Graphic Art for the Rebellion

We’ve reached the end of the Obama era. Now America swears in a man who’s already proven he’ll be the worst president in its history.

I’m joining the women’s strike, which means I won’t be doing any posting over the next couple of days. After that, I’ll be spending my time offering up every ounce of resistance I’m capable of.

This is not normal. This is not politics as usual. This administration deserves no first chances, much less second ones.

Here is a collection of some of the graphics I’ve created for resisting the assholes determined to fuck this country and the world over. Feel free to use them for your own rebellious purposes. Continue reading “Graphic Art for the Rebellion”

Graphic Art for the Rebellion
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Part 2: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue

Content note for antisemitism, Trump, eliminationist rhetoric.

I think that where Trump and Hitler really diverge from each other is in their sincerity. Trump has always been a con man and a reality show personality. There’s no doubt he’s a bigot and a racist, not to mention a complete misogynist, but those things weren’t tied to his political ambition from the beginning. In fact, he seems to have pursued politics only to revive his failing brand. And the outrageous shit he spews on an hourly basis is calculated to pander, to shock, to get people buzzing. He’s discovered it’s very easy to get his ego fed to bursting by being the most “politically incorrect” politician possible. He hasn’t spent his life dreaming of Muslim registries and letting the religious right overthrow our Constitutional rights. These just happen to be a few of the things that get people sleazy enough to follow him excited, so he pushes them.

Hitler, on the other hand, pursued political power early on. And from the start, he intended to slaughter as many Jews as he could manage.

“Once I really am in power, my first and foremost task will be the annihilation of the Jews.”

This is a goal Hitler never lost sight of even when circumstances forced him to dial down his overt antisemitism. But when whipping up his followers, he knew hate sells. He used it freely. He spent years blaming all of Germany’s woes on Jewish people. And Germany, defeated and humiliated in the first World War, had plenty of woes. They were far worse off than we are. Desperate people need scapegoats; Hitler offered them up.

Hitler shouldn’t have been around to provide them. After fomenting hatred of the Jews for several years, he made a premature attempt at revolution that ended with him facing high treason charges. He should have been tossed in prison for life or deported. But he figured out what he needed to say in order to gain the court’s sympathies. He learned that with people outside the Nazi party, it was best to dial back the rabid bigotry and appeal to ethnic pride.

Over the next six weeks, Hitler, the uncouth agitator, remade himself into an innocent patriot who had been betrayed by a democracy too weak to defend Germanic honor…. Hitler transformed his public self from a raging antisemite into a resolute tribune of the Volk who captivated audiences with his vision of “cleanliness everywhere, cleanliness of our government, cleanliness in public life, and also this cleanliness in our culture… that will restore our [national] soul to us.”

Of course, “cleanliness” meant purging the Jewish people, but he wasn’t so crude as to actually say that in front of non-Nazis whose esteem he had to win. Instead, he attacked more widely despised and impersonal things: the Versailles Treaty, Bolshevism, and liberals. He cast himself as the doughty patriot willing to sacrifice anything to protect his beloved volk. He sprinkled in appeals to Germany’s proud military past, and finished with an appeal to “the goddess of the eternal tribunal of history.”

He’d found all the right buttons to push. And so, instead of spending the rest of his life moldering in a Bavarian prison or thrown out of Germany with no hope of returning, he received a mere slap on the wrist: five years in prison without subsequent deportation.

So what are we seeing? That a clever fascist will tailor his appeals to his audience. All it takes to rally nascent fascists who won’t respond to overt bigotry and racism is an appeal to be the hero fighting those things they abhor: liberals, socialists, Marxists, and other assorted lefties. Sprinkle in a hefty dose of national, ethnic, and military pride, and you can get conservatives to bless even outright treason.

Sound familiar? It should. Trump is far cruder, but he plays the tune Hitler wrote. Not surprising, considering how much he reportedly admires the genocidal shit.

We’ll see next how Hitler reassured his followers that yes, he still hated Jews. It’s a reminder to never take Trump at his word when he dials back his hatred to pander to less hateful audiences.

Image is the cover of The Nazi Conscience. It shows a brown-uniformed man digging while a man in traditional German folk costume holds a pole that has a swastika banner on it.
We’re studying The Nazi Conscience as a way to prepare for what’s happening now. If you want to read along, you can pick up an inexpensive used copy at Amazon. Buying through that link also supports my blogging, so thank you!

Intro • Prologue1.1 1.21.32.1

Part 2: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue

Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now

Here’s how to deal with the fact that a great orange buffoon is getting sworn into our highest office: go see Hidden Figures. Just go. Go see black women fighting misogyny and racism and Jim Crow while doing badass math. You need to see that right now.

