Sunday, July 31, 2022

Why January 6 Means More to Washington than It Does to America


"It is almost universally felt that when we call a country democratic we are praising it: consequently the defenders of every kind of régime claim that it is a democracy, and fear that they might have to stop using the word if it were tied down to any one meaning."

-George Orwell

"Togetherness is beating up an empty elevator."

-JG Ballard

Take it from a penniless middle American pauper when I tell you that, rightly or wrongly, no one gives a flying fuck about January 6 in flyover country. Even in the full throws of their self-stoked hysteria over the five-alarm dumpster fire that is the US House Select Committee to Investigate January 6th, the political class seems to be at least somewhat aware of this yocal malaise over the summer's hottest partisan craze and naturally, they already have the two thirds of the country that they barely even know exists figured the fuck out.

Once again, they're all just a bunch of lazy slack-jawed hicks who can't be coaxed off their tractors to bother with the greatest threat to liberal democracy since Hitler wore lederhosen. Just like those lazy peasants who dare not vote, the rural lumpenproletariat are just genetically predispositioned to be indifferent to what really matters in this world and trust me when I tell you that many of my neighbors are equally mystified and annoyed by these condescending coastal elites who keep trying to sell them tickets to Washington's biggest monster truck rally since Watergate.

As a genderqueer anarchist who has spent the better part of her life being chased by irate farm folk with rusty pitchforks and the other part trying to convince these same people to turn their rage against Washington instead from the comfort of my flaming windmill, I feel that I am somewhat absurdly equipped to explain both of these crowds of assholes in this stand-off to each other, seeing as I'm pretty much equally despised by both of them.

Your average working-class hick in red state America, and I'm not just talking about Republicans, doesn't care about the threat Donald Trump poses to American democracy because American democracy doesn't fucking work for them anymore, if it ever has to begin with. I'm constantly confronted by the fact that once distracted from their impulses to bash me for being a bearded dyke in a dress, your average unwashed auto mechanic or trailer park housewife is actually quite shockingly well aware of how the American political system really operates. Aside from the culture war bullshit, these people really aren't that far off from Chomsky on what really counts.

They all thoroughly grasp the fact that the system is rigged, both major parties are the minor leagues for corporate prostitutes, Iraq was a fucking lie sold to them by these whores for oil, and your average free trade deal is a glorified mugging to tax the poor out of their livelihoods on behalf of a class of stuck-up New England stick-up artists who'd rather use slaves to build their Hybrids. These people may never get my pronouns straight but when it comes to the basics of class warfare they are downright woke.

Most of these people didn't vote for Trump. Most of these people didn't vote for anybody because they didn't see anybody at the podium who represented them and were they wrong? Donald Trump is an undeniably criminal fascist crook but the only thing that separates him from more respectable "grown up" politicians like Hillary Clinton and George W. Bush is that he lacks the institutional prowess to rig an election without breaking any windows. What makes January 6 any more offensive than the games Liz Cheney's newly rehabilitated Sith lord father pulled in Ohio back in 2004?

Even the chair of the January 6 Committee, Congressman Bennie Thompson is at least somewhat aware of the hypocrisy at play here. He was one of only 31 mostly Black House Democrats to object to the certification of the election results in the buckeye state for that year's presidential coup d'état. When confronted with this weapons grade irony, Bennie's response was "I didn't tear up the place because I cast a vote." My response is why the fuck not? The system it represents hasn't just systematically mowed over the democratic rights of average Americans on a near weekly basis for centuries, they have outsourced little Trumps to overthrow democracy in every corner of the planet.

Where was the House Select Committee to investigate Lyndon Johnson's insurrection in Indonesia in 1965 or Dick Nixon's insurrection in Chile in 1973 or Gerald Ford's insurrection in East Timor in 1975 or Jimmy Carter's insurrection in Kwangju in 1980 or Ronald Reagan's insurrection in Grenada in 1984 or Dubya's insurrection in Haiti in 2004 or Obama's insurrection in Honduras in 2009? Where was the breathless media coverage for these fascist plots? All of them hatched from that wretched Capitol with total silence from the same people questioning middle-class America's lack of commitment to democracy. Well, whose democracy? Yours or theirs? Wall Street's or Main Street's or Santiago's? Because they clearly aren't the same goddamn thing. 

The crooks who run that committee have no more respect for the institution of democracy or even that sick joke called representative democracy than Donald Trump does. Liz Cheney, Adam Schiff, Adam Kinzinger, not to mention House Speaker Nancy Pelosi are all outspoken supporters of the Patriot Act, PRISM, and the around-the-clock domestic surveillance machine that has made this country about as democratic as any nightmare George Orwell or JG Ballard ever penned. So why give a fuck about democracy now? Say what you will about hick country, at least their indifference is consistent. But why do a bunch of barely closeted fascists suddenly give a fuck about the dangers of fascism? 

Because Trump's brand of bush league fascism threatened their brand of legacy fascism, not because it was worse, but because it was embarrassing. This is the real reason why the establishment despises one of their own children, because Donald Trump is nothing but the red-headed stepchild of American fascism. JFK hit up NATO puppets for spare pocket change. Bill Clinton made childish threats to blow up North Korea. His gun moll Hillary leaned on local officials to pervert electoral democracy. But they all had the good common sense to commit these crimes quietly, away from the watchful eye of the international community. They took care to properly maintain the facade carefully erected around our totalitarian government to make us appear respectable enough for the rest of the world to kick up to.

