die Weiße Rose

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In 1943 a small group of student-activists known as The White Rose (die Weiße Rose), were arrested and summarily executed. Their horrendous, traitorous crime was to author and distribute pamphlets, in their university town and across southern Germany, in opposition to Hitler’s Third Reich. Twenty-two year old Sophie Scholl and her brother Hans were among the first beheaded.

Though the efforts of us bloggers and those of us who are organizing to resist the Trump administration agenda hardly measure up to the patriotism and courage of die Weiße Rose, it is not much of a stretch to liken the POTUS tweets to Adolph’s fragile narcissism.

When, with a friend, we first proposed a group locally to resist the Trump agenda, I put forward “Sophie’s League” as our name, after the 1943 martyrs, my friend helped me see that few would recognize the significance of the name and that I was inflating the significance of our group by reference to die Weiße Rose.

Agreed, compared to the historical significance of resistance to Nazism, our efforts pale. It is nonetheless an honor to step into the very long line of opposition to the megalomania of a tyrant and fool.

The square in which the memorial, bronze pamphlets scattered across the cobblestone, can be found now bears the name  Geschwister-Scholl-Platz (“Scholl Siblings Square”) in Munich, Germany. Here Sophie is said to have tossed a handful of pamphlets into the air as the Gestapo approached to arrest them.

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The View from Mt. Nebo

If you are at all familiar with the story of Moses in the Book of Exodus in the ‘Hebrew Bible,’ The Torah, you’ll know that Moses’ view from Mt. Nebo was a bit disappointing. It was there that YHWH informed him that he’d have to view the Promised Land from afar, that he wasn’t going to make it there.

In the past week, the longing that must have weighed heavily on Moses has been somewhat familiar to me. It is very possible that I too just might die before I can enter the land of my hope. I am 76 ½ years old and even without a second term on Trump’s part, I could die while he is in office. OMG, I was born under FDR and could die under DJT!

Not if I can help it! So I hear of INDIVISIBLE, an idea, becoming a movement, that invites/urges old-timers like me and, in fact concerned citizens of all ages, to resist the authoritarianism, racism, white-nationalism, misogyny, etc of the Trump administration, at my local level. I download the INDIVISIBLE strategy from their website. It really makes sense. It should; it is offered by ex-staffers from the Obama years who saw the devastating effect of the Tea Party offensive against each and every progressive idea and invites Progressives to organize in a similar way wherever we are.

So tonight at 7:00pm a dozen or so folks are going to gather in our living room with this mission: “on behalf of the citizens of the US 4th Congressional District, to plan for and take actions with regard to 4th US District Member of Congress, James Jordan, and our US Senators, Rob Portman and Sherrod Brown, to resist any and all anti-Progressive policies and actions of the Trump administration.”

I am determined to do all that is within my capabilities to assure that I do not die during the reign of the current POTUS. That he is POTUS, I neither doubt nor deny, but he is not my President. I pledge allegiance to the flag and its republic, not to its President. I was not born under FDR, did not cross the bridge with Dr. King the weekend that Viola Liuzzo was assassinated by the Klan, oppose the Vietnam War, only to live long enough to have to endure more than one term of Trumpism.

Of course, I am fully aware that I have nothing to say about when/where I shall die, even though my current health does not cause me alarm. But I pledge whatever healthy life is mine and my meager resources to resist Trump.

I was once a Protestant pastor, but that Church left me long ago, to be overwhelmed by christo-fascists. I will oppose them and resist them at every opportunity.

I may not get to the Promised Land and my view may remain from here on Mt. Nebo, but all my effort will go to seeing that you do not have to gaze from here long.

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A Fantasy

At last, I’ve realized what’s wrong with our president-elect! It is the only explanation for his childish behavior. Donald Trump is a victim of progeria, the genetic disorder that causes premature aging in children. He is really only a nine year old but just appears, due to the disease, to be almost an aging adult. I’d have to re-check the puckered gold-fish mouth syndrome to see if that is typical of clinical signs of the disease. There is hardly anything else to find as a rational explanation for his ongoing preoccupation with electronic game-playing (Tweeting at all hours of the night) and his incessant insistence that he is first and best and yugely important and successful.

