Trenchant Lemmings
"Arrive in a clown car, bursting with anger."
Robert Weaver
Sydney, Australia
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The weblog description is a misquotation from Steve Aylett's Indicted to a Party: What to Do, Who to Blame.
The weblog title links to the "No Country Redirect" version, for whatever that might be worth.
August 30, 2016

If you enjoyed this twitterspasm and would like to know more about the siege of Fort McHenry and the war of 1812, why not go here or here if you can't find the giftshop.

Cockburn, delighted with his recruits, noted happily that they excited “the most general & undisguised alarm” among the populace. He was certainly correct. “Our negroes are flocking to the enemy from all quarters, which they convert into troops, vindictive and rapacious — with a most minute knowledge of every bye path,” wrote an American commander in early August. “They leave us as spies upon our posts and our strength, and they return upon us as guides and soldiers and incendiaries.”
- "Washington Is Burning: Two centuries of racial tribulation in the nation’s capital" by Andrew Cockburn, in Harper's.
Ironically, while Key was composing the line "O'er the land of the free," it is likely that black slaves were trying to reach British ships in Baltimore Harbor. They knew that they were far more likely to find freedom and liberty under the Union Jack than they were under the “Star-Spangled Banner.”
- "Where’s the Debate on Francis Scott Key’s Slave-Holding Legacy?" by Christopher Wilson, at Smithsonian Magazine.

Oh dang, Snopes beat me to it.

August 29, 2016

Go here and have all possible fun watching Americans argue about what "hireling and slave" might mean.

August 12, 2016

The racism of the upper class is never, ever the focus of newspaper article or thumbsucker pieces. So much is it ignored that it is as if it doesn’t exist. If it does exist, then perhaps one should ask questions about that class – but to do that is to impugn, even tacitly, the owners of the media. So … look over there, some fat white woman who works at Walmart is showing a confederate flag!

August 10, 2016

But by far the greatest irony in all of this is that Democrats have now explicitly adopted the exact smears that were used by the Far Right for decades to demonize liberals and the left as disloyal Kremlin stooges. For the entire second half of the 20th Century, any Americans who opposed U.S. proxy wars with Russia, or advocated arms control deals with them, or generally desired less conflict, were branded as Useful Idiots of the Kremlin, loyal to Moscow, controlled by Russian leaders. Democrats have taken this script – one of the most shameful and destructive in American history – and have made it the centerpiece of their 2016 presidential campaign.
Of doubtful educative usefulness (as the fingers-in-the-ears-screaming-la-la-la self-delusion of decent neo-liberals this election season is off the scale), but a nice overview of the history of this bit of Americana nevertheless.


This is why lesser-of-two-evils arguments are so unconvincing: there’s only one evil, it suffuses everything we see, and while one might do less harm than the other, each of its warring parts is still fundamentally the same thing. Donald Trump’s frenzied populism couldn’t exist without the suffocating liberal condescension of a Hillary Clinton; nobody would ever vote for Clinton if it weren’t for the looming threat of a Trump.
In The Baffler, Sam Kriss' neo-Kantian refutation of the witless dogma of lesser-evilism, thinly disguised as a review of Suicide Squad. Perhaps not the most fun part of the piece; although it's all good, the opening four paragraphs eviscerating Jared Leto's idiotic method approach to his three minute turn as the Joker are a particular joy.

August 08, 2016

If Trump ascends to the presidency or lays the groundwork for an even fouler creature in 2020, it won’t be because liberals have kneecapped themselves through their venality, lack of vision or mocking the youth as hopelessly naive, it will be the work of a network of corrupting agents. It is easier to assume that Trump is a foreign agent than confront the fact that he is squarely within the tradition of American politics and preying on the Democrats’ class treachery. This also nicely augments the Democrat blackmail that the left has to support Clinton to defeat not only fascism but also Putin’s evil empire.

The hysterical Russophobia that has gripped the Democrats, the policy establishment and the liberal media is a form of fetishist disavowal and a collective liberal nervous breakdown. American democracy is now said to be fundamentally under threat, not from any internal corruption but from Russian interference looking to install a puppet regime and subvert the polls in November. This affair has elicited the usual shrieking headlines from liberal HuffPo but the star of this oeuvre is Franklin Foer who, when he could not find a brown paper bag to breathe into, wrote a piece entitled ‘The DNC Hack is Watergate, but Worse’. Foer, whose analysis has been cited by the Clinton campaign, argues that the hack reveals nothing of any news value. Apparently the public should not be surprised about the DNC’s attempts to Jew-bait Bernie Sanders but be ‘appalled by the publication of this minutiae’ for the benefit of a foreign despot.
This piece by Olivier Jutel at Overland on the Democrats' regular as clockwork "It's Us or Fascism!" grift is an excellent read, despite the Lacanian debris you'll have to clamber over in the process. Enjoy! (*cough* my little joke)

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