Donald Trump ripped down that facade and exposed America for the fascistic fraud that it's always been. He humiliated his fellow elites on January 6 by bringing the tactics that the grown-up fascists in that Capitol Building usually reserve for the ghettos of Cleveland and the Third World home. He made America look like a shithole country. The carefully choreographed melodrama playing endlessly on CNN is nothing but a PR campaign designed to rehabilitate the tattered vestige of America's mask of sanity. and the yocals in flyover country don't give a flying fuck about this pageantry because they aren't the target demographic.

The US House Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol is little more than a glorified infomercial marketed towards the people still stupid enough to believe that this country was ever a real fucking democracy. The people ignorant enough to think that joining a military alliance with a nest of craven war junkies will keep them safe from a tinpot revanchist like Vladimir Putin. The kind of people foolish enough to believe that a vote cast for a prison-industrial architect like Joe Biden is a vote that will somehow make Black lives finally matter. People so fucking clueless that they honestly believe that they're superior to redneck farmers just because they haven't figured out that this rusty rattrap we call a democracy is already a rigged game.

The biggest problem I have with the local hicks who shrug off January 6 to chase me around with their pitchforks is that they're too busy lunging at Muslims, Queers, illegals and other assorted groups of poor people to realize that we should all be charging the Capitol together to chase every one of those condescending crooks in that two-party junta including Trump out of town once and for all. A House Select Committee won't save this country from its long legacy of fascism any more than Trump's QAnon soccer moms will save it from fucking Chupacabras. Maybe woke poor people should give this insurrection thing a try. After all, it appears to have worked for Sri Lanka and what's good for one shithole country couldn't hurt another. 

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

* One Piece at a Time by Johnny Cash

*  Hotel Yorba by the White Stripes

*  The Skin of My Yellow Country Teeth by Clap Your Hands Say Yeah

*  Peek-a-boo by Siouxsie & the Banshees

*  Rebels by Tom Petty

*  Floyd the Barber by Nirvana

*  Marry Me by the Drive-By Truckers

*  Softer Softest by Hole

*  Mamma Tried by Merle Haggard

*  Waste of Paint by Bright Eyes

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Wake up Stupid! Biden Wants War with Iran Too

 Is it just me or does the JCPOA seem to be cursed? Everybody who isn't Trump or Israel seems to agree that the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action known colloquially as the Iran Nuclear Deal was working smashingly before it was unilaterally violated by the prior on behalf of the latter. Every other signatory of that deal and the International Atomic Energy Agency who oversaw it are all in total agreement that Iran was in compliance with what amounted to the most obnoxiously intrusive nuclear inspections regime devised by man or beast, all levied against a nation that even Israeli intelligence admits never appears to have even had a nuclear weapons program to begin with. Joe Biden ran for president and won on a promise to revive the deal and the Mullahs have steadfastly offered to comply as soon as the crippling Trump regime sanctions are lifted. And yet, here we are now, over a fucking year after Biden entered the Oval Office and somehow, we seem farther from the JCPOA than ever before. 

Talks have been dragging on for months and leading nowhere. Iran's demands are simple and remain virtually the same since day one, save for a few concessions that they've made to the Biden Administration; knock it off with the fucking sanctions that crazed orange orangutan gagged us with and we'll offer you back our nuclear program on the same silver platter we awarded to Obama back in 2015. But somehow this simple message is two fucking complicated for Biden's people, who let's not forget are essentially just Obama's people in new ties. America won't even meet with Iran directly. We send them coded messages in a bottle through EU intermediaries at drop sites in Doha or Vienna and they fucking put up with it! Yet somehow, the simplest snafu to undue in imperial history continues to be derailed by a never-ending procession of tripwires and landmines.

Iran offers to return to the JCPOA, and Biden demands they make concessions to the maximum pressure ransom note of the same ginger asshole who continues to insist Joe stole the fucking election. Iran offers to return to the JCPOA, and their scientists are assassinated in broad daylight by hired guns who do everything but wave an Israeli flag over their bodies after dropping the gat to announce who sent them. Iran offers to return to the goddamn JCPOA, and America hijacks their oil tankers on the high seas like Blackbeard with battleships. Iran finally caves to the crazy concessions Trump made and Biden demands, and talks are put on hold. Iran finally loses their shit with these honky whack jobs and raises their plutonium enrichment to well beneath the threshold necessary for nuclear weapons to even be an option and suddenly they're the crazy brown rogue state swinging a saber at the wilting Western World.

This is fucking lunacy and I'm getting sick and tired of people making fucking excuses for Biden's fucking excuses. "Oh, Biden is in a really precarious position because if he rolls back Trump's sanctions he'll be tarred as an appeaser and midterm elections and rable, rable, rable!..." Bullshit. The Republicans are already calling Biden an appeaser for not acting even crazier than Trump did. Biden could drop a fucking A-bomb on Tehran tomorrow and Fox News would call him a pussy while Israel sulks in the corner for not making it a hydrogen one. No more fucking excuses. Everybody without Bibi's circumcised cock in their ass knows that pulling out of the JCPOA was stupid. So why not just return to the damn thing already?

At a certain point the only answer left to this question is because Biden wants a war with Iran every bit as much as the Republicans do and as far as I'm concerned, any doubts to that answer's validity died as the tires of Air Force One hit the tarmac in Tel Aviv during the dog days of mid-July. Before he even left his Delaware bunker for his sojourn to the Holy Land, President Biden afforded a rare one-on-one interview with Israel's state television Channel 12 which aired the day of his arrival. In this interview, while paying lip service to the JCPOA, Biden promised to use military force against Iran if it failed. He reiterated this barely veiled threat in Israel by signing a joint declaration with Prime Minister Yair Lapid, promising to use all of our empire's "national power" to prevent Iran from acquiring weapons we seem to be daring them to acquire, and this madness only metastasized in the House of Saud.   

