Mention a Trump bumper sticker in a dog rescue story and see what you get

In a post about a dog Roo and I found in the forest and took to a shelter, I mentioned a man who let a small dog lie outside in 20-degree weather, trying to cover herself in a pile of frozen wet leaves, instead of bringing her into his camper. It was the mention of the Trump sticker on his truck that prompted someone on Facebook, who has never commented before, to ask, ”Why would you include the part about the truck with a Trump sticker on the bumper???"

She has since deleted her comment, because it spluttered out into the sort of right-wing hysteria that could be mistaken for a threat, so I can only offer a screen shot of part of my original response, and then this longer one. If you’re not in the mood for a rant, this would be a good place to stop reading.

I included that observation because a Trump sticker was in keeping with that man’s being a colossal heartless jerk and because no symbol of the depths to which America is sinking will ever make that case more strongly than the name Trump—until we just get it over with and replace the Stars and Stripes with a swastika in the middle of a Confederate flag. Which I imagine we will as soon as Trump gets a satisfactory price on child labor at one of the Banagladeshi rag factories where he makes his sock garters to work the word "Trump" in gold into it. 

Because that name is a symbol of the new and improved right wing America, the America of soulless ignorance of history (note to Trump supporters: we know that your favorite flags are the Nazi and Confederate flags, what you need is a little reminder of how both were roundly stomped by morally superior United States forces), acceptance of authoritarianism, bigotry, hatred and greed and now limitless corruption—not to mention the hypocrisy of all the people who have been chanting Lock Her Up for the last year and now turn the other way as Trump does everything conceivable to make money off the presidency. It’s hard to keep up with the revelations. Ambassadors forced to commit to canceling their contracts at other DC hotels in favor of using his. His sons selling access to daddy on the first full day of his presidency for a million a shot. The use of Twitter to prompt gigantic drops on stock prices which he is undoubtedly shorting. 

Supporters who will never admit any of it because he's by God their boy and isn't there an R after his name and didn't he tell everyone the Bible was his favorite book even if he never read a single line of it once he realized the name 'Trump' doesn't appear in it, but, but, but... Benghazi! And, and, and... email server! And—what was that other one? Oh, yeah! Religious freedom! Because as everyone knows, you just can’t go to a baptist church on Sunday or Wednesday without the FBI copying down your license plate numbers in the parking lot. And, at long last, it won't be politically incorrect any more to keep up this annoying dry spell where everyone had to quit stringing up negroes and when you couldn’t even do harmless little things like rolling the occasional gay and queer (whoops—better leave Melania out of it, since she was only photographed making out with and rubbing up against other women, not being a black she-devil temptress in a sleeveless dress). So Praise the Lord, Donald Goddamned Trump, the shiniest con man in American history, the anti-Christ, if you care to credit the Pope with such a diagnosis more than you might Infowars, Donald Trump, a man who can not utter a sentence that doesn’t include the word ‘amazing’, is God’s messenger, the only one who can save us all from the Sharia law anyone with the eyes to see knows is creeping up on us every day, mostly in the form of EPA regulations that keep the struggling owners of coal mines from having to overpay nine-year-olds or equip them with rubber gloves and lead aprons when they shovel coal ash in your swimming hole.

So what if a Russian gets the country in return? A small price to pay. All he does is murder journalists (they're only First Amendmenters anyway, a bunch of elite bastards who could do with a little more Second Amendmenting, The Only Amendment In The Constitution, hell, the whole damn Constitution), kill his political opponents by depositing polonium in their tekkamaki, order soldiers to murder civilians with thermobaric vacuum bombs and white phosphorus that burns you from the inside out, starting inside your lungs, plunder his own people, invade and claim foreign territories, repress free speech, religion, run crooked elections.... So what if that Russian now gets possession not only of the US government but of the minds of all the poor saps who newly believe the Kremlin should call the shots at the White House, because one man, one demonstrated, persistent, malevolent liar, a man who has never said a true thing in his life, says so. Goddamn right. And Pizzagate! Let's not forget to keep self-investigating that. Because you just know there's a four-year-old being trafficked in Comet Pizza by Hillary Clinton's campaign manager while Chelsea videotapes it on her cell phone and uploads it to the secret Instagram page Bill Clinton is running the New World Order from. You know it’s true because you got the lamestream media saying it ain't.

