Your President – Not Mine

 

Trump, President of the Invisible Empire of the KKK
Trump, President of the Invisible Empire of the KKK

Trump, President of the Invisible Empire of the KKK

It’s not his mental fitness, people. It’s his MORAL fitness that is at issue.

He is evil, filled with hate, greed, racism, prejudice, stupidity – and is satisfied with it.

Worse: The Republican Party put him in power and praises him and supports him.

Worse still: A great number of US citizens voted for him – because he is a mirror of their own shameful prejudices, their hidden – and not so hidden – hatred and nihilism.

Someone argued with me, when I made this, that “you can’t find a picture of him wearing a Klan hood.” No, you can’t. Because it is invisible, but AUDIBLE.
He is the President of the Invisible Empire – how the KKK always refers to itself. It is an empire of idiotic, monstrous beliefs, beliefs that aim to murder and enslave and diminish and declare other humans different than pale & “Christian” &”straight” to be “not human.” Other. Disposable.

This is proto-Nazism. Fascism. White trash supremacy. Trump is NOT my president; and those who keep him in power or put him there are a menace to humanity, truth, justice, mercy, and all good things that make life worth living.

I am a stranger in a strange land. I always have been, but this land has become even stranger over my lifetime. This is not my country – I am, as Diogenes said, “Kosmopolites”: a citizen of the world.

No man or woman is foreign to me. It is “we,” not “I” and certainly not “us.” “We,” in our beautiful variety.

But not in this hatred, this fragmentation, Balkanization, tribalism.

That, I will have nothing to do with.
Nothing. To that sort of person, I am a stranger, indeed, and unwelcome in “their” land. By their choice, I am their enemy. Proudly, I am the enemy of any rejection of my brothers and sisters who are perfectly fine as they are, on their paths, working out their divine destinies in their own ways.

I am a stranger in a strange land. I carry my home within me. I break bread with anyone who seeks justice and true peace.

But I would rather eat my crust alone in a hovel than feast in a palace where injustice is worshiped and meaningless, valueless things are declared, selfishly, more valuable than any sacred human being.

#notmypresident #antitrump #antiklan#amerikkka #antinazi #antifascist

12 January 2018

Richard Van Ingram

 

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Impeach Trump Now. A Petition

The following is a letter by Tom Steyer [look him up] as a petition to impeach Donald Trump; the link to the petition is at the bottom.  No, I get nothing for sharing this.  I did it out of belief and hope.  RVI, 26 October 2017:

THE LETTER

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dear Elected Official,

This is not a time for “patience” — Donald Trump is not fit for office. It is evident that there is zero reason to believe “he can be a good president.”

Whether by the nature of Mr. Trump’s relationship with Vladimir Putin and Russia, his willingness to exploit the office of the Presidency for his personal gain and treat the government like a family enterprise, his conduct during Charlottesville, his decision to pull out of the Paris climate accords, or his seeming determination to take the nation to war, he has violated the Constitution, the office of the Presidency, and the trust of the public. He is a clear and present danger to the United States of America.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, Chair of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, referred to the Trump White House as a day care center, and observed that this president has put us “on the path to World War III.” This comes following reports that Trump’s own Secretary of State referred to him as a “moron” and that Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis have an agreement not to leave Trump home alone for fear of what he could do. And we have seen other Republican Senators, including Senators Sasse and Flake, express their own profound concerns.

If Trump has lost the trust of the members of his own administration and leading members of his own party, surely it is time to act.

An accounting of his record to date leads to the same conclusion. He is turning his back on Lady Liberty by holding immigrant children hostage. He is actively sabotaging the Affordable Care Act — a law he is constitutionally obligated to faithfully execute — while seeking to strip away health care coverage that will leave millions of Americans to choose between life and bankruptcy. He is repealing clean air protections and unleashing polluters, even as increasingly catastrophic natural disasters supercharged by our warming planet ravaged the country throughout the summer — from hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, to the wildfires that have raged across California, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana. He has threatened to reduce aid for millions of American citizens in Puerto Rico who are struggling to survive without drinkable water or electricity — a move that would be a total dereliction of his duty. And every day, Americans are left bracing for a Twitter screed that could set off a nuclear war. These actions represent systemic attacks on our nation’s future. They endanger every single one of your constituents. That’s why you have a duty to speak out.

There is no moral reason to remain silent about this. Constitutional experts like Noah Feldman have already laid out clear legal and historical foundations for impeachment.  Founding Father Alexander Hamilton, a co-author of the Federalist Papers — and an immigrant himself — argued that “high crimes and misdemeanors” could be defined as “abuse or violation of some public trust.” This president has clearly already exceeded these standards. Congress has impeached past presidents for far less.

While we know that Republicans do not seem prepared to pursue impeachment even as members in their own ranks openly question Trump’s fitness for office, we are all working hard to ensure Democrats will take back the House and Senate in 2018.