While the rabid hounds of war in the press yipped on about oil prices and Jamal Khashoggi, the Biden Administration made no secret about the true motives behind their visit with Mohamed bin Salman. Before Biden jammed his tongue deep into that swarthy young sociopath's indubitably well-manicured asshole, he used it to tell the few spin masters who'd listen that the real goal of his prostration was to beef up Trump's Abraham Accords and build a Wahhabi-Zionist alliance between Israel and Saudi Arabia against Iran.

The Biden Administration has painted the message in bright bold letters, in every conceivable language including Klingon, and Americans in both parties still can't seem to read it. WAKE UP STUPID! WE WANT WAR WITH IRAN! Both parties do and regardless of which feckless twat the few hardworking Americans still dumb enough to vote shove into the White House, unless their name is Omar or Paul, they're going to deliver this coded promise in 2024. The only question now, aside from which Beltway intersection antiwar activists should jam with our broken bodies first, is why? Why Iran and why now?

On paper, Iran seems like the most obvious choice for a Western ally in the Middle East. Compared to the psychotic sheiks in the Gulf who we arm to the fangs, Iran is actually a relatively moderate and stable theocratic republic, founded on the bedrock of a popular revolution. Despite the virtue signaling of the ancient Mullahs, they have a young and socially tolerant population. Women and Jews can vote. Transwomen can medically transition (in near record numbers). They even have a vibrant and avante garde film industry that rivals many European countries on the festival circuit. 

And in spite of our many differences, even the hard asses in Iran's military elite have repeatedly gone out of their way to accommodate the Great Satan in their neighborhood. They have actively aided and abetted the US in many of our quixotic military adventures in the Middle East, from savaging the Baathists in Baghdad to overthrowing the Taliban in Kabul and reigning in the Islamic State. Even Iran's preferred "terrorists" like Hezbollah and the Houthi rebels amount to little more than indigenous ragtag militias set up to protect vulnerable Shia populations from the same people who threw commercial airliners into the World Trade Center. Despite what you've been told by the Zionist smear campaign, Iran is probably the closest thing to a functioning democracy without an apartheid state in the Middle East and sadly, that's actually the real problem here. 

America doesn't want democracy in the Middle East. If we did, we wouldn't have spent the last cold war overthrowing the only ones that ever even existed there. Go ask Mossadegh's gravestone, Iran knows all about this history. America doesn't even want stability in the Middle East. That flaming sandbox is a permanently fucked basket case of failed states and forever wars because we made it that way. America made the sheiks. It was our oil companies that picked out the meanest tribes in the Gulf and built them palaces and skyscrapers in return for unfettered access to the oil that flows beneath them. America made the terrorists. We secretly funded every head-chopping psychopath from the Mujahedeen to the Islamic State to murder any Shiite or communist crazy enough to avoid entanglement in our infidel pissing match with Moscow.

The sick truth is that the Middle East is a fucked-up place because America likes it that way and ever since they overthrew our bloody little tool, the Shah, Iran has been a consistently annoying obstacle to burning that section of the world off the map. America doesn't want an independent neutral government as willing to work with Russia or China as they are with us. America doesn't want a functioning nation of well-adjusted brown people with some assemblance of agency. That kumbaya hippie bullshit just isn't the American way and I'll tell you one more sick truth if you're still willing to hear it. Obama's JCPOA was a part of this colonialist tradition and those suckers in Iran fell for it.

The JCPOA wasn't designed for world peace. It was designed to keep Iran under our thumb by giving Western imperialists full access to their supple young economy and absolute control over their formidable military. There was never a nuclear threat. Even those Shaw-shagging Mossadegh-flippers in the CIA admit this. The Ayatollah Khomeini declared nuclear weapons to be an affront to Allah and even went so far as to issue a fatwa against their manufacture. Yet Obama himself kept up Dubya's threats to make Iran the next Iraq with brutal sanctions until that besieged nation finally submitted to the shackles of his "peace" deal. Trump simply pulled out too early for selfish and reckless reasons but the only reason a geopolitical imbecile like him even could undo that deal so effortlessly is because that was precisely what it was designed to do, unravel at the whims of its masters in Washington whenever they decided it was time to finish what they started and snuff out the Iranian Revolution once and for all. 

Now, with Russia locked into our bloody proxy quagmire in Ukraine and China distracted with our provocations in the South China Sea, Iran is virtually on its own and decimated by Trump's cruel sanctions unleashed at the height of the Pandemic. There is bipartisan unity on "stopping" Iran and it's only a matter of time before the Mullah's lose patience with Israel's constant harassment and give them the Gulf of Tonkin they've been begging for on bended knee. War with Iran appears to be all but inevitable. I just pray to Kali and Mother Mary that there is still an antiwar movement radical enough to oppose it in the streets because peace never matters anywhere else.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Peace Sells by Megadeth

*  Kill For Love by Chromatics

*  Everybody Does by Julien Baker

*  Mariner's Apartment Complex by Lana Del Rey

*  Holiday Song by the Pixies

*  You Learn by Alannis Morrisette

*  Safari by the Breeders

*  Oblivion by Grimes

*  Bones by Soccer Mommy

*  Lithium by Nirvana

*  Daniel by Bat for Lashes 

*  Master of Puppets by Metallica         


Sunday, July 17, 2022

For the Love of Lysander Spooner, Let the Republic of Texas Secede

 Lysander Spooner was an abolitionist. He was also one of the great American anarchists whose legacy remains so toweringly influential that capitalists and socialists alike routinely bitch each other out on message boards over which tribe of wonks lays claim to his allegiance. But above all else, Lysander Spooner was an abolitionist and a militant one at that. Few white men in nineteenth century America were more committed to annihilating that grotesque institution known as slavery than Mr. Spooner. 

