27 February 2017

Tremble in terror, liberals.....

.....for today is February 27, the day of the first "Spirit of America" rallies, a giant nationwide display of mass support for Trump!  Yes, Hair Furor's ovine, spelling-challenged legions will surge forth in their paint-chip-eating millions, proclaiming their loathing for Mexicans, gays, and health insurance (in many cases their own), and far eclipsing our earlier petty pink-hatted protests that dared challenge the august rule of The Donald.  Let's watch our cities today, and see what kind of grass-roots strength the right wing in our country really has!

Update (just after 6:00 PM Pacific time):  Checked a few wingnut sites including Breitbart and found no mention of any rallies.  Finally found a few pics on this post at Democratic Underground (which linked to mine) -- scroll down to comment #11.  It also links to this report at RawStory which shows why the wingnut sites have nothing to say -- the "event" was a total flop.  Let's see how they do on the other pro-Trump rally date, March 4.

26 February 2017

Link round-up for 26 February 2017

Would you dare use a Norwegian urinal?

See a natural but perfect rotating disk of ice.

This makes me a bit concerned -- the best website on the internet has just been sold.

He took all three.

Before exercising, check the room for cats.

Curious bird is curious.

Maybe a two-state solution is best.

This cliché becomes clearer in translation.

Sorry, we can still see you.

Trump wars invade the astral plane!  Can we work Cthulhu into this somehow?

How many more must die?

See photos from Boston's "stand up for science" rally (found via Republic of Gilead).

This cloud could scare the shit out of you.

Who should really be doing God's work?

While much of the MSM sinks into cowardly both-siderism, other publications do better.

Have some more baby elephant videos.  Then check out these mother bears and cubs.

Even years ago, leftists suffered brutal oppression.

This must be the worst phobia of all -- fear of the universe.

Pat Robertson gets really creepy about Melania Trump (found via Mendip).

Choose your pizza.

The 7th Voyage of Sinbad is a fantasy, but still a product of its time.  Of course, the present has some issues too.

TERF wars!  Fundies have some feminists on their side, but it's not as big of a coup as they think. Mainstream feminism takes a more complex view.

Brane Space debunks the hype about the newly-discovered Trappist-1 planets.

Wingnuts are weird about poison.

Ex-pastor Bruce Gerencser remembers his escape from Christianity and how others have reacted since.

In life-expectancy figures, the US is slipping down out of the First World (found via Hometown USA).  More here.

The Muslim fund drive to repair Missouri's vandalized Jewish cemetery has raised more than five times its goal (Linda Sarsour was also one of the organizers of the January 21 Women's Marches -- I suspect we'll be hearing more of her over the next four years).

The bees won't be buzzing off just yet.

An upcoming court case could strike down partisan gerrymandering.

Extremist Christians become what they accuse Muslims of being (found via Republic of Gilead).

Wingnuts can't see the obvious pattern in recent history.

These shameful days must not return. This is not the America earlier generations fought for.

Connecticut authorities go after the victims of racist harassment (found via Mendip).

When religion fights biology within an individual, biology tends to win.

Sexy stuff sells, even if prigs don't like it.

Noahpinion makes his case for why liberals should own guns.

Irish women are fighting back against the malignant remnants of Catholic domination over their society.

It's energy of the best kind!

Reality in Sweden (and the rest of Europe) doesn't match the hype.

Does a high minimum wage drive prices up?

The only good Nazi is a dead Nazi -- they can even be worth cash.

Keep the Syrian refugees out!

These are the countries Americans like most and least.

A Filipina atheist makes a few observations.  Read this post too.

Religious priorities are messed up (found via Mendip).


CIA analyst Ned Price explains why he quit rather than work for Trump (found via Politics Plus).

Dimwit wingnuts get pwned at CPAC.  Maybe this could actually work.  Remember, these are the people to outwit.

Trump may have another problem beyond narcissism.  Also, he doesn't know jack about economics.  And now he's got another crowd-size issue to bullshit about.

The administration is running like a fine-tuned machine -- specifically, this machine.  Or maybe this pickup truck.

Max's Dad sums up the nature of the regime.  Here's another nasty character in the inner circle.

Nojo at Stinque looks at Pence's complicity (found via Fair and Unbalanced).

The fox has been confirmed as Secretary of the Henhouse.

Paul Ryan doesn't want to hear from you.  Really, none of these turkeys do.

