Tag Archives: politics

The #TakeAKnee controversy is a shining example of freedom

Whatever one may think of the US, the recent #TakeAKnee controversy has highlighted its memetic status as “land of the free”.

Last season, a number of largely black NFL players began kneeling instead of standing for the pregame national anthem to protest police brutality. To American patriots, the symbols of the country are held in a quasi-sacred regard. Many of these same people often declare themselves champions of free speech, but believe that the right shouldn’t extend to “denigrating” the anthem or the flag. Seems a little hypocritical, doesn’t it?

When this attitude reaches government level, it becomes authoritarianism. Donald Trump wants the NFL to expel all players who “take a knee” or otherwise protest while the national anthem is playing. So far, he has yet to take action while the #TakeAKnee movement spreads out of American football and even worldwide (there are rumours that several international footballers will do the same during the next round of World Cup qualifiers). You know why it’s spreading worldwide, Donald? Your big mouth. You are threatening to take away freedom of expression and we won’t stand (literally) for it.

Freedom of speech is about the freedom to state something and freedom for people to disagree with it. This is what’s happening right now. Nobody’s being prosecuted, nobody’s being attacked, and I hope it stays that way.

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Dammit Donald

The news that Donald Trump has banned April Fools’ Day did not come as a surprise to me.

He hates even the slightest jokey comments made about him. No doubt he’s pushing to make jokes about him illegal 365 days a year, which is a massive blow to free speech and yet more evidence to suggest he is a totalitarian.

Not to mention he’s the biggest fool of them all.

If French TV has a ban on broadcasting terrorists’ names and faces…

…will we ever get a ban on broadcasting Donald Trump’s name and face?

He’s no terrorist (at least not as of yet), but my God he’s an ugly little sod with an equally ugly name. Why on earth would his Scottish-born mother allow his father to bestow THAT last name on their children? I know it’s not American slang, and he probably didn’t get the same kind of treatment that, say, Dean Windass undoubtedly got at school, but come ON!

When your head of state is a cheesy Wotsit with a name that literally means “fart”, you need to address what went wrong to get him into office.

Catch 22, Trump style

I can see Trump threatening to quit if he doesn’t get his own way with regards to the Muslim ban.

Millions want him to already, but he knows that if he goes the country will be plunged into even more chaos. The anti-Trump side will probably not be sated for long as the replacement will most likely be Mike Pence. In the US there has been a lot of fear of the religious right gaining power, and understandably so especially with regards to the rights of the LGBT community.

Pence, like so many in the religious right, believes that LGBT people should not be a protected class. He signed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act into law, which allows people to discriminate on “religious” grounds. He also takes the side of those who believe that transgender people should use the toilets of their birth gender. If you are so concerned about “men” in the ladies’ toilet, don’t you realise that this act will lead to people who are physically, visibly and legally male having to use that particular toilet? Didn’t think that one through, did you?

Pence will also most likely push for his predecessor’s ban on people from Muslim countries entering the US, as well as his other controversial plans such as removing white nationalist groups from lists of violent organisations. Now why would anyone do that? Imagine the right’s reaction if a Democrat president removed violent Islamist groups from the list and nothing else. Exactly. The double standards here are mind boggling.

Please note that I am obviously NOT pushing for the Muslim ban. It is stupid and undemocratic and that’s just the beginning. What I’m saying is that Trump resigning will be a lose-lose situation unless a second election is called, which is very unlikely given the Republican dominance of the Electoral College, House and Senate.

Inserting political commentary into irrelevant contexts

…is stupid.

And this is coming from someone who is vocally and proudly anti-Trump. It seems people want to turn the anti-Trump movement into a pissing contest and they will insert their political commentary into the most irrelevant contexts, from sports to STEM lessons to music reviews to prove that they are more anti-Trump than anyone else.

I have no doubt it will die down eventually, but how eventually is that? There will be some form of protest outside the White House until Trump is out of office, whether by losing the 2020 election, stepping aside in 2024 or impeachment. As much as we hate Trump, we cannot keep focusing on him. It will get tedious to the point that people will want to support Trump just to piss you off (as CNN and other unapologetically pro-Hillary outlets learned the hard way)!

If you want to protest outside the White House or even your local town hall, be my guest. Trump is a tyrant and must be stopped. Constantly bringing it up when irrelevant isn’t going to do it though.

On leaving Chapter 25

At the beginning of Chapter 25, the hero Bernard the Brave entered my life. I supported him in his valiant effort to take down the Establishment, a cabal of darkness enveloping the electorate of Freedomia. Although he eventually lost the fight, the Establishment and their Lady Hillary were eventually slaughtered by the tyrannical Ye Donalde. By the end of the chapter, Ye Donalde had enacted draconian laws forbidding much of Gaia from entering Freedomia.

The people of Albion, empowered in hatred of Emperor Kam Eron, voted against his dream of staying in Europa. This drove the Emperor into retirement and led to Ye Donalde’s wife Emperess Tree Sah replacing him.

Famous Gaians continued to drop like flies.

My work remained unfinished.

I remained Szin.

As I enter Chapter 26 I vow to finish my work. I may never get to defeat Ye Donalde, but they say the pen is mightier than any sword.

The beginnings of a short story?

For a while, Suleyman Khan had changed his name to Solomon Cohen and pretended to be an Orthodox Jew. His wife and children followed suit- Maryam became Miriam, Ismail became Izzy and Zainab became Zelda. The kufi normally on his head was replaced by a kippah. He put his thick accent down to having spoken Yiddish all his life. Friday afternoons at the mosque were replaced by nights at the synagogue. He thought this would be the easiest way to avoid the watchful eye of the government that hated his religion. Orthodox Judaism and the religion of this traditional immigrant were pretty close to each other and he wanted to show the world how hypocritical it was that the president let his daughter convert to Judaism while banning Muslims from entering the country.

It was easy but also hard.

“Solomon” was attacked by a man screaming antisemitic epithets. He and his family quickly packed up and left the city, adopting another identity in a small country town. He was now Simon Collins, replacing the kufi with a truckers’ cap. Maryam was Mary, eschweing the hijab. Izzy and Zelda remained the same. Trying to live the Christian lifestyle was more difficult than trying to live the Jewish one, but it was necessary. The holy day became Sunday, and while they attended the local Baptist church they also kneeled on the mat five times a day in the privacy of their own home.

One Sunday, they met the Perry family. Like the “Collinses”, they had a darker hue than most of the other people at church and Joe, like “Simon”, felt excluded as a result.

“I’m just a Anglo-Saxon Protestant,” he said to “Simon”. “But I’m always getting strange looks from the people around us. I swear they’ve never seen a darker-skinned white person before.”

“I get that too.” “Simon” said in his thick accent.

Joe’s jaw dropped.

“Y- You’re not from around here, are you?”

“No.”

“Well, let’s tell the truth. My real name isn’t Joe Perry. It’s Jose Perez. My parents came from rural Mexico. The thing is, they weren’t legal when they had me. I’m scared I- as an ‘anchor baby’- may get deported. My wife came here when she was ten. What the president doesn’t understand is that so many come for a better life in America. He’s turning the American Dream into a nightmare.”

“Simon” looked at “Joe” for a second and broke down crying. This man was just like him, an American forced to wear a WASP mask just to fit into the new system.