He was a brilliant and fearlessly radical lawyer who would have given William Kunstler a run for his money when it came to turning the courtroom into a revolutionary battlefield. He used the arsenal of his legal expertise like an insurgent, publishing pamphlets for escaped slaves on how to break the system with tactics like jury nullification and offering his services directly to fugitives who couldn't read them free of charge.

Lysander Spooner also put his rifle where his mouth was, backing up his bombastic legal activism with direct action. He was a close friend of the great John Brown and actively conspired with the most notorious abolitionist revolutionary in American history to promote violent insurrection in the Antebellum South. Even after Brown was locked up for leading his brazenly quixotic uprising in Harper's Ferry, Spooner participated in an aborted plot to liberate his doomed comrade from the gallows. 

Lysander Spooner was a fucking abolitionist alright. He was a freedom fighter with fangs who wasn't afraid to bite. He was also an equally ferocious opponent of the Civil War. This may sound like a contradiction to some but to Spooner the right to secession, even for an institution he committed his life and safety to violently smashing to bits, was a pivotal manifestation of a government-by-consent that originated from the same wellspring of natural rights which also afforded slaves their right to liberty. Neither of these rights could be broken without declaring war on God herself.

Lysander Spooner also understood that these rights and all rights for that matter could never be granted by violent authoritarian institutions like the Union, who sought only to usurp agrarian chattel slavery to replace it with their own superior industrial slavery of wages. Real rights were those that could only be achieved through the direct democracy of popular self-determination. In no document does Spooner make this fact clearer than he does in his incendiary manifesto "Plan for Abolition of Slavery" in which he calls for nothing short of guerrilla warfare against all slaveholders by a stateless front of Black slaves and landless southern rednecks with nothing but aid and solidarity from northern abolitionists. Needless to say, many northern academics didn't like being cut out of the excitement of playing the white savior to the darker sheep in their flock.

But what Lysander Spooner's more condescending northern white critics couldn't seem to grasp was that he only opposed "liberating slaves" because he knew that slaves would never be truly free until they liberated themselves and that their right to secede from any union was a necessary component of this liberation. It was a radically iconoclastic position for any century, and it was one that spoke very deeply to me as a young genderqueer Marxist raised on similar ideas propagated by modern-day revolutionaries like Frantz Fanon and Che Guevara. But it was Lysander Spooner's school of hands-on abolition that made this libertarian socialist a secessionist and this is why I am not ashamed to support and encourage the right for the self-proclaimed Republic of Texas to secede from these United States of Hysteria.

At the latest biennial convention of the ruling Republican Party of Texas, those unhinged psychopaths approved an equally unhinged and psychopathic platform. A platform that obnoxiously declares Joe Biden to be an illegitimately elected president and homosexuality to be an abnormal lifestyle choice amongst other hysterics. Most of this fascistic little temper tantrum is nothing new. The platform of the Texas GOP has long been a veritable casserole of juvenile shock tactics designed to turn on their notoriously reactionary base by appalling mommy and daddy back in Washington. 

It's fucking theater, people. The Rocky Horror Picture Show for closeted fag-bashers in ten-gallon-hats. And idle threats of secession have long been a part of the act. But this year, all hopped up on Trumptosterone, Dr. Frank-N-Furter decided to kick it up a notch by actually calling for a statewide referendum to be held on Texas Independence in 2023, thus officially making this year's platform the first time any state's ruling party has formally endorsed a referendum on secession since 1861. As a post-Marxist Spoonerite, I say we call these whack-jobs on their bluff, and not just because I believe secession to be an inalienable civil right. Much like Lysander, I've got other weapons up my sleeve for Texas.

I fully support a 2023 Texit for the same twisted strategic reasons that I fully supported a 2016 Brexit. The United Kingdom's decision to leave the European Union was similarly led by a ghastly cabal of openly racist brats and many if not most Brits who voted Yes on that referendum voted as an act of blatant xenophobia. But none of those unpleasant facts changes the equally unpleasant fact that the European Union and the United Kingdom are both equally despotic imperial institutions, and no one can deny in the light 2022 that Brexit quite successfully made both of those foul collaborations significantly weaker through the precedent shattering decentralization of their institutional powers. Afterall, why do think NATO hated the idea so damn much? 

Brexit also had the unintended but very predictable side effect of making long illegally occupied Celtic territories like Scotland, Wales and Ireland stronger. Speaking as an unbowed bastard daughter of James Connolly and the Saint Patrick Battalion whose ancestors only came to this wicked country to flee Royal genocide, this is precisely what I was hoping for back in 2016. Scotland's pro-independence majority in parliament is now calling for their own referendum in 2023 with considerably more popular support than they had for the last one in 2014 and the long-overlooked Welsh independence campaign, Yes Cymru, has seen their membership explode from 2,000 to 17,000 between 2020 and 2021 alone. 