Arizona Republicans plot an attack on the First Amendment.

Experience with lousy management helps to understand Trump.

Be proud of our Democrats, even if they don't get everything right.

A Florida pastor senses the presence of the demonic at Trump's recent rally (actually this stuff is just typical primate aggression).  Even RedState shares his revulsion.

The Republican agenda is at odds with US public opinion.

If this is the real ACA "replacement", it's as shitty as we expected.  For many, it's a matter of life and death.

America is already great -- our response to Trump proves it.  Here's a small example.  This resistance movement has staying power (found via Republic of Gilead).

24 February 2017

Stronger together

The most encouraging news story this week comes from Missouri, where Muslims have raised over $70,000 to help repair the Jewish cemetery which was vandalized there.  It reminded me of this story from Texas in January, when it was Muslims who were the targets of an attack and then beneficiaries of solidarity, and this similar case in Canada.  After an election in which scapegoating was the key strategy of the "winning" campaign (which the majority of Americans voted against, never forget), people are coming together in support of those who are under attack, and refusing to be divided.  And, yes, they are doing this against acts of scapegoating by state power as well as by hate groups -- as is shown by the mass protests against the Muslim entry ban, and the beginnings of organized resistance to raids targeting illegal immigrants.

It's a common impulse of enlightened people in the face of bigotry -- recall this story from Egypt six years ago, when that country's Christian minority was suffering a wave of Islamist violence.

The efforts of Trumpism and its "alt-right" neo-Nazi fringe to ostracize and scapegoat specific minorities is, in a certain perverse way, succeeding -- they're unifying our broader society against themselves.  It's an extension of the trend seen in recent years, when fundie-inspired laws supporting anti-gay discrimination in several states faced massive blowback from business, popular culture, and the public in general.  Anti-gay bigotry, rather than isolating gays as in the past, was isolating the bigots.  Now the same is happening with scapegoating of other groups.

The important question is how well the spirit of solidarity can be maintained for four years.  After Trump is impeached and Pence takes over, it's likely to be gays and atheists that become the main targets, though Muslims will still be in the crosshairs as well.  The majority has shown that it can thwart and reject the Republican Minority-Rule Regime.  But we need to keep it up.

[35 days down, 1,426 days to go until the inauguration of a real President!]

22 February 2017

Image of the day -- immensity

Click picture to enlarge:
This is a Hubble telescope photo of a small region of space in the direction of the southern-hemisphere constellation Tucana.  Many of the bright dots are, as they appear to be, stars -- but many of them are actually galaxies, much larger and further away than the stars.

We've spent half a century exploring our own solar system, from the lunar landings to the New Horizons probe which reached Pluto in 2015, and there's still work to do.  A single dot in this image may contain millions or even billions of solar systems as large and complex as our own.

Found via Hackwhackers, which regularly posts astronomy photos; more background on the image here.

21 February 2017

The case against violence

There are differences of opinion over whether initiating violence (that is, committing violence other than in self-defense) has any proper role in our opposition to the dangerous fascists and bigots emboldened by the rise of Trumpism.  I'm not talking about violence or aggression against neutral or uninvolved persons, such as smashing store windows or blocking traffic -- such behavior must be avoided, and condemned unequivocally whenever it happens.  Not only is it wrong in itself, it can only turn its victims again the people perpetrating it.  Rather, I mean the kind of action exemplified by the much-debated Richard Spencer punch.  Neo-Nazis, KKK supporters, and the like advocate violence, or at least identify with ideologies notorious for using it.  Why not give them a taste of their own chosen medicine?

It's a question on which I personally haven't yet come to a conclusion.  Both sides have legitimate points to make.  Again, it's about dealing with extremist and dangerous groups, not the "ordinary" opposition.  This was terrorism; doing the same to the local KKK headquarters would be a more debatable act.

In this post, David Neiwert makes a powerful case for the anti-violence side of the argument.  It's long, but worth reading if you want to debate the issue in an informed way.  He makes the important further point that we have other weapons far more effective than violence, and those should be preferred even if you don't find violence morally troublesome.

I would make one final point of my own, not so much about our view of anti-fascist violence as about our judgment when some do commit it.  Never forget the magnitude of the provocation.  Confronting a Jewish person with swastika armbands, or confronting a black person with a Confederate flag, can fire up feelings of an intensity not easily understood by people who have no such horrors in recent historical memory.  These issues are not just abstractions.  Always remember that.