Given Trump’s total lack of fitness for office, the question of impeachment becomes a very real issue should we succeed in our midterm goal. That makes it imperative for every Governor of every state, and every mayor of every city, to acknowledge where they stand. This question affects the lives of every single American. They deserve to hear whether or not our party is willing to do what is necessary to protect them and their families. This is not an academic exercise. The very stability of the Republic is at stake.

So, by way of this letter, I am asking you today to make public your position on the impeachment of Donald Trump, and to urge your federal representatives to remove him from office at once. Every day he remains in reach of the nuclear codes is another day for him to menace the citizens you serve and protect. Your constituents deserve to know they are represented by people in every level of government who have the patriotism and political courage to stand up and take action when it is so desperately needed.  This is not a time to give in to an establishment that insists on acting the way the establishment always does, with “patience” or “caution.” It is an unprecedented moment, and it calls for extraordinary measures. We cannot remain fixated on what is politically smart. We have to do what is morally right.

Sincerely,

Tom Steyer

The petition: https://www.needtoimpeach.com/letter

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Some Truth, 2 October 2017

Baby Killing Machine

I made this while watching news coverage of the Sandy Hook mass murder. Nothing changed except the propaganda machine salved right-wing consciences by proclaiming the deaths a “hoax” via Infowars.

I also, in my pointless outrage at the murder of Trayvon Martin, made a vicious attack drawing against Zimmerman and the right-wing love of guns and disregard for humans, especially if their skin color is a shade darker than fucking milk. Then more murders and violence, by cops, by idiots, by Neo-Nazis, Klan, by people who never ought to have owned or touched a weapon.  Many, many of us protested; many of us voted; some of us even wrote our elected representatives:

Nothing was done. 

Marching, yelling, demanding… and the far, far white trash violent supremacist GOP took over the government – state, local, Federal, the too-damned “White House.” With Russian dictatorship aid. Meanwhile, liberals are split, still believing bloody Bernie can get them universal healthcare or doctor what’s-her-name can get rid of oil and let us all get stoned.

Libertarians care about the second amendment and the right to economically screw you grave-deep into the ground and the demolition of government & law. Oh, and pot. Remember the dope, kids.   Because that’s the most important thing right now with your country halfway to a dictatorship.  Vote for them!

Yeah.

Fuck this shit.

Right now, the GOP & libertarians on the take are going to vote to make SILENCERS legal. So you won’t wince when some fool decides they don’t like you for some pointless, mythical bullshit excuse and shoots you dead. Or your family, your neighbors, people. Living people.

The USA is going to crash. How completely and when is the question to ask, not “if.” We have lost faith, collectively, in every value that made this place… human. Worthy of humans. We sold out cheap.

2 October 2017
Richard Van Ingram

P.S. Do not give up, do not give in. You nor I have to sell out or drop out simply because too many around us have. Resist and stand for something worth living for.

#RIP #politicalcartoon #guncontrol#LasVegas #LasVegasshooting

#murder 

#lowbrow #art #artist #philosopher

#RichardVanIngram

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A Memory, not a Memoir

There it is.
The cover of “SUBVERT COMICS #1” 1970.

In or just before 1976, that’s the first underground comix image that captured my attention and imagination.  Never let go of me.  Spain, “Spain” Rodriguez.

I always owed him an immense thank you.  Still do.  Maybe he knows, wherever one moseys off to after this life is done.

Nine or ten years-old.  That was my age.  Lack of parental guidance — lack of real parenting — can be a really wonderful thing if turned to one’s advantage.  Freedom to look at what one damn well pleases as a young person, especially if that young person is artistic and curious, is a gift from HaShem.  It was in my case, on the whole.

To paraphrase HST in a different context, I would not recommend this way of life to anyone, but it worked for me.  Certainly, do not place your child in such a circumstance on purpose — not now.

Yeah, I was pretty fuckin’ weird for a kid in good and bad ways.

Wasn’t interested in alcohol; less interested in drugs, even dope (i.e. weed).  Just didn’t appeal to me, though I had no problem with them to whom it appealed as long as they weren’t assholes.  I really hung around, at that time, with next to no one.  No, actually, no one at all.  I was a loner at that time.

I’m unsure I preferred it that way or not; just worked out that I wasn’t looking for friends at that time. Ah, but don’t waste a moment feeling sorry for me.  Don’t need or want that.  Things could have been much, much, much worse.

What I had in my favor in the small town of my birth was a resource — a public college, ROTC college, fully funded, strong liberal arts school.  Which meant a library.  A really well-stocked library.  Not huge, but for a ten year-old, plenty.  It seemed inexhaustible to me.  The stacks were aisles and aisles of mysteries.  Not mystery novels, but genuine mysteries — books on every conceivable subject.