But perhaps most gloriously of all, on the same year as the Queen's Platinum Jubilee, the former Provos in Sinn Fein won a majority in Northern Ireland's parliament on a campaign devoted almost entirely to the reunification of my divided ancestral homeland. Meanwhile, the party's popularity only continues to swell south of the border as well. Nigel Farage may be a snaggle-toothed Islamophobic twat, but I gleefully tip my bonnet to that son of three bastards for achieving in just eight short years what the IRA failed to do for over a century. To quote my fellow Queer Mick, Morrissey, London is dead, London is dead, London is dead, now I'm too much in love, I'm too much in love...

And what is Texas but gringo for Aztlan. In many ways Texas is America's Ulster, a white supremacist colony founded by slave owners, for slave owners. A land ruthlessly mugged from good hardworking Catholic peasants considered subhuman by their Protestant abusers. Texas only declared independence when Mexico abolished slavery, triggering the Mexican American War in which Irish renegades like Juan Riley killed racist cowards like Jim Bowie and Davy Crockett like the neutered dogs they were. I'll join Ozzy Osbourne in pissing on the Alamo any day of the fucking week, but Texas didn't remain independent for a reason. Those gringos couldn't hold their own against the people they colonized, so they called in Uncle Sam for backup.

Let's see those bastards fight off the Jungian Reconquista without the taxpayer charity of federal gestapo like ICE and the Border Patrol. Let's see them try to enforce their borderland apartheid state in a country whose economic growth is completely dependent on a Hispanic population that is now virtually equal to that of the colonists and growing at a speed of eleven brown people for every additional Frisco hipster. And as a student of Lysander Spooner, what kind of abolitionist would I be if I didn't offer my ancestor's comrades an Armalite or two? Not that I'll need to in the gun show capitol of the known universe.

But this doesn't have to be a bloodbath. Like I said, secession is a civil right and civil rights are for assholes too. If Texans truly support this right like I do, then it is my solemn hope that they won't just respect the right for Texas to secede from America but the right for Chicano city states to secede from Texas and the right for hillbilly gayborhoods to secede from Chicano city states. This is the panarchist dream, what Karl Hess once poetically described as "a world of neighborhoods in which all social organizations are voluntary."

When secession is truly recognized for the natural right that it is, borders will evaporate, the state will crumble, and nations will become as fluid and decentralized as the indigenous tribes who once roamed the rolling hills of Texas. But even if all else fails, I will still support Texas Independence with all the same fire with which I support the Chicano Movement and for all the same damn reason too, because Lysander Spooner was a fucking abolitionist and so am I.

Si, se puede, dearest motherfuckers. See you on the other side of that shrinking border. I'll be the weird Irish bitch in platform boots with a five o'clock shadow and a daisy in my AR-18.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Bad Catholics by the Menzingers

*  Free to Decide by the Cranberries

*  Fourth of July by X

*  Glamorous Glue by Morrissey

*  Alternative Ulster by Stiff Little Fingers

*  White Minority by Black Flag

*  Breed by Nirvana

*  Rebels of the Sacred Heart by Flogging Molly

*  Don't Look Back in Anger by Oasis

*  Look On Down from the Bridge by Mazzy Star


Sunday, July 10, 2022

Pennsylvania is Being Poached by Populist Frauds

 I've lived in Pennsylvania for my entire life and over the last three decades I've grown to begrudgingly love this busted old pick-up truck of a Rust Belt state. That Beltway mutant James Carville once derisively described this place as being Alabama between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. I've never been to Alabama, but I live in a small town that is roughly halfway between my state's two biggest cities and the comparison rings a bit hollow. I won't sugarcoat it; this was not an ideal place to grow up Queer and I don't always feel safe at the local diner, much less the nearest Baptist Church but this isn't fucking Deliverance country.

This is a country where you're never more than 15 minutes from both an Amish farm and an abandoned factory. This is a country where people hunt to put food on the table and not to prove how big their dick is. This is a country where diversity means that every skinny Black dude on the wrong side of town has a fat hillbilly baby-mama with a couple of beautiful caramel children in tow. This is a country of doublewides with rainbow flags and ranch homes with Blue Lives Matter signs. This is a complicated and often contradictory state but it's also a state with a lot more heart than brains and it's a state that has been repeatedly raped by Washington for that honorable flaw. A place where all the factory workers now cut their paychecks at growing prisons filled with their opioid addicted children who sought to erase themselves after coming home from the latest bipartisan forever war. 

This is how Pennsylvania became Trump Country and this is what the smug wonks on CNN will never grasp about the MAGA sickness. Once again, I've never been to Alabama, but the people who live between Pittsburgh and Philadelphia didn't vote for Trump because they're racist or sexist even if he clearly is. They only got on board with that orange motherfucker when they saw how uncomfortable he made elitist little shits like James Carville. The people I know who voted for Trump knew full well that they were casting a ballot for a lecherous cretin they wouldn't let within fifteen feet of their daughters but as far as they were concerned, they weren't just voting for a man who macks on his own offspring, they were voting to throw a screaming orange brick through the White House window. MAGA was their revenge against a bipartisan political machine that fed our state to NAFTA and the Iraq War.

It's just a crying shame that they still haven't woken up from the fever dream yet because the MAGA circus has only been assimilated back into the Washington hivemind and if this year's crazed midterm election over the Senate seat of swing state Republican douchebag Pat Toomey has proven anything it's that it's just the same damn show under a different fucking tent.