19 February 2017

Link round-up for 19 February 2017

Cosplayers do Valentine's Day.

Coloring books are fun!

How far could Legolas really see?

Have some amusing pictures.

Some say such creatures are just a myth.


Creative?  Er, how would this work?

The Bible is Lovecraftian porn.


Perhaps we sometimes do the same?

Goofy album covers are goofy (found via Mendip).

In this case, I'm OK with a little pollution.

Disquietingly close to plausible.  And no doubt they loathe these appealing creatures.

Burger wars rage on Twitter.

It's God's will!

Stupid terrorist is stupid.  Stupid dingbats can't get anything right.

The word is spelled "Lügenpresse" -- our side should get things right.

Could it be reincarnation?  Oh, and there's this.  Miller does have a history of racism (found via Mock Paper Scissors).

Have some cute feline mom-and-baby pics.....and these soothing flowers.

It's not a controversy.

Trump's hiring -- apply here.

Always be wary of MSM reporting on science.  Don't believe everything people say about the ACLU, either.

Wingnuts follow Alt-Jesus.

A Tennessee Republican wants to declare artificially-conceived children illegitimate.  Here are some kids who would be targeted if they lived there (luckily they live in a more enlightened state).

A modern Christian explains why there's nothing wrong with owning a woman.

Crazy Eddie looks at the "day without immigrants" protests in his state.

They are out there, recruiting.

Critical thinking is critical, to avoid making a fool of oneself.

Some people relish barbarity from the past.

We're not intolerant, they're stupid.

Pro-freedom counter-protesters rally for Planned Parenthood, in one case far outnumbering the enemy (found via Hackwhackers).

Sorry, Nazis, if this is a Jewish thing, they win again.

Here's how airliner oxygen masks really work.

Wingnutty wingnuts are wingnutty.  They're even this wingnutty.

Consider a VPN for online privacy.

Some Christian missionaries are terminally screwed up.

We live in remarkable times.

Green Eagle dissects the "alternative facts" version of World War II.

Eight nations unite against Trump's attack on global abortion rights (found via Republic of Gilead).

Finland wasn't always so enlightened.

After four months, the battle to liberate Mosul grinds on.

Looks like Michelle's garden is safe.

Trump gets it right!

This Republican legislator views pregnant women as mere "host" organisms (bolstering the case I made here for a new party symbol).

The sweeps begin.

Ignorance is strength, or maybe it's just willful dumbth.

McCain hits Trump hard (found via Mendip, who is now doing political link round-ups under the "Grand Old Pigs" titles).  Here's some advice for bad times.  Bill Maher sees the humorous side.  Also, boycott these.

Warren's "persistence" has an honorable precedent.

The Democratic party must avoid false choices.

Max's Dad looks at Trump's weird press conference, while Hackwhackers has a round-up of reactions.  Stonekettle Station does an exhaustive analysis.  Don't forget Trump has an actual mental disorder.  And this is true too.

[Image at top:  If anyone knows who made this, please tell me so I can credit it properly.]

17 February 2017

Random observations for February 2017

The last thing any liberationist should want is chaos.  Chaos quickly makes most people hungry for order, even authoritarian order.

o o o o o

If I do ever die, I want people to say "he died", not this "passed away" horseshit.  I hate euphemisms.

o o o o o

If Donald Trump had not been born rich, he would probably be indigent or dead.  His mentality and behavior are too weird and offensive to succeed at any ordinary job.

o o o o o

I feel a special horror at regimentation, at anything that subsumes the individual within the mindless mass.  The chanting of slogans, the singing of hymns or recital of creeds, marching in unison -- it all reeks of yielding one's humanity to a deadened and dangerous subhumanity.

o o o o o

The fact that you personally don't understand the scientific evidence for something doesn't mean that that evidence is not conclusive.

o o o o o

Can we someday do without leaders at all?  It would be contrary to our nature as a species -- we are primates, and primates have dominance hierarchies.  But we have already transcended our biology in so many other ways.....Who can say?

o o o o o

A person who knows only one language is like a person who has only one eye.  You can see just as much, but all the depth is missing.

o o o o o

You are free to the extent that -- and only to the extent that -- you can say  "no" to someone who gives you an order, and make it stick.

o o o o o

Human lust and sexual passion are a constant across the millennia and around the world.  Taboos about various forms of sexuality seem pretty much random and change like the weather, from decade to decade and from country to country.  It's absurd to think that the particular configuration of clouds we see right here at the present instant constitutes a final "correct" state which will be fixed forever.

o o o o o

A lifeless universe?  I prefer to imagine that there are many worlds out there with their own peoples, where the stories that cannot be told on this world can have their chance to live.