And it's also all right, because only an idiot doesn’t know that Goldman Sachs is the mortal enemy of the people, the evilest of the elite. Mr. Trump told us so every day of the campaign. Oh, just watch us drain the swamp of those bastards! Now, that’s exactly why you want to hire Goldman Sachs to do the draining. That’s why you give them the job of putting their little signatures on every dollar bills in every pocket and purse. Do you have any idea of how long all that signing takes? It’s like having to write I will not cheat on my arithmetic test on the blackboard a hundred times, but worse. They won’t have time to do anything else! Mr. Trump is a genius. And, without them stealing all the money from coal miners and, you’ll finally be able to get rid of public schools. Those things are just a plot to ruin the American parent anyway. They got teachers down there that think you got nuthin’ better to do than help your kid with homework, when everyone knows what you really need to do is beat a little more Jesus into them before they start learning fancy numbering and sciencing and writing. God didn’t send good men to prison for shooting up abortion clinics just to damn all those little saved souls to eternal hellfire every time some Democrat tells them that the Earth is a day over 6000 years old, did He? Hell, you need somebody to take those miserable egghead jobs? All right, then. Take your Hindoo. Take your Chink—let them stoop down to perform all the brain surgery and design cars and build skyscrapers and ride rockets up to the Space Station and run computer companies and put on art shows in New York and write for the Washington Post and star in Hamilton. Might as well work on their backs in pornography, which, as you know, you can get online for free, so how good a deal can that be, anyway? Real Americans stock the shelves at the Family Dollar and never, ever, miss too many tithes to the Baptists.

And we have to drain the swamp by putting racists, billionaires and an avowed Nazi into the West Wing. Because Fox News says it's all good and somehow Donald Trump will not this time, as he has every other time, lie and cheat and rip off every person he has ever made a commitment to. This time he will not do what he has done to every single middle class worker and contractor who ever worked for him and refuse to pay his bills to them. Tax returns? There’s a new sheriff in town, and he don’t need no stinking’ tax returns! Who cares about his tax returns, anyway? One look at his 440 credit rating and billionaire or not, no one in his right mind would rent him so much as a stall in a flea market. And anyway, he already said he was only going to work part-time, so how much damage can he do? It’s time for libtards to give him a break, as he puts it. To show him the deference due a President of the United States, ℅ The Kremlin, Borovitskaya Ulitsa, Moscow, Russia.

That's why I mentioned the bumper sticker. Because who else would the kind of asshole who would let a tiny little dog shiver overnight in a pile of freezing leaves outside his toasty motorhome vote for?

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For all of you who signed up for the Patreon campaignTHANKS!

 

 

Would you like a little sauerkraut or borscht with that cheeseburger?

During the 13 months leading up to the general election, I traveled about 35,000 miles on backroads in 44 states, from Florida to Washington, and Arizona to Maine. All along the way, it was obvious that there was a disconnect between what the polls were predicting and what I was seeing and feeling all through America. There was never a time when it didn’t seem entirely evident that Donald Trump would win. It wasn’t that he was a celebrity. It wasn’t anything he offered as policy. It was because right wing Americans had been primed for a particular type of mean-spirited conservative takeover, and the closer it got, the more a lot of them began to taste blood and want in on the action themselves.

Twelve years ago, I published a story in a Los Angeles weekly about the awakening of fascism in America. I wasn't flinging the word around as an insult, the way it so often was in the Bush era. I was using it in the classical, technical sense, which is what I’m doing now. My argument wasn’t that Bush and Cheney were Fascists. Their administration was many things, but not Fascist. Nonetheless, they and their fellow Republican were, whether they understood it or not, planting the seeds of it in the American soil that may prove a more fertile ground for it than any other.

By “fascism” I mean an authoritarian or totalitarian political system in which absolute power is vested in a right-wing, ultra-nationalist ruling elite with a leader at its pinnacle endowed with absolute authority. They tolerate no opposition, and where any given regime lies on the authoritarian-totalitarian spectrum depends only on how much violence they can incite their followers, who will be the ones administering enforcement at street level, to commit. Fascism has always been a white supremacist movement working in tandem with those Christian churches and congregations who are under no illusions about where their first loyalties lie. While attempts may have been made to apply the working principles of fascism by leaders of other ethnicities in other parts of the world, in its Western form, fascism is a strictly white phenomenon.