The 2022 GOP Primaries over this partisan prize have essentially amounted to a hate-fuck menage a trois between three vapid carpetbaggers. The early Washington favorite seemed to be David McCormick, a Pennsylvania born neocon who spent the last thirty years becoming a hedge fund millionaire in Connecticut and the last thirty weeks trying to convince his home state that this Bush Administration golf course cancer is really just another good old boy beneath the Polo shirt and pleated slacks. Many of the Donald's tarnished brass were in on the grift from the drop. After all, McCormick's own wife, Dina Powell, paid her dues sacrificing Somalian babies on the altar of the MAGA drone wars as that fucker's National Security Advisor. Stephen Miller, Hope Hicks and Kellyanne Conway all threw their weight behind McCormick's tried and true formula of Wall Street skullfuckery but their petulant orange emperor had different plans.

Donald Trump, being the starfucking opportunist that he is, decided to endorse Dr. Mehmet Oz instead. An Oprah approved daytime TV hack whose only connection to the Keystone State is the few years he spent playing beer pong at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Oz has never held a solid political position on anything for longer than fifteen seconds other than his support for the miracle cures he hawks to lonely housewives on his show. In other words, his pinched asshole is a picture-perfect fit for the Donald's stubby toadstool dick, but he totally lacks any of that go-fuck-yourself bravado that sold white trash working class heroes on a similarly spiked cocktail back in 2016.

Even on his own campaign adds, Oz comes across like the creepy little brother of the football star trying to convince underclassmen to blow him behind the bleachers for his legendary sibling's phone number. Thus, you had the bizarre and slightly hilarious spectacle of this motherfucker being booed by red cap wearing rough necks who came to see Trump at his own rallies. In the end, the good doctor barely walked away from a two-week recount with a pocket full of votes and was nearly unseated by Kathy Barnette, another carpetbagging Fox News troll whose entire backstory appears to be a self-published Wikipedia page. 

Nobody who wasted a vote on Dr. Oz felt good about it and they're not going to feel any better about making that drunken one-night-stand a regular thing after that wormy quack spends the next four months trying to convince independents that he's anything other than Donald Trump's latest gimp, especially when you can still smell the ball-gag on his breath from the second row of the debates. To make the doc's predicament even more precarious, this year the Democrats have their own populist firebrand, and he appears to be a ringer. 

I speak of course of Big John Fetterman. If you don't know him by name yet like the rest of my state, then you probably know him by image. At six-foot-eight and 300 pounds with his sleeves of tattoos, shaved bullet head and goatee, John Fetterman looks a bit like Anton Levey on steroids. A hulking, tough-talking, blue collar, antihero in his ever-present Dickies work shirt and basketball shorts. And he has the made-for-television Tarantino biography to match. 

Every magazine and newspaper article tells the same damn story, after going on and on about his Hell's Angel's appearance they go into Big John's meteoric rise as the mayor of Braddock, Pennsylvania, a town hit so hard by globalism that it makes Detroit look like Pride Month at Dollywood. Fetterman became a liberal cult hero making the rounds on late night television to sell his self-proclaimed gentrification-proof post-apocalyptic wasteland to Brooklyn hipsters creaming their loins for an authentic feeling place to open their next microbrewery. 

He rode this notoriety straight to the Lieutenant Governor's office where he made twitter headlines calling for marijuana legalization and bitch slapping Trump for making up ludicrous conspiracy theories about not really losing MAGA country to a neoliberal zombie like Joe Biden in 2020. John Fetterman looks pretty fucking cool on paper alright but that's just it. Once you get past the vanity and bluster, there really isn't a whole lot there. When it comes down to actual policy positions, the man has few that aren't paper thin and a closer look at the man's unedited biography shows a very political animal who's not much more authentic than Donald Trump or Dr. Oz. 

The first thing you need to know to understand John Fetterman is that he is a working-class poseur. His whole knight-in-navy-polyester-armor schtick is little more than drag. John Fetterman may look like a Steel Town Kinzer, but he grew up a pampered rich kid to an insurance tycoon in the plush suburbs of York, Pennsylvania. He doesn't exactly hide this, but he claims that he had an epiphany that he should devote his privilege to the little people after a friend died in a tragic car crash. Strangely, this Franciscan journey of charity took him to the Ivy League organized crime factory known as the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.

From there John made his way to Braddock by way of Americorps and quickly set himself up as a kind of Rust Belt Willy Wonka after barely winning his first mayoral bid for a largely Black and 90% abandoned city. He showered the impoverished town with daddy's money funneled through he and his wife's non-profit, essentially buying the next few elections and pimping himself out to the national media as a white savior with a tin cup ready for any liberal-do-gooder to play Bono in their own country with their spare pocket change.

The first sign of cracks in the Fetterman facade came in 2013 when the mayor chased down a local Black jogger named Christopher Miyares with a loaded shotgun in his pick-up truck after hearing bottle rockets from his yard. Likely the only thing that saved Miyares from becoming Ahmaud Arbery was the fact that Miyares was understandably too scared of the gauge-cocking skinhead the size of a building to stand his ground. To this day, Fetterman refuses to apologize or even fess up to any wrongdoing in this borderline hate crime, even bringing up Miyares' subsequent arrest on totally unrelated charges to justify his actions. But this was before George Floyd made Black Lives Matter to Democrats seeking reelection and Fetterman had grander ambitions than his adopted Rust Belt stepping stool. 

Fetterman spent the better part of 2015 as Bernie Sanders' official Rust Belt liaison for his presidential run before spending 2016 trying to sell himself as a Bernie-style candidate in the Democratic primaries for the Senate seat that he's still hustling for. Fetterman pulled out all the hits for the Bernie Bros, promising cheap pot, free healthcare, and an end to fracking. But it didn't work, so this election season he has conveniently changed his tune on virtually everything but dope. 