And there I was, every day after school, and most all days and half the nights during the summer, wandering the aisles.  I knew how to use the card catalogue, but found that just wandering and remembering the regions of the shelves and subjects covered was better.  I was on no mission.  Just looking for books, books of any sort, anything interesting.

Not “kid books.”  Lies and shit, for the most part that stuff was.  I began reading at 3, had it down by 6.  Past that, it was just using my time to read whatever came into my hands and looking up whatever I didn’t understand.  And looking stupid enough that adults couldn’t censor my activities — easily done.  If one looked up “innocent moron,” there would have been my photo.  Mistakenly categorized.  Exterior appearances did not quite line up with interior realities.

So, in the art books, I found a history of the comix; Les Daniels’ history, in fact.  Grabbed it up and flipped through to discover an entirely new world… no color plates, but who cared?  The history ranged from Golden Age to the “new” Underground Movement that was underway, complete with full issues and healthy excerpts to go with the very helpful prose.  And I had a community card — the students who ran the desk would let me check out anything I had guts to walk to the counter.  And I walked some pretty hefty stuff up there, some titillating and erotic stuff, violent US Ranger and Special Forces manuals, books on art forms I’d never seen or heard of, classics — and this history of comix.

Looking through more thoroughly, I was introduced to male and female undergrounders.  Gilbert Shelton’s Wonder Warthog was hilarious, as were The Freak Brothers.  There was Robert Crumb — I recall his story Meatball in there, Victor Moscosco, Kim Deitch, Trina Robbins.

Ah, but Spain.

That cover of Subvert: black and white (in the version I found); violent; to the point (literally); the thought of the return of the Nazi SS in a near future… and Trashman.  That was the material in the history — and too damn little of it! — that I inhaled, contemplated, kept returning to after looking at the cartoon nipples and pubes,  women, sexy stuff, psychedelia, and absurdity of the other artists.  Nope, back around to Trashman, The 6th International, the notion  capitalism breeds fascism — Marxism (of a sort) as antidote to oppression.

Shit, I was poor.  I bought what I wanted by picking up Coke bottles out of ditches: comics, magazines, paperbacks, and candy, in that order.  What the hell was this “International” bit?  Why would Nazis come back?  I mean, we fought against those sons of bitches just 20 years before I was born – now “communist” was the dirty word, “Marxist,” “socialist.”  But not so much in the world of Trashman.

Spain showed a revolutionary sort of average guy, a car mechanic (my old man ran an auto parts store and all I saw and heard about were mechanics, some of whom were pretty cool – so that was easy to see) who became a revolutionary against the fascist/capitalist takeover and exploitation of people who were just trying to live in peace… people who fought back… violently, in the face of ruthlessness.

(No, I’m not recommending actual violence — these violent acts in the comix were symbols of overt resistance to injustice, refusal to knuckle under, to give in, to crawl.  I needed that message, being encouraged by everything around me to crawl, conform, give in.  It took a long while to work out the deeper meanings.  I’m still doing so.  But I got THAT much from the images and fictional dystopian stories.)

Comic books with a message… not to beat one over the head with, but as part of the strange tales that unfolded.  I went from wanting to be Orion or Captain America to Trashman in about one day.  Later, I decided they weren’t all that damn different, in their way.  Kirby was doing Captain A and the Falcon back then; it all seemed fairly seamless — one set of stories for kids, the other for adults.  Both commentaries on freedom and justice.

Later, I started reading Marx the summer of 1979 along with Hunter S. Thompson… just to understand.  Couldn’t find any more Spain Rodriguez for a few years.  Did start turning up Gilbert Shelton books in Atlanta at comic book conventions once a year.

So I  kept checking out that history of comix at the college, mainly to glimpse Spain’s work.  I don’t think anyone else touched that book between ’76 and 1980-’81.

Yep.  I didn’t become a Marxist — but I did come to appreciate the truth and insight in some of Marx’s analysis of capital (e.g. the surplus labor theory of value).  The more I went into the world to do less than appreciated work, the more I saw how the economic system actually functioned in practice.

A visit from Trashman would have been appreciated more than once, but Trashman is a symbol, not an actual human.

Years passed.  I got degrees, I studied and study more.  I teach philosophy when I can find a job.  I write and draw satirical comix, most political, all liberal to (non-Marxist) “left-ish” leaning, all with a creeping element of horror… as that’s how best for me to represent the world symbolically.

If it hadn’t been for Spain, I might have just aimed at making silly-assed comix or even attempted to go utterly commercial, industrial, never allowing a serious thought to pass my mind in the meantime.

Nope.  Not how it happened.  For better or worse, or, as is the usual case, both, that cover by Spain awoke my imagination, my curiosity, changed my approach to comic books entirely.

Go read some Spain.  You could do much worse here as night genuinely falls and the monstrosities of the Amerikkkan Reich stir in the mansions of the powerful and in the greedy, hate-filled streets and forests and dry, half-alive deserts.

28 July 2017
Richard Van Ingram

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