The creation of fascist state power depends on citizen gangs and militias to subdue, intimidate or kill any opposition. Small intimidations appear first. The home of someone with the wrong yard sign is soiled. Threatening phone calls are made. Spray-painted swasitkas and warnings to minorities to leave. When beatings start, murder is never far behind.

When a fascist is brought to power by means of a democratic election, as Hitler was in 1933, the gangs are rewarded with free reign to plunder, and as police and military are purified, they can be counted on to turn a blind eye. 

There is the mistaken idea that fascism was described by one of its founders, Mussolini, as corporatism, in which the success of corporations is all that counts, but neither did he say it nor is it true. Under fascism, Corporations have to toe the line like anyone else. Generous new streams of revenue are steered to them by freeing them from the restraints of inconvenient laws and regulations, licensing them to function as avariciously as they like—but only in exchange for absolute subservience to the regime. Those corporate leaders who are driven by greed alone tend to honor the arrangement without difficulty. When war follows, as it always follows Fascism, they tend to compliance, because war is good for business.

The roots of fascism in America go back to when it was enunciated as a political concept around 1920. It’s not especially surprising that the inheritors of a country built on slave labor would think that ethnic purity and a strong leader with dictatorial powers was a good idea, especially for those at the top economic rungs—industrialists and bankers. To get the support of the working class, Fascism promises them a restoration of status above whichever scapegoats might be in vogue at the moment. In our history, we have gone through just about all of the possible enemies. The only group on whom the pressure has never been reduced is African-Americans. Everyone else is cycled through: the Chinese, the Muslims, the Jews. 

Though fascism faded from view during the war against Nazism and its Japanese relatives, it was just mothballed and closeted. It was never wiped out. It never can be. Plenty of observers at the time understood that and warned of how easily it could return. Sinclair Lewis. H.L. Mencken. George Orwell, who had seen enough of it through rifle sights in in Spain to know. Many. All of them on what we would today call the Left side of the political spectrum.

In other words, the opponents of the fascism of the Nazis and the Republicans in Spain were what conservatives today call libtards.

When it was in the closet, fascism’s true believers never for a moment lost faith, convinced as they were of the moral rightness of their worldview. Plans that have earned the support of the Ku Klux Klan and neo-Nazi organizations like Stormfront—vast deportations, hints of ethnic cleansing, imposition of their religious doctrines and the destruction of others, the wiping out of competing political parties, ideas and individuals-sustained them. Their belief in the Second and Third Comings of Fascism never faltered. 

There has always been a base of enough Americans inclined toward fascism to make it a possibility. Political scientists say that if Adolf Hitler appeared on a presidential ballot, he would be guaranteed 30 percent of the vote. And that would be before he ever ran his first negative ad claiming that mishandled emails nearly resulted in apocalypse.

And yet, the most dangerous mystery of fascism persists—and not among its supporters. It is the denial that it's even happening, among those who are the intended targets. The people denying its approach are always great enough in number to keep an effective resistance from forming. Some don’t believe it until they find themselves kneeling over a pit filled with bodies and a soldier with a pistol aimed at the back of their heads. It was that way in Germany, and that way in Spain—where a civil war was fought to prevent it and failed. That is the way it could shape up in America.

For example, a few months ago, as Trump was spewing hate at a rally at which he asked his crowd to give him Nazi salutes—which they did—an academic specializing on fascism was on the radio, scoffing at the ignorance of anyone who believed that what Trump was bringing to America could be called fascism. His argument was that it lacked, and could never develop, the defining ingredient: independent militias of street enforcers, loyal not to the country or its laws, but to their leader.

Who could blame Trump for getting a little tipsy on power and wanting to see what it felt like to be heiled by his people? He had been following the Fascist script to the letter. It was only natural for him to test the malleability of the followers he said wouldn't care if he shot someone on Fifth Avenue (he was right; many of them would rather join hm for that than a beer). Trump was just taking a little lick of the spoon he was stirring the pot with. 