He's gone from backing universal healthcare to pledging his support for whatever party favor Biden's slinging instead. Even worse, after signing a pledge in 2016 supporting a statewide moratorium on fracking, Fetterman has made a complete 180, claiming that four years of non-existent regulations has made the poisonous practice kosher enough for the Lieutenant Governor to attempt to set up a fracking well smack dab in the middle of his own adopted hometown only to be reined in when local activists pushed state regulators to suspend a project wildly unpopular with Fetterman's former constituents. Fetterman has also backed his boss, fellow trust-fund baby Governor Tom Wolfe, in his plot to install the sinkhole factory known as the Mariner East Pipeline, even after it led to an FBI ethics investigation. 

But what's most disturbing to a local antiwar prison abolitionist like myself is John Fetterman's very public love affair with cops and the Israel Lobby. In spite of his supposed devotion to criminal justice reform, Fetterman has ran his first post-Bernie-era Senate campaign as being "pro-policing," calling the very notion of defunding the fuckers who framed Mumia and murdered my friend Osage Osazie "absurd" and stating unequivocally to all the pearl-clutching Karens on the Main Line that "I think we should fund the police."

And as this pigfucking populist beast slouches towards a Washington that seems increasingly hellbent on a bipartisan war with Iran, the former mayor of Braddock has gone all in on his support for Israeli apartheid, declaring his undying devotion to replenishing the genocidal arsenal of the Iron Dome and expanding the Wahhabi-Zionist axis of Donald Trump's signature Abraham Accords. This is sadly consistent with Big John's active support for Governor Wolfe's free speech stomping war on the BDS Movement. Fetterman has even gone so far as to publicly seek council from Zionist warmongering hate groups like AIPAC so as to ensure that he's "properly educated" on what position he should take on the Middle East now that he's suddenly decided to have one after years of absolute silence on foreign policy issues.

Just like Donald Trump and Mehmet Oz, John Fetterman is just another careerist corporate stooge in a populist costume, pro-war and pro-cop. But none of this really matters because John Fetterman and Dr. Oz aren't running on what few issues they actually support. Much like Trump, they are running on their personas and Big John's is every bit as manufactured as the good doctor's. This isn't populism. This is theater. True populism is about putting people before politics. 

It's about not poisoning their struggling family farms with the latest fad in eminent domain facilitated resource extraction. It's about not colonizing their neighborhoods and trailer parks with trigger-happy death squads who hide behind police badges. It's about not sending their kids to another stupid fucking war for foreign funded think tanks. This is what the state that I have begrudgingly come to love deserves and they will never receive it from Washington. Which is why the only way you'll catch my Queer anarcho-populist ass at the polls this November is if secession is on the ballot, because Pennsylvania is too good for this goddamn country and the populist frauds who compete to run it.  

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  I've Been Tired by the Pixies

*  Man by Neko Case

*  Dimed Out by Titus Andronicus

*  Glamorous Glue by Morrissey

*  L.E.S. Artistes by Santigold

*  In Bloom by Nirvana

*  Cruel by St. Vincent 

*  Working-Class Hero by John Lennon

*  High School Friend by the Menzingers

*  Comeback Kid by Sleigh Bells

Sunday, July 3, 2022

Democrats Will Never Be Queer Allies

 Election season really does bring the very worst out of everyone and, as if Queer people don't have it hard enough, this election season had to collide with Pride Month, putting us right smack in the middle of the fucking circus. For the Republicans this means lighting their torches and sharpening their pitchforks so they can chase us around for a while in front of the cameras. Florida Governor and professional Ronald Reagen impersonator Ron DeSantis rejuvenated his fag-bashing blue collar street cred by attacking the admittedly odd spectacle of family friendly drag shows as child endangerment and calling on parents who engage in such G-rated Disneyfied camp to be hunted down by Child Protective Services.

Not to be beat by the Texas GOP, who used the month of Stonewall as an excuse to rev up the engines of their pick-up trucks with a new party platform declaring that "homosexuality is an abnormal lifestyle choice" and reiterating their opposition to "all efforts to validate transgender identity" in language so unhinged from reality that it would give early-nineties-era Pat Buchanan a rager. Those self-loathing closet cowboys seem to be just one Austin Pride Parade away from climbing a clocktower and declaring the murder of Matthew Shepard a state holiday to prove their cis hetero manhood to daddy.

This is all part of a multi-year campaign by the Republican Party to chum wayward Trump populists without having to give up on forever wars and outsourcing. These neocons achieve this by posing like hip, politically incorrect, edgelords and kicking trans kids who play soccer in the teeth before grabbing their jock and flexing for the Proud Boys. But this year those mouth-foaming curb stompers weren't to be outdone by a Democratic Party equally desperate to appear relevant in an age when they look increasingly like relics. Maybe I'm just a contrarian asshole but the only thing that feels worse than being used as a prop by bigots like Greg Abbot to prove how edgy he is is being used as a prop by bigots like Joe Biden to prove how woke he's suddenly become.

This year, the Democrats celebrated Pride Month by beefing up the police state that failed to take Stonewall from us but somehow hasn't yet failed at winning over the hearts and minds of the GOP-traumatized children of these faggots who whooped their ass back in '69. Kamala Harris got the festivities cooking by revamping Nina Jankowicz's failed Orwellian Disinformation Governance Board as a brand-new rainbow bedazzled "White House Task Force to Adress Online Harassment and Abuse." 

