Watching the decline...

Monthly Archives: November 2014

The Waiting #HoodsOff #Ferguson

“We have to infiltrate! Infiltrate the military! Infiltrate your local governments! Infiltrate your school board! Infiltrate law enforcement!”

Tom Metzger  Former KKK and current leader in WAR (White Aryan Resistance) in a 2004 speech to skinheads at a hate-rock festival

So now we wait….

There is a palpable sense of dread and danger surrounding my thoughts on the Grand Jury decision on whether to indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson Police Officer who shot Michael Brown.

There will surely be at least one incident of violence regardless of the outcome, but the question is, who will fire the first proverbial (or actual) shot.

How the events after will proceed, who will be involved, and who will let their passion and frustration get in the way of decency and common sense is becoming cloudier by the second. After the KKK decreed on social media that there were gearing up for some kind of altercation (ironically, and later proven cynically, citing “good people” in their defense, making careful mention of their black friends) the hactivist group Anonymous pulled off their greatest action yet and exposed many Klan members faces and posts to the world. Apparently they (and most 20 year olds on Facebook) haven’t quite figured out that not setting your privacy settings leaves you open to all kinds of mischief.

What has followed has been an uncovering of hatred and a subculture of violence just waiting to erupt.

According to the AP gun sales in counties surrounding Ferguson have skyrocketed, albeit mostly because of some overblown sense of racist paranoia, but even racist paranoia is real in some respects. Frank Ancona the imperial wizard of the Southern Missouri Klan has been outright antagonizing both Anonymous and the people of Ferguson, especially since the initial Klan flyer was published on twitter.  So anon members have been antagonizing back.

Since then, they have hacked a Klan account, getting access to many of the members and tracking down their information including businesses they own, their cell numbers and addresses etc and posting them, basically outing them for the entire world to see. One insurance agency a few counter-protesters (including Acona) and possibly a cop or two later and the flurry of outings have slowed, but they are still coming.

Everyone expects there to be some kind of uprising after the announcement, whether pro indictment or not. The Klan, unmasked by #anonymous in a shrewd and targeted response to a threat of violence have been shown to be stuck in the thug hole they have been trying desperately to re-brand themselves out from, and the thick stench of what is a deeper American issue will all play out in the next week or so.

It’s really hard not to see how all of this is interconnected, flowing off from the river of poison race hatred that came to a head in lead up to 2008, when everyone making mention of the birth certificate also tried to claim they hadn’t any racist proclivities, or back in 1988, when the Lee Atwater approved Willie Horton ad tapped the same vein. Or back in pre-civil war America where images of the black savage were legion… Given the conditions I’ve written many times before about, economic stagnation or downturn, the continued reserved place in many White American minds of “their place” as an exalted “race” regardless of their own paltry understanding of what that means, and the continued frustration of both Blacks and whites over continued economic insecurity are bubbling to the surface in a frankly terrifying way.

There is no doubt in my mind that the prevalence of coded signaling from many Whites (Gadsden flags, revived fear of losing “rights” etc.)  signals at least an association and sympathetic  leaning toward the more virulent racism of the Klan and the “White Patriot” movement. I would go further and say that most whites have some feeling of superiority inherently bestowed upon them by the culture and/or direct experience with others with racist beliefs. I realize this is like saying that growing up in a gang infested neighborhood steers you in the direction of becoming a gang member yourself and yes, that is part of it. In both cases though, one makes a choice, you can choose to follow the path of least resistance and become a thug or you can rise above and seek something else.

This culture has been feeding us all a message of white superiority and black inferiority since its inception, hell the country was literally built on the principal of superior/inferior. It became inherently racist early and the various messaging reinforced it even as in other areas we’ve moved on.

The question now is, will it continue?

Whatever happens in Ferguson it will be culturally trans mutative, if there is a dismissal of charges there will be an explosion, I think the lead up, the media coverage and the racially charged narrative will go a long way to inflame passions already in a state of immolation. If there is an indictment the township may still not escape violence, from protesters who have had their worst fears apparently realized, that one of their own may have been targeted and slain because he is Black or from racist agitators looking as this to be the beginning of the “Race War” they have so long wanted.

A Tale of Two Realities Election Day Edition #thisishowdemocracydies #Midterms

Political drumbeats have a habit of fading out at the end of the song. Especially when the conventional wisdom is eroded by factual information, politicians HATE factual information.

Take the recent Job numbers VS. the President’s approval rating. Part of that reality is the fact that there is still a huge amount of wage stagnation despite the economy’s on-paper bounce back, another part is, simple and succinctly put, propaganda. We’ve been told for so long that the President and his Democratic allies are job killers, they want some sort of Socialist utopia where no one has to work and everyone sustains themselves off the government. All this despite the fact that Democrats have pushed since Clinton, to roll back welfare, hold the line on the minimum wage and sheer away waste and spending in programs like Head Start and Medicare.

Republicans have made the Obama administration more about personality than fact; the latest job numbers prove that in multiple ways.  The economy being the main issue for both the 2008 and 2012 elections and he doing everything within his power to try to correct it, including a truncated stimulus that, if it was fully realized would have made an even greater and sooner impact.

