Teflon Trump’s Terrifying Troops

I did not watch the Donald Trump acceptance speech last night; I did not want to run the risk of a disturbed night’s sleep. I did however, read a transcript that was available on the net before he went live. It was a terrifying read just because it was so ‘good’: pitch-perfect in its toneContinue reading “Teflon Trump’s Terrifying Troops”

Justice Hugo Black, The Ku Klux Klan, And The Trump Candidacy

In 1914, Hugo Black–a future Supreme Court Justice–was elected solicitor, or district attorney in Birmingham, Alabama. He lobbied to improve prison conditions for both black and whites, and even published a report on coerced confessions. As a trial lawyer, he had successfully represented a black man who had been imprisoned twenty-five weeks beyond his originalContinue reading “Justice Hugo Black, The Ku Klux Klan, And The Trump Candidacy”

ISIS, America, ‘Failed States,’ And Gun Control

In the Orlando massacre, ISIS met, once again, the enemy it wanted: a society riven by a culture of violence, hyper-masculinity (and its inevitable attendant, homophobia), awash in guns, susceptible to fascist demagoguery, infected by a paranoid, self-destructive Islamophobia. That society’s lawmakers have passed over two hundred anti-LGBT bills in recent times; they also refuse toContinue reading “ISIS, America, ‘Failed States,’ And Gun Control”

Chase Madar On American ‘Anti-Authority Posturing’

In The Passion of Bradley Manning: The Story Behind The Wikileaks Whistleblower (Verso Press, New York, 2013) Chase Madar quotes Ray McGovern, ‘a retired CIA analyst’ and admirer of Chelsea Manning, as saying that “he who isn’t angry [in the face of injustice and evil] has an ‘unreasoned patience [and] sows the seed of vice….Bradley ManningContinue reading “Chase Madar On American ‘Anti-Authority Posturing’”

Fascism In American Iconography

As the United States of America prepares for the eventuality that on 20th January 2017, John Roberts, the Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, could swear in an orange-haired fascist with a tiny penis as the US’ next President, it is worth reminding ourselves that the aforesaid toupeed individual would take the reigns ofContinue reading “Fascism In American Iconography”

The Trump Rally In Chicago Was Not ‘Shut Down’

The Donald Trump rally in Chicago on March 11th was not ‘shut down.’ It was called off by Trump himself, a decision for which the Chicago Police stated they had not extended any support (they did not consider the situation to be out of hand.) The protesters showed up in numbers thanks to advance organization,Continue reading “The Trump Rally In Chicago Was Not ‘Shut Down’”

The Republican Party Will Be Just Fine, Thanks Very Much

The supposed collapse of the Republican Party–in the face of an insurgent onslaught led by a motley crew of Tea Partiers, Donald Trump devotees, and Rush Limbaugh fans (which may indeed, be the same demographic)–during this election season is extremely wishful thinking on the part of election pundits and journalistic commentators. What animates these fantasies ofContinue reading “The Republican Party Will Be Just Fine, Thanks Very Much”

Donald Trump’s Allies: Our Craven Media (And Our Apathy)

Here are some damning statistics (reported by the Washington Post) from “the Tyndall Report, which tracks the airtime that the various flagship news programs on NBC, CBS and ABC dedicate to a variety of stories.” Quick, depressing, highlights: 1. The Republican primary race received more than twice as much coverage as the Democratic contest. (The largerContinue reading “Donald Trump’s Allies: Our Craven Media (And Our Apathy)”

Heard The One About Fascists, Socialists, And Murderers?

In Identity and Violence: The Illusion of Destiny (W. W. Norton, New York, 2006, pp. 6-7), Amartya Sen, in the course of asserting how ‘our freedom to assert our personal identities can sometimes be extraordinarily limited in the eyes of others’, slips in the following: [S]ometimes we may not even be fully aware how othersContinue reading “Heard The One About Fascists, Socialists, And Murderers?”

Shame, Rage, and Fascism

Jonathan Lear, in the course of a memorial address to the American Philosophical Association–dedicated to Bernard Williams–noted: For Williams, shame needs to be conceived in terms of its inner psychological structure, in particular, in terms of internal objects and our relations with those objects. The basic experience connected with shame is of being seen inContinue reading “Shame, Rage, and Fascism”