*This review is mostly spoiler-free*

Take your children to go see it. Yes, even the young ones. Yes, even the teens. Look: I was in a theater full of little kids and teenagers, and they were sitting there beside unrelated adults up to the age of probably-watched-John-Glenn-orbit-live-on-teevee-with-their-own-kids, and apparently they were all riveted. I have never been to a movie that full of young folk who were so extraordinarily quiet. I’ve never been in an auditorium packed with nearly 400 people of all ages and had such an uninterrupted experience. The kids will do fine, and they need to see this.

Hollywood put out a movie about black women doing math, and it was spellbinding. I never thought they’d try. And since they tried, I never thought they’d do it with so much math and so few explosions. They had exploding rockets, but seemed almost embarrassed to mention them. There was a love story, but only because one of the real women this movie is based on actually got married in the middle of our race to space. It wasn’t shoved in just to hook our emotions, and you get the feeling they’d rather be doing more math. The movie stayed remarkably true to actual, historical events.

You’ll get to meet three of the most extraordinary women in our country’s scientific history: Katherine Goble (later Johnson), Dorothy Vaughan, and Mary Jackson. You will get to see them be math nerds. You will get to see them have interests other than marriage and children. Hell, you’ll even get to see one of them fix a car. In a dress. Did you know women could fix cars while wearing dresses? Well, now you do.

You’ll get to see three black women star in their own story, as heroes, not as sidekicks and inspirations to white people. This wasn’t a story about white people learning how not to be racist gits (although several white people learned this, the movie isn’t about them). This wasn’t a story about three career women trying to also balance their roles as wives and mothers (although they were). This wasn’t a story about men learning how to deal with career women, women smarter than them, and figuring out how not to be sexist gits (although this all happens).

No. Continue reading “Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now”

Hidden Figures: Yes, Go See It Right Now

Martin Luther King Would’ve Been (Non-Violently) Kicking Right Wing Ass

Yesterday, we saw that Martin Luther King would’ve definitely been part of the resistance to Trump’s regime. Today, we’re going to see he would’ve also been one of those politically correct social justice warriors. He would’ve been marching for a guaranteed minimum income, higher minimum wage, and affirmative action. He would have been demanding universal healthcare and championing Obamacare in the meantime. He would have been defending Planned Parenthood to the hilt, probably even doing clinic escorting when he could. He would have been standing up to protect public schools from people like Betsy DeVos. And he definitely wasn’t at all here for your libertarian free market at all costs bullshit.

How do we know? Because he had very definite opinions on those subjects. Look:

On Following the Law

We should never forget that everything Adolf Hitler did in Germany was “legal” and everything the Hungarian freedom fighters did in Hungary was “illegal.”

Letter from a Birmingham Jail (1963)

Black and white image of Martin Luther King Jr., showing only his face. He is speaking, facing left. Caption says, "It's a dark day in our nation when high-level authorities will seek to use every method to silence dissent. But something is happening, and people are not going to be silenced."

Healthcare

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.

Speech to the Second National Convention of the Medical Committee for Human Rights – Chicago, March 25, 1966

Economic Justice Continue reading “Martin Luther King Would’ve Been (Non-Violently) Kicking Right Wing Ass”

Martin Luther King Would’ve Been (Non-Violently) Kicking Right Wing Ass

Martin Luther King Would’ve Been Resisting the Shit Out of the New Regime

It’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day, the day on which far too many people vigorously whitewash a great social justice warrior’s legacy. See, we all know he was a good man, even a great man. We all know that opposing him shows you’re a disgusting, bigoted asshole. But he’s no good for the status quo warriors unless he’s been cherry-picked to oblivion.

They try to pull his fangs, folks, and then they demand we be more like their false idol of him. Fuck that.

Firstly, read the entirety of his Letter from a Birmingham Jail to see how he dealt with the don’t-let’s-rock-the-boat allies and the status quo warriors. If you don’t think he’d have been out there blocking freeways with Black Lives Matter activists and making the comfortable very uncomfortable indeed, you haven’t heard a word this man has actually said.