[For previous random observations, see here and here.]

14 February 2017

Iran in pictures

If the Republican Minority-Rule Regime drags us into another war, it's quite likely that Iran would be the target, given that country's status as the wingnuts' current bogeyman and major object of Trump's blunderingly belligerent rhetoric.  Herewith, some images of the country they'd be taking us to war against (click for bigger versions).

Tehran, the capital city:

Tehran's metro-area population is 16 million, larger than any US metro area except New York.


Maydan-e Shâh (Royal Square), Isfahan:

Traditional dresses (this is a Persian New Year celebration):

Protester helping injured police officer during the 2009 anti-regime demonstrations:

Satellite dishes (to access foreign TV) are a common sight in Iran:

Children's play area, shopping mall, Shiraz:

Borj-e Âzâdî (Persian history monument), Tehran:

Ruins of Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshîd), the imperial capital founded by King Darius I around 515 BC:
The Iranian sense of national identity is very deep-rooted, reaching back to the coronation of Cyrus the Great in 559 BC, more than 300 years before China first became a unified state.

This is Mohammed Mosaddegh, Prime Minister of Iran from 1951 to 1953:
Mosaddegh led the first serious attempt to bring real democracy to Iran and expel foreign domination, only to be overthrown by the US/British-backed coup of 1953 which restored the rule of the Shah.  Most Americans have barely heard of him, but this history is well-known in Iran.

Iraq-Iran geographical size comparison:
Iraq at the time of the 2003 US invasion had a population of about 18 million.  Iran's current population is 83 million, about equal to Germany, or more than one-fourth the population of the US.

And of course one cannot ignore pictures like this:
The struggle against the brutal theocratic regime is an ongoing one.  The 2009 demonstrations were the largest protest marches in the history of the world, drawing crowds in the millions.  The current President, Hassan Rouhani, is a reformist who has made some substantial changes, but Islamist hard-liners control much of the government and often retain the upper hand.  It is very unlikely that an attack by a foreign power, especially one still resented for the 1953 coup, would improve the situation.

12 February 2017

Link round-up for 12 February 2017

Soon we will see Saturn's rings as they've never been seen before.

"I call my own shots."

Clever dogClever donkeyStupid humans.

What's your job?


We cannot know what they are dreaming of.

Just hitch a ride.

Interesting words enrich our discourse.

Fragile art -- poetry on an eggshell.

"Dress like a woman" (found via Hysterical Raisins).

You never know where revolutionaries may be found.

Fundie wingnuts are in a snit about Superbowl commercials.

Sometimes people are better than you expect.

"You are here."

These responses to the Women's Marches are very revealing.  Check out Kevin Swanson too.  Remember, we're all possessed by demons -- especially Lady Gaga (more here).

A normal person reports on an online encounter with a Trumpanzee.

It's a wingnut Valentine's Day card!

Besides being a Green, Jill Stein is an idiot.

Trump has massive support in my home city.

Ken Ham does a really crappy rainbow (found via Republic of Gilead).

I don't think this is only gays.

Before counter-protesting at Planned Parenthood, read this.

Remember, the enemy hates regulations.

Here's another quote from Frederick Douglass, on the Fourth of July (link from Ranch Chimp).

This is what Elizabeth Warren was trying to read out.

See pictures from the Stonewall rally (found via Republic of Gilead).

Ooh, look at the scary hijab.

Republicans protect us from voter fraud, but how would deporting this person protect us against Islamic extremism?  Then there's this.

Joanne Dixon looks at American cruelty.

I've been here.

The British prepare to welcome Trump.

It's a hot summer.  And facts are facts.

Now that the idiots are in charge in the US, our scientists may soon have a place to goSee the message here.

God is with us.

I think many countries share some of Sweden's concerns about Trump.

The model for the Statue of Liberty was an Egyptian (found via Earth-Bound Misfit).

Fair and Unbalanced looks at the bungled Yemen raid. I repeat, the idiots are in charge.

Traditional cultures in Kenya are taking steps against the horror of female genital mutilation.