At the time that professor was on the radio and Trump was basking in the glow of his saluting crowds, I was in the middle of one year and 30,000 miles of travels on American backroads. Everywhere I went, I passed through oceans of Trump signs, billboards, Make America Great Again painted on the sides of barns, on trucks in store windows. I saw less than 100 (a high number; I believe it was fewer) Hillary or Bernie signs, even in areas considered leftish, like Taos, New Mexico or Asheville, North Carolina. Everyone I spoke with about it said the same thing: Anything but a Trump sign would just be shot up or torn down or covered with human shit or get your children threatened at the school bus stop. 

Had that professor accompanied me instead of confining his experience of history to the pleasant stacks of the Ivy League university like the one I attended (and that taught nothing of what the rest of America is all about), he might have detected, as I did, the vast army of right wing street enforcers taking shape everywhere.

I’ve been to their towns and on their farms, in their welding shops and feed and supply stores, their irrigation system suppliers and chainsaw sculpture yards. I’ve been in their airplane hangars and stockman's supply barns. I’ve talked to them as they worked on road crews or drank Bud Light outside their homes in trailer parks or campground fires, over the barbed wire around the pastures of their cattle ranches. Among them, there was no more doubt that Trump would win than there was that millions of Americans like them would be willing to appear with their guns in the streets if he didn’t.

They are still ready to come from the country and fill the streets if called upon. The process of dehumanization necessary to turn a person into a target—the Niggers! The Spics! The goddamned Kikes! And, if those weren’t enough, the Syrian refugees! or the illegal immigrant!—has always been with us. For the present political purposes, though, it began with the use of the term libtard. Shooting a few libtards and the subhumans Trump describes as being from “certain areas,” would be, to many Americans, the fulfillment of a duty. Not taking that threat seriously might be the greatest miscalculation in American history. The miscalculation that turns this 240-year-old republic into something else.

I know them and know they are there. They are armed and ready, and not just awaiting their orders, but hoping for them.

The enormous quantity of small arms in the hands of the right wing make for plenty of dry kindling under the bonfire Trump has been building and which is just waiting for a match. Some event—some Reichstag fire, staged by the Nazis and blamed on their enemies to excuse rounding them up and hanging or guillotining them and transforming Hitler, literally overnight, into an absolute dictator—could come at any time. Cheap enforcers like Giuliani and Christie who have fantasized about it for so long would understand how to set it up. Or, ISIL might do them the favor. Either way, history argues that some provocation usually occurs when the time is ripe. And then, the people who have been waiting for the signal, for permission to use the guns they are obsessed with—will be receptive to orders. They won’t need to hear explicit calls for violence. Orders issued in the kind of deniable, veiled language Trump has always cowered behind will be clear enough. Given the chance to serve Jesus and Country by picking off a few libtards—without fear of consequence—will be an honor to many.

In this past year of backroad travel, there was a joke I heard in various forms across the country: Question: What’s the difference between a liberal and a libtard? Answer: A libtard is just a liberal too dumb to have a gun. To which someone would usually add, “Not really—the whole bunch of ‘em’s libtards.”

Consider this, my friends, a letter from the front. This is what's going on out there. It looks like fascism, it tastes like fascism and it walks like fascism. The ground has been laid—voter suppression in almost every red state, the open carry laws that will allow the assembly of the armed, national concealed carry permitting, assault weapons proliferation, blocking a Supreme Court nominee, belittling minorities, putting women in their place—with great effectiveness. Any conflagration with this many cans of gasoline ready to be poured on it can get very hot, very fast. It’s hard to find examples of things getting this out of hand without tipping over the edge into violence and oppression domestically, followed by that greatest of unifiers—war—abroad. 

Since the election I've been hearing people say, “Aw, come one. It’s not that bad. We’ve got to give him the benefit of a doubt. Give him a chance. The sun will still come up tomorrow. We’ve been through this before and survived.”

To them I say, no. No, we haven't. 

This is different. This time, the sun may coming up on a completely different morning in America.

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Our Patreon page generates the only support I have for finishing the book about the travels this piece is based on. Please chip in a buck or two and send the link to your friends.

Welcome to Mein Camp

We've been in constant—and losing—battle with breakdowns and malfunctions. Some I've been able to fix myself, but others required putting in at places like this Feed & Farm Supply in southwestern Colorado, where I learned an important lesson about Trumpism.

