A Different Shade Of Paranoid

       

COMMENT & OPINION:

A DIFFERENT SHADE OF PARANOID

by T.K. McNeil

Definition: “Xenophobia means having a PHOBIC ATTITUDE towards strangers or the unknown. It comes from the  Greek words (xenos), meaning foreigner/stranger, and (phobos), meaning fear. This term is widely used to describe the fear of others, or dislike of foreigners, or people who are different to oneself.”

Fear –A Renewable Resource

It used to be the "others" were anyone outside the cave

It used to be the “others” were anyone outside the cave.

Fear of the other is a primal reflex. From the early days of the species, mistrust of “outsiders” has been with us. Except at that time, ‘outside’ referred to the darkness outside the cave. Experts have indicated that the human species have since “evolved” from this early state of fear. But, like the tailbone, remnants of these origins remain to the modern-day.

Fear of the Bomb

It wasn't long before the Soviets had the bomb

It wasn’t long before the Soviets had the bomb

In the 1940’s the fear of others was mobilized to fight Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan. In terms of WWII and the Cold War that followed, that innate distrust of outsiders got kicked up a couple notches. . The American propaganda machine ginned up anti-communist rhetoric and kept hatred and fear of others morbidly alive. We of course were being prepped for the expected war against communism. But, OMG, this still hale and hearty Soviet Union showed very quickly that they too could build “the bomb.” And topping that, they could also fire a ballistic missile that would level Washington, D.C. along with Chicago, Seattle, and Denver as starters.

Before the Bomb

Lenin was the leader of the Russian Revolution

Lenin was the leader of the Russian Revolution

While the specter of mutually assured destruction certainly made things worse, fear of a Communist take-over goes back to the Russian Revolution. In fact, much of the anti-communist sentiment had its roots in the anti-union movement of the 1920’s. When teamsters and autoworkers fought to unionize, the Bolshevik’s were blamed. Typical manipulating of fear of others. Fear-mongers spinning increased union activity into an insidious Communist plot. Tapping into fear of others, as well as fear of new ideas has been a tool of politicians right or left since time immemorial. Intensifying hatred, so easy, so convenient, so useful. The drum beat of fear of others, is likely to go unchanged because it seems to work so well.

Cold Shoulder

1960 Khrushchev at the height of the cold war was banging his shoe on the table at the UN

1960 Khrushchev at the height of the cold war was banging his shoe on table at the UN

After the United States and the Soviets started their arms race, the threats were kicked up.  At least in the United States. It is actually difficult to know what the Soviets were saying about America, there being few reliable sources of Russian translation from the time. Though we can assume it was likely not complimentary. We do have film of Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev, at the UN, threatening the destruction of the United States. He slammed his shoe on the table and proclaimed he would bury America. So, it sounds like there were lots of theatrics for the Russian television audience as well as the American.

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Open Hearts and Closed Gates

OPEN HEARTS AND CLOSED GATES

by T.K. McNeil

Every Human Heart 

Humans are complex creatures. What we say, and what we want, do not always dovetail with our actions. I think that we, for the most part want to do good and are essentially empathetic. Which is why I was so crushed to see what has gone on in recent days and weeks at our southern border. Quite aside from the President of the United States apparently thinking that dignity can be bought, something he is not even honest enough to admit, which is bad enough in itself, what is going on at the border, just for a moment, made me question my faith in humanity.

Not in Our Back Yard

Young Kids Are Imprisoned On Our Southern Border

Young Kids Are Imprisoned On Our Border

We are all familiar with the images by now. Makeshift tents row upon row, people just trying to get through the day, children playing in spite of it all. Pretty typical in terms of refugee camps. Long panning camera shots and concerned looking correspondents being fixtures of cable television. Still, whoever would have thought that such camps would be constructed at the border of the United States? It is a mental disconnect I don’t think most of us are able to cope with, refugee camps being something that happens “over there.”

It’s Sad….But 

Tai Hotel Was The Object Of A Terrorist Attack In 11/2008

Tai Hotel Was The Object Of A Terrorist Attack In Mumbai, India 11/2008

Exactly where “over there” is I am not sure, but certainly not here. It is a similar case with terrorism. Up until 2001, regularly occurring, high-casualty terrorist attacks while sad, were things that happened to other people who weren’t like us, in other countries very different from ours. Which explains our surprise when a team of foreign actors, operating completely under the radar managed to murder 3,000 Americans on American soil with very non-conventional weapons. Which is probably why there were people at the time who said it was the only time America had been directly attacked. Apparently forgetting about Pearl Harbor. We simply didn’t see it coming. Sort of like how the indigenous Natives of the Americas literally could not visualize the future result of those first landings by European galleons. It was a sight so far outside their experience that their brains simply could not process it.

