Category Archives: Politics

Essays on politics and current events.

The Old Familiar Madness

Everywhere you look there’s a strongman rising on the bitter tide of angry men

✎  Wayne K. Spear | March 22, 2018 • Politics

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HINA is returning to Mao and Russia is returning to Stalin and the President of the United States is jealous. Where is his Stalin, his Mao, the Father Figure he’ll restore to his glory, his Kim il-Don? Where is the Dear Great Leader, the Father to Keep America Great, Again. Everywhere you look there’s a strongman rising on the bitter tide of angry men. Yes, I mean men. You can walk a mile from here into the filth and chaos, the raw animal stench, of Chinatown, and buy virility enhancers made of the balls of endangered species. We men, with our fragile masculinity and our narcissism, had no problem killing off the last rhinoceros to drink and fuck with a little more stamina. Bodies are for buying and selling, life is cheap, we’ll blow up the world if it makes our dicks a little longer, and that’s all the truth you need to know.

There’s a mass-murderer in Syria, Bashar al-Assad, grinding a generation of children into dust, and he has the help of Putin and Erdogan and the Ayatollahs and all the others. The others, the men who dream of ultimate power. There isn’t a chance in hell Trump will stop them. He admires the murderers, wants to be a murderer, knows he’s the anointed, the man who can kill on Fifth Avenue and not lose voters. Evil has been set loose on the world, and for the foreseeable future we are all doomed, there isn’t a thing you can do about it now. The monster is loose, and we want it to be loose, and we want to see some goddamn explosions!

There is a great wave of violence coming, a real blood-letting, a gratification of our primal war-lust, the irrepressible desire of our species to kill with impunity, and to go on killing until the human will collapses. Don’t be fooled by the editorial pages and the other scoundrels, the other liars and cowards—we’re not doing politics anymore, we’re preparing for tribal warfare. We, the human species, every last one of us will be drawn into it, in the end. The old order won’t surrender, and the new won’t prevail without a fight. No one knows what the world will look like in one hundred years, but whatever it is, it’s going to require war.

It’s the old familiar madness, the deeply repressed barbarism that takes over, from time to time. Sure, we seem civilized, our orderly streets filled with shoppers, the calm commerce of a modern city. I’m sitting in a coffee shop, and no one, absolutely no one, is screaming for blood. The Filipino nannies go by, pushing strollers that bear the children of educated upper-middle white women. The children who will inherit the world, the children on whose behalf others will kill and die, the children who for now are innocent, not that it makes a goddamn difference.

We’re All Vampires Now

The Mercers Are Evil, Mark Zuckerberg Is a Bastard, and Facebook Is For Vampires

✎  Wayne K. Spear | March 20, 2018 • Politics

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HE DISEASE KILLING US is a goddam burrowing maggot, and you realize how deep it goes when you pull. At first it’s just this sick and sickening President, like a pustule on the body politic, but then it’s the media and money in politics and all the greedy bastards who aren’t going to yield until they’ve killed the oceans and your city is under water. And the sickness doesn’t stop there. Pull a little more, and it’s you and me, every day a little more insane, every day a little more lost, and you’re a fool if you don’t see it.

Bastards

We’re all going down, once again into the churning primal vortex, the mad chaos that’s never far away. Eventually we’ll reach that place where the gravitational pull exceeds our collective will, and there will be no turning back. Bricks and battle, baseball bats in the streets, knives under our shirts, a foot stomping on a face over and over until one side runs out of bodies and blood. Today some of us are putting bombs on porches, and some of us are cheering for the Nazis, but most of the decent among us have simply given up on politics and are looking for a good seat to watch the world burn. That’s the best news the evil bastards have had in a long time. Don’t worry, you’ll get a fire.

The President of the United States is a vicious racist bastard who’ll kill your children and hang them high for a cameo on Fox. He’s surrounded himself with operatives every bit as dead on the inside as he is himself, grifters and junkies who feel nothing except the pain they inflict on others to get themselves off. It’s already too late to save the Republic: this President knocked and the world let him in, not because we didn’t know he was a vampire but because we are all vampires now. The President survives by feeding on our worst characteristics, and every depraved mutation of the human gene works to his advantage. He is us and we’re him and it’s useless to argue otherwise.

Before Steve Bannon and Kellyanne Conway, and the others of the vampire Trump nation, were White House sycophants, they were Mercernaries, part of a cult led by the misanthropic father-daughter team of Robert and Rebekah Mercer. Bannon was spreading his toxins on the Mercer-funded Breitbart News and hoping to burn everything to the ground. The Mercers are technocrats and data nerds, heavily invested around the world in “psychographic modeling,” which they hope to use to manipulate voter behaviour. Maybe they’re good at it, maybe not. Robert and Rebekah Mercer funded the theocrat Ted Cruz before they chose Trump, but the Cruz campaign wasn’t impressed with the work of the Mercer’s data firm, Cambridge Analytica. That’s how the falling-out began.