Alas, children of all ages are fascinated with the wonderful world of Alice in Wonderland.” “‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.” ‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master—that’s all.'”

Oh Dear, I’ve just realized that Donald  Trumpty is really Humpty Dumpty. His words, in fact, his reality, is what he chooses it to mean!

TRMS, i.e., Rachel Madow, gave ample evidence last evening that the Trumpsters, i.e., Donald Trump supporters are living in an alternate-universe. Their universe does not admit to facts; they acknowledge only what they are a priori convinced is truth. Any contradiction to their pre-conceived trumpful-truthfulness, or truthful-trumpfulness, is prima facie evidence of ‘libral’ falsehood.

So, it should surprise no one that the release of information, by the CIA, that hacking from sources high in the Russian government to undermine the recent US election and nudge the election toward The Donald, will be tweeted aside as more ‘libral’ propaganda. So, ‘The Master of Words,’ Humpty Trumpty has spoken. The truth means, neither more nor less, than what he chooses it to mean.

Oh, what a fantastic administration this is going to be!!

 

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A New National Anthem?

[no little credit is due to a post last March – https://toritto.wordpress.com/2016/03/02/trumpism/]

 

Tweets front and center, all informing,

Trump-Pence are making us so great again.

Those left behind by liberal globalization

parade with us among our ranks to win.

 

Jobs and goods for all our left-out brethren,

voices not muted by political correctness.

Millions, full of hope, look up at our banner;

The time is now for better things to come.

 

It’s now or never, too soon our chance may disappear;

We’ll not give up our privileged circumstances.

Trump-flags must festoon every street and corner;

Foreigners must never ever triumph here.

 

Tweets front and center all informing,

Trump-Pence are making us so great again.

Fellows left behind by liberal globalization

parade with us among our ranks to win.

 

can be sung to “How Great Thou Art” or “The Horst Wessel Song”

not familiar  with “Die Horst Wessel Lied” of German National Socialism, i.e. Nazis

listen here      http://www.anesi.com/east/horstw.wav

 

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Drain the Swamp?

Well, maybe The Donald is on the look-out for alligators and other crocodillians, but he seems to have missed a few reptilian threats. Help me with this, will you? Nominating one of the DeVos clan, archetypal anti-public-school champions, to be Education Secretary is a part of a swamp-clearing effort? Apparently one man’s swamp is another’s backyard water-feature. Or to switch homey metaphors, how could a fox more plainly be assigned to the hen house? And then there is Jefferson [Davis, Confederate States President] Beauregard [Pierre Gustave Toutant-Beauregard, Confederate General] Sessions as Attorney General. The “N-word” is a part of that man’s everyday vocabulary; he doesn’t bother confining it to the locker room. Of all the slithering varmints, I’d prefer to keep that kind of venomous creature out of my water-feature and swamp.

So, help me understand this! As one of the majority of voters who thought Hillary, though not the very, very best choice, was one hell of a lot better than The Donald, yes, as one of the defeated … how am I being encouraged to give this man, our President-elect some space? His choices, so far, seem to have much, much less to do with better wages and a better life for a forgotten and neglected middle-America and much,much more to do with forwarding an alt-right, racist, anti-democratic (note small ‘d’) agenda.

Calvin Trillin seems to have struck the proverbial nail correctly again:

The résumé shows Muslim-hating? Good.
Misogyny? That wins some points for men.
And bashing immigrants is quite a plus.
The model here is Jean-Marie Le Pen.  (The Nation, Nov. 17, 2016, ‘Applying for a White House Job’)

OMG, where is Rod Serling when we need him? Who would have thought that The Donald, when he said that he would serve ‘all of us,’ as our President, was really thinking of a recipe book?!

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We’ve Danced This Dance Before?

