“No race holds the monopoly of beauty, of intelligence, of strength and there is a place for all at the rendezvous of victory…” – Aimé Césaire, Return to my Native Land
“Sportswashing is a practice by which authoritarian countries hold international events to divert media attention from their violations of human rights, often implemented by buying up or sponsoring popular sports organizations.” – The Norwegian American, 01/21/22
“Nearly all the sports practiced nowadays are competitive. You play to win, and the game has little meaning unless you do your utmost to win…But the significant thing is not behavior of the players but the attitude of the spectators: and, behind the spectators, of the nations who work themselves into furies…and seriously believe—at any rate for short periods—that running, jumping and kicking a ball are tests of national virtue.” – George Orwell, 1945
“Civilization…stands for a high matter quite apart from telephones and electric lights. It is a matter of imponderables, of delight in the things of the mind, of love of beauty, of honor, grace, courtesy, delicate feeling. Where imponderables are the things of first importance, there is the height of civilization, and if, at the same time, the power to act exists unimpaired, human life has reached a level seldom attained and very seldom surpassed.” – Edith Hamilton, The Greek Way
“A fishing community on the southern tip of Ireland breathed a sigh of relief this weekend after the Russian government gave in to appeals from local fishermen who said naval drills ordered by Moscow off the Irish coast could endanger their livelihoods.” – CNN, 1/31/22
“Americans are an ahistoric people. We come to new situations asking, ‘what’s the problem?’ when a more appropriate inquiry might be, ‘what’s the story?’ the way we now get… news…strengthens this tendency toward the here and now at the expense of a longer view…During fierce fighting in Mostar (1992-1993)…a young intelligence briefer at Eur. Command HQ was explaining when a senior officer asked, ‘Who was on the offensive here? A. The Croats. Q. How far will they go? A. They will fight to the Neretva (R.) Q. Why: Is that a defensible line? A. Very defensible. But that’s not why they’ll stop there. Q. Then why will they stop? A. Because in the great schism of Christendom in the 11th Century, the dividing line between Orthodoxy and Catholicism was the Neretva. To be Croat is to be Catholic. They’ll go to the river and stop.’ And so they did.” – Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden USAF, NSA
“What will the Republican leaders who have tied themselves to Trump say now that he has openly admitted he was trying to destroy our democracy?” – Heather Cox Richardson, 1/30/22
“Some…American people have been emotionally hijacked,…convinced they need to act together to prevent great harm,…even if the actions are violent, illegal and based on demonstrable lies…Knowing how to use words to trigger an emotional reaction, Hitler hijacked an entire Country. The emotionally hijacked German people condoned the murder of 6 million innocent Jews. The hijacking was subtle, first allowing the depersonalization of Jews, then killing them for an imagined greater good.…Trump has…hijacked millions. This…is a grave threat to American democracy. American people can’t let him get away with it.” – Bill Patrie, Bismarck Tribune, 02/1/22
“The Trump supporters pushed against the doors of the (U.S. House, 01/06/21) chamber, aiming to get in. Anyone they managed to grab, especially a Democrat who opposed Trump, was likely to be killed…members of Congress and their families have continued to be threatened…And yet I remain optimistic. I think this was the last gasp of a dying attitude and impulse of hate and division…in the end, the American spirit is to persevere. We will have a stronger, better union as we see this through.” – Congressman and USMC Reserve, Ruben Gallego, D-AZ
Sportswashing covers many national sins against civilization and decency, at least for 2 weeks of every Olympic year. “Better angels” of human nature took place recently as the Olympic Torch was officially lit before a throng of athletes from all over the world in Beijing. A man and a woman, one of them of the beleaguered Uyghur minority in western China, did the honors.
As U.S. media ponder this supposed “in your face” gesture from China’s President Xi Jinping, they forget U.S. Sportswashing in the 1930s, in celebration of African-Americans’ Jesse Owens and Joe Louis victories over athletes from Nazi Germany, while white America has persecuted and murdered blacks under slavery, Jim Crow and “no-knock” laws to this day. U.S. corporate media and America’s collective conscience “memory-holed” the facts that, after Joe Louis was fleeced by so-called friends after WWII, he was supported by his old pugilistic antagonist Max Schmeling – the only man in the world to step in the ring with Joe Louis and also say “no” to Hitler and Goebbels by refusing to fire his Jewish manager from the NYC fight world.
Unlike American racists, most Chinese crave decency as well as order, and may be ashamed of what is done in their name to the Uyghurs, as well as upset that the U.S. only grudgingly recognizes their remarkable strides toward the future. That China dares hope for a civilization including individual yearnings, despite obstacles of tradition, is shown by the icy Big Air venue, next to industrial towers – compared to the Statue of Liberty in height and ambition. Such images are apt in view of American skier Eileen Gu’s choice to compete for her motherland, China, and in scenarios of the “Inspector Chen” detective novels of St. Louis, MO resident, Qiu Xiaolong, an expatriate since Tiananmen Square shootings of Chinese student demonstrators, June 4, 1989.