The Mercers prefer the dark—vampires usually do. They want to be in the background, not in the spotlight. Cambridge Analytica is in the news because a whistleblower, Christopher Wylie, admitted that the company took private information from millions of Facebook users to help the Trump campaign and the Brexit referendum. Not long before that, Cambridge Analytica’s CEO, Alexander Nix, was taped discussing his company’s role in the Trump victory and the techniques Cambridge Analytica uses to destroy opposition candidates, including bribery and entrapment. The Mercers want to overturn governments in Africa, Europe, Southeast Asia, and the Americas—not for ideology or policy, but merely to cause revolutionary chaos and turmoil, because it makes them feel powerful. There shouldn’t be a place, anywhere in the world, where these misfits can sleep without keeping one eye open, and the same goes for their reptilian operatives, right up to the Corrupter-In-Chief.

Pay attention. You and I let the vampires in, and if we don’t want to become vampires ourselves, we have a responsibility to do something about it. The Mercers and Mark Zuckerberg have been working together for years, and there’s no reason to think it’s gotten better. Don’t ever forget that Facebook started out as FaceMash, a hot-or-not drinking game that Mark Zuckerberg created with student data stolen from the Harvard server. It’s a small step from there to selling us all on the dark web to fake-news nihilists and power-drunk extremists who want to burn up the world, like the Mercers do, because they can and because we let them.

Dirty Deeds and the GOP

A brief history of the recent Pennsylvania race summarizes the moral bankruptcy of American conservatism

✎  Wayne K. Spear | March 15, 2018 • Politics


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T MUST HAVE BEEN a let-down for the President when Rick Saccone lost his Pennsylvania seat to Democrat Conor Lamb, earlier this week and in a Republican district Trump himself had carried by 19 points. But there was consolation. Paul Ryan claimed that the President had in fact helped Saccone, in a race that he described as even more dire before Trump’s rally, and on Fox and Friends the hosts re-cast Conor Lamb as a Republican supporter of GOP policies. Fake news, they call it. Anyways, Steve Doocy added, Lamb’s PA18 district won’t even exist after November, so no biggie.

PA18

What Doocy didn’t mention was that PA18, a suburb of Pittsburgh, has been redrawn by order of the state’s supreme court. It’s the first time a state court has abolished district boundaries ruled to be the work of partisan gerrymandering. PA18 was engineered to make Democratic wins impossible, and for a while the effort paid off. So, yes, PA18 won’t exist after November, but the reasons ought to shame rather than encourage the GOP, assuming they are capable of shame.

The rise of Rick Saccone corresponds with the fall of David Levdansky. For twenty-five years Levdansky represented Pennsylvania’s 39th, but the Democrats went into the Obama 2010 midterm with a narrow, one-seat majority. The Republicans made no secret of their plan. They would pour campaign money into the state legislatures and, if victorious, re-draw the state districts in ways that favoured the GOP’s congressional ambitions. The work was handed to something called the Republican State Leadership Committee, under Chris Jankowski, and is the subject of a 2016 book, Ratf**cked: The True Story Behind the Secret Plan to Steal America’s Democracy. The Republicans code-named the operation REDMAP, the Redistricting Majority Project, and as I said made no secret of it.

The first step, ousting Levdansky, was simple enough. On Saturday October 9, with three weeks left in the race, the Republicans began a saturation campaign, filling the airwaves and the mailboxes each day with attacks on the Democratic candidate, claiming he had championed a $600M Arlen Specter Library. (Specter, as you know, had recently defected the Republicans to run as a Democrat. Thus by association Levdansky was labelled as not only a liberal, but a traitor.) The smear worked, the Republicans took over the legislature, and madly off in all directions went the gerrymander.

The redaction of PA18 was even messier than the GOP’s midterm assaults. The new congressional district excised Pittsburgh, and its urban Democratic voters, and produced a delirious map where one side of a street was in one district and the other side of a street in another. As I recall it, one of the candidates lived in a house that became the only house on the street in its district. The overall effect of this dog’s breakfast was to produce reliably Republican blocs in the southwestern suburbs of Pittsburgh, which was what the REDMAP operation had set out to do and what the state’s supreme court has now undone.

And let’s not forget what was special about this month’s special election. Rick Saccone was after the seat vacated by Republican Tim Murphy, a pro-life politician with a lover, an extramarital affair, and a “pregnancy scare” on his CV. Bad as that may be, it’s not what brought him down. Once the bad news started, it kept coming. Murphy’s staff provided the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette with astonishing and lurid stories of an office culture spinning out-of-control, and soaked in abuse, hostility, and corruption, where there was 100% turnover and where it had become impossible to recruit and retain competent staff. (Sounds familiar, right?)

Down went Murphy, like the PA18 gerrymandering project, and up came Saccone. In a statement about the court-mandated map, he said he would run and win, regardless of the district, “because it’s not about the lines that are drawn, but about the values I represent.” Haha, and yes, the lofty values of the GOP—we’re all experts on that now, living as we are in a moral universe where Republicans hold Roy Moore godly and where President Donald Trump champions an abstinence-only curriculum. Saccone likes to brag that he was Trump before Trump, but the voters have now weighed in on the GOP’s values and there’s nothing to be proud of. Let the Trumpists fall, let the conversation turn to life after this administration, and may the work soon begin of undoing the GOP’s dirty deeds.