Don’t worry, ‘we have danced this dance before,’ contends Zachary Karabel, writer for the Washington Post in an article that drew my attention in the Sunday, November 20, 2016 Columbus [Ohio] Dispatch. Karabel denigrates the liberal hue and cry that this election portends the ‘end of our republic.’ (The Columbus Dispatch, Section H, Sunday, November 20, 2016)

He reminds us that the same liberal wail was heard following the elections of Nixon and Reagan. “And yet here we are, decades later, still enamored with the republic they were sure was doomed.” “If the past is at all prologue, we will find that the sum of all our fears amounts to far less than many of us now believe.”

Yes, we are still a republic after Nixon and Reagan. After Nixon, we are a republic profoundly changed by the ‘Southern Strategy’ of the Richard Nixon-Kevin Phillips campaign that reinforced the political South in its indelible racially biased stain. Apparently the normalization of racism is OK? I do not find such racism a norm by which I want my republic measured.

Yes, we are still a republic following Ronald Reagan’s role, playing a statesman and leader of the Free World. It was not however, an Oscar-worthy performance, and it left our republic a lesser institution. Are we a stronger republic for Reagan, as President-elect, actively undermining the foreign policy of his predecessor? Are we a better republic for Reagan’s having cooperated/approved supplying arms to Contras in the Nicaraguan war? Well, that is the normalization of our republic left in Reagan’s wake.

The Reagan Legacy is a republic with a norm that applauds/approves the invasion and destruction of a country and culture based upon lies and fabrications regarding weapons of mass destruction. That is not the normal that assures me that I have less to fear from a diminished republic.

Karabe says that Trump has ‘tapped into a dark anger to an exceptional degree,’ but doubts this will lead down the “ugly road’ of earlier times and other countries. As an assurance that such is a mere possibility but not a probability, Karabe ends on the cheery note that ‘we have danced this dance before.”

A danse macabre  is hardly a reassuring image. It is a rite to drive home our fragile mortality, as individuals and republics.

 

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Whence Bends the Arc of Justice

Populism is a political construct in which it is asserted that ordinary people, regular people, have the right to order and control their own lives. Such an idea is not a bad one, with a provision or two, i.e., that regular people are committed to the common good and that this commitment is expressed by a homogeneous populace.

Ours is not such a populace. We are an amalgam of nativist, racist, self-interested, uneducated, educated, non-nativist, non-racist, other-regarding cultures, enclaves and geopolitical groupings. There is no such thing as American exceptionalism. We are like every other human population, a motley collection of diverse morals, abilities and interests struggling for 240 years to become a nation the ideal of which always looms beyond our reach. We do, from time to time, make progress in moving closer to that ideal but we also easily achieve a retrograde motion. That such inching backward is possible is now the threshold on which we stand.

The campaign rhetoric of our president-elect gave permission to nativist, racist and sexist elements among us regular people to voice fear, anger and bias and in doing so revealed the ugly truth about us that we’d prefer lay hidden. When we awakened Wednesday, November 9th, the only thing that had changed was that we could no longer deny America’s embarrassing identity. But no one familiar with Howard Zinn’s “People’s History of the United States” should have been all that surprised or shocked. Ours has always been an uphill effort to find the moral high ground. The arc bends toward justice only when we pull the bow in that direction. To suppose otherwise is magical thinking.

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Winnie-The-Pooh and the Election

The eve of the first day it started and has continued. Protest gatherings and marches across the country proclaim ‘Not My President.’ This is not simply sour grapes, it is some of the other half of the electorate giving voice to our deep resentment and revulsion that such a moral/ethical degenerate could become the President of the United States.

Yes, Bill Clinton was a moral/ethical embarrassment, but Bill’s sexual escapades  behind closed doors (and beneath desks) were mere adolescent sexual games compared to the bigotry, sexism, racism and xenophobia of D. J. Trump.