Christianity saved civilization, if not decency, in the West, after the fall of the Roman Empire. Today, its darkest forces on the Christian Right, in league with cynics and demagogues of dogmatic discourse, threaten civilized life in the U.S., the West, and the world through the political vehicle of the Republican Party. To fight them, people of good will must be bad asses in the American electoral processes of 2022 á la James Carville. No more Mr. Nice Guy!
All three branches of the U.S. Constitution; all levels of U.S. government are under siege by self-righteous barbarians, some seeking gold; most looking for bloody revenge against imagined enemies…or afraid not to go along with the most fanatical of their family circle, friends and neighbors, workplace, or local congregations. Rather than accept Democracy changing its color and gender; hucksters of hate and deluded white folks would throw the entire American experiment away. They’ve taken over the Republican National Committee (RNC) to such an extent that only all out political warfare, while respecting the dictates of the rule of law, can defeat them. Most people normally have the good sense to stay away from politics. In 2022, however, for the sake of their own freedoms and welfare, they need to join activists among both Parties and independents, who’ve always known the fragility of American democracy. Only such a massive demonstration of civic patriotism can rectify the situation – NOW – not later.
Vladimir Putin masses thousands more troops on the borders of Ukraine to kill off their fledgling democratic experiment. The GOP has passed repressive laws in multiple States to kill off our 230+ year American experiment. FOX pundit Tucker Carlson, in weasel-wording support for Vlad Putin’s designs on Ukraine rather than every American’s right to vote in 2022, echoes weasel-wording in 1938 of Neville Chamberlain handing over sovereignty of Czechoslovakia to Hitler – not wishing to involve Great Britain in a “quarrel in a far-away country, between people of whom we know nothing.” I asked my KGB animal friends how Carlson, Senator Josh Hawley (R-MO) and the RNC went from autocrat haters to autocrat lovers in such a short period of years.
High Plains Reader: Dear Friends, when a WWII veteran can’t get an absentee ballot to vote in Texas this year, he must wonder what the hell he fought for back then. What possesses the RNC, Governor Greg Abbot and a GOP-dominant Texas Legislature that they should do such a thing?
Chicago Dog: Frightened White Boy (FWB) Syndrome, of course! What else? Governors Abbot (TX) and Ron DeSantis (FL); the RNC; FOX pundits like Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, and other radio and Facebook nut jobs all suffer from the same illness. Moreover, Hawley and loser-President Trump represent a new subset of FWB Republican “leaders:” – Pimps For Putin (PFPs), so great is their contempt for curbs on their power lust. Restraints like free and fair elections, due process of law, and the U.S. Constitution. A new Putin invasion of Ukraine might be a Pearl Harbor for these disgusting variants of America Firsters, but PFPs don’t care.
Agatha Alligator: FWB B.S. also affects great numbers of white women, to the extent that they define themselves by color and status rather than by gender–after centuries of brain washing and brutality to assume that their fates depended upon men. However, many white women in the U.S., who have long had a right to be pissed off by male chauvinism, are taking heart from the successes of their black sisters, and the willingness of men, white or of color, who support them.
HPR: Speaking of FWBs, some who are also frightening as hell, whatever possessed the mighty secular Czar of Russia, Vladimir Putin, to back down from a confrontation with Irish fishermen?
Spaniel O’Connell: Just as FWBs Trump, Hawley, and the RNC fear for their racial and masculine hegemony, Vlad Putin fears for his shrinking “Empire.” Scheduling Naval war games on the opening date of the Beijing Olympics, was actually a clever strategic move, and proof to short-sighted Americans that the Cold War will never be over for Putin. Those Irish fishing grounds sit above cyber communication cables for NATO. Distractions of the Winter Games would have allowed him, quietly, to put in place equipment that could unilaterally strangle the Western European economy. Such a covert ploy could then counter NATO nations’ sanctions against his moves in Ukraine. Now, mostly overt moves are what remain – full on invasion, or “Vlad the Peacemaker,” while Russian athletes pile up an impressive Medal count in Beijing.
HPR: Nothing quiet about Irish fishermen parked right above his target two days before!
Spaniel O’Connell: Alerted U.S. and NATO forces, now no longer distracted by Afghanistan, can certainly spare a submarine or two to check out what Vlad the sailor man is doing out there.
Rasputin: Military advisors to Czar Vlad I have to be impressed with Joe Biden’s courage in exiting the Afghan mess, despite inevitably negative publicity always attached to Foreign Policy blunders of the past by the GOP, deluded Democrats, and a press who had enabled them.