Dumbass Trump (found via Fair and Unbalanced) seems to generate a miasma of illiteracy (found via Green Eagle).  Maybe if he trashes our schools badly enough, no one will be left smart enough to notice.  Progressive Eruptions has commentaries on his authoritarian madness.  Maybe this explains some of it.

Resistance is working, bigly -- even when it seems to fail (found via Republic of Gilead).  Congressional Republicans are running scared.

Trump brings peace.

Don't believe everything you read.

More Trump voters start wising upThese people may take longer to realize they were conned.  But to some, Trump is a liberator.  Others want more.  Animal abusers get a win.

On ACA repeal, Republicans are floundering and getting rattled -- because it's a delusion.

Here's a show of support for Trump in his home city.  Let's see how these events turn out.

Don't forget the soon-to-be-President's record.  Nonnie9999 gets an early start on official portraits.

[23 days down, 1,438 days to go until the inauguration of a real President!]

10 February 2017

Quote for the day -- hypocrisy

"I therefore hate the corrupt, slaveholding, women-whipping, cradle-plundering, partial and hypocritical Christianity of the land..... I look upon it as the climax of all misnomers, the boldest of all frauds, and the grossest of all libels. Never was there a clearer case of 'stealing the livery of the court of heaven to serve the devil in.' I am filled with unutterable loathing when I contemplate the religious pomp and show, together with the horrible inconsistencies, which every where surround me. We have men-stealers for ministers, women-whippers for missionaries, and cradle-plunderers for church members.

"The man who wields the blood-clotted cowskin during the week fills the pulpit on Sunday, and claims to be a minister of the meek and lowly Jesus..... The slave auctioneer’s bell and the church-going bell chime in with each other, and the bitter cries of the heart-broken slave are drowned in the religious shouts of his pious master. Revivals of religion and revivals in the slave-trade go hand in hand together. The slave prison and the church stand near each other.

"The clanking of fetters and the rattling of chains in the prison, and the pious psalm and solemn prayer in the church, may be heard at the same time. The dealers in the bodies of men erect their stand in the presence of the pulpit, and they mutually help each other. The dealer gives his blood-stained gold to support the pulpit, and the pulpit, in return, covers his infernal business with the garb of Christianity. Here we have religion and robbery the allies of each other—devils dressed in angels’ robes, and hell presenting the semblance of paradise."

Frederick Douglass (found via Progressive Eruptions)

09 February 2017


I've occasionally been criticized for what some people consider a lack of civility -- for rejecting the enemy's position as invalid or illegitimate or unworthy of serious discussion, and for doing so in blunt terms.  I've been accused of intolerance of differing viewpoints, taking a "my way or the highway" approach.  In fairness, I don't get accused of these things at all often, but I think it's still worth addressing.

To take the easiest point first, I've actually gone out of my way to avoid purism and intolerance of differing viewpoints among those I consider basically allies, even when the difference is on an issue I consider very important.  The drive to "purge" one's own side of those who are so impure as to agree with you only 80% of the time instead of 100% can lead only to infighting and weakness, which is why I've always felt cheered to see such purism at work among Republicans and right-wingers generally, while abhorring it among ourselves.

But where the enemy is concerned, there is a difference.  The Republican party and the US right wing in general have for years been dominated by a theocratic element which regards non-Christians and any substantial deviation from the Christian taboo system as intolerable or even evil and demonic.  The fact that Trump is obviously not religious in this sense has been taken by some as a sign that the right's theocratic tendency is on the wane, but in fact it merely shows that the theocrats are smart enough to support a candidate they consider personally imperfect for the sake of the larger goal of forcing their taboo system on the rest of society.  If Trump will sign laws enabling anti-gay discrimination and appoint judges opposed to Roe v. Wade, that's more important to them than his personal lifestyle.

Moreover, the current minority-rule regime headed by Trump is far from clean of the theocratic stench.  Stephen Bannon, a major (perhaps the major) power behind the throne, explicitly supports restoring the dominance of "Judeo-Christian values" over the Western world, and views secularism as an enemy to be defeated.  As for Mike Pence, another influential figure, his record speaks for itself -- and remember, once enough Republicans overcome their cowardice in the face of the Trumpanzees to help Democrats impeach Trump, it's Pence who will occupy the Presidency.