We've been in constant—and losing—battle with breakdowns and malfunctions. Some I've been able to fix myself, but others required putting in at places like this Feed & Farm Supply in southwestern Colorado, where I learned an important lesson about Trumpism.

This is the section of the blog that will be limited to Patreon subscribers soon, but, for the moment, here it is. On the main blog page here, I already warned that this section will NOT be where you find fuzzy Roo stuff. This is where I will write more openly about our travels. Everything from being broke and homeless on the road, to the right-wing fascism and authoritarianism that I've seen building all around the country.

IF READING ANTI-TRUMP STUFF IS GOING TO PISS YOU OFF, STOP NOW. I'M NOT GOING TO BE MODERATING WHAT I THINK ABOUT HIM. I WON'T BE ACCEPTING ANY TROLLING ABOUT HIM. IF YOU'RE A TRUMPISTA, YOU'RE FREE TO READ ON, BUT THIS IS NOT GOING TO BECOME YOUR FORUM. TRY TO MAKE IT YOUR FORUM, AND YOU'LL BE BANNED.

[As for commenting, I don't know if I'll be able to keep the facebook commenting turned on for this. It'll take some time to figure out if the coding works properly on two pages at once—it may not be possible to have it on here and on the home page. In that case, please just use the built in commenting. You don't have to part with any valuable information.]

A little background about why I feel so strongly and understand so well issues of authoritarianism, Russia, espionage, my opinion that Trump is so clearly an agent of Russia and therefore guilty of treason.

When Roo and I left Asheville in September of 2015, I was already exhausted. I was having trouble recovering from my shoulder replacement surgery. The hernia surgery I had before that was not healing. With only a few thousand dollars in the bank, I knew we were financially doomed, but I didn't really think it mattered much. My thinking was clouded by not expecting to live too much longer anyway. 

So, off we went. I'll get more into it in later postings, but from North Carolina we traveled north and then west. As soon as we departed the Northeast, it became clear that something ominous was happening in America. There was hatred everywhere. White people seemed to be reveling in the use of the word nigger. As we proceeded west, and then south in the midwest, I became convinced that Trump was going to win. My main contact with friends was via email, and in those emails my prediction that Trump was going to win became stronger over time. 

I made the mistake of thinking that the Gram 'em by the pussy tape would bury him. Up to that time, I thought he was a shoo-in.

The months leading up to the election were among the most depressing of my life. That's why I didn't post here and dropped off facebook. I was experiencing a horrible cognitive tension created by the magnificence of the American landscape and so many of the violent, abusive people populating it. I don't mean to say that everyone everywhere is mean, but the right wing is characterized by two things: mean-spiritedness (don't feed children, deprive people of votes, eliminate Social Security and Medicare so that that money can be transferred to the richest, black lives aren't worth a shit, LGTBQ lives even less—aw, hell, I'm not going to list them all here) and loud mouths. So, wherever you go, it's the rightwingers making all the noise, while anyone more moderate shuts up for fear of a pickup truck with Confederate flags sticking out of the back conducting a driveby.

All over America, I saw tens upon tens of thousands of Trump yard signs. In a year I saw less than 20 Hillary or Bernie signs. I'm using 20 in case I saw that many, I remember seeing only five or six. A few times I asked people about it and everyone always said the same thing. Put a Hillary sign up and you could count on someone taking a shit in your doorway or a shot at you.

That's why this section of the blog is called Mein Camp. Of course a play on Hitler's manifesto, Mein Kampf, which translates to My Struggle. In case it's not obvious, I'm not endorsing Hitler's work. I'm writing about my—our—struggle in a country that has a large population of people who know so little as to admire people like Hitler and Putin. And Trump.

All right. As I write this, Roo and I are parked in a nudist colony in north Georgia. We came here by accident last night, as it was the only place on a discount program that wold have us for a few bucks and we needed electricity. I was so tired that I thought I was going to drive off the road. We have to hurry now, because we have a long way to go. It kills me to be leaving the northeast, but we can't afford it up there. The rents have gone crazy. And living in the trailer isn't possible when it's as cold as it was getting up there. So, we're going to head a few hundred more miles to the west, to try to camp someplace and get some work done. It's the only hope.

