Tuesday, November 24, 2015

The Far Right Has Found its Fascist Strongman in Trump

His dais is so high, he towers over the millions of devotees sending up a vocal tsunami of loving cheers. Behind him his face is projected, his squinting eyes and puckered lips are ten stories tall, the face of a giant, stern God that rotates slowly from side to side. He wears a tan military coat with a purple sash covered in ribbons and medals that glint in the sunlight. At the perimeter of the throng, military personal stand at attention in lines as straight as razor blades, interspersed with huge tanks and missiles. Finally, he holds out his arms and almost immediately, the massive crowd goes silent. He slowly lowers his arms and leans forward.

“I have made America great again.”

The roar is deafening.

Yes, Donald Trump is the fascist strongman the Far Right in America longs for with a passion. He is the autocratic father, the figurehead of strength and fearlessness that a weak and listless country needs to raise it up from a socialist nanny state to a broad shouldered warrior for freedom. The Donald does not discuss issues, he makes proclamations and issues edicts. Debating facts is for whiny losers. The world he believes in is all that matters, and it is a paternalistic, white, capitalist game board where he sets the rules and if you don’t like it, you can shut the fuck up or his goons will beat the crap out of you.

When considered in the light of the strongman, Trump’s appeal makes more sense to me. Ultra conservatives are drawn to fascism. Extreme Christianity meets politics in this worldview, where the chosen father (God, Christ, Hitler, Jim Jones) is given supreme power to wisely and steadfastly lead the faithful to victory. Charismatic, articulate and absolutely sure of himself, the strongman pulls you into supporting his vision of the world through the power of his will and unwavering certainty. To a believer, it almost doesn’t matter what the strongman says. His words are on another realm hovering above mere logic, rationality and even common sense. The very fact that the liberal media, the elites and the establishment revile him so much only serves to strengthen the resolve of his followers who know that he is here to save us from ourselves. Persecution only strengthens the cause.

In the evil world of the godless, reality-based secularists, Trump is a narcissistic, egomaniacal blowhard who would be restrained in a straightjacket in more rational times, but to his believers, those are his attributes. Jim Jones, Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, David Koresh, Charles Manson — they all combined a mixture of characteristics that drew people to them in a way that defied all logic, and that from the outside looking in, you would be able to see the horror of it all like a car accident unfolding in slow motion you could do nothing about.

Donald Trump is not a brave man. He used a number of deferments to avoid going to Vietnam. Donald Trump is certainly not a smart man nor is he a man that historically has shown any concern for the plight of the less fortunate Americans he wants to preside over, but he does know his flock, and he can play to it like a perfectly tuned instrument.

Could Trump be America’s first strongman, a President willing to blatantly and openly defy the Constitution and the rule of law? As frightening as that sounds, in this day of overt gerrymandering, hackable voting machines, terrorist paranoia and the influence of money in politics, it seems alarmingly possible, although I can’t go so far as to say probable. Not yet, anyway.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Give Your Conservative Relatives the Gift of Knowledge This Holiday Season

As promised, here is the second installment of “How to get your obnoxious, conservative Uncle Al to STFU at the next family gathering.” If he starts rambling incoherently about how terrible Obama is as president, just whip out the chart above on your phone and watch the steam come from Uncle Al’s ears. Hopefully, Al won’t pull out his concealed weapon and threaten you, because we know he sees violence as a viable means of ending arguments, but what the heck, it’ll be a holiday to remember.

Merry Xmas

Friday, November 20, 2015

Latest Short Scary Story - "I'll Never Die"

I'm not very comfortable with self-promotion, but I posted a short scary story on Reddit that has been getting a lot of favorable responses. Here are some examples:

 “This is fantastic :) Well done.”

“Kudos. Applause”


“I. Love. This.”

“Loved every second of this story, kudos!"

It's now posted on my short story blog, "They're Only Shadows." Check it out. Thanks.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Why Can’t We Understand There Will Be No Military Victory in the Middle East?

The war drums grow louder. If the Paris attacks show us anything, they reveal that the West has learned nothing about the Middle East over the past thirty years. The calls from Western leaders for more bombs, more troops and more civil liberty restrictions play directly into the hands of the terrorists, and will solve nothing.

We helped create Al Qaeda and ISIS by financially and militarily supporting those groups fighting the Russians in the 1990s, fearing the expansion of the Russian empire more than the threat of terrorism, and now it has come back to bite us in the ass. Worst of all, we’ve continued supporting ISIS in the hopes they will overthrow Assad in Syria. We never seem to learn that attempting regime change through proxy fighters always has unintended consequences that are bad for the U.S.