Secondly, here’s a selection of quotes that should leave you in no doubt that non-violent didn’t mean non-confrontational. His insistence on love didn’t mean asking the oppressors quietly and respectfully to please if it isn’t too much trouble to maybe consider stop oppressing people. He was out there making the comfortable damned uncomfortable. He was there to confront, not conciliate. He demanded justice. And he kept demanding, even though many people wanted him to just STFU. Listen: Continue reading “Martin Luther King Would’ve Been Resisting the Shit Out of the New Regime”

Martin Luther King Would’ve Been Resisting the Shit Out of the New Regime

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

Take your seasickness prevention pills and weigh anchor, my darlings. We are embarking on a long voyage, and I’m afraid it isn’t the lovely salt sea, but an ocean of creationist bilge we be sailin’. BJU has got a lot to say about oceanography. A good portion of it is utter bunkum. And there’s three bloody chapters of this shite.

Here. This meme may help us survive.

Image shows a cat in a cardboard pirate ship. Caption says, "I comes to plunder yer living room."

The wrong starts out strong with Dr. Emil Silvestru, a creationist speleologist from Romania. He started his career as a secular scientist, then jumped into Christianity with both feet and became a young earth creationist. The quality of his “reasoning” can be assessed by the following explanation: Continue reading “(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense”

(Repost) Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education VII: Awash in Creationist Nonsense

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Protected: Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XLIII: Wherein A Beka Outsmarts Insane Clown Posse

One Simple Sentence Could Help Save America’s Schools

The Senate will be holding confirmation hearings for Betsy DeVos on January 17th. If you care about America’s public schools, if you think all of our kids should have a solid education, and if you want to prevent religious indoctrination from being subsidized by the federal government, now is the time to call your senator and make your voice heard.

Look up the number here. All you’ll need is one simple sentence:

I’m calling to ask [Senator’s name] to block Betsy DeVos from the position of education secretary.

That’s it. That’s all you have to say. Easy-peasy.

If you want to include a little bit about why you oppose her, you can let them know the following: Continue reading “One Simple Sentence Could Help Save America’s Schools”

One Simple Sentence Could Help Save America’s Schools

Part 1: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue

I call Trump Cheeto Hitler (Chitler for short), but the first paragraph of Chapter 2 shows what a cheap imitation of Hitler he really is. The original Hitler, at least, presented himself and his vision of the German volk as something of virtue: “the epitome of selfless devotion, humble origins, and abstemious tastes.” Trump is just a crass flim-flam man appealing to base greed, xenophobia, and bigotry.

But both of them know how to work their audience. Both enjoy preaching to crowds. Hitler thought highly of his own ability to influence an audience, bragging that he could bring his naysayers around within just a few hours. He sold them Nazi ideology by figuring out what they wanted to hear. Like Trump, he was a huckster.

Hitler seized upon technological advances to get his message out. “Without the loud speaker,” he said, “we never would have conquered Germany.” I’m reminded of Trump using his reality shows and Twitter to conquer America.

Of course, neither of them win over as many people as they claim. Most listeners aren’t swayed: they hear the vitriol, and know it’s dangerous. But both men give their followers something to convince themselves they’re good, sensible people, not bigoted assholes.

Opponents of Nazism heard only hatred as Hitler ranted against the Treaty of Versailles, Communists, rival politicians, and democracy. But they overlooked the pattern of Hitler’s speeches in which he counterpointed every outburst of fury with the exalted rhetoric of a higher purpose.

I think Koonz isn’t giving hatred enough credit. Spite is a powerful motivator, as we’ve so recently seen. Many Germans, like many Americans today, felt hard done by. I don’t doubt they were all too ready to lash out. And folks looking for scapegoats are quite happy to grab the most wilted fig leaf of “higher purpose” offered to incompletely cover up the fact that hatred is driving them: hatred of the religious minorities, the people of color, the women, and the queer folk who have the audacity to demand a place at the table. They’re only too happy to blame their disappointments on those uppity others. They’re only too willing to follow a leader who promises to put those others in their place.

Next, we’ll see how Hitler and Trump diverge. For all their similarities, I do believe they differ in important ways. And we’ll see that those differences won’t prevent Trump from doing things as bad as or worse than Hitler. Whether you end up trying to exterminate an entire ethnic group because you truly believe they’re evil, or start a nuclear war because your feelings got bruised, you’re still responsible for immense suffering.

The terrifying thing is, Hitler appears to have had more self-restraint.

Image is the cover of The Nazi Conscience. It shows a brown-uniformed man digging while a man in traditional German folk costume holds a pole that has a swastika banner on it.
We’re studying The Nazi Conscience as a way to prepare for what’s happening now. If you want to read along, you can pick up an inexpensive used copy at Amazon. Buying through that link also supports my blogging, so thank you!

Intro • Prologue1.1 1.21.3

Part 1: The Nazi Conscience Chapter 2: The Politics of Virtue