Worse Than Animals 

The Squatter In The Oval Office

The Squatter In The Oval Office Defends Loathsome Immigration Policies To Reporters

Most people, no matter how hard-hearted or rock-ribbed, have a strong protective reaction when it comes to children. No matter what the exact context most rational adults want to safeguard kids. That innate desire to protect, not harm is why we react so strongly when we see children dying while in the custody of the United States Border Patrol. We as human beings are outraged and  sickened by those who try to diminish or legitimize the unnecessary death of a seven-year old child. The outrage should be directed at the orange blob currently squatting in the Oval Office who has honed a heinous policy toward asylum seekers. The responsibility for this loathsome policy needs to be placed right where it belongs on the shoulders of Donald J. Trump.

New Immigration Laws Are in Order 

I understand the need to address immigration, legal and illegal. The current system of laws, despite being evoked by conservatives at every turn, clearly aren’t working. It is generally a good idea to have an idea who is here. That is a policy I can agree with. Not in terms of dossiers and I.D. numbers, but at least an overall head-count. Though I fail to see how tearing children away from their parents and locking them up in what amount to cages helps in that process. What’s next for South America’s youngest migrants? Fire-hoses and attack dogs?

Little Girl Lost 

Jakelin Caal Maquin Just 7 Years Old Died While In Custody Of Border Patrol

7 year old Jakelin Caal Maquin Died In Custody

Despite what some might say, I believe most of us were deeply affected by the case of little Jakelin Caal Maquin. The girl from Guatemala who had just turned 7 the day before she was seized from her family and taken into custody by the United States Border Services. Bad enough in itself but Jakelin would later die, of “dehydration and exhaustion” of all things. Reports have her temperature at time of death at 105 degrees.

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Russian Connections To Trump Multiply

When I first started Calamity Politics, I thought I would be writing this blog with thoughtful pieces on health care, cutting taxes for the wealthiest, the militarization of local police departments, marginalization of the poor, income disparity, public education, immigration policy, and on, and on. However, that has not been the case. The daily news commentators are in a frenzy. The daily political news comment and discussion have centered on the Russian involvement in the 2016 U.S. elections. A very bit story. That whole drama has morphed into what did the Russians, and the Trump campaign do together? Was there collusion? OMG, it sure looks like it.

With all that said, maybe you have been wondering why, I have been so quiet about Trump and the Russians?

Who Knew What? Did It Reach To The Top Of Trump Campaign

Scrutiny Of Financial Transactions Between Trump & Russians

To tell you the truth, so much has been leaking out that I haven’t been able to keep my head on straight.  I’ve been trying to get my puzzle pieces together, but am still looking under cushions and couches for those missing pieces.

I recommend that you go to YouTube or MSNBC vault and watch the last two to three weeks of The Rachel Maddow Show.  She is on this story. Rachel has found plenty of Russian dirt under Trump’s fingernails.  It looks really bad. Next to Trump, the next last person I want in the Oval Office would be Mike Pence.

Russian Dirt Under Trump’s Fingernails


My friend, she is very smart, said the Congress would be forced to invalidate the election. Pence could not just step into the Presidency like Gerald Ford did for Nixon. According to Deb’s thinking, “The whole campaign would be indicted and as such, Pence could not be appointed to serve, because he was a participant in that same shamed campaign. Oh, okay, I wonder how that will work out? I need to think about this. Hmmm.

I do think Donald Trump may be the first American President impeached for colluding with a foreign government. Well, not too bad for 240 years. It just says we can’t allow ourselves to be complacent in our belief that the election process is safe. Not just that the election machines are protected, but that the psychological impact of fake news, conspiracy theories, and partisan bubblism is not fed into our system by foreign interests.

2016 U.S. Presidential Election Eroded By Russian Misinformation

I do plan on putting more together on the suspected Russian and Trump campaign collusion. I will likely try tracing Rachel’s timeline of inquiry.  Don’t hold your breath, but I will try to get more of this hot political issue posted soon. The issue is hot, and seems to be getting hotter, despite efforts by the White House to tamper down the agitation in the media.

What I have written on the topic can be primarily accessed through the Kremlin-gate and Cast of Characters menus on the Calamity Politics home page. Keep coming back, there’s a fucking lot going on.

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Dar