Progress in Feminism LGBT freedoms and race relations have been set back to the early 60s by Trump’s election, which is precisely what his supporters elected him to do. To pass off the motives of his supporters as the anguish of neglected and disillusioned white working-class males is to miss the point. Yes, there are a very large number of such working class deprived, but deprivation is not the reason for the weight of his win. It is depravity not deprivation, as was co-joined in the lyric of ‘West Side Story.’ A vast number of D. J. Trump supporters were in no way deprived. They are among the morally depraved who cannot abide the newer society evolving in which the liberation of women, Latinos, Blacks and anyone who differs from their notions of real traditional Americans.

I began to see this more clearly when an acquaintance complained that she, a college educated, white, female Trump supporter, was sick and tired of hearing the newscasters attribute Trump’s victory to less-educated white males. She seems obviously proud to be in the company of the depraved majority of Trump supporters. Heavens! We wouldn’t want her pigeon-holed with those deprived masses! She is much above that class!

Hillary was ‘right on’ with her description , with some modification. Some Trump supporters weren’t deplorable, no, they were among the great number of working class folk whose needs have been ignored. But those who do not live under that sign in the Thousand-Acre Wood cannot escape having their address labelled ‘Deplorable and Depraved.’

With news reports that ‘White Power’ signs appearing in Junior High Schools and people with brown skins being pulled from cars and being assaulted, pundits are beginning to speak of Trump’s election encouraging such morally retrograde behavior.

For both of President Obama’s terms, we have had to stand by and  watch a recalcitrant Republican Party attempt, most often successfully, thwart the President’s every effort. Now we are being asked by appeasers to recognize that yesterday is gone, to forgive and forget, to smile in a conciliatory mood and carry on as though the wound inflicted to our body politic is but a soon-healed knee-scrape.

The wound inflicted has been no accidental tumble. It has been inflicted by the deliberate actions of a very powerful bully. To let him and his ilk spread such attitudes and behavior without protest and intervention is moral cowardice.

 

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Trumpism

One of the really good bloggers, Toritto, has once again put it all in perspective. Read this and, by all means, play the ‘Horst Wessel Song’ at its conclusion, reading the English translation. If you do not see Trump-in-song, you simply cannot listen or read!

On May 14th last I put up a post which I entitled “The Authoritarian Personality.” In it I explored possible reasons why some voters consistently cast their ballots against their own se…

Source: Trumpism

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Gale Force Winds Forecast

‘Tricky Dick’ Nixon often gets credit for the Republican ‘Southern Strategy.’ His strategist, Kevin Phillips, gave clearest public voice to the strategy but trying to turn the conservative Southern Democrats to the Party of Lincoln had been going on , at least, since 1948. The Civil Rights Movement ignited southern animosity and those embers were fanned aflame with the Civil Right Act of 1964 and the Voting Right Act of 1965. President Johnson knew that the South had been lost with his signing the latter. In 1964 Goldwater took the deep South, then in 1968 Nixon and his advisors knew that those two Acts of Congress would drive more whites their way. The Confederate States of America had captured Lincoln’s Party just a bit more than a century following the Emancipation Proclamation.

At least since the Nixon campaign, the Republican Party has learned to tune-up the racial dog-whistles that have been readily heard by ears that resonate to bigotry. That now a candidate, Donald Trump, takes days and repeated confrontation from journalists before he repudiates the Klu Klux Klan should surprise no one.

And there is US Senator and Majority Leader McConnell in jowly-jawed protest insisting that support of the KKK has no place in the Republican Party. It is decades too late to attempt to change the face and stature of the Party, Mitch. The Hebrew Prophet, Hosea, warned a very long time ago: “They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind.” Hosea 8:7

Neither should it surprise the pundits and newscasters that Trump cleans the table. Had they been talking to my neighbors, out here in the Colonial Frontier, this land of out-of-workers, bill-capped-farmers-dependent-upon-Federal-largess-but-hating-welfarequeens and the armed-fearful-camo-clad with their Mossy-Oak values, way out here west of Philadelphia, they would have known that The Donald is their man.

Our Nation has survived severe storms in the past and we can again; let us hope.

 

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