A few words about why I am so sensitive to the Nazi and Russian influences on the American scene: When we left Asheville, I was being stymied in my research into a bizarre and complicated case of Soviet espionage in my family. The FBI was doing the stymying. I have constant negotiations with them about releasing the documents they have, but it's been years and they're still refusing to release most of them. For many years, I have done a study of Soviet, Nazi and fascist authoritarianism, in detail. I understand these movements, their history and their horrors. The things that went on then are going on now. I'll write more about that here.

We've got to run.

Once again, this section of the blog will go offline other than for subscribers. Look at the home page for the explanation of the Patreon campaign For only a couple of bucks a month—as little as $1—you can support this work.

I'm obsessed with getting a book written now, but to do that I can't be hauling the camper around, buying gas, being exhausted, having to stop constantly so that Roo can have the walks that keep her happy and sane. It just can't be done. So, I'm working on it. There's no real reason to support the Patreon thing other than to offer some support to a writer. That's all you get out of it.

That, and this page. I'll start by posting an article I wrote about fascism and authoritarianism coming to America.

Update and more explanation of the Patreon campaign

Hi, Everybody—

All but the southernmost tier of the country has been experiencing this enormous blast of arctic air. Roo and I have been trying to outrun it, but it couldn’t be done. I write you in a bit of a hurry from North Carolina. We are pushing westward only because I need some time to work, and there’s a campground in Oklahoma where that might be possible. Roo can walk there, and it might be okay. I couldn’t overstate how sad I am to have had to leave the Northeast, but there wasn’t any choice. As soon as possible, we’ll be going back there, though that may never be possible.

Here’s an update with a fuller and better explanation of the Patreon page for The Dog in the Clouds

First, what it is: Patreon is a site where people can support projects, artists, writers, musicians. Where you can be their patrons. You pledge a certain amount, and once a month Patreon charges your credit card.

In our case, all we have to offer is a story, and so that’s what the Patreon is set up for you to support.

Here’s how it works: Let’s say you pledge $1 per blog post. That’s not going to apply to all of my blog posts. Only to a few. There will still be regular TDITC posts. I’ll explain the difference in a minute. The important thing to remember is that that pledge is for qualifying blog posts—not a monthly amount. So, if I post nothing, you get charged nothing. If I post five posts, you would get charged $5.

Also, when you sign up there, you can also limit your total monthly pledge. So, it’ll be up to you, not to me, how much you’re charged. You can limit it to whatever you like, to a dollar or no limit at all. You just wouldn’t get access to all the posts. 

Because I’m already half dead, it’s never going to get to the point where there are going to be more than six posts a month. If it does, I’ll send everyone a message to let them know and to remind you how to cancel or scale your pledge back.

Also, the posts will appear on a new section of the site tentatively called Mein Camp. That will be the subscriber section, and Patreon posts will direct you to that.

So, that’s how that works.

Now, here’s what’s going to make it different from the main web site. This is going to be about the travels themselves, not just about Roo. They are going to fill in the other side of the story.

Why am I charging? For a few reasons. First, I have nothing in the world to make a living with other than writing. I used to work as a pilot, but my medical certification was taken away, so the one skill I had is out. So, I have to try to earn something with that while I work on larger book project that I can only hope will sell. As hard as that's going to be to do, that’s what I’m working on.

Secondly, I do not want the story that I’m going to be telling to subscribers to be available to anyone who just logs on. I want to be able to control who reads it, and there are several people who I don’t want to read it, for reasons of my own.

Thirdly, this stuff is going to be a a lot more personal and a lot more opinionated. For many, many months, I’ve been telling friends that it looked like Trump was going to win. It was clear that that was going to happen because of what I saw as we traveled the farthest backroads of America. And what I saw was terrorizing, ugly, threatening and depressing. All of that against the backdrop of the most stunningly beautiful country on Earth. It was so depressing that I was unable to post on the blog site for months. The only things I wanted to be posting I knew would meet with the usual, “I come to your web site to read about Roo, not to hear you talk about politics—unfollowing,” type of comments I get any time I mention anything about Trump. I’m not proposing to write a political column, but what is happening politically in America is the context. The guy who tried to shoot me in Idaho. The children with rifles in neighborhoods with no schools, the weary faces of the millions of defeated people, the rage and hatred spilling over. And the ways that the goodheartedness of so many Americans is beginning to pale by comparison. My perception is that there's going to be violence in America, a lot of it. I hope I'm wrong, but it's on my mind, and I won't be leaving it alone. So, if you don’t want to hear about that, and if writing that is strongly opposed to Trump and everything he stands for, you won’t want to support the Patreon. Fair warning.