This new Ministry of Information sets itself apart from the last by specifically condemning "gendered disinformation" which according to Kamala basically amounts to insulting anyone with a vagina or anyone who should have been born with one who is vanilla enough to be picked from my tribe to represent us on the Death Star. Her memo specifically singles out women and LGBTQ Americans in positions of public or political leadership, and yes that includes cis gendered serial killers like Hillary Clinton. To top it all off, this whole new woke posse is being co-chaired by none other than those fine drone-jockeys at the National Security Council. 

Joe Biden followed up this stunt by surrounding himself with a Barney-and-Friends-grade funky bunch of diverse, photogenic, Queer children so he could be filmed with them signing his historic "Executive Order on Advancing Equality for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer and Intersex Individuals" (You forgot non-binary furies, asshole!) This word salad of alphabet soup essentially amounts to the old man instructing various federal bureaucracies to look into GOP legislative hate crimes and wag their fingers at them. Joe ended his little virtue signaling serenade with a special message to freaks like me who suddenly matter enough for him to acknowledge. "Just be you. You are loved. You are heard. You are understood. You belong." Aw, thanks Pop-Pop, but go fuck yourself.  

Do we really even want to belong with these people? Republicans have been horsewhipping us like Cossacks for decades and the Democratic cavalry only showed up to save the day with their empty gestures and gladhanding cash grabs when we started showing up on MTV. Joe Biden voted for both DOMA and Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell. In fact, the only Queer friendly legislation that bastard has ever voted for are the hate crime laws that only empower the Queer-bashing prison system he spent the eighties and nineties juicing up with noted bigots like Bill Clinton and Strom Thurmond. This is the same prison system that gave Kamala Harris her political career with positions like District Attorney of San Francisco and Attorney General of California. Positions that Pride-hag used to hunt down transgender sex workers like dogs and throw them into men's prisons where she openly mocked them for demanding basic human rights. 

"Oh, but that's all over now," I can hear some suburban lesbian soccer mom cry out from the back of the room, "they've changed, they've seen the error of their ways!" Bullshit they have. In between Pride parades in 2018, then Senator Kamala Harris sponsored FOSTA/SESTA, the opening salvo in the ongoing bipartisan war on sex workers. The bill essentially labeled the entire industry as a sex-trafficking cartel and violated the shit out of the First Amendment by making platforms like Reddit and Craigslist legally liable for content that aids sex workers by providing them the means to screen dangerous clients and share this information with a network of fellow working girls, keeping them safe and off the streets, away from serial killers and predatory pimps. 

The National Center for Transgender Equality has found that 1 in 5 trans adults have participated in sex work. I have friends on the stroll, and they are not friends of Joe Biden's police state. That's because 9 in 10 transgender sex workers report being harassed, attacked or just straight up fucking beaten by the cops. But these women and femmes don't live in the suburbs and shop at the GAP. Most of them are Black or Latinx. Many suffer from years of trauma that the medical establishment conveniently labels as mental illness. 

In other words, they aren't conventionally pretty enough for a photo-op with a woke white supremacist. They don't pass for the kind of diversity Kamala Harris suddenly gives a fuck about. This is why nearly every presidential candidate in the packed 2020 Democratic Primaries backed FOSTA/SESTA, not just Joe and Kamala, but Warren, Gillibrand, Booker, even Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. The only motherfucker with the stones to stand up for my sisters when it counted was a grizzled old breeder named Mike Gravel who died a true ally last year, but he wasn't even invited to the debates. I guess he too was too Queer for inclusion.

The Democratic Party's real allies are the police state and the prison industrial complex, and these allies will always be the mortal enemies of all Queer people because they represent the very worst of the same traditional power structures that the Queer Liberation Movement was built to smash, and this movement was built on shoulders of sex workers of color like Miss Major, Sylvia Rivera, and Marsha P. Johnson. 

This movement was also built in solidarity with the revolutionaries who showed us the way in the ghettos and jungles of the Third World, from George Jackson and the Vietcong to Mumia Abu Jamal and the Houthi rebels. The kind of people who thugs like Joe Biden and Kamala Harris rape and pillage while they kiss the rings of rampant fag-bashers like the Saudis and the Azov Battalion. The sick truth is that those colonialist con-artists only want to be seen passively giving a fuck about certain Queer people because we help cover up the stink of their crimes, just like the GOP camouflages their devotion to corporate welfare with casual fits of well-publicized bigotry.

It's all a big fucking game, dearest motherfuckers, and this is one genderfuck revolutionary who is tired of being played by it. If Queer means anything anymore, it means rejecting the shackles of mainstream society and the patronage of the Democrats amounts to little more than shackles with rainbows on them. As a community, we should take a stand and throw their thirty pieces of silver back in their fucking face and add a thick loogie to the barrage. As a tribe, Queer people should shout it from the rooftop of every fleabag motel and message parlor, the Democrats will never be our allies because our allies are the people they step on in the streets on their way to the White House. We don't fucking belong to you, Joe Biden. We belong to no man.

Peace, Love, & Empathy- Nicky/CH

This post is written with venom and vitriol in loving memory of Mike Gravel, one pop-pop who will always have a place at my tribe's table as the grouchy cis hetero grandpa that every Queer outlaw deserves. Godspeed and goddess bless.

Soundtrack: Songs that influenced this post

*  Mississauga Goddamn by the Hidden Cameras

*  Looking for a Kiss by New York Dolls

*  Pretty On the Inside by Hole

*  Scott Street by Phoebe Bridgers

*  List of Demands by Saul Williams

*  Some Might Say by Oasis

*  All My Friends by LCD Soundsystem

*  Birth In Reverse by St. Vincent

*  I've Been Tired by the Pixies

*  Suedehead by Morrissey