethno-nationalist policies, which Orban rationalized as defending Hungary’s national identity, “culture,” “tradition,” “language,” and “original inhabitants” from Muslims, liberals and other invaders allegedly opposed to freedom and Western civilization.

“Who’s freer?” Carlson asked. “If you’re an American, the answer is painful to admit.”

What’s actually happening in Hungary is a blueprint for autocracy, and that’s the end game for America’s Republican party, which is now a counter-majoritarian and counterfactual force. Trump administration senior advisor and anti-immgration zealot Stephen Miller made that crystal clear while addressing the Young America Foundation’s 43rd National Conservative Student Conference in Texas earlier this week.

In a 40-minute speech you can watch here if you’re a glutton for punishment, Miller echoed Orban and Carlson’s paranoid victimhood, manufactured grievances and racial anxiety of a white demographic terrified of losing power as he cited “stopping illegal immigration” as conservatives’ “highest priority.” There was no mention of the pandemic, income inequality, or climate change. Instead, Miller bragged about stopping refugees from making it to America and suspending the H1-B program that allowed skilled workers, like my father, to legally come to this country and achieve the “American Dream.”

Miller told the young students that liberals have forced them into a “battle none of us wanted,” because “they” want power “to dictate your lives and to change our country into something most of us wouldn’t recognize.” He wants liberals to “just leave the country alone and let America be America,” which to him means a Muslim Ban, undocumented kids separated from their parents in cages, a crowd chanting “send her back” when referring to a US Congresswoman, and ignoring the existence and rights of LGBTQ people.

Pointing to a bleak future, Miller created an absolutist framework and exhorted young conservatives to “fight back” and defend their “heritage: "The stakes in this game are the survival of the country. Those are the stakes. It’s that stark. That black and white. It’s that fundamental. The country survives or it does not.”

The young students gave him a rousing standing ovation at the end of his speech.

This is the Republican Party’s end game, a fight to the death that they hope will lead to an authoritarian regime like Orban’s Hungary. They have not been deterred or moderated by electoral defeat. Insead, they are growing ever more radical, weaponizing and embracing racist ideas, like the replacement theory, and planning future insurrections building on their failed first attempt on Jan. 6." {Article here}

Thursday, August 05, 2021

Inside man.


A friend of mine had his ticket punched from the practice of law a few years ago because of what he claimed was an "honest mistake". Whether you believe him or not, you have to wonder how people like Jeffrey Clark are still being allowed to thrive in the practice of law after being one of the former guy's point men in his attempted coup. on the American government. 

Here is a little background from New York Magazine: 

"Top members of the Department of Justice last year rebuffed another DOJ official who asked them to urge officials in Georgia to investigate and perhaps overturn President Joe Biden’s victory in the state – long a bitter point of contention for former President Donald Trump and his team – before the results were certified by Congress, emails obtained by ABC News show.

The “DOJ official” in question was Jeffrey Clark, the acting assistant attorney general for the Civil Division, who in late December drafted a letter to Georgia Governor Brian Kemp and the Republican leaders of the Georgia legislature urging them to convene a special session to investigate alleged 2020 voter-fraud claims. Given Kemp’s refusal to back Trump’s lies about Georgia’s vote, it’s understandable (if bizarre) that Clark’s draft letter also suggested the legislature call itself into session to consider whether it should appoint electors to rival the Biden slate already certified by Kemp and Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger. Subsequent reporting by MSNBC indicates that Clark had drafted similar letters to Republican leaders in five other states carried by Biden but which Trump claimed to have won.

The one truly surprising thing about this gambit was its late timing. All along, as I noted on December 1, the most feasible avenue for a Trump election coup was to mobilize Repset yublican state legislatures to usurp the selection of electors on his behalf:

[I]t was obvious by mid-November that Trump’s only hope was to create enough phony doubt about the outcome in key states to justify a power grab by Republican legislators. The idea, which was fully aired in many of the preelection “red mirage” speculations … was that state legislators would assert aconstitutionally sanctioned (if controversial and arguably in conflict with their own statutes) right to appoint electors themselves since “fraud” had tainted the popular-vote results. Trump publicly called on GOP legislators to do just that, as Politico reported on November 21.

It didn’t work in November, but Clark (and very clearly Trump himself) wanted to give it another try based on the exotic constitutional theory that the whole Electoral Count Act process for certifying and confirming electors violated the sovereign power of state legislatures over electors (there was a parallel claim, shot down by the federal courts a few days later, that the Constitution gave then Vice-President Pence the power to disregard state certifications of electors and count them however he wanted). [Source]

It didn't work, but the former guy sure gave it the good old college try. The thing is, though, it could happen again. And this time the former guy and his fascist minions are working harder to make sure they get it right the next time. They have loaded up state houses with hyper partisan right-wing loyalist, and their media conglomerates are doing everything in their power to undermine the electoral process and sow seeds of doubt in the way that our democracy is currently set up.  

The really scary thing is that there seems to be no outrage, and Americans seem to be just chalking it all it up to the former guy being the former guy.  Still, there might be hope. Some news organizations are starting to take notice.

"CNN's Marshall Cohen, Jason Morris, Christopher Hickey and Will Mullery have put together an in-depth timeline of Trump's efforts to corrupt the US government and the Georgia government. It is exhaustive and shocking."

But is it shocking enough for us to do something about it? 

Merrick Garland, the ball is in your court.     




Sunday, August 01, 2021




Caption this picture.