Lena: The change from dealing with child-like FWB, Donald Trump, to an adult like President Biden has to be sobering for Czar Vlad. Biden’s placement of U.S. troops in support of Poles, Estonians, Latvians and Lithuanians, who legitimately fear Putin, as well as targeting Oligarchs, perched above his monetary communications the way Putin had sought to perch above NATO communications, is cause for concern. “Document Shredder Donnie” is of less use to Vlad now, unless Trump still sheds useful State secrets to Moscow while shredding the rest in Maralago.
Schickelgruber: The last time Vlad Putin grabbed territory in Ukraine was right after the Sochi Olympics had redounded to Russian prestige to the extent that Sportswashing could aid such ends. Biden and NATO seem thus to have a short window to pack Ukraine with ammo until closing ceremonies, February 20th, to see if Czar Vlad I might decide to pounce, or wait and let home grown fascism, PFPs and the FWB Syndrome do his work for him in the United States.
Jim Crow XV: With Vladimir Putin’s helping to elect Donald Trump in 2016, “mandated madness” became GOP policy, especially in the Covid years. Nation-wide the GOP bowed to Trump’s megalomania until January 20, 2021. Afterwards, in States their Governors and/or legislatures control, they scheme to install a GOP “President Forever,” to keep FWBs in power.
Ms. Recovering Republican Lap Dog: The GOP has found willing executioners among FWBs and their paleolithic pale sisters (PPSs), like Rep. Marjorie Taylor Green (R-GA), to help destroy Democrats, the rule of law, and the U.S. Constitution. Folks are even willing to offer their lives to the GOP Anti-Vax god, rather than acknowledge science and protect their own.
HPR: I have a farmer friend with a fondness for animals. When a squirrel visited her farm recently, she noticed mange in its fur. She slathered Ivermectin on some walnuts she knew the animal would eat and it cured the mange. Ivermectin is one of several quack cures which some “doctors” in the U.S. have prescribed to humans for Covid-19, and for whose protection from any discipline, the GOP dominated North Dakota Legislature passed laws limiting any liability.
Brenda Bison: That’s great news for the RNC/GOP – Make America safe for those who fear a jab of Covid vaccine in their arms but, instead, prefer a dab of Ivermectin on their nuts!
Prudence Possum: It’s bad news of course for doctors, nurses, teachers, front line workers, and other rational parents and citizens around the country. They know that today’s GOP leadership – in encouraging freedom fantasies as well as repeated racisms, like inconsiderate smokers and drunk drivers, endanger all of those around them as well as themselves.
Ricky Road Runner: Speed can kill. Booze and nicotine can kill. So can stupidity about Covid. Scientific truth is its own mandate. Disease doesn’t give a damn what people believe.
Becky Badger: The greatest danger to the American experiment is that these folks, hijacked emotionally into the cause of mindless chaos and fascism by Trump’s FWBs, PPSs and PFPs, actually might have the capability to destroy over 200 years of progress under the U.S. Constitution towards a more diverse, as well as “a more perfect” Union, if they win in 2022.
HPR: Our founding fathers had seen enough of the chaos of unrestrained “States Rights” after our Revolution, under the Articles of Confederation. That was their primary motivation in creating the U.S. Constitution, its Amendment provisions, and the Bill of Rights. RNC/GOP nihilists erecting “know nothing laws” against the teaching of black history, also want to kill off any historical knowledge of Constitutional restraints on their mad pursuit of stupidity.
Becky Badger: Here in Wisconsin they are called passionate republican insurrectionary constitution killers (P.R.I.C.K.s). These P.R.I.C.K.s aim to overturn rule of law mandated by centuries of English common law, by perverting those laws to suit their lust for power and dominance in the 2020s, just like Hitler did with the Weimar Constitution in the 1930s.
Casper Coyote: Wisconsin P.R.I.C.K.s have allies in other battleground States, who are now in the limelight as well as gaining the attention of the U.S. Dept. of Justice. A mystery memo to A.G. Merrick Garland about them fell from the “cheese head” hat of a Green Bay Packers fan, crushed by revelations of his favorite Quarterback, Aaron Rogers, as an anti-vaxxer.
Decoding Domestic Terrorists; and Other P.R.I.C.K.s………………..……Becky Badger
The Constitution Killers of today
Are much like Fascists of the recent past.
Republicans may court them, first and last;
But do not heed lost freedom that they pay.
Pro-Putin; anti-Black, and anti-Jew;
They join deluded folk whose skin is white
But souls are dark with false, imagined fright,
That they aren’t better ones than me and you.
They haven’t lost a thing, of course, besides
A will surrendered to a caustic myth;
Purveyed by cynics: far removed from care
Of what they do to whom they take for rides
On roads to base Unfreedom; kin and kith
Destroyed by casting Law into the air.