Sunday, January 29, 2017

It Happened Here

It can't hap just happened here. The latest ukase of the Despot bans entry to all refugees, holders of valid US visas, and holders of green cards from seven nations who happen to be Muslim. This includes people with dual citizenship, including citizens of Canada, France, the UK and many other nations. (Anyone who has ever applied for a visa or green card knows how extreme and thorough the vetting process is. Nobody gets through without being checked dozens of times by multiple agencies.)

It gets worse.

At the same time, the Despot's NSC will be run by Bannon, a white supremacist nutjob, and Flynn, a failed general and full-time Kremlin stooge -- and without the input of the CIA or Pentagon. No, seriously, please read that again: the agency charged with defending America will be run without the input of the intelligence community or the Defense Department.

What. In. The. Actual. F%*#.

Remember, this isn't the judgement of some marginal, wacky Leftwinger. This is the judgement of a seasoned, highly conservative former intelligence official with a proven track record of expertise.

These two moves are not the prelude of fascism.

They are Fascism -- with a capital F.

Fascism is the exercise of untrammeled dictatorial authority by a supreme leader over a society by whipping up irrational hatred of and discrimination against a specific ethnic group or groups.

How many terrorist deaths have refugees, visa holders and green card holders caused the United States over the past decade?


And now the Despot has literally outsourced America's military might to two villains straight out of a Batman movie. What will they do with this power?

Come for the rest of us, of course.

So now we fight. We fight for our democracy. We fight for our dignity. We fight for our freedom. We fight for the very survival of the planet.

Spontaneous protests broke out in dozens of airports, and the ACLU sued in court to block the Despot's ukase, and won a temporary stay. Thoughtful conservatives are beginning to question the Despot's sanity.

The battle has begun. Join the ACLU, if you can.

Stop. Think. Write. March. Resist.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sony and Bethesda Do the Right Thing

Will there be videogames in the time of Shadow? Oh hell yes. While battling the minions of political Evil issuing from the Despotism's interdimensional portal, it's just as important to fight and win the cultural battles. This is a long way of saying kudos to the folks at Sony and Bethesda for finally making fan-created mods available to the PS4 version of Fallout 4.

I'm sure there were some uncomfortable compromises on all sides involved, but trust me, you can't imagine the amazing level of customer goodwill these sorts of decisions generate. Fan media has become one of the most powerful forces of aesthetic production in the world today, and we all need to treat it with respect and care. Keep up the good work!

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Dear Plutocrats

Greetings, African and Eurasian oligarchs, East Asian and South Asian princelings, American lumpen-billionaires, and European plutocrats.

We regret to inform you that after 20 years of declining real wages, the 7 billion of us who work for a living have decided to rebel against your corrupt and disastrous overlordship of the world economy.

Thank you for proving that Karl Marx was correct.

While we decide on the exact timing, severity, and nature of your future doom, how about a nice game of chess?

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Assembling the Big Tent

How far gone is the empire? So far gone, even the Yale historians are joining the barricades. Timothy Snyder tells students the lessons of Ukraine: if you want your republic back, you'll have to fight for it.

Thursday, January 19, 2017


The Shadow falls.

We resist.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Fake Leftists: The Infantile Disorder of Dying Empires

Casey Michel hits it out of the park with How Putin Played the Far Left.

The fake Leftists of the 21st century all share one feature: they love empire -- just not the one they live inside and benefit from, but cannot be bothered to actually resist.

Instead of critiquing their country's own imperialism, understanding its past and present history, grasping their own complicity in its structures, and joining with the collective resistances against all empires -- that is, against the looting spree of Wall Street, against the toxic austerity of the euro-empire, against the machinations of Chinese, Indian, Indonesian and Brazilian plutocrats, etc. -- they ignore all these struggles and instead swear fealty to some other empire they know nothing about.

Then they project their most lurid neocolonial/Orientalist/Occidentalist fantasies on that foreign empire. Anything from their own empire is coded as evil, anything from the foreign empire is coded as good.

Here in the US, the result has been the fake journalism of Julian Assange, a paranoid creep who believes that only he should have secrets, the fake dissent of Ed Snowden, a minor sysadmin who is now regularly trotted out to Putinist press events like the pet hamster of the FSB he is, and the fake campaign of Jill Stein -- because if you are for ecological sanity and social justice, you must be against imperial war, and that includes Putinism's criminal aggression against and occupation of Ukraine.

The time has come for those of us who comprise the real Left -- and this means anyone who believes in and works for more fairness and less exploitation, more schools and fewer missiles, more sharing and less greed -- to repudiate the fake Left, and call them out for what they are: perfectly ordinary Rightists.

If the fake Leftists love empires so much, they can have them. The rest of us have empires to resist, and social movements to build.

Friday, January 13, 2017

Plutocracy Is A War On Children

Philadelphia is a city with a glorious history. It was pre-revolutionary America's largest single city, with about 40,000 inhabitants in 1775. It was the cradle of American democracy, the place where the Continental Congress met. It was also the cradle of American mass literacy -- the home of Benjamin Franklin and his printing press.

Today, though, Philadelphia is an icon of another kind: the barbarism and savagery of plutocratic looting. The 0.1% have destroyed Philadelphia's industrial base and have been wrecking public services for forty years.

Today, the birthplace of American literacy has a public school system with 224 schools and 134,000 students. Now guess how many full-time librarians work at those schools.

A couple hundred, surely? Nope. Maybe fifty or sixty?

Not a chance.


That's right, only eight full-time employees serve 134,000 students. (Hat tip to Diane Ravitch for the link).

Why? Because those students aren't the children of the 0.1%. So they don't get librarians, or books, or teachers.

Plutocracy is a war on children.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Uprising Against The Despot

And here I was being gloomy about the future of humanity. The Sunlight Foundation is tracking the Despot's outrageous conflicts of interest, the Despot's deep financial ties with sleazy Eurasian thugs are finally coming to light, 51% of the American people openly detest the cretin, and now even Marco Rubio is grilling the Despot's choice for Secretary of PetroState, Rex Tillerson. Things are about to get hectic. Check in with Sarah Kendzior, Adam Khan and and John Schindler for all the latest anti-Despot news.

Monday, January 2, 2017

Brain Training

Visiting the broken shambles of the Northeast, the cradle of the Atlantic radicalisms of 1780-1791 and the American counter-revolution of 1775-1789. What makes it all worth it: the ramshacklitude of row houses, tiny yards stuffed with children's toys, and narrow streets actively hostile to automobiles. I felt like I finally exited Fallout 4's Glowing Sea. And then there's the glory of Northeastern coffee shops (may the blessings of the Goddess fall upon Green Line Cafe -- cappucinos worthy of canonization). Not really a vacation, though -- there's witcher's work to be done.