This is not a mere difference about policy.  These people want to impose a totalitarian religious ideology on the entire nation, enforcing its taboos on everybody.  They want to make me a second-class citizen in my own country.  And this is not something I can just politely disagree about.  This is not something I can engage in civil debate about.  This is all-out war.  I am personally under attack here, and if you're an atheist, or gay, or a woman who values reproductive freedom, or even a religious person of any stripe other than Christian fundamentalist, then you too are under attack.  I am not going to treat the people waging or supporting this onslaught as if they were honorable opponents in a normal political contest.  One does not respond to blitzkrieg with parliamentary points of order.

"With reasonable men, I will reason; with humane men I will plead; but to tyrants I will give no quarter, nor waste arguments where they will certainly be lost." -- William Lloyd Garrison

07 February 2017

Film review -- V for Vendetta (2005)

At an unspecified time in the future, Britain is under the rule of a fascist regime which had come to power two decades earlier by exploiting mass panic over a mysterious epidemic.  The regime has all the features one expects from its ilk, such as omnipresent surveillance, state control of the media, and ruthless suppression of dissent.  It is also explicitly Christian in character; its symbol is a modified cross, gays and Muslims have been "disappeared" from society, propaganda emphasizes the evil of "godlessness", and the official slogan is "Strength through unity, unity through faith" (in the graphic novel from which the film was adapted, it has "purity" in place of "unity").  The general public mood appears to be one of sullen but apathetic acceptance of the situation.

Opposing the regime is a lone revolutionary known only as V (Hugo Weaving), a man of almost superhuman intelligence, stamina, and fighting skill.  It's implied that he developed these abilities partly as a result of medical experiments performed on him at the "Lark Hill" concentration camp, making him a monster of the regime's own creation.  V's face is never seen; he always wears a distinctive mask modeled on the face of Guy Fawkes, an actual British revolutionary who attempted to blow up the Houses of Parliament in 1605, and whom V has taken as his inspiration.  V's goal is to embolden the masses to rebel against the regime.  He is also tracking down and killing the individuals who brutalized him at the camp years before.  V is a man who can literally bring a knife to a gunfight and win.

Here, protagonist Evey (Natalie Portman) encounters some of the regime's plainclothes enforcers, known as "Fingermen" -- and then V shows up:

Observe the corruption which is in fact endemic under authoritarian regimes; the Fingermen apparently use their power to extort sex from women fairly routinely, without fear of punishment.  There is also a bishop who freely indulges his penchant for forced sex with young girls.

V subverts the state's own media to get his message out, even managing to widely distribute copies of his mask so that others can act anonymously while invoking his image.  Discontent spreads and dictator Adam Sutler (John Hurt) becomes increasingly unhinged as his regime starts to lose its grip:

As some of the visuals suggest, this film is explicitly a work of art and much of it cannot be taken as literal storytelling -- I found its imagery enthralling.  It does also take considerable risks with its story, though.  V is not so unambiguously heroic as these clips suggest.  He is ruthless and violent and willing to use almost any tactic to achieve goals he considers important.  In particular, in the middle of the film, he carries out an elaborate and bizarre act of "liberation" which is extremely disturbing.  Evey eventually comes to accept it; if I were in her position, I do not believe I could.  Each viewer must make his or her own judgment.

I should note that V for Vendetta is surprisingly gay-friendly for 2005.  Stephen Fry has a minor role as a gay man who escapes persecution (for a while) by remaining closeted, and an emotionally-wrenching sequence follows the story of an actress imprisoned for her lesbianism and ultimately killed.

V recognizes that the evil and violence of fascism make the use of even deadly violence against fascists themselves both legitimate and necessary.  Here, he has a final confrontation with Mr. Creedy (Tim Pigott-Smith), the sadistic party leader, and a group of his thugs (V is wearing body armor):

I suspect V would not be among those who feel squeamish about punching Richard Spencer.

The film is not flawless.  Sutler's death seems perfunctory for such an important figure, and the circumstances are implausible.  We don't get much sense of what V is fighting for, aside from his desire for revenge against his former tormentors. While the final scene between V and Evey is emotionally powerful, the resonances of the following climactic ending are all wrong -- V achieves the aim of his predecessor and posthumously succeeds in blowing up the Houses of Parliament, the architectural icon of British democracy, an act which would surely horrify the crowds of citizens watching, not inspire them.  But these shortcomings do not detract from the unconventional brilliance of the rest of the work.