Yet, somehow, the economy has not been the talking point of either side in this midterm cycle. It makes sense that this would be so on the republican side, as the dual cobras of “I told you so” and having to explain how a rise in GDP of 3% hasn’t shown up in Joe the plumbers pocket yet. They could correctly say that the vast majority of the new jobs were comprised of low wage part time employment, but then they would have to explain why, and that could get messy. Politicians in general and republicans in particular are really bad at lying about specifics, if you can get them to talk about specifics in the first place. The Democratic silence on this is even more astounding, unexplainable and borderline insane. But to hitch your wagon to the increase in jobs, the re-expansion of the economy and the “saving” of America would be admitting the Colored guy in charge had something to do with it.

Since the depth of the financial crisis and the mathematical end of the recession in June of 2009, the news has been long-term good. Although somehow we have all managed to fall into the stock market idea that short term gains are more predictive than looking at the big picture, the general economic prognosis is that we are recovering, and that recovery is accelerating. Republicans hate this. They have all but fallen silent on the latest job numbers, have ignored the test kitchen failure in Kansas and instead, have decided to run on, well, Kansas.

Take Tom Foley in Connecticut, in a way it is very much a rehash of the 2012 Presidential election, more than most, with Malloy, whose approval among CT residents of all parties is less than stellar, but among Republican voters is dismal, polling neck in neck to Foley. That Foley, who has a long record of screwing workers and flouting federal income taxes, is doing so well in a progressive labor state like Connecticut speaks volumes about both potential who is voting and how stupid they are.  Have we not already gone down this road with Brownback? Is that not turning into a dismal failure? Why is this guy even an issue in a dark blue state like CT?

Yet Republicans in a muddled and misinformed message have relied more on the country’s fear and Racism than any bit of factual truth. They wish us to feel that raising taxes on high earners is somehow treasonous and smacks of socialism, if that is so then the US was a Socialist country during the war years. We raised the money to pay for our wars by increasing the marginal tax rate to 75% at its highest.

During the Bush Administration tax rates fell, consistently as we fought one of the most expensive “wars” in history. Much of the damage done is still being kept under wraps, no caskets were shown as dead men and women were kept away from the media sites for fear of inciting anti-war sentiments, and the massive protests that were occurring with regularity were not covered by the corporate press for fear of alienating advertisers, many of which had ties to either members of congress or the administration itself, as well as a clamping down on civil liberties such as the right to assemble that was also largely ignored.  And with that erasure ramped up during Obama’s first turn and nearly completed today, with the erasure of what a desperate state the truly incompetent Bush left us in, and the painstaking steps the Obama administration had to take to dig us out nearly closed, here we stand.

Fear, ignorance, hate, and money.

4 Billion, with a B. Largely now coming from who knows where, tying other Democrats to a president who they have always regarded as a liar and a fraud before a policy was ever written. Money that no one can trace against a President they say covered up information about everything from his birth certificate to Benghazi.  It is one of many ironies that plague our process.

Yes I believe that Election day should be a national holiday and that voting should be compulsory. I believe that if you make people show ID to vote you should make every effort to get everyone in your state an ID who is eligible, or as part of the registration process you should get a state issued voter ID card, no more of this unfunded enforcement mandate bullshit.

Even better, let the bastards who have been crying about voter fraud pay for IDs instead of spending 4 BILLION on ads ever election cycle decrying it.

Yes, this is how democracy dies.

What no one is talking about.

There are three issues surrounding tomorrow’s mid-terms that everyone is missing:

GOP redistricting: Republicans have been very smart (sometimes I think they collectively have a ton of rocks for brains on topics ranging from Religion, Foreign Policy, Guns and money, but you can never say that they are strategically stupid, like the Cylons, they have a plan) about winning Gubernatorial races just in time for congressional redistricting. Only 5 states have independent supposedly nonpartisan commissions for this purpose, the majority have either complete legislative control or partial control by the legislature. The GOP swept to victory in a few key races in 2008 (New Jersey and Virginia being the most notable), and more in 2012, 6 more to be exact. In all of those states the legislature has a strong, or the only hand in deciding redistricting. Guess who has done the majority of redistricting since 2006?

GOP voter suppression: Even if the GOP never physically kept a single person from voting, they have done more to dissuade the key Democratic voters, Minorities and young people from voting in this election. Let’s face it, it really doesn’t take much to keep minority voters from the polls, especially in a midterm election year, as a matter of fact Democrats of all stripes are less likely to vote in midterm elections. But add the constant assault of voter id laws and the insane amount of misunderstanding as to what the rules are, especially among poll workers, and those numbers are driven even lower.

Money, money, money: as I noted in the last post, the spending is out of control. The unrestrained, unaccountable numbers of millions being spent on some of these races just boggles the mind. The scare tactics and outright lies, unchecked by a cowardly corporate media and the sheer ubiquity of negativity both turn off and infuriate voters. When you have only the angry voting, you get only the ideologically unhinged elected.

As another blogger so eloquently put it; “this is how Democracy dies.”

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