We will never bomb away terrorism, and in our futile attempts to destroy ISIS we actually create more terrorists, yet our leaders call for more blood. The terrorists who carried out the Paris attacks were Europeans, so should we drop bombs on Brussels or London?

Our foreign policies regarding the Middle East need to change. Bush and Cheney poured the gas and lit the match by invading Afghanistan and Iraq, and, after 12 years, it should be obvious to anyone that continued military action in the region only perpetuates more terrorism in the West, and will not stop it. It’s time for all of the factions to talk to each other, and for the West to stop the military madness before we ignite WWIII.

Monday, November 16, 2015

The Foolish and Frightening Republican Response to the Paris Attacks


How many other ways can I describe the Republican’s response to the Paris terrorist attacks?

If Trump were President, he would “seriously consider” closing all American mosques, and he tweeted that the attacks might have been prevented if Paris didn’t have such strict gun control laws. Cruz, Rubio and Bush want to drop more bombs on ISIS than Obama because it’s been working so well. Louisiana Governor Jindal wants to bar all Syrian refugees from our borders. The pundit who is paid to be wrong about everything, Bill Kristal, wants to send 50,000 troops to fight ISIS. Ben Carson can’t name America’s international allies and is absolutely clueless about what America’s reaction to a terrorist attack should be. And in related news, Jeb Bush only wants us to help Christian Syrians. According to Bush, in this situation, Jesus would want Syrian Muslims to rot and die.

George Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld helped get us where we are today with their ill-conceived, ill-planned attacks on Afghanistan and Iraq, and Republican voters seem to want to elect a President who vows to make the situation in the Middle East worse than it already is. Without connecting the simplest dots, the GOP loons are advocating actions that could ignite WWIII. And in the case of a few of the more religious zealots like Carson and Cruz, this could very well be their intention.

I think all of the Republican candidates should be required to be participants in the show “Are You Smarter Than a Five-Year Old?” The answer for all of them would be a resounding “no.” Voting for anyone who is running on the Republican ticket for President is an act of national suicide and those people should be forced to wear red stickers that say, “I Voted…for America’s Destruction.”

The Paris attacks gives us a glimpse at the leadership skills and crises responses of the Republicans running for President, and that should scare the hell out of all of us.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Short Scary Story - The Cellmate

Tray McNair was a prisoner in the city jail, but he soon becomes the prisoner of a much darker force. Check out my latest short scary story at They're Only Shadows.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Terrorist Strike in Paris and the Other Major News Story of the Day

Today we mourn and send our sympathies to the families and friends of the dead and wounded in yesterday's attacks in Paris. Killing innocent men, women and children is the coward’s way, and those responsible for the Paris attacks must be brought to justice for the crime of murder. Acts of terror such as this are just that, actions intended to terrorize and intimidate enemies, so the best way to battle these atrocities is for the citizens of France to stay strong, courageous and unified.

 That said, I want address a related comment I saw on Reddit. A person added a post with the headline: Pay close attention to what events that are being overshadowed by the Paris attacks. Now this can be understood in two ways. The author could be implying that the attacks were staged to cover up an important piece of news or that we shouldn’t lose sight of other significant news happening during this time period. I lean toward the second interpretation, but either way, there is a major story in the news today that is probably not getting the attention it deserves.

In an article in Slate, we now know that in the months prior to 9/11 Bush, Cheney and National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice received urgent intelligence on numerous occasions that there was an imminent attack about to happen on U.S. soil, and did nothing. Here is an excerpt: 

"In a blockbuster account by Chris Whipple, based on interviews he did for a Showtime documentary, former chief of the CIA’s counterterrorism center Cofer Black and former CIA director George Tenet described how they spent the months leading up to 9/11 trying to warn the White House that a spectacular attack was imminent and that the country needed to take urgent action, but to no avail."

Tenet became so alarmed by the intel the CIA was receiving that he called for an urgent meeting with Rice to warn of an imminent terrorist attack. Rice did nothing in response.

 What this means is that there were many more serious and specific warnings about a terrorist attack in American than the Bush administration ever admitted to. Condi Rice’s statement after 9/11 that nobody could have imagined planes hitting skyscrapers turns out to be a blatant lie, as there were many such warnings. The question of course, is why?

 Was it the sheer incompetence of the Bush White House to brush off such dire warnings or was something else going on? Why weren’t Tenet’s concerns addressed and serious efforts made to thwart such a terrorist plot? Was it incompetence or the “new Pearl Harbor” that Cheney and the neocons in Washington needed to initiate their wars in the Middle East?