It's actually hard to imagine a fascist regime, especially a theocratic one, arising in Britain with its vigorous democracy and deeply-secular society.  But V for Vendetta has perhaps become more relevant to Americans, with our Republican party long dominated by fundamentalists and growing ever more authoritarian.

Thanks to artist Marc McKenzie for calling my attention to this movie.

05 February 2017

Link round-up for 5 February 2017

Stephen Bannon has a new credit card and theme song.

Some forms of commerce will defeat any wall.

Could you dig a hole big enough to hold all the world's air?

Pussyhats and uppity women are demonic, apparently. Hell, we're all Satanic (found via Mendip).  Kevin Swanson offers even more clueless views.

Is your religious freedom being violated?  Watch for hypocrisy.

Coal supporters are trying to ban clean energy in Wyoming (found via TYWKIWDBI).

Blogger Perfectnumber628 looks at wedding dresses and the virginity fetish, and Christianity's impact on her self-respect.

Ladies, you've got this guy running scared.

If you're in a resistance group, beware of people who advocate violence -- they may not be what they seem.

Here's a police chief who gets it.

These particular Trumpanzees should have known better.  Eventually, maybe the rest of them will learn.

This pagan post about hexes makes some good points about the ethics of resistance.

Those who try to erase the targeting of Jews in the Holocaust, read this.

Bruce Gerencser responds, for the umpteenth time, to the why-do-atheists-hate-Jesus thing.

I like most of this group's platform, but will it sell with the general electorate?

Texans rally round victims of a hate attack.  But there's going to be more and more of this kind of crap (found via Progressive Eruptions).

Europe is trolling Trump on video, starting with Switzerland and Germany. Der Spiegel sums up his regime in one image.

Who would claim this immigrant didn't deserve to come here?

Now this is a waterfall.

One of the world's most forbidding deserts is now blooming.

Here's a blog of great travel photography.

Another nation is staging mass protests to sustain the fight against corruption.

This is Shinjuku.

At least the food is healthy.

Shaw Kenawe reports from Boston's rally against Trump's Muslim ban.  Javad Zarif comments on the ban. Two companies' stances on it draw very different public reactions.  A veteran takes a standLondon protests, and some Americans were there.  It's lucky the ban wasn't in place years ago.

Looks like the March for Science is on!

Signs display the wit and smarts of the resistance (link from Kevin Robbins).  For contrast, see my 2013 post about the enemy's efforts.

Cincinnati defies Trump.  So does the National Park Service, which seems to be joining the resistance.

The National Security Council is changing.

Republicans face a choice:  piss off their best voting bloc or enrage the teabaggers.

Trump gets one thing right (maybe thanks to Ivanka), and of course Republicans hate it.  They're planning to reintroduce the anti-gay FADA bill, (found via Republic of Gilead -- I also wrote about FADA here).

Orrin Hatch is in a snit.

Trump's speech on religion was an exercise in surreal hypocrisy.  Here's his assessment of Lincoln (found via Progressive Eruptions).

Despair is unrealistic.

[16 days down, 1,445 days to go until the inauguration of a real President!]

03 February 2017

Trump -- and the resistance -- in pictures

For those whose main focus is politics, I imagine the last two weeks must have been exhausting.  Yet maintaining a sense of humor is more important than ever.  Mockery and ridicule have always been among our keenest weapons against the pompous and self-important.  And people have not been slow to employ them against the juiciest target the enemy has presented to us since.....well, ever, pretty much.

(found via Progressive Eruptions)

And speaking of mockery, it's classic how our side made the most vulgar of all Trump's aphorisms the basis for the signature headgear of the resistance, pwning not only Trump's misogyny but the crummy red hats he's been flogging to his Trumpanzees for months.

(found via Crazy Eddie)

(found via Mock Paper Scissors)

Portland, Oregon (found via Politics Plus)

(found via Progressive Eruptions)

Never let the Republican Minority-Rule Regime forget that we are the majorityWe are the real America.

01 February 2017

Video of the day -- immigrants

Emmet Cahill of Celtic Thunder sings of an earlier wave of immigrants who came to the US to escape oppression -- the Irish, whose country was under British rule at the time.  The "isle of hunger" reference is to the Great Famine of 1845-1852 (somewhat earlier than Ellis Island), when starvation exacerbated by a bigoted and incompetent conservative government in Britain drove over a million Irish to emigrate.