I think it’ll be worth it, but if it isn’t, you can cancel any time.

But, if you do decide to support the Patreon page, it will be a big help, even if you limit it to a buck a month. Please share it with your friends. The more people who sign up, the more visibility it gets.

A couple of notes: Only blog posts that you are notified about via the Patreon page will be the ones for subscribers only. None of the facebook posts, tweets or other blog posts will count.

Our twitter handle is @RookiKahoo. I use that because it's a lot easier to post shot notes and pictures from the road, like the one yesterday: "Overheard at a gas pump, young woman on a cell phone, "I can't, I'm married now," then three seconds later, "Maybe just for a minute." It's easy for me to post from the road with that, so follow us there, or join Twitter if you don't have an account. It's really not complicated or cumbersome.

Okay, we've got to hit the road. Here's the Patreon link. I'll be grateful for any signups.

I'm not sure why I posted the young cowboy picture. Open to interpretation....

Join the Resistance. Here's an idea for how.

Brave French members of the Résistance who helped defeat the Nazi occupation of France, 1943.

Brave French members of the Résistance who helped defeat the Nazi occupation of France, 1943.

A Fascist takeover is underway in America. It is accelerating with ominous speed. We must fight back. If you own a cell phone, you are already fully armed.

History has taught us that if resistance is not established immediately it is crushed completely. It is the duty of anyone dedicated not to hatred, violence and greed, but to compassion, peace and justice for all, to stand in the way of the criminal abomination unfolding before our eyes. We must begin today. Now. Perhaps it is not a matter of life and death to you this minute, but to many of our Sisters and Brothers who are already being forced to live in fear and under the threat of violence, it is. Make no mistake, you may not be the first to fall, but if others do, you will follow. That is how it has always been. That is how it will be now.

It is important that you know this: In the United States, there is no law prohibiting the President from using the Presidency to enrich himself. Anti-corruption laws rise to the Cabinet level and stop there. The President is under no anti-corruption constraints. He is free to base his decisions on how they will profit him personally. Think of that: the man most renowned in America for stealing the wages of workers has been paced in the best position in the world to steal more. Every arms deal, every oil commission, the license for every medicine, the awarding of every federal contract, the giveaways of public lands—all of it can be done for the personal benefit of the President. President Trump. That is what has made Vladimir Putin, possibly the wealthiest man in the world, the object of Trump's fawning admiration.

No one will be more dedicated to the abuse of that proposition than the accused child rapist and racketeer Trump. He has never demonstrated a capacity for anything else. In the service of it he and his gang of shameless enforcers will be every bit as ruthless as he has promised to be.

The greatest con man and most rapacious thief America has ever produced will not only capitalize on that power, he can be counted on to use his unlimited pardoning authority to erase the legal consequences of his own sexual predation, human trafficking, child rape, fraud, tax evasion, treasonable coordination of his political campaign and cyber warfare against America with the Russians (about which they've been bragging about all day in the Russian media) and what is certainly a long list of other criminal acts that he is guilty of. With our broken and corrupt government entirely in the hands of the most brutal right wing thugs America has ever produced, it is foolish not to expect the Trump junta to be backed up by force of the military arms that they have already been delighted to use against so many of our slain and maimed Sisters and Brothers.

There is no choice. We, the People, must stand in the way. And though we have only one weapon to use, each of us has the one that will damage Trump and his supporters in the way they dread the most. Each of us possesses the power to poison their reputations, now and forever, and to make them suffer the shame and subsequent financial losses of being exposed as collaborators. We can start making them pay today for wearing the Trump Nazi insignia and for hiding under the white hood of the Ku Klux Klan that celebrates his ascension and that Trump in turn has welcomed so warmly. We stick to legal methods, similar to the ones employed by the vilest elements of the Right Wing—those who harass and taunt women outside abortion clinics—though without sinking to taunting and harassing. Without making a spectacle. Without disturbing the peace or threatening anyone in any way.

Henceforth, let all Trump properties be the abortion clinics where we protest.

It's simple: if shrieking, aggressive protestors are allowed outside Planned Parenthood to scream at women seeking anything from a pap smear to an abortion, surely we must be allowed a peaceful presence outside every last one of Trump's goddamned properties—his hotels, his golf courses, his office buildings. Every business belonging to his family must be included, as must any business they try to hide under new covers, such as Scion Hotels. We must not let any of them escape our notice.

And all we do is photograph every person entering or leaving any Trump property. We post those as the mug shots they are, circulate them as widely as each of us can, on the facebook group linked below and on every other platform we have, whether we can identify individuals or not. We expose them. This will automatically make this intelligence available to any Sister and Brother organizations agitating for boycotts not just of Trump's businesses, but of his family's, and of anyone who does any business with any of them. We cost them all. We make them all pay (though, to be clear, never the workers).

Go to stores that sell Trump clothes, whether the gangster's flambouyant ties or cheap suits or the dresses his hypocritical daughter Ivanka has stitched by the poorest of workers in the most miserable of Third World sweatshops. Learn to recognize them. Photograph anyone wearing them. Post them. Build the resistance. 

Seek inspiration on the group page. Coordinate here—or anywhere. List Trump properties here. Write notes, develop lists to be posted in the documents section. Proceed in any way you can imagine as a full and equal participant in the resistance. Make suggestions, take command, come up with ideas and plans. Comment in threads, encourage and support others in your area. We can succeed with simple, effective, and legal action.

Remember: If you have a cell phone or a keyboard, you are fully armed for the struggle.

You might choose to function in disguise or in the open with others, as you choose. You can form anything from impromptu get-togethers to dedicated shifts. You can operate as a single member of the resistance fighting anonymously, or as part of a team of your own making. Whether you are a day laborer or a high fashion model—if you can stroll past a Trump hotel, you can fight, using nothing more than a cell phone photograph. Whether you are too young to vote or old enough that you did not believe you would never live long enough to witness such horror in your lifetime—you can join the fight right now. It doesn’t matter if you are in a wheelchair or on a bicycle, on foot or in a bus—you can provide Resistance Intelligence in a legal and principled manner. 

Each photo will add to our arsenal. Every one will serve the purpose of affixing to the pages of history the greedy thieves and condoners of fraud, hatred, treason, bigotry, human trafficking, sexual assault and all the other violence they have planned for us. We have the power to bring them to their knees.

We have no time to waste. Anyone who spends so much as a dollar at any Trump property is with the Fascists and must not be allowed to escape the scrutiny of the People. Know that the enemy are cowards. They will try to hide. But, it is a tenet of any war—including the one they are commencing now and which we will have to fight—that we must know our enemy. We do not have to let them to hide in the comfort of the silent collaboration that all enemies of the People always try to cower behind.

Their shame is of their own making. They will always be free to avoid exposure by choosing to luxuriate elsewhere. No one has to wear Trump clothes or his sulfurous cologne or Ivanka's dresses. There are plenty of other places (though, granted, none as gaudy or ostentatious) to go and clothes to buy.  

Fascism was defined by its founders simply as money and corporations being placed above the people. Mussolini, the first of them, wrote that, "Fascism should more appropriately be termed corporatism." The tools used to motivate their followers to give up their own financial security, in the form of tax cuts and reduced government benefits, are always racial, ethnic and religious hatreds, thuggishness, along with constant persecution and downgrading of the LGBTQ community. Of course, when those fail, they can always start a war and demand fealty and silence from all citizens using the excuses of patriotism or unity.

They have been defeated in the past, but now that they are back and stronger than ever—because Fascism could never hope for more fertile soil than America's—we should look to the two great fights waged by Resistances against the last of the great Fascist onslaughts, that of the Nazis. We must learn from the French Résistance and the Soviet Partizans, who, all of them working as allies of a Democratic United States, fought the Nazis and when necessary fought them to the death the Nazis were visiting on their own people, as surely as Trump and his thugs will visit on ours and on the rest of the people of the world. The thugs are already out. We need to take a closer look at them.

Let our cameras be our guns. Let Fascist dollars be our bullets.

Let's get to work. Ask to join the group. The enemy need not apply. 

This is the Facebook group. Imagine if it had a million members—there would be someone at every Trump property all the time. That should be the goal. Please help to get the word out about this—email the link to your friends and ask them to do it in turn.